Super Mario Bros.
In this recurring feature, I will look back at older games and determine if they stand the test of time. These games will range from Atari to PS2, but nothing from this generation. The nostalgia goggles are off.
I couldn’t think of a better way to start off this feature than by revisiting the Holy Grail of video games: Super Mario Bros.
This game put Nintendo on the map, and rejuvenated (see=saved) the video game industry after the “crash” of 1983. The bright palette of colors and simple premise were able to pull in even the grumpiest of people. But is the magic still there today?
Super Mario Bros. is easy to play, but difficult to master. It’s easy to stomp on a single Goomba. It’s difficult to stomp on three Goombas while a Hammer Bro is throwing his millionth hammer at you with the accuracy of Legolas.
The simplicity of it’s story is paramount to it’s playability. A giant Koopa (lizard/turtle hybrid) named Bowser stole the princess who Mario may or may not be romantically-involved with. It’s Mario’s (and Luigi’s if there’s two players) job to find the princess by traversing brightly colored overworlds and cave-like underworlds to search for her.
The soundtrack is still catchy and will become stuck in your head for the rest of the day. The little sounds like the springy noise when Mario jumps or the coin pick-up jingle are iconic, yes, but they also add to the charm of the game.
Sure, there are features that would later be improved upon, but when re-playing Super Mario Bros, they simply add to the challenge and require you to use more strategy, such as not being able to go back once the screen has moved or not having the ability to save.
You could nitpick about how the bushes are just the clouds painted green, or how Mario’s attire has switched colors (his overalls used to be red and his shirt was blue-ish, now his overalls are blue and his shirt is red) since this game came out, but the fact is that Super Mario Bros. is still fun after all these years. Creator Shigeru Miyamoto and Nintendo crafted a timeless classic back in 1985.
By Josh Baumbach