A New Dimension

(Editor’s Note: A�We have two Mario Mondays that we’re celebrating this week to make up for last week’s miss due to the holiday and school vacation. A�Isn’t that crazy?! A�Well, to make it even more crazy, we’re celebrating this first Mario Monday on what should be Wario Wednesday!)

As “processing power” (whatever the hell that is) increased, programmers took advantage of that increase by pushing games into the third dimension. A�As with most change, even those int he name of improvement, the journey into 3D was met with mixed response. A�While most gamers today will argue that 3D gaming as the standard is a good thing because it provides for so many possibilities and a wider variety of games, at the time older gamers were unsure about the change.

I mean, I understand some of the consternation. A�We went from talking about number of bits and colors to number of polygons and real time physics. A�DoA and the beach volleyball game introduced even another type of physics, but I will leave it to you to Google that one as it is slightly NSFW. A�No matter the controversy at the time, 3D was here to stay.

Or, just take a look at the cover of the game.  Think about it...only for a second.  Don't overthink it.  Yep, you got it.  Now, feel free to Google your brains out.
Or, just take a look at the cover of the game. Think about it…only for a second. Don’t overthink it. Yep, you got it. Now, feel free to Google your brains out.

In keeping with the theme of Mario Monday (on Wario Wednesday and a week late!), we will explore how adding this 3rd dimension affected Mario games. A�Maybe we can talk about what 3D Mario does better than 2D. A�Perhaps we will discuss if, and how, the 3D could have been done differently or better. A�Mostly, in keeping with our other tradition of the month, we will simply use it as an excuse to play some great older games.

Super Mario 3D Land/World
Super Mario 3D Land/World

More recent (not the most recent, as I will discuss them more in the next article) Mario games have taken what was great about the early games and brought them into the third dimension. A�Unlike the other games I cover in this article, these games aren’t complete reworks of the mechanics of Mario.

Instead, they imagine how the old school Mario platformers might play if you were able to turn into the screen instead of just traveling left and right. A�You have full 3D range of motion, but are still restricted to a mostly linear path. A�The result is an interesting and unique experience unlike anything offered in most other Mario games.

The Verdict: A�A unique Mario experience, but I’ve seen 3D platforming done better in other titles.

Super Mario Galaxy
Super Mario Galaxy

A friend texted the other day to sing the praises of this game. A�It, along with the sequel, are the last two games that present Mario in a completely 3D pseudo sandbox game. A�Galaxy does give full range of movement, but it is not as immersive of a world as GTA or Red Dead Redemption.

I don’t expect Mario to follow directly in their footsteps. A�I don’t even know how such a game might work. A�Part of Mario’s charm is the limited levels that provide immediate gratification when you complete them. A�So, I’m glad that they kept that part of the games intact. A�With that being said, the Galaxy games do more with 3 dimensions than any game.

The worlds are contained on spheres and you travel from one to the next in x, y, and z (for you no math people, that’s front-back, left-right, and up-down). A�Sometimes you luach yourself through the air. A�Sometimes you free yourself from the “gravity” of one of the microplanets to fall to another. A�In both cases, the effect is nothing short of magical.

The verdict: A�Full range of motion makes these games more interesting and fun than other sandbox games in spite of the comparatively limited size of the worlds.

Super Mario Sunshine
Super Mario Sunshine

For some reason, this is one of the least popular Mario games. A�I’m not sure why, but I suspect that it is because of the different gameplay. A�In addition to the normal run and jump, mario had a water cannon mounted on his back that allows for all manner of different abilities. A�It allowed you to reveal secret areas, defeat enemies, and even fly for short distances.

As I discussed, gamers can be the most sensitive when it comes to changes. A�Any time Wizards of the Coast updates their band and restricted cards, players invariably complain. A�More recently, Blizzard updated Hearthstone to include a standard mode. A�You’d have thought that they required players to pay a monthly subscription to remain in the game. A�While I think that the entire concept of Hearthstone is ridiculous, people enjoy it and the concept of standard is necessary for the health of any card game.

The point of it all is that gamers complain about every change, no matter how small, benign, or even necessary it is. A�So, it’s no surprise that Mario’s water cannon met with mixed reaction, to put it mildly. A�Many people hated the idea. A�What I find funny about that is that it is a logical step between Super Mario 64 and Galaxy. A�Not content with a 3D world, they pushed the envelop to allow players to more freely move around in the up and down direction.

The verdict: A�A fun game with slightly different gameplay that wasn’t appreciated in its time. A�Actually a decent step forward in the evolution of 3D games.

Super Mario 64
Super Mario 64

At the time, this was the greatest game that I had ever played. A�I wasn’t alone in that sentiment. A�So many people loved the game for so many reasons. A�Even today, it remains my favorite Mario game and the first game that I beat to 100%. A�I had to cheat on a few of the trickier star pieces, but I still got it done. A�Heck, I even launched myself onto the roof to meet Yoshi.

I purchased an N64 strictly for this game. A�Sure, I owned other games, but this is the one that sold me the system. A�It took everything that we loved about Mario and brought it into the brave new world of three dimensions. A�Unlike the 3D World and Land games, the worlds were immersive and worth exploring beyond just the linear path. A�That same immersion makes up for the fact that it doesn’t offer the same full range of 3D motion that Galaxy does.

The verdict: A�In my opinion, still the best Mario game ever made. A�A great marriage of the old and the new makes for a great experience.

The Legend Grows

(Editor’s Note: A�Join us in our second installment of Mario Monday!)

Last week on Mario Monday, we explored his evolution from supporting Jumpman to main character of his own line of successful games. A�This week, we continue with an analysis of some of the games from other genres that star everyone’s favorite plumber.

Oh, jeeze. Oh, Luigi, I didn't know you were there. Oh, Man, this is getting awkward.
Oh, jeeze. Oh, Luigi, I didn’t know you were there. Oh, Man, this is getting awkward.

maybe we will talk about how innovative, inventive, or inspirational the games were. A�Perhaps we will discuss how the games either created or changed their respective genres. A�We can explore some of the other games that owe their existence or success to Mario offshoots. A�Because, honestly, this real reason we’re doing all of this is to play more games.

Dr. Mario
Dr. Mario

My first experience with Mario outside of his strange platforming universe was Dr. Mario. A�I bought (or got it for Christmas) a Game Boy to play the more traditional Super Mario Land. A�not a bad version of the game, but the limitations of the system are painfully evident. The Game Boy came bundled with Tetris. A�Thankfully, that is one tradition that has come back into favor. A�Who the hell wants to buy a game system just to stare at it? A�Give me some games, you cheap asses. A�But, as usual, I digress.

Innovative, inspirational, inventive? A�At the time, and only having really played Tetris in comparison, I don’t know that I’d A�call Dr. Mario any of these things. A�It follows in the footsteps of Tetris by dropping puzzle pieces from the top of the screen and it still revolves around groups of four to take things off the board.

Genre changing or creating? A�Seeing as how I compared the game to an earlier game in the genre (Tetris, still the most well known and arguably the best puzzle game ever), Dr. Mario did not create a genre. A�I don’t even think it can be argued that it changed the genre all that much. A�They changed the game a bit by making the pieces pills and involved clearing certain elements from the board, but as we saw earlier, even that owes it’s existence mainly to Tetris.

The Verdict: A�A fun, if not necessarily new game in the genre that offered me and my friend Kevin endless entertainment when in high school. A�If you are looking for more genre defining games, check out any number of the mobile match three games available.

 

Mario Party
Mario Party

I don’t remember if Christine got me a Nintendo 64 for my birthday or if it was just the last time I remember her being interested in video games. A�Lately, she seems to have infected with the “MOM” virus when it comes to video games and thinks that they just serve the purpose to rot people’s brains. A�Either way, I picked up Mario Party because it was one of the multiplayer games that interested me and we played it a few times but ultimately decided that it would be more fun with even more people. A�Being only mildly interested in interacting with society, we didn’t have those people in our lives, so Mario Party hasn’t been a big part of our lives. A�Maybe now that we have kids, we can help to cure her of “MOM”.

Innovative, Inspirational, Inventive? A�As much as Mario followed in the footsteps of Tetris to become a doctor, the same cannot be said in any way for Mario Party. A�The concept of trying to market board games to a younger audience is not new. A�However, Mario Party put a new spin on this old genre by almost folding the elements that make Mario unique into a board game to create a weird amalgam that works in spite of the fact that it probably shouldn’t.

Genre changing or creating? A�I wouldn’t say that it changed the board game as video game genre, since most of them still basically just take the board game and try to recreate it as a video game. A�Sure, they add new animations and sounds, but that was most likely inevitable. A�I will say that this game and the more narrowly focused Wario Ware are almost a genre to themselves.

The Verdict: A�If you have a bunch of people over and want something other than Monopoly or Trivial Pursuit, toss in Mario Party whatever number they’re up to and, not to put too fine a point on it, have a party.

Mario RPG
Mario RPG

I don’t think that I ever played that version of Super Mario RPG. A�I remember it being released and thinking that it was a cool idea at the time. A�For some reason, though, that never actually translated to playing the game. A�I think at the time, I was more interested in the Sega Genesis because it offered Mortal Kombat with blood. A�Ah, to be young and dumb again.

Innovative, Inspirational, Inventive? A�Having not played the original, I can’t speak as to how different that one was from traditional games in the genre. A�I have played the GBA version of the game, which I guess isn’t quite the same game, but uses elements from the RPG game and Paper Mario (thanks again, Wikipedia!). A�In that regard, the game succeeded much like Mario Party. A�It blended elements from traditional Mario into a different genre of game.

Genre changing or creating? A�Given such a diverse collection of games in the genre, it is difficult to change the genre as a whole. A�With that being said, Super Mario RPG and its official and unofficial sequels are different from most of the games that came before. A�They still have the traditional level system and powers as those games, but the addition of Mario mechanics, at least in the version that I played, add to the game and make it more fun to play in some ways that traditional RPGs.

The Verdict: A�the Super Mario RPG version of the games offer a new enough experience that they definitely have a place alongside some of the greats like Final Fantasy. A�I’m not saying the games are as the Final Fantasy games. A�If you want an introduction to RPGs and love Mario, definitely play these games.

Mario vs. Donkey Kong
Mario vs. Donkey Kong

I think that I’ve mentioned before that the Game Boy Advance is still my favorite mobile platform, even with all of the amazing games available on tablet and phone. A�What can I say? A�I think I’ve also said that I’m a “things were better in the old days, get off my lawn” old guy when it comes almost anything, but especially gaming.

Innovative, Inspirational, Inventive? A�Definitely innovative and inventive, possibly inspirational? A�The main game has similar game play to the original Donkey Kong, but they tweaked it and added a puzzle element to the game. A�By itself, that would be enough. A�They also added new enemies and traps to the game to make it feel like an entirely new game. A�I don’t know if I can say inspirational because I don’t know of another game like it.

Genre creating or changing? A�I’m not even sure what genre to classify this game. A�I suppose it is a puzzle game and that’s what I called it up there, but it also has elements of platformers, too. A�So, I guess it created the platforming/puzzle cross genre, but it might be the only game in that genre. A�We oldbies remember Lemmings. A�Also, is Braid similar? A�I’ve never played that one. A�Oh, Toki Tori, too, but I might be the only one that played that game. A�So, maybe it did create a genre after all.

The verdict: A�Of the offshoot games (other than the best for last next game to be discussed), this one is the most fun and entertaining as a single player experience. A�Sure, Mario Party offers a better multiplayer mode, but if you’re only in the mood for a party of one, then this is your game.

Mario Kart
Mario Kart

True story confession time: A�I might be a filthy casual when it comes to gaming, but I do have my moments of hardcore (or at least semi-hardcore) every now and then. A�I rented Mario Kart Wii. A�It might have been from Gamefly, but I think it was actually a legitimate game rental store because we got at least one of the steering wheels. A�I was playing the game against Liam and I put some oil on the stove to heat up. A�You may know where this story is going. A�Well, the oil reached the flash point, caught on fire, and started melting the microwave. A�We freaked out, called the fire department, and lived with my in laws for 2 weeks while they cleaned our house of the mess.

Innovative, Inspirational, Inventive? A�Well, it’s not really any of these things necessarily. A�At the same time, it is all of these things. A�Does any of that make sense? A�Of course not, but neither does almost burning down the house while playing the game. A�The game is a back view racing game similar to Pole Position, but it does add the elements of multiplayer, power ups, and the ability to mess with your friends. A�All of those things add enough to the game to make it a unique game.

Genre creating or changing? A�Mario Kart did not create the racing game obviously. A�It did change the genre in a significant way. A�It gave rise to the “Kart” subgenre of racing game. A�Terrible game after terrible game came after Mario Kart with a variety of characters and settings that never lived up to the promise of this one.

The verdict: A�Mario Kart stands alone (more or less, there are some clones that are actually decent) as the defining and best Kart style game series. A�After all, no other game ever caused me to burn down the house. A�Though, I did ignore a “emergencies” to finish defeating a WoW boss once or twice.

Out of the Shadows

(Editor’s Note: A�Haven’t we done this dance before?)

In addition to my absence from the web page ( for which I have no excuse), I have also been absent from Magic. A�Chris and I have not gotten together for a couple of months because it is hard being a grown up with kid hobbies. A�He has other magic contacts that have more or less kept him in the game, but I haven’t made those contacts. A�Again, it’s rough out there for a grown up kid. A�Especially one that is a bit antisocial. A�However, even with his involvement with the game, he still felt the same way about going back to the Eldrazi as I do. A�We were both completely underwhelmed by both sets in the block. A�I skipped the second set completely and didn’t even buy a token fat pack.

Signs that things might be different with the latest set showed up early in the spoiler season. A�We both expressed that, even though it seemed strange to have another repeat visit to a plane, we were both excited to go to Innistrad. A�I’ve always loved vampire and werewolf lore (except for the more recent strain of Twilight garbage), really enjoy the concept of flip cards, and couldn’t wait to see what new cards and mechanics would be introduced with the set.

I shared a few of the early spoilers with Chris. A�We discussed others, including the planeswalkers. A�We joked that everyone whines that the new Jace is crap until some blue mage figures out a way to abuse it. A�Honestly, though, I’d be hard pressed to tell you anything about this set other than there’s a new Avacyn, a new Jace, and a potentially neat flipwalker. A�As I said to Chris last night when he joked that I wouldn’t even open the product that I ordered, “I’m just so out of the game right now.”

It scries, it draws, it bounces creatures.  It does what Jace does.  Is it a bit expensive?  Sure, but that's exactly what they said about JTMS when it released.
It scries, it draws, it bounces creatures. It does what Jace does. Is it a bit expensive? Sure, but that’s exactly what they said about JTMS when it released.

Those of you who are regulars to the page (shout out to the two of you who stick through our random disappearances!) know that this is not a new sentiment. A�I obviously go through phases in the game where I love it and others when I’m moderately disinterested. A�This time is different, though. A�Usually when I take one of my breaks from the game, I’m still engaged through conversation A�or watching Twitch streams. A�The conversation has been only the minimal ones mentioned earlier and I haven’t watched any Magic streams except for Vintage over the last few months. A�As I said, completely out of the game.

Cue the (probable mis)quote from a famous movie, “Just when I think I’m out, they pull me back in.” A�Later today, I’m going to hang out with Chris and another friend that we played against a few times a couple of years ago. A�Armed with nothing but a couple of Tiny Leaders decks and a proxied Vintage deck with no purpose other than to fulfill my fantasies of being a Vintage guy, I’m going to wade into Chris’ new Magic frontier with tournaments and actual meta strategy. A�Wish me luck.

Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Africa anymore.  I know I nailed that one.
Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Africa anymore. I know I nailed that one.

I may revisit this adventure in a later article. A�For now, I’m boarding a plane (train? time machine? A�How do you get there?) to Innistrad to see what the set offers filthy casuals like me. A�I’ve been thinking about buying into the game again. A�Should I? A�Let’s explore together, shall we?

Angels and werewolves and vampires (Oh my!) A�Do you love tribal decks? A�I know that I do. A�If you have read, or search for, my deck lists, you will see that my decks are almost always constructed around a theme. A�More often than not, I also try to choose a tribe. A�I’ve done goblins and elves (who hasn’t?), zombies, merfolk (not the good kind), minotaur, and the aforementioned angles, werewolves, and vampires (Oh my!) A�Hell, I think I even got the crazy idea once to build a Homonculus deck. A�It didn’t go anywhere.

Heck, what can possibly go wrong?
Heck, what can possibly go wrong?

Flip Cards (that aren’t Delver). A�Chris has expressed disinterest (and even outright disdain) for the idea of flip cards. A�Nevertheless, the cards persevere in spite of his irrational hatred and prejudice against them. A�One has even risen above it all to become a Modern and Legacy staple. A�But anyone can win with Delver. A�Can anyone build a deck around Arlinn Kord? A�Yea, probably, but it won’t be one of my signature terrible decks.

I mean, just look at her, won't you?  She's beautiful.
I mean, just look at her, won’t you? She’s beautiful.

Graveyard shenanigans. A�Both the A�delirium and madness mechanics allow you to interact with the graveyard–as far as I know–in new and different ways. A�One of my first decks was an annoying zombie mill deck. A�Additionally, I have been eyeing a dredge deck online to dip my toes into Vintage without having to take out a second mortgage. A�So, graveyard shenanigans are right in my wheelhouse. A�Can’t wait to build my delirium or madness (why not both) deck.

Well, the trip to visit Chris last night was successful. A�I won both games that I played. A�When combined with my newly discovered excitement about the new set, I’m right back in. A�really, though, did you expect any other outcome? A�Once Magic sticks its hooks into you, you can never truly be free.

I love you, too, Magic the Gathering.
I love you, too, Magic the Gathering.

Humble Beginnings

(Editor’s Note:A� As part of our relaunch and month long celebration of all things Mario, on Mario Mondays we will be taking a trip through the history of everyone’s favorite plumber.)

Sorry, green guy.
Sorry, green guy.

Every week, we are going to explore a different era as defined by us, of the Mario Games.A� Maybe we will compare them to their contemporaries of the time.A� Perhaps we will try to dissect the magical formula that allows such a simple formula to endure for over thirty years.A� Mostly, we will just use it as an excuse to play all of these great games in a misguided attempt to recapture our youth.A� If recent cinematic history has taught us anything, it is that we fall hard for sentimentality and nostalgia here at 2 Guys Gaming.

This week, we start in the most logical place, the beginning.A� That may seem obvious, but when I write, I often don’t begin at the beginning.A� It’s more fun to drop your reader into the middle and make them travel back to the beginning.A� Nevertheless, when assembling a chronology, it is probably best to start at the beginning.

Perhaps we went back a bit too far.
Perhaps we went back a bit too far.

Mario started his journey as Jumpman in Donkey Kong, so that’s where we begin our journey, too.A� Before we do, though, I find it interesting that many of those early video games were –man games; Jumpman, Mega Man, Puckman.A� You probably remember that last one by a different name because they feared immature kids and teenagers might alter the title to something offensive.A� Having been an immature teenager, I understand the concern because it is something that I might have considered in my dumb youth.A� I’ve never defaced property, but I did chuckle when they had to change the name of the Public Dock in my old hometown because people kept stealing the “L”.A� I certainly would have referred to the game by the offensive name in conversation.A� I might have even though they changed it to avoid that calamity.A� How about that?A� A Mario history lesson and a Pac Man etymology in one article.A� We are learning you good.

Donkey Kong (1981)
Donkey Kong (1981)

How did it compare?A� Donkey Kong released during what many consider to be the first Golden Age of video games.A� The aforementioned Pac Man, Q Bert, Galaga, Dragon’s Lair, Tetris, Xevious, 1942, Zaxxon, Dig Dug, Pole Position, Burger Time, Joust, and many more I’m probably forgetting in spite of some very helpful Wikipedia pages.A� If faced with an arcade full of those classics, I doubt that Donkey Kong would be where I chose to spend my quarters.A� In fact, I know that it wouldn’t, because when faced with those games in collections, I choose other games over Donkey Kong.A� Verdict:A� It’s a fun game, but not even in my personal top 10 when complared with other games of the time.

Does it endure?A� In spite of my feelings about the game, it does still hold a place in the history of Mario and video games.A� During one of the peaks of popularity, Donkey Kong more than held its own as a favored game.A� Yes, that does endure to this day.A� How?A� Well, it has been shown time and again that if there are at least two people interested in an activity, they will turn that activity into a competition.A� While I have always thought that competitive gaming is a bit silly, DK owes much of its popularity and success to several people trying to beat each other’s high scores.A� Verdict:A� Because of Fistful of Quarters, the legacy of Donkey Kong is still very much alive.

Really, that whole previous paragraph was just an excuse to show this sweet picture of Billy Mitchell again.
Really, that whole previous paragraph was just an excuse to show this sweet picture of Billy Mitchell again.

Nostalgia factor:A� Since I wasn’t a huge fan of Donkey Kong as a kid, the game does not conjure warm and fuzzy memories for me.A� Still, I think that we’ve show that it has a place in the Mario Pantheon and probably offers some gamers a time machine to rekindle the gaming glory of their youth.A� Verdict:A� I suspect that a take it or leave it poll might be split right down the middle.

Mario Bros (1983)
Mario Bros (1983)

How does it compare?A� Released in the same stacked era as Donkey Kong, Mario Bros matches far more favorably against the competition.A� It doesn’t make sense as the overall game play is essentially the same.A� You run and jump, but instead of avoiding barrels, you flip and knock off enemies.A� Why the heck am I telling you this?A� We’ve all played these games.A� If you haven’t, find a friend and play some Mario Bros.A� I’ll wait.A� That–that illustrates the primary advantage that Mario Bros. has over Donkey Kong.A� The coop two player mode meant that you and a buddy can just hop onto the machine and wreck bugs together until you run out of quarters.A� And that’s really all you can ask for a game.A� Verdict:A� Two player mode makes this game much more fun, but still really boring as single player.

Does it endure?A� This game may not have been the topic of a movie documenting the quest for the high score, but id did spawn several cartoons and a terrible live action movie adaptation.A� When offered as a mini game, I will always gladly take the opportunity to relive my introduction to Mario Mario.A� Verdict:A� This game still lives on my computer and sees more frequent play than Donkey Kong.

Nostalgia Factor:A� This is the first game to identify the character as Mario, so that has to be worth some points.A� Unlike Donkey Kong, I have actual fond memories of Mario Bros.A� I played the game in the arcade and at home with friends.A� I’d venture a similar guess that many others share my opinion of this game as when they fell in love with the moustache.A� Verdict:A� If this one doesn’t take you back, you need to go back to video game history class.A� And, do the homework this time.

Trust me, this is homework you won't mind doing.
Trust me, this is homework you won’t mind doing.
Super Mario Bros. (1985)
Super Mario Bros. (1985)

How does it compare?A� Super Mario Bros is quite possibly the best game of its time.A� I can say this with confidence because it still finds a place in top 25 and top 10 lists to this day.A� Some of that is obviously nostalgia (but this isn’t the nostalgia section, so more on that later) but mostly it is just because it is a great damn game.A� It was revolutionary. It helped to advance the idea of games with finite length that could be finished.A� It was innovative.A� Even as a completely linear adventure, it encourage exploration by scattering secrets throughout.A� It was challenging.A� Everyone wasted a quarter their first time playing by running directly into that first Goomba. Above all, it was fun.A� Verdict:A� This is one of the best games of all time, not just the era it was released.

A game where you do the same thing over and over and it is still fun?  Modern games could take a hint from Mario.
A game where you do the same thing over and over and it is still fun? Modern games could take a hint from Mario.

Does it endure? A�In a word, yes. A�Any time I download the questionably legal (Most likely very illegal, but I calm my conscience by adding the questionably. A�Hey, it’s all about casting that shadow of doubt.) A�MAME, I always test it with Super Mario Bros. first. A�I always die at that first Goomba, too. A�I used the game to test streaming possibilities and it is one of Liam’s favorite games. A�Verdict: A�Can I envision a day when it falls out of favor for more modern games? A�Sure, but Super Mario Bros. is here to stay and will continue to delight gamers for generations.

Nostalgia Factor: A�This is the game that started it all for so many of us. A�By us, of course, I mean me and I’m projecting from that very small sample size. A�Hey, I’m might be a mathematician, but I’ve always struggled with Stats. A�My parents bough us an NES for Christmas one year and I was so happy that I could finally die to that stupid Goomba in the privacy of my own home. A�Really, though, this game and others bring me back to the arcades with friends. A�Throwing away our birthday money one quarter at a time in between rounds of mini golf or waiting for our movie to start. A�Verdict: A�My generation misses the arcade era so much that we’ve invented barcades to take us back. A�Games like Super Mario Bros. are the reason why.

Super Mario Bros. 3 (1988)
Super Mario Bros. 3 (1988)

How does it compare? A�What happens when you take one of the best games of all time and improve it in all possible aspects? A�I know that I am prone to exaggeration and hyperbole, but think about it. A�It has better graphics, bigger levels, more innovative power ups, and trickier secrets. A�Verdict: A�It is the reason that I owned an SNES adn the best game of its time.

What other game lets you jump in a boot to hop on enemies?
What other game lets you jump in a boot to hop on enemies?

Does it endure? A�The legacy of Super Mario Bros. 3 lives on every time I purchase a new Nintendo system to play the latest and greatest (Well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. A�In my estimation, the greatest game in the series has yet to be eclipsed and, for once, I will adhere to no spoilers.) in the series. A�And, yes, I have bought them all. A�Heck, I didn’t have to go through that whole previous paragraph to answer the question. A�Verdict: A�Not only have I bought all of the new Mario games, I’ve bought Super Mario All Stars 3 times on three different systems simply to be able to play this game.

Nostalgia Factor: A�Just as the original Super Mario Bros. brings me back to the arcades of my youth, this game reminds me of great times with my brothers playing on the SNES that I bought with money from my job at Toys R Us. A�Now I get to share those types of memories with my kids. A�Verdict: A�Nintendo continues to improve and impress.

Super Mario World (1990)
Super Mario World (1990)

How does it compare? A�I don’t want to say that the games took a step back when this game released. A�That wouldn’t be entirely accurate. A�It wasn’t exponentially better as SMB and SMB3 were over their predecessors. A�It wasn’t worse, either. A�It just didn’t add enough over SMB3 to make it a universally better game. A�Verdict: This gameA�represents more of a lateral move but is still one of the best games on the system.

Does it endure? A�Not as much as either of the two previously discussed games. A�I will play Super Mario World every so often, but I haven’t bought it multiple times as I have SMB3 and it isn’t a got to game as the original SMB. A�Additionally, Liam played it for a few weeks on the Wii, but it hasn’t grabbed his attention like some other Mario games.A�Verdict: A�It might be unfair to compare to the other two games, but this one definitely doesn’t stack up, even years later.

Nostalgia Factor: A�I don’t have any special connection to this game. A�No time spent in arcades. A�No memorable games with my brothers. A�Not even the new style of nostalgia of playing the game with my boys. A�It just doesn’t have the aalure of the earlier games because it didn’t make that quantum leap and was just good enough, in terms of Mario games, to ultimately be forgettable. A�Verdict: A�Sorry Super Mario World, you just don’t fire up the Way Back Machine in any meaningful way.

Well, there it is. A�Our triumphant return with the first installment of Mario Monday. A�Be sure to come back next week when I discuss five of the off shoot Mario games; Dr., Party, Kart, RPT, and vs. DK. A�I’ve spent the better part of the past few weeks putting together a schedule and a plan to stay on that schedule. A�We’re back, and I hope it is for goot this time. A�Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoy all the new content. A�To steal a quote from Hearthstone, “It’s good ta see ya again!”