Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure Review
Mario and Luigi consolidate their practice and invent a cure all drug that’ll lure you out of your money like a bulk supply of “baby aspirin”. Is the $9 for another iteration of the Dr. Mario franchise a tough pill to swallow? Puns aside, it’s a slightly refreshing take on Dr. Mario:Miracle Cure.
Dr. Mario’s tried and true gameplay is back. Match falling capsules with pesky little Virus of the same color and keep eliminating them. Sounds easy, right? It gets more complicated as you try to think ahead and eliminate multiple rows. Luckily, Nintendo’s tried to make the game a little more approachable for people, like myself, who eliminate single virus at a time and don’t complete complex chains very often.
That’s where the “miracle cure” comes into play.
The gimmick just happens. There’s a meter to the left side of the screen fills up. A random item drops down to assist in clearing a portion of the map. What it clears depends on the item. Entire rows, columns, or specifically colored capsules or Virus may be eliminated. It prolongs the inevitableness of losing the game as you top out but introduces some strategy. I felt that this would help players who are new to the franchise or found the older games to be too difficult.
There’s a set of single player challenges and a series of challenges setup as tutorials, too. It’s not much but it’s a nice way to ease yourself into the Dr. Mario concept if you’re unfamiliar with it.
I admire that Nintendo has at least tried to do something with Dr. Mario in the last few years by carrying over slower paced, touch controlled Virus Buster from the Brain Age series and adding the concept of L shaped pills in Dr. Luigi. Miracle Cure is an accumulation of that. It addresses the need to fit different play styles in without deviating from Dr. Mario’s core gameplay too much. The addition of an item system, or “Miracle Cure” doesn’t water down the gameplay (and isn’t an option for Virus Buster) … but just adds a new dynamic to what otherwise is a visual update to a 20+ year old game. It’s not forced either. It can be turned off at any time. Like Dr. Luigi and Virus Buster, it’s just another option.
The music is pretty standard Dr. Mario game. Expect very little difference if you’ve played past Wii, DSi or Wii U titles. The strangest omission to the game is the inability to select which music you want to use. It’s not found anywhere in the game. I’m splitting hairs over being able to select between two tracks at will I give out a slight sigh whenever the by 50/50 chance I don’t get “Fever”.
There’s an online mode and it’s a copy and paste from the series previous entry, Dr. Luigi. It’s a very simple matchmaking system and a keeps rank in the style of VR we’re probably accustomed to in the Mario Kart series.
Graphics nothing to really talk about either. There’s no 3D effect at all with the exception of the title screen. It just runs in 2D. The addition of a 3D effect may have helped make less obvious solutions stick out or work as a visual indicator to the player.
It’s a fairly safe update to the Dr. Mario series. It’s a fun game in short bursts. It’s definitely the easiest, most inviting entry to the series. Newcomers should start here but if you’ve played any Dr. Mario game before, you’ve played this.
- Dr. Mario gameplay tried and true
- More accessible to newcomers
- Download Play
- No music selection
- Adds very little over the existing formula