Putting Franchises On The Pedestal a.k.a Give Me a
Proper Mario Game!
Writing this entry, I'm either going to catch a lot of flak
from die-hard/rabid Nintendo fans, or instead have a whole bunch
of people nodding and agreeing with what I'm about to say. After
coming back from E3 I see all of these people drooling over Super
Mario Galaxy. I like to call this the effect of gaming starvation
and every group of console owners goes through it. The effect
basically makes the dedicated/enthusiast horde of console owners
cling on to a certain game, raising their expectations beyond
anything in the scope.
In other words, placing something on a pedestal. Sony fans never
really had just one game to cling on to, seeing as how a year
after the PS2's launch there were too many blockbusters (Metal
Gear Solid 2, GTA III, Gran Turismo 3, and others) to pay
attention to. Microsoft owners may very well be the worst when it
comes down to this. Xbox owners clinged to the Halo series so
much so that it even earned the console the nickname
"Halobox". Today it's not quite the case for Microsoft,
but Halo 3 is still riding on some very, very high expectations.
Nintendo fans tend to do cling and place games on the pedestal
the most out of any group.
If it isn't a Mario game, it's a Zelda game, and if it isn't a
Zelda game it's a Metroid game. Expectations are always so high
among Nintendo fans and it always brings them back to one spot –
disappointment. And it's not that any of these following
games were bad, it's just that compared to the caliber we were
used to from Nintendo, they don't stack up. Zelda: Wind Waker had
a lot of great elements, but also marred by some really stupid
gameplay portions, and then half-way in becoming boring.
While Metroid Prime was loved by all, I disliked it for being
restrictive and repetitive, on top of not feeling like an actual
Metroid game (the sequel was later met with not-so-great response
from fans). Perhaps the worst disappointment of all was Star Fox
Adventures, which was the game that made me by a GameCube on
launch. SFA would then get delayed three times, until finally
coming out a year after its announced date. Oh, and it also ended
up being terrible. Which leads me to Nintendo's bread and butter:
Super Mario. Super Mario Sunshine, again not a bad game, but it
simply was not the Super Mario we all grew up with.
Super Mario 64 was truly the last classic Mario title, it stayed
true to its roots by being nothing more than just a traditional
platform title, but in the third dimension. There were no
gimmicks, unlike Sunshine and Galaxy. That's right, I said it.
What is so hard about giving us the traditional Mario game in 3D?
Why can't I jump into pipes, shoot some fireballs, find some
koopas, goombas, throw a shell and experience that classic Mario
gameplay that we all grew up playing? What is so hard about
giving us a taste of nostalgia? Mario isn't a frigin' space
traveler or a galaxy hopper. He's a plumber who has a tall and
thin brother by the name of Luigi. They run through colorful
stages one-by-one, as they jump, stomp, throw, and power-up along
And I don't want to be forced to play Mario on the Nintendo DS. I
only like playing handhelds on a trip, never at home. Likewise, I
want a 3D game, and not a 2D platformer – we've had enough of
those. I wasn't too thrilled with Super Mario Galaxy, and seeing
the way Nintendo is in developing Mario games (one per console
for the past two generations), I'm not holding my breath for a
proper Mario game to come along my way. It's one thing to improve
on a franchise, but it's another to basically abandon its roots.