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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Puzzle & Dragons Z Demo Impressions

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Was I in the right before?

After bad-mouthing the partnership between Nintendo and GungHo Online Interactive when it was first announced, it is time to try the Puzzle & Dragons games for the first time, first-hand, right now. Yes, Nintendo pushed a Nintendo 3DS notification alerting people that the demo for Puzzle & Dragons Z + Super Mario Bros. Edition. That's right. Two games, one demo. Free, and only 641 blocks on your Nintendo 3DS. 14 minute download!

Let's start with Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition since that's the one presented first.
...I guess you could consider this article a "live reaction", by the way.
"Win Bowser's baddies over to your side as you battle your way to Bowser's Castle to rescue Princess Peach!"
I'm reusing this from the previous article.

While transcribing that in-game description it automatically pressed "A" and brought me to the "title". There are Intro (Mario) and Expert (Luigi), but Luigi is greyed out.

Apologies in advance: Since it's a demo, I can't go to Miiverse and get pictures of my progress. Deal with text.

So, like Pokémon Shuffle, the stylus is used to drag icons on the lower-screen to have certain themed dudes attack. Except here, you have your own hit points counter, while in Shuffle only the enemy has hit points. Of course, there are combo chains as well. Let's see what happens when I try!

...Nevermind, it's showing five-line combos. It's a six-icon wide and five-icon high grid. Each themed dude (Mario, Goomba, Koopa Troopa, and apparently Boo Luigi) has a special ability, like in Pokémon Shuffle. I can choose team captains (leaders) between red-plumber and non-ethereal-green-plumber. Picking Green.  "Super Mario" is the helper. So there is the "leader" and the "helper". Luigi has a stronger yellow ability (electricity?) than Mario, referencing Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. Or it's just a coincidence.

This controls like Pokémon Shuffle's normal stages. (You can't move things in real-time once you move something like you can Shuffle's expert stages.) I beat two Goombas with a ton of special effects on the top screen and have no idea what I did.

Unlike Shuffle, you're doing several waves of enemies at once (as in, more than one foe on the screen, and multiple battles in one sitting unlike one battle and then go to the hub map), and the game board of icons on the lower screen stays the same the whole time. I got to the large Paratroopa boss and won with matching yellow Stars (electricity). Now I unlock Expert!

Fine, I'll play it. WOAH IT'S TOTALLY DIFFERENT. It's in a CAVE NOW. The Intro mode was on green fields in the open overworld. Apparently I can target specific enemies with my unusable shoulder buttons.

Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros. Edition gameplay stylus touch screen Ludwig Von Koopa plushie
My touch screen is also kinda busted, so I'm using my wand as a stylus.

What the hell? "Blue Magikoopa" did 9999 damage to me in the demo! As in, the game was playing FOR ME. Dumb!

Now my leaders are Boo Mario and Ice Luigi. Helpers are Boo Luigi and Ice Mario respectively. Picking the Ice dudes. Let's-a-go!

There is a "Menu" with greyed out "Ally Box", "Items", "Player Card", "Guide", and "Options" selections. I can "Exit Course" just fine, though. (Why not have a Guide in the demo...?)

The music is ported from New Super Mario Bros.. I lost. "Continue? The game will be over if you don't continue." Uh, sure, I'll continue. The music is the same continuous track this entire game until the boss. (That's a long time to wait for music change.)

So each of your party members has a colour affiliation, and they only attack when you match the appropriate icon on the lower screen. In this case, everyone in the party affiliates with Blue (ice/water) so you wanna match those, but they don't respawn in good quantities if you exhaust them from the screen. There are type advantages.

Obviously not my picture, but you can see the different types.

There are Heart icons that heal you if you match them, and Poison Mushrooms that... I don't really know why they're there other than to waste space.

Eventually, here's the boss of Expert: Flying Wiggler and a Fire Chomp! They got some First Strike bullshit going on. And they lost almost instantly with Blue Magikoopa's "Water Trick" skill which basically changed all the icons on the lower board to Blue except the Poison Mushrooms. (Think if there was a Complexity -2 in Pokémon Shuffle.)

I beat the Super Mario Bros. Edition! Time for the real action, the clearly better Puzzle & Dragons Z!

"Join a crew of Dragon Tamers who brave dungeons in a quest to save a world on the verge of collapse!

Note: Not playable in the Demo Version."
What? Puzzle & Dragons Z is not playable in the Puzzle & Dragons Z demo!? WHAT THE HELL? I ONLY GET TO PLAY THIS INFERIOR MARIO GARBAGE? DISGUSTING!

Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros. Edition Ludwig Von Koopa selfie Nintendo contest plushie
I think my facial expression says it all.

And you better believe it's inferior. And while I was on the Puzzle & Dragons Z side of the title, it automatically transferred me to the Super Mario Bros. Edition in the idle time. No, no, NO! What a waste of time! You can listen to just one piece of music from Puzzle & Dragons Z that is way better than anything from New Super Mario Bros. here.

I don't recommend this to anyone. If you wanna be addicted to puzzle games, go be addicted to Pokémon Shuffle. As long as you know the Pokémon type chart, at least everything that goes on in that game makes sense to the player.

Ludwig doesn't have enough time in the day to be addicted to multiple puzzle games at once AND still write daily articles for KoopaTV. Perhaps if YOU joined KoopaTV's staff, he could devote more time to being a helpless addicted idiot! Learn more about joining KoopaTV's staff here!

Apparently, Ludwig is playable in Puzzle & Dragons...
Ludwig isn't done putting selfies of himself up.


  1. "Waaaaah, mom, I don't have enough money to play another round on my Dragon game!"
    First World Problems.
    (Not to reference the Weird Al song.)

    1. ...Uh... sure.

      ...(What the hell are you talking about?)


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