[UPDATE] Whew! Just played through an additional 130 levels! Review updated!
There was a time when I was desperate for more Mario vs. Donkey Kong. In the beginning, the series marked the return of the "real" Donkey Kong games, the one's that I grew up with. For years, I had preached that Donkey Kong '94 on the Game Boy was an under-appreciated masterpiece, right up there with Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario 64, and that it deserved a sequel. When I finally got that sequel, it was one of those "maybe there is a God" moments in gaming that seem to come to me less and less often the older I get.
Case in point: Mario Vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem. This game is not one of those "maybe there is a God" moments. Instead, it inspired more of a "maybe Nintendo really doesn't care about its old school audience" moment when I first cracked it open. It was bad enough when Nintendo took the Mario vs. Donkey Kong platforming formula and ditched in favor of an indirect-control, landscape-building design with Mario and Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis, but now they've given the game a sequel. Maybe the "real" Donkey Kong series really is dead. For an old softy like me, that's pretty sad.
It's not all bad news, though. After I got past my initial irritation with Nintendo for depriving me of another traditional Mario vs. Donkey Kong game, I found a lot to like in Mini-Land Mayhem!. Read on for the full review.