283: Defined By Mario

Defined By Mario

The ultimate Renaissance man, Mario has been instrumental in defining not just one, but three separate gaming genres.

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Just want to add a bit more detail to to the history of Mario. He wasn't originally called Mario as that name only came as a joke when Nintendo of America compared him to their annoying New York landlord of the same name. Miyamoto originally called him "Mr. Video" to reflect his a position as a mascot character that he would be able to use in other games than Donkey Kong. His first public name was the slightly less corny Jumpman. I'm sure that the writer had access to this information but I think that it's worth mentioning. Miyamoto actually made Mario from the start with the aim of using him as a brand that would not restrict him to making one sort of game.

All Nintendo needs to do is make an Super Smash FPS and they will control the world.

Seriously, I love this article because I love Mario. Even today, Mario Galaxy 2 and Mario Kart Wii are 2 of the best games of this generation, both being top tier iterations of their respective genres and my absolute favorites of each. I'll never want to get into any other fighting game because of the awesomeness that is Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and the Paper Mario franchise is one of my favorites of all time- a seamless blend of puzzle solving, platforming, and rpg gameplay that seemingly drew inspiration from Super Mario RPG.

I hear all the time how every single Mario game past Mario 64 is the same and Nintendo does nothing but release the same games over and over, but in reality, nothing could be further from the truth. His games (and most Nintendo games for that matter) are all about expanding, reimagining, refining, and refreshing old ideas while implementing new ones simultaneously. If Mario Sunshine and Mario Galaxy were both reskinned and somebody told me that they were too similar to Mario 64, I'd probably slap them. It's funny to think how his lowest quality games of all time are mostly Mario Party games....and even those have gems among them.

Happy 25th Mario

More Fun To Compute:
I'm sure that the writer had access to this information but I think that it's worth mentioning.

Yeah, I was at least familiar with that information. I'll admit my mind might have slipped when it came to the part about him being designed so he wouldn't be restricted to one type of game, but I do recognize the comment now that you mention it. It's just that when writing the article, the focus wasn't meant to be a history of Mario as a character so much as Mario as a driving inspiration behind multiple game genres. I'd say your post serves as a nice little supplemental on the character history, though.

Electrogecko:
Seriously, I love this article because I love Mario.

Whatever the reason, I love hearing a response like this about something I've written.

People like my stuff! :-)

Electrogecko:
I'll never want to get into any other fighting game because of the awesomeness that is Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and the Paper Mario franchise is one of my favorites of all time- a seamless blend of puzzle solving, platforming, and rpg gameplay that seemingly drew inspiration from Super Mario RPG.

Considering we're starting to see games like Marvel vs. Capcom implement a simpler mode of play that as I understand it, it suppose to be similar to Smash Bros, it's conceivable that as time goes on its influence will get even stronger. I'm not sure it fits in the same category, though, since it's a join effort by most of Nintendo's big gun characters.

And I will say I'm a tad surprised that the interactive turn-based combat of the Mario RPGs hasn't managed to find its way to other games. It's so much more satisfying to be able to have a direct impact on how much damage characters give or take than what happens most of the time.

CTR may have come out after Mario Kart, but i think that it was a much better game.

The reason there hasn't been innovation in the "kart racer" genre is that when a game gets too far away from Super Mario Kart, it stops being a kart racer. For example, the Gran Turismo series aspires to be a realistic car racing game, rather than a silly one.

lol, i defined blur to a friend as "mario kart on crack"

CronoDAS:
The reason there hasn't been innovation in the "kart racer" genre is that when a game gets too far away from Super Mario Kart, it stops being a kart racer. For example, the Gran Turismo series aspires to be a realistic car racing game, rather than a silly one.

Well the whole "Arcade Racer" is really a less narrow definition of what a "Kart Racer" is. You are right when you say a "Kart Racer" is really just a type of game by definition has to be like Mario Kart.

As for the grand vision of Mario saving the industry.... not so much. Im sure looking back on it it does seem a very seductive idea but people forget that the great videogame crash of 1983 was really a Console phenomenon and that gaming on 'Computers' (since the term PC was yet to really take off) was actually still a big growth area especially OUTSIDE of the US and Japan.

But this is really a minor point about the mythologising of videogame history. The fact has become that Super Mario Bros IS really the 2D platformer (in almost the way that Dune II IS the RTS). In later years i really find his infulence overstated. After Mario 64, which yes did break new ground, i think Mario really hasn't done that much new or groundbreaking. Thats not to say he does not do things well. SMG2 *drool*

Also a word to the wider escapist and to the editorials. In a peice about "Defining Genres" Where is Dune II and Westwood? Where the hell is there a clearer example of one game practically inventing an entire sucessful genre. Personally i always find Westwood overlooked when their contribution to first making then defining RTS was so utterly huge. Why did EA have to screw the pooch so royaly on that one?

**Shakes fist at heaves** KHAAAAAAAAAAN! -i mean- EAAAAAAAAAAAA!

There's a comfort factor to Mario for gamers, due to his longevity and (usually) the high quality you find in games starring the the little plumber. Who else has that? Link, perhaps. Sega wishes Sonic did, but too many dodgy games begin to take the shine off the hedgehog. With that much consumer love, it would be nice for Nintendo to use him again in something a little more experimental and off the wall, the way Paper Mario was.

Fun read, great article. Gotta love mario! ^.^

Mario is an icon. He helps sell games. I don't think I would have gotten Super Mario Kart if it wasn't for it being a Mario Game. I probably wouldn't have gotten Super Mario RPG if it wasn't for Mario(I was just a kid, and I lost out on Lufia 1 because of Mario).

The fact that Nintendo normally puts out high quality games, especially of their iconic characters, is a sign that Mario, despite being around for 25 years, is going to be around for a while longer still.

Electrogecko:
All Nintendo needs to do is make an Super Smash FPS and they will control the world.
Happy 25th Mario

Moviebob's/Game Overthinker's idea of "Mario Paintball" would handle that nicely.

Anacortian:
Moviebob's/Game Overthinker's idea of "Mario Paintball" would handle that nicely.

Regardless of my opinion of his thoughts as a whole, this is one thing I can agree with him on. Alternatively, I've also considered the idea of taking something from Super Mario Sunshine and in the case of team battles, perhaps making it FLUDD vs. whatever it is that mud/goop/slime stuff is (good team trying to clean up while the other team trying to get things messy), but the main problem is it wouldn't work quite as well for FFA matches.

Uhm, did you forget Smash Brothers?

No, it didn't redefine fighting games, but it definately came up with a new system that I would love to see the kinks worked out of (used in a less glitchy, better balanced game). Funnily enough Smash Bros is actually one of the best Sumo-simulators out there. Though Virtua Fighter with infinite life on a no-wall stage could be used as well in this context. (VF3 or VF5R/FS and everyone has to play Taka on his own stage for the purists out there.)

It's funny that Mario Strikers didn't do anything interesting or new at all really. Seems like it is the black sheep of the lot. But even this game is pretty well done. Maybe that should be the lesson?

As a PC gamer I always called all Kart racers "Wacky Wheels but with X". It wasn't until 1998 or thereabouts that I first played Mario Kart.

Vortigar:
Uhm, did you forget Smash Brothers?

I did briefly consider Smash Brothers, but left it out for a couple reasons:

1) The games focused on in the article center around Mario and the Mushroom Kingdom. Sure, Mario may have help in the Kart and Party series, but at the same time it's still his name on the game and just about everyone he brings along are supporting or secondary characters from the main series. Even Donkey Kong, who's split off into his own series, has a strong history with Mario via their original debut title and, more recently, the Mario vs. Donkey Kong games. Smash Brothers, on the other hand, is a Nintendo-wide event. Link, Kirby, Pikachu, and all the other characters who show up are just as important to the game as Mario. If, on the other hand, Smash Brothers had been designed as something like "Super Mario Brawler" or even "Mushroom Kingdom Fighter" and mostly featured characters you'd find in the likes of Mario Party or Mario Kart, it would be a little different story.

Though I'm pretty sure we're much better off with what Nintendo actually gave us. :-)

2) Space. I only had so much room in the article, and so between Super Mario Bros., Mario 64, Mario Kart, and Mario Party, there really wasn't any room to bring up Smash Brothers even if it was more along the lines of the other games in the article.

So yes, you are right, Smash Brothers has brought about a new type of fighting game, one that's both ridiculously fun and whose influence is stretching further as time goes on (such as the previously mentioned easier play mode in MvC3), and it's certainly a valid question, but I made a conscious decision to leave it out of the article.

Pretty cool! Mario, is kind of like Mickey Mouse for gamers. I mean, he has the same iconic and classic appeal, the same widespread fame, and just like Mickey, he's recognizable to people that aren't familiar with what made him famous in the first place.

Electrogecko:
All Nintendo needs to do is make an Super Smash FPS and they will control the world.

Seriously, I love this article because I love Mario. Even today, Mario Galaxy 2 and Mario Kart Wii are 2 of the best games of this generation, both being top tier iterations of their respective genres and my absolute favorites of each. I'll never want to get into any other fighting game because of the awesomeness that is Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and the Paper Mario franchise is one of my favorites of all time- a seamless blend of puzzle solving, platforming, and rpg gameplay that seemingly drew inspiration from Super Mario RPG.

I hear all the time how every single Mario game past Mario 64 is the same and Nintendo does nothing but release the same games over and over, but in reality, nothing could be further from the truth. His games (and most Nintendo games for that matter) are all about expanding, reimagining, refining, and refreshing old ideas while implementing new ones simultaneously. If Mario Sunshine and Mario Galaxy were both reskinned and somebody told me that they were too similar to Mario 64, I'd probably slap them. It's funny to think how his lowest quality games of all time are mostly Mario Party games....and even those have gems among them.

Happy 25th Mario

If mario releases a paintball game then i assure you that would beat black ops lol :D

nice article

CronoDAS:
The reason there hasn't been innovation in the "kart racer" genre is that when a game gets too far away from Super Mario Kart, it stops being a kart racer. For example, the Gran Turismo series aspires to be a realistic car racing game, rather than a silly one.

Mario kart diversafied itself by using go karts instead of cars, but that doesnt mean they defined a genre. When you look at games like twisted metal, if the first thing that comes to mind are turtle shells then I think there may be problems. But mario kart is just so singular that you cant make a game like it without copying it. Although its a shame mario kart didnt start a wave of clone games because I like games like that. All these new racing games seemed to be more desinged as pursuite games rather then faffing about simulators like rush 2's stunt track for instance.

Oh yea! We need a game with twisted metals awsome weapons, rush 2's stunt track, and mario karts racing... Hey I can dream to.

So... while on the subject of "copy it as best they can without getting sued" you DO know that Super Mario Bros. 2 was almost basically a carbon copy of the game Doki Doki Panic? All they did was replace the character sprites to look like Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Peach.

 

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