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Dr. Mario Online Rx – Wii (WiiWare)

Dr. Mario Online Rx – Wii (WiiWare)

Dr._Mario_Online_Rx_LogoPlatform:  Nintendo Wii (WiiWare)

Release Date (NA):  May 26th, 2008

Developer:  Arika

Publisher:  Nintendo

Genre:  Puzzle

Nerd Rating:  6 out of 10

Note: This review of Dr. Mario Online Rx is based on my experience playing the game with the Classic Controller Pro with the online functions no longer avaliable.

In honor of the Mario Challenge that Nerd Bacon has going on from now until the beginning of Retroary, I decided it was about damn time I knock the dust off of my old Wii and hit the Virtual Console and WiiWare scene again. Since my Wiimote was eaten and Wiimote charger burned out back in 2010, I hadn’t touched the Wii at all. So after acquiring a new Motion Plus Wiimote, charger, and a Classic Controller, I finally set out to tackle some of these long-forsaken games. The first on my list? Dr. Mario Online Rx!

The Doctor's back!

The Doctor’s back!

Honestly, I don’t even remember buying this game, I just turned on my Wii and checked what channels I had avaliable and there it was. I have a feeling that a friend of mine who I lent my Wii to in high school must have put it on there, along with the two Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles WiiWare titles and The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask on Virtual Console. Thank god for friends who’ll leave new games on your consoles for you!

Sadly since the Wii’s online play was discontinued a while back, I wasn’t able to enjoy the experience of playing against others from around the world, which I feel is really the selling point of this title. But all in all, I guess it wouldn’t have mattered too much since I still absolutely suck at Dr. Mario. The game does boast local multiplayer, given you have two Wiimotes. However, Dr. Mario Online Rx offers enough to keep single players entertained with its two modes; Dr. Mario and Virus Buster.

Dr. Mario mode contains the bulk of the gameplay here, and is exactly what you’d expect, the classic puzzle-strategy game in which you play as Dr. Mario, using multi-colored vitamins to cure viruses. The game’s formula here hasn’t changed a bit since the original NES Dr. Mario, so old fans and new ones alike should be right at home. Also, like its predecessors you can play alone or with another person using local multiplayer. The big change with this version though, was that with Dr. Mario Online Rx, you could play against folks from around the world using Nintendo’s WFC service. When the WFC service for Dr. Mario Online Rx was still avaliable, you could also send a limited version of the game to friends so that they could play with you online. Since that isn’t avaliable, multiplayer is now limited to the two local modes; Classic and Flash. And of course, Single player with three modes; Classic, Vs. CPU, and Flash.

Once again you can adjust the game's difficulty and speed in both single and multiplayer to your ability.

Once again you can adjust the game’s difficulty and speed in both single and multiplayer to your ability.

If you’ve played Dr. Mario 64, you’ll probably recognize the different gameplay modes I mentioned. Honestly, Dr. Mario Online Rx‘s Dr. Mario mode is everything we’ve already seen before, only with Miis included as playable characters and opponents. The lack of story mode in this version as well as the local multiplayer being cut back to two players instead of four is a definite bummer, especially since this is the only Dr. Mario game avaliable on the Wii, unless you’ve softmodded it and added emulators for the other versions. There is a saving grace to this however, and that is the Virus Buster mode!

Returning from Brain Age 2 is Virus Buster!

Returning from Brain Age 2 is Virus Buster, but with new motion controls!

Originally a mini-game from Brain Age 2, Virus Buster has been re-worked for the Nintendo Wii’s motion controls with great sucess! In fact, even as I’m writing the review for Dr. Mario Online Rx, I’m playing Virus Buster on the TV next to my desk. If you’ve played Brain Age 2 you should already have a good idea of what to expect. For those of you who haven’t, Virus Buster is an alternate version of Dr. Mario. The stack-four concept of the original game and the falling double colored pills are both kept intack in this version, but now instead of using inputs to move and adjust the falling pills, players point the Wiimote at the screen to drag and drop the pills.

While it allows for more freedom of movement, along with some really clutch saves, Virus Buster also requires players to be precise with their movements, lest they pre-maturely drop a pill. This mode however, is also timed. Although the exact amount of time you have to clear a stage isn’t explictedly stated, the tug-o-war match with the viruses and Mii-doctors in the bottom right hand corner of the screen will give you an idea of how much longer you’ll have to clear the stage.

Dr. Mario Online Rx has left me with some mixed feelings though. Although I enjoy both Dr. Mario and Virus Buster mode, this WiiWare title doesn’t offer much of anything different. While the motion-based controls of Virus Buster were fun and intuitive, they’re also still really just a reworking of the touch-based controls from Brain Age 2. As much as I enjoyed being able to play Dr. Mario on my Wii, I feel like it could’ve been much better. Considering how much Dr. Mario 64 added to the original game in modes, story, etc, it’s sad to see that the newest version is so barebones and unoriginal. I can understand that as a Wiiware title and not a regular retail game, it wouldn’t be a huge game to start, but for $10 I’d rather just get a Virtual Console version of Dr. Mario 64.

Assisting are the assorted Miis of Dr. Elmo, Dr. Satan, Dr. Billy Mays, Dr. Zoidberg, Dr. Marcus Phoenix, Dr. Alien, and Dr. Monk.

Written by Doc Croc

Doc Croc aka Kelly is Nerd Bacon’s Editor-in-Chief and resident narcoleptic. In the off-chance she isn’t already asleep, you can find her here at the Bacon!


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One Comment

  1. Well one thing is for sure… the visuals definitely LOOK like a dang Wii game


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