Gaming Features

The Avoidable Death of Super Mario

By Hector Cortez Jun 9, 2012, 11:52 GMT

The Avoidable Death of Super Mario

In regards to classic Mario 2D platforming, things are starting to feel stale.

Written by Michael Barryte

"Just like Mario has always been, but better." These are the words Reggie Fils-Aime, President of Nintendo of America, used to describe what fans are constantly clamoring for when it comes to a new game featuring Big N's mascot.

But in recent years "always been, but better" is not the approach that Nintendo has taken with Mario; not completely. While the plumber has ventured into two galaxies and his own 3D Land, in regards to 2D platforming, things are starting to feel stale.

When remembering the "classic" Mario games, each one stands out because of its style, not its gameplay, which has stayed virtually the same since day one. Imagine Super Mario Bros 3 with the same sprites as the original Super Mario Bros. It wouldn't feel the same. It would feel like a retread of what you'd seen and done before. Sure, there would be new enemies, but the world Mario was traversing wouldn't feel new and the Mushroom Kingdom should always look and feel different with each new entry in the Mario franchise.

And then there's New Super Mario Bros. U and New Super Mario Bros. 2, which look exactly like New Super Mario Bros Wii, which looks exactly like New Super Mario Bros. Sure, the power-ups are different and new gameplay might be added, courtesy of a Wiimote being shaken or a touch screen being tapped, but the animations, world maps and enemies all feel like a copy/paste of the Mushroom Kingdom we first encountered on the Nintendo DS. These games don't feel new. While it's fun for a moment that Mario has a squirrel suit or gold coins are everywhere, it all feels like it's part of one long, tired experience. It's as if the developers don't think we know any better. It's lazy is what it is. Mario may be the driving force of Nintendo, but the plumber needs to take a much needed and deserved break.

Michael Barryte is Monsters & Critics' Nintendo contributor and also hosts the web show Belated Media.

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