If there were one video game character that many of us can instantly recognize, Mario from the Super Mario franchise is definitely that character. The beloved plump plumber has traveled through different worlds and in different iterations of the game across decades. Since he was first introduced a few decades ago, he has been embedded in pop culture.
Mario was probably the first-ever video game that I have played, which inspired me to become a gamer years later. When the game was first released, Mario single-handedly put Nintendo on the map and made the company what it is today.
There have been many best-selling Mario games published over the past few decades, and some have been duds or were not met with much enthusiasm from the player base, unlike most of the older games in the franchise. In this article, we get to discover more about the following:
- Super Mario Bros. 3
- Super Mario World
- Super Mario 64
Super Mario Bros. 3
I can say that Super Mario Bros. 3 is probably one of the most successful Super Mario games ever to be created and this is not only based on the numbers but by its overall popularity and the influence that this game had on all the future games in the franchise.
With nearly 17 million copies sold worldwide during the release of the game, I can say that this game was definitely a success. The massive gameplay update made Super Mario Bros. 3 the most popular Nintendo game during that time. Released in Japan in 1988 and to other regions such as the US, Europe, and the rest of the world in succeeding years, Super Mario Bros. 3 placed Nintendo on the map.
The popularity of the game inspired a short-lived animated series that had a cult following. The game was widely lauded as one of the best video game releases ever. Many critics and fans of the game praised Super Mario Bros. 3 for its gameplay, replayability, sounds, graphics, and overall fun experience while playing the game.
Many popular critics at the time gave the game a score of 98/100 – a feat that no other game came close to in the following decade. Super Mario Bros. 3 is universally considered as one of the most influential video games to have ever been created, which started a revolution within the gaming industry in terms of quality.
Super Mario Bros.3 truly innovated the franchise. When I got to play it the first time, the game was far from what it was in its previous iteration. The basic 2D platform game was a vast improvement over the pixel-based graphics.
I’ve noticed that the mechanics are still very similar to the games that came before it, where Mario and Luigi would have to stomp over enemy monsters, but that was always going to be the case. Mario stomping over monsters and jumping over obstacles will always be one of the most iconic gameplay mechanics for me.
But what truly made Super Mario Bros 3 a bit more exciting is the addition of new abilities such as flight and gliding down slopes. In this game, I noticed that the game took a risk by featuring a world map to see my game’s progression. The storyline is still similar to the previous games, but it added new enemies like the Koopalings.
Super Mario World
At the height of the success of Super Mario Bros. 3 in the tail end of the 80s, Nintendo once again proved that they were a force to be reckoned with when they released Super Mario World. I remember when this was released, and everyone was raving at how awesome and cool Mario’s partner was.
Super Mario World introduced us to the popular sidekick known as Yoshi. The introduction of Yoshi was an all-time high for the game with how lovable the dinosaur sidekick was. Simultaneously, the 1900 platform game followed the same formula from the previous game; this time, the game was set in Dinosaur Land, where Mario could meet his cute sidekick.
The extensive upgrade from the previous game meant that Super Mario World was more superior in gameplay. The game sold over 20 million copies worldwide, and I could remember that almost everyone who owned a Nintendo console had the game.
Super Mario World was re-released in recent years across different platforms such as the Wii, Wii U, New Nintendo 3DS, Gameboy Advance, and many more. It was allowing more people like myself the opportunity to experience Super Mario World in all its glory.
If there was one major gameplay update to Super Mario World apart from the franchise’s usual mechanics, it’s Yoshi’s introduction. Yoshi was my dinosaur sidekick, and most of the time, I was able to ride him, which made the game fast-paced. Yoshi was also able to devour enemies and spit them back out as part of our offensive ability.
Yoshi could also reach out with his tongue to always snatch items like fruits and shells to devour. In addition to the usual power-ups like the Super Mushroom and Fire Flower, Super Mario World also introduced Cape Feather, where I can glide in the air and use it to sail across different terrain.
I can even store one power-up to be used if I want to, so I don’t get to waste power-ups that I collect along the way. The main objective of the game is still very similar to previous versions, but Super Mario World also introduced Star Road routes. It was fun getting to unlock the Star Road routes in the game and made the game much faster and easier for me to play.
Super Mario 64
Throughout the years, I’ve seen and experienced the highs and lows of the Super Mario franchise. Games like Super Mario World brought something new to the table, while others were just a rehash of what came before it and offered nothing but boring gameplay. However, we were not prepared for the awesomeness that was Super Mario 64.
Super Mario 64 sold over 11 million copies worldwide in 2003 and became one of the prototypes for many 3D Mario games that followed. I have noticed that many of today’s 3D games were based on Super Mario 64. In 2004, the game was ported to the Nintendo DS and many other Nintendo consoles, which even opened the game to newer audiences.
Released in 1996, the game offered a lot of freedom for players, which led to many players becoming more excited about the game while also feeling very at home using the same visual style as many other Mario games before it.
Super Mario 64 was highly praised by the gaming press at the time, saying that it was innovative and left a legacy for gamers like me who have been long-time fans of the Super Mario franchise. Super Mario 64 was another great success for the franchise, let’s look at some of the amazing game features.
The game aspect of the game was still there, but we could explore the game deeper with its open world. The heightened gameplay and the immersive experience into the world of Super Mario spiced up a lot of its linear gameplay. I was able to play the game and still be surprised at the various missions that spiced up the usual obstacle course that the game had.
The game’s open-world aspect meant that we get to encounter even more enemies and meet friends along the way. This also meant that there were even more things to do in the game, like collecting coins, solving puzzles, defeating bosses, and racing against an opponent. Mario’s abilities were also upgraded in this game, and I could jump, crouch, crawl, walk, run, swim and even do special moves like wall jumping, long jump, and even do a backflip.
It was thought that Super Mario 64 was the peak of what the creatives and developers of the Super Mario franchise could muster. What made Super Mario 64 very different and genre-defining was introducing 3D gameplay and an open world.
Mario has always been defined as the lovable Italian plumber, and fans of the game like myself have always admired its unending loyalty to Princess Peach throughout the entire franchise. Many people still play Mario games because of how solid the game is, even at how old some games are.
Even though Mario is easily one of the most recognizable characters and one of the best selling games in the gaming industry, there is still one thing that I know to be true up to this very day – I will always remember the day when I set my eyes on the plump plumber who wants to rescue his princess from a fire-breathing turtle and things were never the same.