Feature: Mario – Grow up or grow old gracefully
Whether people freely admit it or not; we have all played and loved at least one or more Mario titles. His cheeky appearance and the adventures he finds himself on have captivated audiences for over 20 years and that’s no small achievement. Not many games reach this golden number; some don’t even stay around for more than a year.
But whilst Mario is dear to the hearts of many; I think the old boy has started showing his age and Nintendo is starting to run out of ideas of what to do with him now he’s knocking on a bit.
Sadly, this has been seen most recently with the great little title that New Super Mario Bros. 2 is on the 3DS. There’s no question that it is a good game and looks and sounds pretty good but if you look closely enough you could be fooled into thinking that it is no more than a fancy update of 6 Golden Coins from 1992.
I’m not being harsh here because it’s true. If you watch gameplay from the old game compared to the new one you’ll see my point. You could have played the 1992 game, taken a massive break from Mario and find yourself at home with NSMB2 instantly. It almost feels as if the term ‘New’ was some sort of internal PR joke to see if anyone picked up on it but they knew all too well that the word ‘new’ instantly makes people want something and they will buy it.
Now I know in some cases this is not a bad thing as you don’t want to lose what’s great about the franchise but trends change, gamers move on and sadly games need to do more in order to appeal to the mass market. We’d never see something stupid like a Mario shooter but there are only so many Mario Parties we can have and only a couple more side-scrollers we can bear.
If you look back at what the revolutionary Super Mario Galaxy did for the franchise back in 2007 when it launched on the Nintendo Wii, you can see how it re-ignited people’s love for the red-hatted porker. Yet there has been nothing else since then (except Galaxy 2) that follows suit or even comes close to changing things up a little bit.
Sadly, this is what happened to good old Sonic and he failed to carry on his illustrious legacy as Sega just kept milking him again and again. Please Nintendo; don’t let this happen to Mario as well, it would be a crime against gaming.
Despite being a near-genius (that’s a joke people) I am no games designer and sadly do not know how this will be achieved. A new world and some new environments wouldn’t go amiss whilst some new power-ups and features are perhaps the way forward? I’m hopeful that the Wii U will give Mario fans something to shout home about because they’ve got something actually new.
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Mario is gaming comfort food - most Ninty fans (like most CoD fans) aren't looking for innovation, or they'd have jumped ship from Ninty (from the home console) when the Gamecube came out. Rather, they _want_ the same old - if you look at Ninty's more complex and evolving franchises (Metroid is the best example), they don't sell anywhere near as much as the little red plumber. Given this, they shouldn't change Mario at all, but if Mario fans feel the need for something new, then they might have to get out of their comfort zone ;).
yeah so mario 3d land must have been a dream of mine......, mario galaxy 2 counts as a new game because of the different play styles offered in each level, they weren't a copy of galaxy 1, this article is sadly just bashing to get readers.
uh...what change? Seriously, how do you change (i.e. improve) something that was pretty much perfect to begin with? There's LITERALLY nothing about Mario's core design, concept, or structure that needs changing. Even Galaxy at the end of the day was pretty much the same game the series has been since 64: 3D platforming at its purest, simplest, and finest, free from bs gimmicks and just relying on incredibly intuitive and original level design. Saying Mario needs to change is like saying wheel needs to change.
The Wiimote implementation would be a "bs gimmick". The option to play with a classic controller or even a sideways remote would be more "pure and simple". Maybe I just like classic side scrolling Mario games better where I can stomp a Goomba on the first try!
Aye, but the wrist-flick was imprecise - a button-press would have been better. I enjoyed SMG - it was ridiculously over-hyped and rated, but it was still a solid platformer - but that wrist-flick jump was a step backwards for the series, and I'd have enjoyed the game more (and been more immersed in the action) if it was a button press.