So I talked about a lot of Nintendo franchises in the past, but what’s there to say about Mario that hasn’t already been said? I delayed this article for a long time because I didn’t know how to address it. With a lot of thought though I decided to just take a simple approach and talk about why I am a fan, and what the Mario franchise means to me.
What makes Mario so compelling?
Mario was there during a time when gaming was at an all time low during the crash of ’83. Popping in Super Mario Bros. in everyone’s NES brought confidence back to the gamers and rose home gaming from the ashes. From there Mario would revolutionize the platforming market, 3D gaming market, the motion control market, and hopefully soon the marketing of the WiiU. Mario was always there since Donkey Kong’s release. Even with Donkey Kong being the star, Mario was the person everyone had their eye on, and when the Mario Bros arcade game came out it was all history. He is always there and ready to supply excitement and joy. Mario is what all great ideas are, a simple and understandable idea that over time flourishes within it’s own universe full of wonder. Mario is that unexpected knight in shining armor always ready to save everybody. He jumps and runs his way towards danger and adventure, what’s not to love about that?
Who is Mario?
Mario and Video Games in essence is what Elvis Presley is to Rock and Roll. Even if you’re not a fan a gamer has inevitably played at least one Mario game or a game with Mario in it. He has his misses here and there, but ultimately Mario is the source of great gaming. Even if you despise Mario, if you don’t at least respect him that’s a problem. Mario is someone who’s mustache is even a permanent smile. With a smile always on his face he is always having fun. Even though the princess is captured and the Kingdom is under great distress Mario is there to remind the citizens and the gamers themselves to have a good time. It’s about the journey not the destination. The things you see along the way, and using one’s (Mario’s) capabilities to get through all obstacles while having a good time. Of course Mario knows that when it’s time to get serious, it’s time to get serious. Mario shows great courage and optimism, he is always inspired and always pushes through. And in the end, when the day is saved Mario doesn’t take the credit, but instead tells the player “Thank You So Much For Playing My Game!” You gotta love a happy, go lucky guy with a great understanding of humility. Mario has had a lot of thought put into him from what he likes to eat, to his voice, and I want to take the time to say Charles Martinet (the voice of Mario) does the job with a great understanding of Mario and the joy he brings.
So why do I love Mario?
With all that being said I never truly expressed why I enjoy Mario’s games so much. Well I simply love platforming games for one. Platforming games provide great atmosphere and the gameplay is as quick as one wants to make it. Mario just does it the best for me. His games provide such beautiful and whimsical environments and using Mario’s abilities to explore and conquer is an excellent feeling. Mario was just always there in my life as a gamer too. When a new game is out I get excited to see what Mario is up to next. Sure it’s 90% of the time saving the Princess, but I’m talking about the journey to get there. Who will assist Mario, what will he be capable of, and what environments he has to get through to confront the evil Koopa King. Lastly, Mario games are just fun and a great experience. Even his other franchises make great memories that can be replayed countless times. Nostalgia does play a role in it and for some reason people see that as a bad thing, but it more so is the fact that seeing Mario’s face on the cover is a great way of knowing I’ll love the game or at least heavily enjoy it. It’s sad when people abandon him from the fear of looking like a kid. To me Mario should’ve taught the gamers that you can always have fun despite what the content is. That is why at 20 years old, as much as I enjoy an (what people consider) adult game or movie I still like to watch cartoons and read comics and play rated E games (which by the way stands for “Everyone”, not “only for kids”). I love the imagination they provide, the wonder they instill. It doesn’t make me a kid it makes me who I always been, me. With Mario always being there it’s easy to remember who I am as a gamer and I’ll play my Assassins Creed, Ninja Gaiden, and Borderlands for hours, but I’ll always return to Mario for the new experiences of the games I always will enjoy. Thank you for reading and your support, I hope you’ll check out my videos on game analyses and more on my youtube channel: www.youtube.com/user/NaismithBilly