Thursday, June 6, 2013
How Does "Classic Mario" Hold Up Today?
Over the years, I've heard some people say that franchises like Sonic and Mario only still thrive because they became so famous in the earlier days of video games. These people also suggested that by modern day standards both old and new games alike for these franchises are average at best and they would never succeed if they were introduced to the market today. Well, upon purchasing the original NES' Super Mario Bros. game on my 3DS' Virtual Console, I was interested to test that theory.
When I first started playing Super Mario Bros., I felt right at home. A classic platformer where you run around, collect gold circular objects, and jump on the enemies to defeat them. Overall, it felt a lot like I was playing my favorite Sonic games. The only thing that I really needed to get used to in Mario was the fact that the coins are not used as an energy source like the rings are in Sonic. In other words, during the first 10 or 15 minutes of playing, I'd get a little overzealous and mistime jumps onto enemies or even run into them all together. But that was certainly an error that I quickly corrected. The controls were actually surprisingly smooth for not only a game from 1985, but the first in the series. The aforementioned mistimed jumped were entirely my own fault and not the fault of the controls. Very impressive for a game that's almost 30 years old.
The various challenges in the levels were also greatly enjoyed by me. Each level had its own unique format that really kept me as a first time player from having any feeling of easiness within the game. To be honest, the use of the 3DS' "Restore Point" is the only reason that I was able to beat the game so quickly. Super Mario Bros. provided me with enough challenge and fun that I purchased Super Mario Land 2 for my Virtual Console as well.
The music in the game was also very enjoyable. I love the sound of classic video game music because it not only fits the mood of whatever level or scenario that you're in, but it also has a real fun charm to it. That's what video games should be like in my eyes and Super Mario Bros. certainly delivers in that aspect. Hell, even the fact that Mario's power-up where he shoots fireballs is simply called, "Fire Mario", just beams fun. If that form were created today in a more modern game like Halo, it would probably be called "Omega Mario" or "Alpha Mario." Mainstream video games these days are way too serious for my taste with their overuse of graphic violence and their insanely cliched cinematic musical scores. I had such a fun time playing both Mario games that I purchased and I really look forward to continuing my Mario video game adventures.
On a side note, one funny thing that I did think of though is the fact that during the original Super Mario Bros. game, Mario and Luigi didn't really look much different from each other, nor did they have different personalities since there's not really any dialogue in the game. Yet I can still imagine kids of both the 8-Bit and 16-Bit Eras fighting over who would be Mario and claiming that Luigi is "lame" despite the fact that Luigi was merely a green colored Mario at the time.
Well, that's it for this Blog entry. Next week you can look forward to some type of update and/or report about me and Michelle's weekend at AnimeNEXT 2013. I am unsure right now if that update will be a written Blog entry, a Vlog, or a Podcast. But regardless, you can expect it to be posted here.