Review by horror_spooky

Reviewed: 07/09/12

Mario mad! Mario smash!

Mario spinoffs have been a huge part of the Nintendo game lineup since his popularity exploded in the 80s. To try to capitalize on Mario's success, Nintendo shoved him in multiple games, ranging from cameos like his role as referee in Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! to full fledged spinoffs, such as Wrecking Crew. Considered by many to be the "forgotten spinoff" in the Mario franchise, Wrecking Crew seems more like a spiritual success to Mario Bros.

In the game, players control Mario. Luigi can also be controlled by a second player. The goal of the game is to destroy all of the objects in the level while avoiding the enemies. However, players have to be careful to not destroy objects that will help them reach the other areas, or else the level is failed.

The game is very arcade-like in practice, with the main goal of it to really just beat high scores. There are a lot of levels of increasing difficulty, and the core mechanic of figuring out the most efficient order in which to destroy the objects is fun. Since the enemies are basically invincible, it can almost feel like a survival horror game when they trap Mario or Luigi. These thrilling little gameplay moments are impressive, especially considering this game was made in the mid 80s.

Wrecking Crew allows players to pick any of its levels right when the game starts up. I liked this. Most arcade games force you to start all the way back at the beginning when all lives are lost, but Wrecking Crew permits the option to start back at the level you were stuck on. There are a lot of different levels available in the game, so this will allow someone to experience all the different levels instead of just replaying the beginning over and over again.

Wrecking Crew has pretty good graphics. The game definitely stays true to its arcade nature. It's not the best looking NES game, but it has a very nice level of polish, without those annoying graphical glitches mucking up the picture. Sound is okay, but nothing spectacular, and when it comes to Nintendo, spectacular is expected.

I think Wrecking Crew's biggest problem is that there's simply not much going for it. The gameplay is fun, but it can get old pretty fast. I like the co-op and the fact that there are a lot of levels, but there just isn't enough content or gameplay variety to really make this game a must-have NES game. Perhaps the reason it's often forgotten is that it's just so average. It's not bad, but it's not all that great either. It's just there. Regardless, Wrecking Crew is an acceptable arcade experience on a home console.


Rating:   3.5 - Good

Product Release: Wrecking Crew (3DS Ambassador Program) (US, 09/01/11)

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