I think I said in the previous article that, similar to comics, the Super Mario games grew up with me. The two-dimensional side scrollers of my teenage years became three dimensional exploration games during my 20s when I had more time to devote to them. Then, as I got married, had kids, and worked more as a result, the games went back to simpler times. So, Mario and my family, as I’m sure many others can say, have a history.
That history includes the main series games. It also involves stories from the auxiliary games, mostly Kart and Party. We played Brawl (the boys more than Christine or me), but I stink on ice at that game. And, if I’m being perfectly honest, one of my (not so secret) nerd shames is that I have absolutely no idea how to even play the game. It resembles none of the other fighting games I’ve ever played and I don’t have the patience to learn any strategies. Plus, button mashing rewards you less than those other games.
Super Smash Bros
I remember thinking when I heard about the game, “A fighting game with Nintendo characters? What an amazing idea.” I also thought at the time, for some reason, that the game would be another Street Fighter clone. Playing the game quickly disabused me of that notion. No amount of half circle or F-D-F gave me the desired results. And, so, faced with that failure, I completely gave up on the hopes of ever being a Smash Bro.
I first tried Mario Party with Christine on the Nintendo 64. We quickly discovered that, while a multiplayer game, it lends itself to more than two players. And, so the game went unplayed for another two decades or so until we had kids. Even so, we only recently started playing it as a whole family. Liam bought the game and we loaded it a couple of weeks ago on a family gaming night. We actually played through a few games and it looked like it might take a place in the rotation. So far, it hasn’t. But, April vacation is coming and we are going away with friends. So, There is the chance for another round or two coming up.
Super Mario Kart
The undisputed champion in the house when it comes to the Mario adjacent game is the Mario Kart series. I think I promised a story in the previous article about Mario Kart, so here goes. Me, Liam, and Aiden were playing Mario Kart. I went into the kitchen to put oil on the stove for home fries for breakfast. I, then, went into the living room to continue our Mario Kart series. The oil reached flash temperature and went up in flames. The fire alarms went off. I saw a 3 foot high flame licking at the bottom of our above range microwave. We left the house, called the fire department, and lived with her parents for 2 weeks as they cleaned the ash, soot, and extinguisher foam from the house and our belongings. How many of you can say you almost burned down your house playing Mario Kart?
More recently, we played Mario Kart 3 or 4 nights during one of our recent December breaks. We enjoyed the sessions so much that we promised to play at least once a month. As happens, that became once every other month. But, we still enjoy the times we get to play. Maybe I just need to try to force the issue more because Mario and my family miss each other.
Mario and my family have been a part of each other’s lives for the entirety of Mario’s existence and, therefore, my family’s. However, as I’m sure is true of other families, it wasn’t until the multiplayer party type games that it took hold of the entire family. Before that, I played Mario and Liam picked up on it. Quinn enjoyed Super Mario Maker. But, everyone plays Mario Kart and even Party on the rare occasions we load that one.