Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Celebrating 25 Years Of Mario!

It's been a while since I posted anything out of nostalgia, but with this post I just saw, now's the perfect time to talk about something I genuinely like and miss in relation to gaming:

I got wind of this beautiful new logo announcement for SMB via Kotaku. It seems the folks at Nintendo have taken notice that this year marks the 25th anniversary of Super Mario Bros. - a game that would forever make history as one of the most fun and genuine titles that people of all ages can play and relate to.

As Mario, a plumber who found himself in the strange and mysterious world of the Mushroom Kingdom, players had to guide him (or his brother Luigi) through a series of worlds in order to rescue a young maiden named Princess Peach from the evil clutches of Bowser, king of the Koopas. The game, directed by Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka, would come to be synonymous with the brand Nintendo, and decades after the original game launched, Super Mario Bros. has evolved into a franchise that has spawned numerous sequels, spin-offs, and yes, even clones that were inspired by the game's simple yet addicting gameplay.

Even with the advent of next generation gaming and Mario's current home in Nintendo's latest gaming platforms (the Wii and DS), life can be funny sometimes, as it has a way of taking you back to the past when you least expect it.

Late last month, I picked up an old and used Nintendo Entertainment System over at a second hand shop. Unlike its colorful and shorter Japanese counterpart called the Famicom (which I owned, this baby was a white/ grey box that used longer and extended catridges (an early attempt at "regionizing" games based on the countrythe platform was released on). This system was home to many of the games I've cherished throughout my childhood, and yes, one of them was Super Mario Bros. Unfortunately, the system I picked up didn't come bundled with the game. Instead, it was packed along with this:

Thank the gods, I was blessed with the third and arguably most popular installment of the NES games - Super Mario Bros. 3! This game took a cue from Miyamoto's other games (namely Zelda), and added RPG styled elements that gave a new spin to the original Mario formula, which was still intact. Now, instead of just growing up in size courtesy of a mushroom, Mario could also fly with the help of a Raccoon suit upgrade he acquires with the help of a leaf! Several other unique upgrades and abilities were available as you progressed through this game, and it made SMB3 one of the unique NES titles to play and own. Still, that game wouldn't have made a buzz had it not been for the formula established by its predecessors. In my own way, getting a NES again was my way of paying tribute to the years I enjoyed playing games like Mario alongside cousins and friends, and those were experiences that shaped me into the gamer I am today. Coincidentally, this coming October marks the 25th anniversary of the US release of the NES. Talk about your nostalgia gaming trip come full circle!

Happy 25Th anniversary Super Mario Bros! Feel the power with Nintendo, peeps!

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