“You kids wouldn’t last two minutes in a real game!” says Cranky Kong. How true are these foreshadowing words of the old-age individual.
We all know Nintendo’s first hit was Super Mario Brothers for the NES. A classic and perfect game in every aspect. But when you think about it, this game was not easy by any means whatsoever. I mean, as a 6 year old when I first acquired this masterpiece, it took me many MONTHS to even get to the 8th-world, and even longer to actually beat the game. Although there were instructions in the manual, not many people read them. They figured it out themselves without any fancy bylines telling them every move to make in the early stages of the game, while dishing out hints and tips along the way. If you didn’t make it across the big gap in the first level you thought, “Hm..maybe if I get a running start?”. This is something that most games try to avoid, making the gamer THINK.”
Let’s shift gears (no pun intended) to discuss the Mario Kart series. Recently Nintendo released “Mario Kart Wii”. This features an actual steering wheel instead of an analog stick, and most everything about the game is wonderful, but I wonder, Could a kid who plays this game and can win all the cups do the same in Super Mario Kart for the SNES? In the original SNES version didn’t the computer DODGE your attacks often and besides the red shell wasn’t it VERY hard to hit a racer? And don’t even get me started on the original Rainbow Road track. Boy, was that a doozy to win in 150cc, even now!
Has anyone played a recent Mario Party game? In MP1 you would burn fat playing some of the mini-games in there. Now, in the Mario Party 9 era, you don’t see as many of these “Skateboard Scamper” or “Balloon Burst”-type games that were actually difficult to beat the computer at!
And has anybody compared Super Mario Galaxy to Super Mario 64? In Galaxy they practically told you where everything was whilst 64 gave you a 5 or 6 word phrase to hint you how to obtain a star in a massive level. It seems as if games these days contain way too much information in them. Why can’t they let the gamer play, figure it out himself, and then let him feel the satisfaction from doing so? I spent WEEKS trying to figure out the “Make Wiggler Squirm!” star in SM64. Once I discovered that you had to ground-pound the pool of water at the top of mountain and then shrink to go down the hole beneath the water, I had this amazing rush of “OOHHHH!!!”. You just don’t get those moments anymore with Nintendo games.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go watch my 6-year old sister win a cup in Mario Kart Wii.