Posted by: seanmalstrom | November 21, 2014

Email: Mario 5 – 10 million in the U.S.

I didn’t expect Nintendo to celebrate 2D Mario’s success.  But I’m happy to see it.  Woe to Miyamoto.
http://nintendoeverything.com/nintendo-announces-that-new-super-mario-bros-wii-has-sold-over-10-million-units/

I think at this time Nintendo is willing to celebrate any success. The people who hate 2d Mario’s success are the people who hate what made Nintendo… Nintendo. How strange it is that Miyamoto falls to that! After all, it was Super Mario Brothers that made Nintendo into… Nintendo.
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As we age, it is interesting seeing  how some games go out of favor and how other games get seen. One thing is for sure…. no one…. absolutely no one… hates Super Mario Brothers. If I seize a child and force them to play Super Mario Brothers, the parents do not mind and think it is adorable. I was in a room with young thug-like downtown ghetto… you know… and I forget what triggered it…. perhaps a conversation over video games… but they all started singing the Super Mario Brothers 1-1 song. No one hates Super Mario Brothers. No one. It is the only game I know that no one hates. Super Mario Brothers is gaming’s Wizard of Oz.
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With Mario 5, only two types of people dislike it. The first are these strange people who live in gaming message forums who think 2d Mario should never ever exist… despite them getting more 3d Marios. Miyamoto would be in that group. The other group are people like me who thinks Mario 5 didn’t level up to the ultimate quality of the first four Marios. The music was bad. The adventure in the game was not very imaginative or inspiring (how many times must we visit Desert World and the likes?). I’m not liking the direction Nintendo has taken 2d Mario in to be about collecting things and doing speed runs. The direction I prefer is more adventure. Mario games were under the ‘Adventure series’ of black box games from the NES. Mario went to different places. Mario’s games were extremely imaginative. Mushroom Kingdom today may be cliche, but it was not cliche in the 1980s.
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Now, maybe Nintendo tried to do something different with Sunshine and saw that failed. But what is imaginative about a resort beach? Sounds to me that the theme was chosen so the ‘researchers’ could go on vacation.
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What Nintendo thinks is the quality 2d Mario experience does not match the experience of most of the audience. There is a reason why Super Mario Brothers 3, a NES game for crying out loud, keeps competing head on with Super Mario World, a 16 bit game, and consistently getting the nod. On every retro seller site I see for the NES, Super Mario Brothers 3 is the flagship title both in sales and in branding. NES had many incredible games, yet Super Mario Brothers 3 just seems above everything else. I think a big reason why is how adventuresome the game is. There is so much variety in the game as well as in the levels and power-ups and enemies. I can’t think of a bad moment in the game.
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Nintendo doesn’t seem to understand the value of the Mario games. I know Blizzard has a term called ‘selling the fantasy’. Mario games were fantasies. The Mushroom World was a fantasy. I’m sorry that this doesn’t follow the Nintendo narrative that gameplay trumping everything but people want the game world to make fucking sense and be logical. Hyrule, of Zelda, has a logical consistency in it. That was until Aonuma put trains everywhere. Metroid had a fun logical consistency about it… until Sakamoto did Other M.
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More Alice in Wonderland please. More Through the Looking Glass. Even in 3d Mario, the chasing the white rabbit was gold. The hedge maze and castle in Mario 64 was gold.

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