Hi you guys! Super Mario Run's update is out! With it comes the Remix 10 mode (in which you play ten "bite-sized" levels in a row), new items (largely through the Remix 10 mode), new "Star" levels and the ability to play your own music in Remix 10.
Remix 10 has Mario running through ten bite sized levels in a row (at the cost of a rally ticket) to collect "rainbow coins". These coins come in three in a level or 5 in a "remix level", or a remixed version of a bite-sized level. The goal is, generally, to collect them all without dying. There is a catch, though: You have no bubbles, and if you die, you simply move onto the next level with any rainbow coins you had gathered gone.
This mode is lots of fun...but I question its replay value. There's a limited selection of these levels (no RNG, although the levels are selected randomly along a run). The coins are always in the same places. And in addition, there is one annoyance: Star power. These levels are bite-sized, and you keep the star power you had in a previous run on the next one. In addition, you might receive a star via "bubble" that you'll unavoidably touch as you jump. The problem with this is that a mode focused so much upon "perfect runs" of rainbow coins can put you in a level with no way to bounce off enemies, possibly making certain rainbow coin challenges impossible, should you be stuck with it. Yes, the game is very forgiving, but when a mode focuses on a certain thing, coming from Nintendo, you'd generally expect it to not have any major hiccups and do what it does quite well. While the latter is largely true, the former is not, in this case.
Another problem is that this mode is the only way to earn many items (through the rainbow coins and finished courses and runs). It seems to me that many, many items have been packed into Super Mario Run...and there's no other way to get many of them than to play this mode. Disappointing, but at least we get to use custom music on the road to Daisy. I've been playing through Super Mario Run for about an hour and a half, and it seems I'm about a fifth of the way there. It's been fun, but somewhat exhausting.
Now for the Star levels. These levels do not unlock until you complete certain challenges. And let me tell you, some are reaaaaal boogers to complete and all of the challenges I've tried so far have been excellently designed. One of these? Completing 2-4 while defeating twenty Ninjis, which pretty much amounts to all of them in the level. You have to use bubbles to reach them all. And Easy Mode doesn't count for any challenge. Don't forget the timer!
As for the Star levels themselves, they've been kinda disappointing. As for the three I've unlocked so far...Not the serious challenge I was expecting. Of course, I haven't played through them on all three coin modes, but I don't recall failing any of these levels on my first try. I did struggle in one to get all the coins within the time limit, and barely finished. But on a further playthrough, it would be far easier.
I have to say their design is pretty good, though. Not amazing, perhaps, but definitely pretty good. Maybe I'll come across one that will knock my socks off. Dunno yet, as I have six challenges to go.
Ultimately, this Super Mario Run update gives us a lot...but it can feel like so little. Fans will be split on the new content. Many will find it enjoyable. But I don't believe many of the more experienced Mario Run gamers will feel it lived up to the hype.
So, with that out of the way, I have to say Mario Run itself is wonderful. While many users will flock to the updates for a while, Toad Rally remains the core of the Mario Run experience, I'd argue. And the levels themselves are still very good. But if you're getting into this game, know what you're getting into. Super Mario Run is a one-tap game with some swiping motions. You're not getting New Super Mario Bros. 3. It's a fun game with a decent amount of content and some great modes, especially Toad Rally. Consider picking it up on sale, but unless you're a Super Mario fan, you may want to skip this and instead play one of the Rayman Run games, Jungle Run or Fiesta Run. They feature many more levels and more tightly designed levels with, perhaps, greater innovation. They are faster, more demanding, more instantly exhilarating and cheaper than Mario Run, even at Mario Run's on-sale price. While they may not offer the wealth of modes (and diverse character roster) that Mario Run offers, I believe that overall, they can offer more fun. Nevertheless, they are built for the experienced gamer, whereas Mario Run is built to be more accessible. Be forewarned.
EDIT: I've encountered something akin to force quits when getting in and out of "Remix 10" and have had some...weird graphical glitches and some slowdown occurring on occasion. Not very serious, but enough to be worth a mention.