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I’m Game: Trevor Campbell — Mario madness?

Posted by on April 30, 2013 – 7:00 am

I'm GameI’ve been playing video games for over 25 years, but I have NO clue which one as had the most influence over me. I head out to the living room and take a look on our Wii to see what older games I’ve bought:

Super Mario Bros. 3
Super Mario World
Mario Kart
Sim City
The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time (I bought this for my son – he <3’s Zelda)

I thought ‘OK – question answered’, but it took a lot of thought to figure out why Mario games were such a big deal when I was growing up; I’m sure there’s plenty of readers out there who’ve found themselves in a similar ponder.

Well, what I came up with was this: for the time, it had everything: story, heroes, villains, superpowers – everything. Now I know there’s gonna be folks out there that are gonna think ‘When did eating shrooms and flowers and stars become superpowers?

They have a point: if you break it down – I mean, way down, it’s a fat guy running around eating everything in sight, stepping on stuff and grabbing all the shinies like a Wall Street CEO. And it’s true. However, I prefer to think there’s more to it that… there has to be (mostly because I don’t want to equate several years of my youth to something like that).

Anyway, here’s how I see the games:

Story: You battle your way through all those levels – there’s 8 worlds with 4 levels each. Every -4 level has a boss fight where you have to kill the baddie to save the princess. Only for seven of them, it’s just one of her mushroom slave butlers instead. Sure, it’s paper thin, but it has a level of simplicity dictated by the hardware limitations of the time: Did I just save the girl? Yes = (Game over I win!) No = (Keep going.)

Heroes: Sure, it’s two guys sharing the same sprite (not like the video with the girls and the cup) , but they do save the day in the end. So what if they’re two (probably unemployed – it was the 80’s after all) plumbers? They win every time; sounds like a hero to me.

Superpowers: OK, fine, they have to eat things to get them, and they aren’t permanent but still: they have powers seen only in comics – that’s super enough for me.

Now I just know someone is gonna bring up the whole ‘The not how the game was intended in Japan, and Mario 2 wasn’t even really a Mario game there’, and they’ll be right in doing so. Unfortunately, I didn’t know any of this was I was 8.


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