Super Mario Bros. …Let’s Talk & Play Eh?
Welcome back to Mario Week! Today has essentially been Mario Day and I apologize for that though I’m dealing with a lot of things as do we all. So I smushed everything together to one day :[ but I promised 2 posts with videos so here is the second half to that promise. Now unlike the Mario Bros. BLS game that was a port… Super Mario Bros black label game was a “legit” game. Of course so was Mario Bros. but I mean Super Mario Bros. was originally released for the NES and then was ported to an arcade cabinet making it a reverse of Mario Bros.
Most of what I’m going to say here is stuff that’s common knowledge or background info If you want to see me play this iconic game poorly well check below and laugh at my misery… haha! But seriously this game was iconic (not just because I keep repeating the word and many others) but this game saved the American home console games market and in fact to a lesser extent the entirety of the BLS series. The battle between Intellivision, Colecovision and Atari in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s saw a huge crash in the game market to the over saturation of poor games, and unscrupulous marketing by those companies. In comes Nintendo.
Nintendo’s answer to the crash wasn’t to treat its new home system as just another gaming console but rather an entertainment system. They went so far to alter the perception of what they were selling by changing its look in the North American market to resemble a VHS player instead of the horrible wood paneling of the earlier game consoles. The other way as I’ve mentioned before was with their launch titles the Black Label Series. Each cart had it’s own design (like many other carts before) the difference here was they used in game likeness to try and represent the games. Prior game carts were either under represented with no art or over represented by cart art that didn’t represent the game at all (Atari games are good examples).
I also stated before the BLS carts had small icons to let potential buyers know what the game fell into arcade or action or sports, etc. So what does this all have to do with Super Mario Bros.? Simply put this game was such a hit in Japan and North America being released within the same year for both areas and then seeing an arcade release in 1986 that it propelled the NES and Nintendo’s later endeavors. See this game would be the success that showed America games could not only be fun and challenging but that it could be built upon.
This was the first game in what would be a huge series for Mario. It popularized the side scrolling aspect of platforming in which platforming was already a huge genre at the time and even continues on to this day as a successful genre. It was of course multiplayer ready and could also be competitive; both thanks to time keeping or points which showcased timing, coordination and puzzle management. As scores would later fade from the majority of games the notion of games competition is alive and strong today with huge competitive events and now E-Sports.
With Mario Bros. the story was Mario goes into the sewers of New York to stop… creatures… Apparently this was the job of a plumber back in the 1980’s and not say… a vet or animal control. With Super Mario Bros. however the story was now about saving the kingdom and it’s princess. Taking back several castles from the Evil Bowser… And with a second player you could play as Luigi which is just a color swapped version of Mario. Many of the series mainstays in story, ideas, items, and music all started here and that’s why it is iconic as it is but it’s important to know that this game wasn’t just good then but it still holds up, its still fun to play even if your cursing half the time but it’s a challenge. Certainly a game worth remembering and playing every now and again.
Seriously this game is a challenge don’t believe then play it yourself you can still get carts readily and this game is available in newer ways if you don’t have an NES. This game was also one of nineteen other NES games that could be found in the GameCube release of Animal Crossing a feat that no other Nintendo game will ever surpass, as they were free within the game.
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