We all remember the classic games in the Super Mario Bros. series right? Okay, maybe not necessarily remember but we probably all know a lot about the series regardless. One of the staples of the games was collecting 100 coins gave you an extra life. However, things changed once we moved into the 3D games. I talked about them to some extent at the beginning of last year. They are still fun games to this day, but there is one specific thing that every completionist dreads from them and that is the 100 coin missions. Before we get into that, I want to elaborate on the structure of the games themselves. The 3D titles have two different types of structures. The first is scavenger hunt based where you are given clues to find a star hidden somewhere in the level and it is up to you to explore where to find it. This is more indicative of Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Odyssey. The second type is a mission based structure where you travel to select areas in order to retrieve a specific star with the area design usually undergoing some change based on the design. This is more indicative of Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy. Granted there is some overlap in Super Mario 64 since they didn’t have a set formula at that point. Now time for a quiz. Of the two types I just mentioned, which do you think would be easier for allowing you to collect 100 coins? The answer is the first one. The reason is because since you have the whole map to move through to search for coins. You do not have that when dealing with a smaller section of the map geared only for a certain purpose. That is why Super Mario 64 is better for collecting coins than Super Mario Sunshine. Again, one day I will complete that game. Super Mario Galaxy at least makes them prankster comets after you beat the game, but things are a bit different from the previous two games in the series.
You see, unlike the previous two games the coins you collect are specific to that mission only and are guaranteed to be in a space where you can collect them. The problem lies in which type of mission you get. Each one of these missions gives you the ability to get purple coins to get the power star. There are two different types of missions. The first is when there are only 100 coins you have to get, sometimes with a time limit. The second is where you have 130 coins and you have to get 100 of them within the time limit provided to you. The first one is more manageable usually, unless it is on rails in which case I want to die. The second type though can be so brutal even with giving you extra coins. They don’t give you extra coins to be nice, but to make it actually possible. Fun, fun FUN. Now before I get even saltier, I want to talk about Super Mario Odyssey and how it approaches these coins. They are scattered throughout a world that you can freely explore and you do not need them all for completion. You just get them all if you want alternate costumes. Thank goodness. Although the game is still pretty difficult to fully complete even with that reprieve. After all there are 999 Power Moons (stars but different shape) to collect in the game. The closest thing to the 100 coin missions of old are those challenges that require you to do 100 of some task like volleyball returns. Now why did I bring this up? I’m getting to that, I hope.
You see, completion is starting to get a little bit crazy in more recent games. It is to the point where it stops being fun or feeling rewarding. That could just be me getting old, but I am going to stubbornly insist that is not the case. Besides, I’m 25 so I have plenty of time right? Please don’t answer that. Look it isn’t so much that I have a problem with games becoming more challenging. I have a problem if they become less fun in doing so. Now the hardest part of Super Mario 64 was collecting all of those 100 coin stars. That was especially true in the later levels where the platforming got a lot less forgiving. Then Super Mario Sunshine decided to make it so you did it less often, but you could only get the 100 coin Shine Sprite (see Power Moons in previous paragraph) in select missions as you couldn’t explore areas freely unless you were in certain missions. Then Super Mario Galaxy and its sequel decided to make it so the missions were always doable, but they bumped the difficulty up to an eleven. And before you ask, yes, that is out of ten. This is by Nintendo standards obviously. So I appreciate enjoying going through a scavenger hunt this time. I understand that what I am talking amount is a completionist thing and that is doesn’t apply to everyone. I just want to say that I want to feel something other than relief when I put my all into something. That’s all. Hopefully this post makes up for me from last year. I promise this is not a themed month this time. That was last year’s challenge.