Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Mario vs. Sonic: The battle for the DS

Here it is, folks! It's that "*Hint, hint*" article I've been mumbling about! This is gonna be an all out war!

Mario and Sonic have been rivals for over fifteen years. And now, here they are, both on the same system. Of course, SEGA and Nintendo are now anything but enemies, but still, one of these games has to be superior! So then, in this article I will decide the winner of this round fought on the DS. Which is better: New Super Mario Bros. or Sonic Rush?

Now, you may remember that in my reviews of New Super Mario Bros. and Sonic Rush, both games received a 9.2/10 overall. But of course, no two games are equal, regardless of the score I give them. One is better, and I'm gonna find out which one it is. I will be judging each game in several specific categories. Each time one game is deemed superior to the other in a particular category, it will receive a point. In the end, the game with the most points will emerge as the victor. So then, LET THE BATTLE BEGIN!

Round One: Playable characters

In both games, players can take control of two characters. In New Super Mario Bros., Mario and Luigi are selectable (Although Luigi is somewhat of a secret), and in Sonic Rush, Sonic the Hedgehog and Blaze the Cat are playable. When it comes to numbers, they are equal. However, when it comes to character diversity, there is quite the difference. In NSMB, Mario and Luigi play exactly the same, while in Rush, Sonic and Blaze feature different movesets and separate storylines. With that in mind, Sonic Rush wins Round One.

Round Two: Number of playable levels

In NSMB, each World is divided up into several levels, with a grand total of 80 separate stages. In Rush, Stages are divided up into three levels (Except for Zone F, which is one giant boss battle). That makes 22 levels in the whole game (Not counting the levels in Blaze's story, as they are the same as the levels in Sonic's story). There is also one extra level available after beating the game as both characters, which brings the grand total for Sonic Rush up to 23. It doesn't take much of a genius to see that NSMB greatly defeats Rush in this category, with more than three times as many levels. Thusly, New Super Mario Bros. wins Round Two.

Round Three: Enemy variety

In Sonic Rush, many enemies are simply drone robots which take little more than a swift jumping on or dashing through to defeat. There are a few variations, such as robots with deflecting shield (Vulnerable only from above), and two other types of bots which take three hits to defeat instead of one.

However, in NSMB, enemy variety is much greater. Sure, most enemies in this game require a mere one hit to defeat, but their weaknesses and strengths are far more diverse. There's the Koopa, which can only be truly defeated via fireball or being hit be another Koopa shell (If it merely falls off the stage, it will return if you leave and come back). There's Pokey, a large, segmented cactus which can withstand every one of his parts being destroyed up until his head section is beaten. There's the Boo, which is actually nearly indestructible, and is vulnerable only to Mega Mario and invincibility. Without a doubt, New Super Mario Bros. wins Round Three.

Round Four: Boss battle diversity

In Sonic Rush, there are 17 boss battles, compared to NSMB's 9 (Plus mini-bosses). However, eight of the boss battles in Sonic Rush are the same as some of the other battles (Blaze faces the same bosses in her story arc), so in reality, there are only 9 bosses. But this isn't about the shear number of bosses, this is about how different each encounter is.

In Sonic Rush, each boss takes eight hits to defeat (Six in Easy Mode). In each battle, the only way to harm the boss is to attack the pilot's cockpit (Each boss is a huge robot). The bosses attack patterns are all greatly varied (Except for one boss, who is a slightly changed version of another), and many of which take unique advantage of the game's three-dimensional perspective.

New Super Mario Bros. matches Sonic Rush's number of bosses, but the variety leaves a little something to be desired. For example, while many of Rush's bosses feature several attacks, the ones in NSMB only boasts one move. For example, the boss of World 2 simply pops out of the ground and spits crap at you, and nothing more. Also, with the exception of the first and last two bosses, every fight requires you hit the enemy three times. Really, NSMB's bosses are quite basic compared to those in the blue blur's adventure, so Sonic Rush wins Round Four.

Round Five: Storyline

Neither Sonic or Mario games have ever been renowned for their gripping storylines. That being said, one of them still has a greater plot. In Sonic Rush, there's quite the extensive story, involving dimensional rifts and mysterious characters. In New Super Mario Bros., Bowser kidnaps the princess. Check, please! Sonic Rush wins Round Five.

Round Six: Power-ups

New Super Mario Bros. brings over many of the classic power-ups from the series to the table, including the Super Mushroom and the invincibility-granting Starman. It also introduces a few new power-ups, in the form of the Mini Mushroom, the Mega Mushroom and the blue Koopa shell.

In Sonic Rush, the list of power-ups is pretty short, with a one-hit resistant shield, a variant of said shield that attracts rings, and a couple of other minor boosts such as a filler for the Tension Gauge and temporary invincibility. Really, the power-ups are hardly worth mentioning in this case, due to how few of them there are. This is a pretty easy one to decide. New Super Mario Bros. wins Round Six.

Round Seven: Art style

Sonic Rush came out way earlier in the DS' lifespan than New Super Mario Bros., so I will not compare graphics for the sake of being fair. However, I will compare their art styles, something that is very important in the overall appearance of any game. Now then, both games employ a three-dimensional character on a two-dimensional backdrop style, and that much is equal. However, the two-dimensional backgrounds in Sonic Rush are, in my opinion, far brighter and livelier. In contrast, the backgrounds in New Super Mario Bros. seem rather stale and lifeless. Thusly, Sonic Rush wins Round Seven.


With a score of 4 to 3, Sonic Rush barely manages to squeeze past New Super Mario Bros. and win this challenge. That's right, the plumber himself lost on his own home turf! Sorry, Mario, but maybe next time! Both games put up an incredible fight, but in the end, there can only be one winner. Regardless of who won or lost, both games are great additions to any DS owner's collection.

The Duck Has Spoken.


alexanderpas said...

rematch!! rematch!! MARIO!!! MARIO!!!

(add completion(100%) dificulty!)


*on a side note*
nicely written you crazy duck!

Anonymous said...

cool article. let's see more of these head to heads!