Tuesday, March 26, 2013

New Super Mario Bros. U - Boost Troll

In the game known as New Super Mario Bros. U, there is Boost Mode, a mode where one person places blocks and influences the environment using the GamePad's touch screen while the other players run through levels as normal. The moment this feature was shown at E3, gamers knew in their hearts that this power would inevitably be used for evil by "that one friend". It was designed to aid the players, but it would be used to troll the players. Indeed, this is exactly what happened, but instead of getting angry, my friends and I decided to see how far we could take it. And thus, BOOST TROLL was born. It's a battle of wits and skill between Mario and the almighty "Hand of God".

My friends and I demonstrate the art of Boost Trolling.

The goal of the game is simple: Mario must attempt to finish the level while the Boost Troll attempts to kill him until he gets Game Over or gives up. Every level offers a vastly different kind of challenge depending on what powerups are available, the number of pits, whether it's in a cave, underwater, or overworld, and other factors that you'll discover as you play. Some levels give a strong advantage to Mario, but most give the advantage to the troll. Each new gameplay element offers new ways to screw over Mario. Here are a few of the most common situations to look out for and some strategies to go along with them:

As the troll, it's important to keep Mario away from any powerups. Placing a block right above (or below, if ground pounded) an item-giving block as pictured will destroy the powerup when it comes out. Yoshi cannot be destroyed in this manner. As Mario, try faking out the troll by jumping at unexpected times or ground pounding blocks instead. If the mushroom or Yoshi is moving, the troll can also use blocks to redirect its path or touch it to make it bounce.

The troll should constantly place blocks in front of Mario to run the timer down and also to annoy the player. Pits are the troll's best opportunity to kill Mario, so don't waste them. The troll should be careful not to leave any protruding blocks that might give Mario a foothold and allow him to climb over the barrier.

Whenever possible, the troll should limit Mario's space and trap him with enemies. Mario should watch out for places where this is likely to happen and jump over them or jump quickly to break the boost mode blocks before the enemy gets to him.

The troll can sometimes affect the environment or influence enemies. In the image above, the troll can cause the spinning ground to suddenly spin quickly in the other direction. Some enemies, when tapped, will hop a little, which can throw off the Mario player. But be careful when tapping enemies like piranha plants and dry bones, as this will temporarily disable them and actually help Mario.

Have you found any good trolling strategies? If so, let me know in the comments!
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