There’s something undeniably jarring about a recreation of Level 1-2 from the original Super Mario Bros. which features explosions, realistic lighting and gore, but also something strangely charming.
Super Modern Mario Bros. is an apparently ongoing series of YouTube videos in which user “Deloix” reimagines the stages found in the NES classic Super Mario Bros. with all the shiny, modern bells and whistles we’ve come to expect from the latest games. The result is … well, there’s a clip embedded at right. See for yourself.
Superficially, the idea is quite cool. Watching Mario blow stone blocks to bits using some kind of upgraded Fire Flower that spawns explosives instead of fireballs is certainly more visceral than its source material. That said, it also proves an important point about the utility of simple graphics schemes.
Think of it this way: In 10 years, people will still be playing the original NES incarnation of Super Mario Bros. with little regard for how aged the game looks. Why? Because it’s always been aesthetically simple. Perhaps this feeling is exclusive to my generation and those that follow it, but there’s something undeniably timeless about simple, square pixels. By contrast, this more modern-looking version of the game, while currently appealing, will be utterly obsolete in a decade. If this were a proper retail release, it would be forgotten as soon as new graphics tech was unveiled that puts its effects to shame. That’s the problem with relying heavily on shiny graphics: At some point your game is going to be overshadowed by even shinier graphics.
On the other hand, Super Modern Mario Bros. is not a retail game. It’s simply one fan’s attempt to show the ‘net that he or she could create something neat. In that regard, it’s a success.
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