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Item - Monster Mix-Up

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(American edition)
(Pringles special edition)
Series: Nintendo Adventure Books — no. 3
Translated Into: A nagy kavarodás (Hungarian)
Author: McCay, Bill
Illustrators: Wray, Greg (cover)
Koehne, Josie (puzzles)
Haggart, Beth (puzzles)
Dates: July, 1991 (American edition)
October 17, 1991 (British edition)
ISBNs: 0671742019 / 9780671742010 (American edition)
0749710020 / 9780749710026 (British edition)
Length: 121 pages (61 sections)
Number of Endings: 11
User Summary: A day at the circus goes sour when the princess is kidnapped... again. Soon, a plot involving strangely re-combined monsters is revealed.
Demian's Thoughts:

This book was written by a different author than the last two, and the difference really shows. The characters seem a little bit different, self-aware references to the story's video game origins are more prominent, and simple cartoon-style humor is more evident in the dialogue. The writing is not entirely without merit, but I found it to be of lower quality than the last two adventures. The book's game design is interesting but flawed. There's a lot of recycling in the form of choices which loop back to earlier points in the adventure and endings which are led to from multiple points. This is good, in that it lengthens the adventure and makes victory a little more difficult, but it's also bad, because it messes up continuity and creates places where a reader could theoretically loop forever, scoring an infinite number of points. Puzzles are the usual mix of pointless, confusing and mildly challenging; not too many are especially satisfying. Overall, you could probably skip this adventure without missing anything, though it's not entirely devoid of value.

My High Score - 590 (no points counted more than once)

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Fireguard's Thoughts:

It's hard for me to take a stance on this book. On the one hand, I found it hard to get a sense of where Mario was since the book felt like a lot of short, disconnected paths that eventually led to an end battle and none of the puzzles were that interesting. On the other hand, the various mixed-up monsters were pretty fun, and I liked the odd occurrence where the Bullet Bills complained as they disappeared after going off the screen. This is an okay book, but not one of the best in the series.

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RyanThunder's Thoughts:

This one was kind of tough, and I really enjoyed the places Mario visited throughout the adventure. A different writer was assigned to this book: Bill McCay. The change really does show between his dialogue and Bosco's. McCay tends to try to put a more serious tone into things. I also thought this, too, was an innovative adventure, and Mario even encountered a few new enemies I've never heard of, which I really liked. Overall, this was just a nice read, with cool puzzles that wouldn't make you think too much.

End Results:

High Score: 1210
Items Collected: Hammer, Gold Pen
Tries: 6

More reviews by RyanThunder

Shadeheart's Thoughts:

[Rating: 1/10]
[Recommended? NO]

Disconnected from its underwhelming story far too often, "Monster Mix-Up" happens to try and treat the few odd threads of "narrative" as though they realistically could be combined - something which clearly should have been passed on. As elementary as the other "Nintendo Adventure Books" were, this gamebook bears very little resemblance to the source material and, quite rightfully, equally leaves Mario fans dumbfounded at the mockery that is this "adventure". It begins with a weak kidnapping sequence of the princess (one where she is written as especially unintelligent, interestingly, in comparison to the other titles), just before the story vanishes entirely, with the altogether arbitrary and unexciting puzzles taking control of the more-confusing-by-the-minute story. What little elements do work manage to at least compel readers not to give up out of sheer disconnect; overall, the experience seems content with its subpar approach to the source material it readily toys with before forsaking for its own strangeness. At least while the story and looping is constantly inconsistent, the writing doesn't manage to dip into absolute patheticness, staying afloat most of the time well enough to (kind of) manage.

As an "old-fashioned" Nintendo fan with standards to uphold I cannot recommend this book, save as perhaps a historical timepiece to know once existed, part of the yet woefully inconsistent period in which it was written and published, catalogued not only in Nintendo's legacy but in that of child-oriented gamebooks as a whole. Really, though, with an underwhelming adventure like this... the not-so-creative series is begging for a GAME OVER. ^^

(Mysteriously disappears into the shadows.)

More reviews by Shadeheart

Users Who Own This Item: B0N0V0X, Cyan, dave2002a, Dirk Omnivore, egokun, Erikwinslow, firefoxpdm, Fireguard, Hugues, jdreller, JoshW, katzcollection (American edition), kinderstef, kleme (American edition), mlvoss, nelsondesign, novelist1982, Pseudo_Intellectual, Radical347, RyanThunder (American version), Ryuran333, Sheridan77, twar, waktool (UK 1992 3rd), Yalius
Users Who Want This Item: exaquint, MasterChief, Mr ?, NEMO, redbluezero, Von Scotty, Waluigi Freak 99

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