SPM is one of the funnest video games that I have ever played. Its 2-D / 3-D mechanism is a refreshing change of pace. I’ve cracked up out loud when a blocked off item seemed impossible to get only to find out that in 3-D, the obstacles weren’t that game-ending. The dialog and story is as funny as others have described. There are lots of twists and turns and terribly difficult ordeals that turn out to be less difficult, either by luck or by using my brain.
The puzzles are rewarding to solve. They’re not as difficult (to me) as Legend of Zelda so that I can figure them out on my own, most of the time, and when I do, there is a nice sense of “cool, I figured it out on my own, plus props to the game designers for their creativity and cleverness.” Basically, the puzzles are challenging and engaging without being obnoxiously impossible.
The game doesn’t take itself too seriously, often poking fun at itself and characters. There is even teasing of the game-playing demographic. Any game that manages to put in a reference to DVRs gets full geek cred.
When I am stumped, there is a fortune teller who offers helpful hints perhaps most of the time. Sometimes she’ll give advice to do something that I already did.
I guess it’s a good thing that it’s too early for there to be complete guides for the game, so I feel less tempted to follow one as Zelda necessitated. However, when I needed help, Nintendo’s forums had posts that answered my questions on how to figure out something.
If I had to suggest an improvement, I would wish I could get more play time out of it. It seemed as if it took me longer to finish New Super Mario on the DS, but maybe it’s just that SPM is so compelling that I can play it for hours on end, and thus shortening the time period from start to finish.