Welcome to Forced Fun, a series in which we place our grumpy old man of gaming, Tuffcub, in front of a bunch of video games he really doesn’t like and hold his cat hostage until he plays them. This is a scientific experiment as although Tuffcub has a ferocious dislike for these the games, he has never played them and we think he should at least try these games so he can justify his hatred. This time he’s borrowed Jake’s Nintendo Switch and is being forced to confront his nemesis: Mario.
I hate Mario. He is just so twee and happy I want to punch that ridiculous moustache off his smug face. I played Super Mario on the original NES a few times, and played the hell out of Donkey Kong on the ZX Spectrum, but that’s as far as my interactions have gone with the fat plumber. Nevertheless, I am going in to this with an open mind; lots of people love Mario games so they can’t all be wrong, can they?
- I’m starting with Super Mario Odyssey because that is, allegedly, a great game. It begins with Mario getting the crap kicked out him – an excellent start in my opinion.
- Bowser doesn’t speak English? This I did not know! A cheap way of saving on voiceover costs in different languages, I guess.
- Because reasons we are now in the land of sentient hats. It seems… empty.
- I mean, really empty. I thought was meant to be one of the best looking Switch games?
- Oh god. I already hate it. The ghost hat thing is going “Woo.” Mario is going “Woo.”
- Every time I jump he goes “Woo”. This is infuriating.
- Why does Mario run like that? No one runs like that. Prat.
- Even worse is his downhill running animation. I don’t think Peach is the only princess in this game!
- I’ve possessed a frog. This is like the Exorcist, but for children.
- The landscape is still very empty and simple. Maybe I’ve been spoilt by the 4K loveliness of PS4 Pro, but I’ve seen better looking games on my phone at the moment.
- Some bunnies have arrived who seem to have made a wrong turn out of Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle. None of them speak English either.
- A relatively simple boss battle won by hammering the hat throwing button.
- This is very trippy; I’ve turned into a lamp post. Whoever designed this game clearly smokes something a bit exotic.
- OK, this new land looks a bit better, there’s a lot more on screen, its green and lush, but it’s still not blowing my socks off.
- Some more running about and Woo-ing and I’ve got a moon! Moon’s power my ship – see my earlier comment about smoking as to why this is a thing.
- To power my ship I have to throw my hat at a globe to release the moon. Honestly, this is nuts. None of this makes any sense whatsoever!
- I died, so I have to watch the same cut scene again featuring a fat lady bunny. Hammering all the buttons to try and skip it, but no luck.
- We’re off to the imaginatively named Sand Kingdom, because all platforming games have to have a sandy level, at least all platform games that still insist on sticking to design conventions from the 1990s. I would bet my pants that there’s a snowy level later on as well.
- “Here we go,” squeeks Mario. I HATE HIM!
- Hang on, when I was powering up the ship with moons it was filling up a sail. My ship appears to be a rocket. Why does a rocket ship need a sail? Actually, where did the sail go? This is really, really hurting my brain.
- A bit further on in the game and I’m enjoying the sections where it goes old school 2D. Do you want to know why I am enjoying those sections? Because when I press the jump button the games goings “Boing!” and not “Woo!”
- Talking of jumping I’m finding it very hard to land where I want to land, the controls are really fluffy and I’m falling off ledges a lot and having to retrace my steps. My tiny, stupid hand-waving steps.
To Wong Woo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar
- I’ve died again. The restarts points are really badly thought out I’ve been set back a fair way.
- Please make it stop…
- This is torture. Are we sure this is a game and not something concocted to break the will of terrorists at Guantanamo Bay?
Kart To Kart
- Enough! So far in this series I have enjoyed playing the games to some small degree. However, Mario Odyssey is utterly hateful. I really, really want to punch his lights out, smack that smug moustache off his pudgey face and so he can never Woo again. I hate this, I really, really, really, do. Time to try Mario Kart.
- Cartridges switched – aha – and there’s some zooming noises and then.. oh god.. “Mario Kart.. Eight!” squeaks the be-hatted cockwomble. No. Sorry. I can’t do this right now, I’m going for a lie down in a dark room to regain some sanity.
- I’ve had a break and some coffee. Feeling slightly less stressed.
- So then this looks quite sweet, there’s lost of characters to pick, I don’t recognise half of them, but I’m going to chose Yoshi. I know him.
- Racing time. I’m liking this, simple yet colourful and has plenty of character. Also no one has gone “Woo.”
- I seem to be wining races by a fair margin. Getting the hang on the power-ups as well. Going to try online.
- While I wait to join a race can we talk about the size of the Switch? I distinctly remember a lot of people complaining about the size of PS Vita and yet no one seems to have noticed Nintendo’s latest portable console is the size of a tea tray.
- That was fun, I suppose. Hardly ground breaking though, and nowhere near as fun as Burnout.
- I dont like the “Ping ping whine” noises the game makes when it is communicating with the internet. Is every sound on Nintendo designed to annoy?
- Had a couple more races, one of the maps had so many different junctions I couldn’t tell if I was close to winning or miles behind. The position indicator doesn’t make much sense when the map looks like spaghetti.
- Meh. Had enough.
Right. You’re all nuts. Certifiably nuts. I’d rather be locked in a dark room and waterboarded by The Cheeky Girls whilst they sing their hit “Cheeky Song (Touch My Bum)” twenty-four hours of every single day whilst a pack of rabid field mice slowly eat their way through my nether regions than play a Mario game every again. They are truly, truly, horrendous. Mario Kart is OK I guess. I suppose I wouldn’t mind playing that again if I really had to, but a proper Mario game? No.
Can I have my cat back now?