Mario Retrospective Part 1: “We ain’t in Brooklyn no more.”

Image Credit: Super Mario Wiki.

This article might be off the year mark, but it’s the Super Mario series’ 32nd anniversary! Since the series includes over 250 games and counting, I would never make you suffer through every last one. I will mainly be talking about the main Mario platformer games, and maybe a few of my favorite spin-offs (in order of release).

) Mario Bros.

This is where it all started, and no, there is no Super in the front. Many people know that Donkey Kong was the first real Mario game, but he was not officially Mario until this game. This game takes place in the New York sewers with the Mario Bros, Mario and Luigi, cleaning the sewers of Shellcreepers, Sidesteppers, Fighter Flies, and Slipices. Vastly different from the Mario games we know today; you have to jump under the enemies rather than on top of them to win. I played one of the Game Boy Advance ports of the game and I could not put it down. I was an actual BOSS at the game, but when I played the original arcade version, I could hardly get through the first few levels. I guess video games were harder back then…

1) Super Mario Bros.

You must live with Patrick Star if you do not know what this is. The game that started it all (not really though). The game was simple, fun, challenging, secretive, and fun for all ages. At a time when the video game industry crashed, Mario and the crew were there to save it. Anyone could play this game, even without the instruction booklet. There is a Game Boy Color remake of the game called Super Mario Bros. Deluxe that I have been playing since I was roughly 2-4 years old and let me tell you, at first it was not very hard at all. People would say “Did you know there was a warp zone here?” and I would say “No, I did not! Did you know about this 1-UP mushroom here?” I did not get to play the original back then, but I still felt the magic growing up. Sometimes, I still go back and play it and wonder how amazing it was then.

2.) Super Mario Bros.2 / The Lost Levels

This is a strange game. It was released in Japan just fine, but we did not get it in America until a later installment, Super Mario All-Stars., containing it and the first three Mario games, was released. It was also released in the aforementioned Super Mario Bros. Deluxe, but I played it on the 25th anniversary remake of Super Mario All-Stars Limited Edition before unlocking it on Deluxe. This game was developed to make a harder Mario for the fans. This game included elements like Poison Mushrooms, faux Warp Zones, and gusts of wind to hurt the player as well. Sometimes, the real Warp Zones were in weird places. And you needed them too, because you really did not want to deal with all those levels.

2.5.) Super Mario Bros. 2/Super Mario USA

This is not your average Mario game, although I don’t think anyone would have said that back when it was first released in America, as it was the second one in the series! This game is basically a reskin of another game called Doki-Doki Panic, due to Mario’s popularity at the time. This game made the player fight with vegetables and fruit, rather than their feet. I played this game through the Game Boy Advance port, which was a lot easier than the original.

3.) Super Mario Bros. 3

With Mario still very popular, Nintendo had to come out with a new game. But the new SNES system had not launched yet, so how would they make a game better than the original? Well, it turns out they had been working on a sequel for more than two years. With six new power-ups, eight more worlds to trek through, and a whole slew of new “baddies,” Mario and Luigi were ready for a comeback! The gameplay was similar to the original; the player had the ability to select which stage to go to, for example. The game also had an “item storage” of sorts where, if you got an item from a Toad House or strong enemy, you could use it anytime on the Map screen. I played this on the Game Boy Advance port at Best Buy long ago, but I never got to play it officially until Super Mario All-Stars Limited Edition, and I learned by experience that the creators meant for the beginning to be easy and the end to be hard. This is considered the best 2D platforming Mario game and one of the best games around.

4.) Super Mario World

This game came out bundled with nearly every SNES system. The game was already seven years old when I was born, but I was already playing it when I was around two. We had a $54.99 SNES since 1998, and I had been watching my sister and her friends play it since then, so when I was old enough to own something without chewing it, I started to play (with help of course). I have been playing this game from time to time since then. It’s been fifteen years and I still enjoy it every time. The best part is that the game is so fun, I don’t even remember the levels at times! This was the first Mario game I have ever played, on one of the first consoles I ever had. It may be nostalgia clouding my judgment, but I believe that this is the best Mario game out there. Even the Father of Mario (and Wife of Bowser) himself said that it is his favorite Mario game. Additionally, the first console game that Reggie Fils-Aimé (President of Nintendo of America) played was Super Mario World (good taste, great minds and all that). The game was colorful, upbeat, felt new, and best of all, it was fun. I mean, who doesn’t like riding a dinosaur, right? Even if you ditch him for an extra jump! Yoshi, a character planned from the start of the series, is the lovable, hungry dinosaur we still know and love today. There are green, red, yellow, and blue Yoshi that all have different effects, which allows the player to choose their favorite. This game once again includes an item storage, but places it within the stage itself. This game was also the first to introduce Secret Exits in stages. With 96 levels to explore, this game is a classic that I highly recommend.

See you next time!

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