HAPPY NEW YEAR! Well, another year down, and so is another year’s worth of games. But, for the sake of the classics, we’re going back a bunch of years, and we’re gonna look at some classics. Now, I know everyone voted for me to write about Mario games, but because there are SO many Mario games, I figured no one wanted to sit here and read about all the Mario games put out to date. If I did that, you’d be reading through till 2005! So, I’m just gonna limit this to NES-based Mario games. Ya know, the classics.
Hence, I give you:
Super Mario Bros. (NES) vs. Super Mario Bros. 2 (NES) vs. Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES)
Super Mario Bros. (NES): Released in 1985, this game features two little plumbers named Mario and Luigi, Princess Toadstool, King Koopa, Goombas, Koopa-Troopas, and bunches upon bunches of other characters. At the end of each level, you are asked to hop on the top of a flag pole, and slide all the way down. If you hit the flagpole right, you even get fireworks, and a whole load of points! I tried doing this at school once; it hurts to slide down a flag pole. Trust me. And I didn’t get fireworks, either!
You also can’t forget the ever-popular, ever-continently placed, and ever-disgustingly dirty mode of transportation, the plumbing. Our little plumber friends can hop in and out of tubes to move within levels and even between levels. Some pipes, however, are so dirty, that not only can you not travel through them, but little enemies grown within them. Avoid these pipes! Last but not least, never, ever forget the little “?” boxes. These allow you to do anything from grow to a bigger version of Mario to shoot fireballs from your throat; and, of course, they grant you the ability to live a little longer. The goal of this game, of course, is to save the ever-so-pixilated princess. All in all, it’s a great game.
Super Mario Bros. 2 (NES): This game, released in 1988, features Mario going through a dream world. According to the story, Mario wakes up from this dream, and everyone goes on a mountain picnic, where they delve deep into the mountain, and Mario recognizes something he saw in his dream. This time, as the last, you can choose between playing as Mario or Luigi. However, you can also play as Toad or Princess Toadstool. As you start to play, what’s the first thing you notice about this game as compared to the last? Well, in my cause, that would be the surprisingly better graphics, and slightly better sound. Do realize, this game was not originally a Mario game; it was actually released in Japan as Doki Doki Picnic. When we here in America go it, however, they had slapped a Mario theme on the game and gave it to us. This also explains the very strange change in plot. Not very normal for a Mario game.
This game features a land where you throw vegetables at your opponents, and you gain life and height by going through doors, created by secret potions, to an alternate dimension where you can pick up a giant mushroom. Once through the door, however, you cannot move the screen itself left or right, and you are limited on time. This means that if you don’t put the door where the mushroom is, then you may not be able to reach it. Also a lot of fun in this game is the riding of magic carpets, which, for a limited amount of time, allow you to glide smoothly through the air. Watch out for flying opponents, though. Also note the special stopwatches that appear every so often; they allow time to stop and all bad guys to freeze in the scene.
In this game, you encounter slightly different enemies as you play. The most annoying of these enemies, Birdo, you fight with her own eggs. You catch them in the air, turn around, and throw the egg back at her before she can hit you with another. You also encounter Shy guys, who mostly seem to keep to themselves, except when they try to shoot at you. Bob-omb is also in the game, trying to blow you to tiny little pieces. There’s loads of other new guys here, too, but most of them aren’t overly important, just annoying.
The key feature to this game seems to be that each character has its own special feature and advantages. Our hero, Mario, of course seems to have none, and is average in just about everything. The game’s ending is none-too-thrilling. As one of the major rules of writing is “never have the characters wake up from a dream to end”, it probably should not have ended this way.
Super Mario Bros. 3: Released in the beginning of a decade, 1990, this game features our two plumber friends who move from world to world, fighting many of the same baddies as they did in Super Mario Bros., but with much better graphics. The biggest difference in the level layout of this game is that the levels are laid randomly upon maps, which means that you can choose form several different “paths” to the end of the game.
The other thing that separates this game from the rest is the caliber of the secrets. Sure there were secrets and “cheats” in all the other games, but the secrets in Super Mario Bros. 3 are much more involved than they were in the other games. They can help you get much further, and get flutes, mushrooms, and other power-ups, in the form of mini-games.
The goal of this game is pretty much the same as the first one. Save the princess. You fight your way through castles, levels, ships, sky levels, and mini-games to finish the game. This game is another awesome classic.
Now, the winners:
Best Graphics: Super Mario Bros. 2 (The improvement from SMB to SMB 2 was so noticeable that SMB 2 wins.)
Best Music: 3-way tie, all have the same general music base.
Best Plot: Super Mario Bros. 3
Most Original: Super Mario Bros. 2 (SMB and SMB 3 have similar plots, making SMB 2 most original.)
Most “Classic”: Super Mario Bros. (It’s just classic. Period.)
Best Overall Winner: Super Mario Bros. 3
Super Mario Bros. 3 wins the overall, simply for its graphics, multiplayer ability, minigames, and character involvement. It has the best plot, and the most replay value. That’s why it wins.
Oh yeah, happy new year and thanks for voting!