Hello everybody, good to be here again! Last weekend, I made an attempt on rating all these bonus games in a fair way. I think it worked out quite well. Before I show you how I ranked the submissions, I would like to make it clear that I really enjoyed playing these levels. Keep it up! If this is only the beginning, then I can't wait to see what's next, really.
For me personally, important criteria were creativity, replay value and technical prowess. The ratings are mostly derived from how well each submission scored on those three points. Other criteria (such as graphical neatness) also played a role, albeit not as much.
Without further ado, here are the votes:
#1: Spikey - Rocket launches. Is there anything more thrilling than that? Well, for as much as a bonus game can be thrilling, this one sure is. I like how this bonus game has two parts and yet it doesn't feel like it would be lasting too long at all. Only at the very start is it necessary to wait. I like how the block generation is randomized, so that you do not know beforehand which block to hit. The level makes you want to know what lies up ahead, which also gives a boost to the replay value… In fact, the replay value of this bonus game is inherently good. Hats off to you for this one. The reward also doesn't seem to be disproportional, although it is never difficult to snatch at least one 1-UP. Perhaps removing the flying 1-UP at the beginning would take care of that, but hey. If it were up to me, this bonus game would become the winner of the round! 9.2/10.0
#2: Lakitu - Oh boy, this one was nauseating at times. How many bonus games classify as “nauseating”? Not many, I presume. And this one is unique in more ways than just that.
To start off with the not-so-positive things, it's not entirely clear to me which block does what, due to the ambiguous graphics that have been chosen for them. That should've been worked out a little bit better. Also, the level doesn’t -really- give me a bonus game feeling. It’s more like another regular level, only then loaded with ~*awesomeness*~. Speaking of which.... WOW, the ~*awesomeness*~! A room that is fully rotating (ohai Mode 7), with (mostly) correct collision hitboxes, many places to explore… this one really left me startled. It’s varied. And there is custom music to accompany it. Definitely one of the more impressive bonus games of this round! And let’s be honest, it’s an ASM contest after all… This one deserves #2. 8.8/10.0
#3: Ninja - Neat set-up. Once you get used to this one (and figure out that getting the Cape equipped is really the best way to go), it's really easy to "beat" the bonus game. The yields aren't exceptional, so there's not really a downside to that. One can opt for multiple strategies in order to beat this minigame and get the most out of it. That is what makes this minigame versatile and, therefore, quite replayable. I like how it turned out graphically. Pretty cool! 8.0/10
#4: Booster - Well, if you've taught me anything here, it's that Munchers are capable of killing anything. Even inanimate bonus game objects are horribly eviscerated by those evil monsters. No, but really - I liked this bonus game very much. What I liked especially, is the room for variation. This definitely has its effect on the replay value. If there's variation, more time will be needed to develop an efficient strategy for each run. The gains are not disproportional, either. At most, you'll get 4 1-UPs, and a lucky shot is needed for that one. 7.9/10.0
#5: Shadow - Oh man, is there anything more heinous than rotating Munchers? Yep. Homing Munchers from above, able to stack. STACK, I TELL YOU! Pure evil. They are almost floating in mid-air, too. Well, at least they're falling from mid-air. Oh yeah, Spinies too. But they're actually the good guys here! How nice of you to make Spinies the good guys for once. In effect, this bonus game is quite a bit more difficult than the others, but this isn't necessarily a bad thing. There's a certain learning curve to it and well, it's just a fun concept. With a nice hint of "inside joke". 7.7/10
#6: Snifit - Ah yes, hit the keys at the right moment, a la Guitar Hero and the likes. Very interesting idea as a bonus game and executed quite nicely. The length is okay. Other than that, there’s not much to this one. 7.6/10.0
#7: Belome - No, no, nooooooo... DON'T DROP INTO THE ABYSS AGAIN! Ack. Painful at times, but it definitely had its replay value. The set-up was quite interesting. Also, to not make it too easy to gain many 1-UPs, whether intended or not, it was actually an interesting design choice to make the red "-"s also count towards the life counter (i.e. you had to touch it in order to not lose another life). If this wasn't the case, then it would be quite a bit easier to gain heaps and heaps of 1-UPs, so well done on that. 7.5/10.0
#8: Birdo - The good ol' lottery game. Gotta love them. I think that games like these reflect bonus games the way they were originally meant to be - representing pure chance. I like that you can go on and on in this bonus game, much like a gambling addict would... just to lose it all when you hit that annoying poisonous mushroom again. Cool concept, replay value is alright. 7.3/10.0
#9: Troopa - I like the set-up of this one. In real life, crane games are the worst, as you rarely win anything with them. But in this bonus game, that's a different story. The concept is interesting and the execution decent. However, Mario's graphics disappear when the crane is moving in to pick the item. This looks very sloppy. Also, perhaps it would be better to vary the speed of the conveyor belt from time to time. With that, I mean something like this: set the speed to a certain randomized value when entering the bonus game. That way, you won't always know when to flawlessly go for the 1-UP, the most valuable item on there (which is very easy right now: activate the crane when there's a Fire Flower right underneath it). You could also adjust the speed of the crane instead. Anyhow, with these minor tweaks, I'm sure it would make for a decent bonus game with a mild replay value. 7.1/10.0
#10: Terrapin - Ah, the quintessential one. Mother of minigames. What can we say about this one? Well, using purple Koopa shells as an item encasing is actually pretty clever, so you've got that one going for you. Somewhat less clever (or is this intentional?) is the placement of the walls at the sides of the screen. This obscures the view and, thus, adds a great deal of uncertainty to the guess. I personally think the minigame would be better without those walls. Keeping the shells close to eachother and warping them from the right part of the screen to the left part of the screen already leads to enough distraction on its own. Other than that, it's a decent bonus game. Less is more, and simplicity is, at times, best. 6.9/10.0
#11: Dodo - *throws computer out of window in a fit of rage* ... no, actually, I never really got what people found frustrating about Flappy Bird. Personally, I am quite fond of such minigames. Endurance, hand-eye coordination and precision is tested. The downside to this is that there's essentially no limit to the amount of 1-UPs one can gather from a single bonus game, and that might be a little worrisome. Another improvement would be fixing the "loading up"-screen, as it is still possible to see the original level. Thus, it's not really polished yet. 6.8/10.0 (P.S. This may not be entirely original, but if it's from the same creator, well... I won't put it at #16 just because of that.)
#12: Croco - Chasing the stars. Clever one. Well, it is as they say - gotta catch 'em all. Or well, not really with this minigame. 40 out of 50 is enough to get that fabulous 3-UP moon, and it really isn't hard to attain 40 of those. Wouldn't it be a little fairer if collecting all 50 stars meant a little more than just bragging rights? Perhaps only reward the 3-UP moon at that point and devalue the prize for lower star counts. Well, that's just a detail anyway. The game is mildly replayable - it tends to get repetitive after a little while. 6.5/10.0
#13: Axem - Ah, a classic game of Memory. But oh dear, this one wasn't easy. It definitely wasn't easy when the difficulty setting was at 21-30. You made a nice challenge out of it, and that's good, because bonus games should not be too easy. The concept was interesting, but the game did not have much of a replay value for me. Perhaps this is also caused by the rather long wait at the beginning. 6.0/10.0
#14: Jester - The concept of a shooter minigame in a Mario game is always interesting. And if I may be honest, I find the execution of the shooting mechanics a lot better than in "Boomer". However, this minigame could use some extra work. First of all, I suppose that the amount of coins to generate is randomly selected at every hit. I don't know that for sure, but that's what seems to be the case after having played this a couple of times. I think it would be better to use a scoring system based on the enemies that you shoot. Now it doesn't really matter what you hit, as long as you just blindly shoot and hit something. Thus, the minigame as it is right now is rather bland to me. It could use more variation. For that reason also, the replay value is rather low. Also, why not add in 1-UPs every once in a while? Coins aren't really worth that much. 5.5/10.0
#15: Boomer - Sometimes, the best way to deal with your problems is to just hurl at them with really large objects. Mario does exactly that in this bonus game. The cannonballs look pretty derpy, but that's okay. However, I have a very difficult time getting used to the mechanics of the cannonballs. I’m not sure if it’s the strange perspective that has been used, or if the cannonball hitbox is just off… Anyway, I seem to be unable to hit most of the targets. On top of that, I feel like you could've made the environment somewhat neater. In the current setting, it does not have much of a replay value for me either. 5.0/10.0
#16: Pulsar - Okay, I don't really know what to say about this one... It took me a while to understand what is actually going on here. It's Bejeweled-like, but unlike in Bejeweled, you can actually move the item around over the entire playing field, not just over the directly adjacent items. The idea is pretty cool, but the execution is poor. There's a number of things that demonstrate this: for me, it is just wrong that accidentally dropping the item (not even having moved it anywhere) ends the minigame. Some combinations appear to be broken, such as a combination of 3 fire flowers at the bottom-middle (vertical stack). Also, it seems odd that you can die in the bonus game and thus LOSE A LIFE! Oh, and that font. Waugh. But what would have helped this minigame the most, is a clear instruction of what it is and how to play it properly. This is lacking entirely. Too bad about the execution, because the puzzle in itself is really a nice idea. 3.0/10.0
Don't follow "Find Roy's Dignity", my hack
. Because it's pretty outdated. <--------