Tuesday, January 04, 2011


The Multiverse Celebrates Mario's 25th

Universe A

Despite Internet rumors that Nintendo was planning a special release to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Super Mario Brothers, the anniversary has come and gone, leaving hard-core Nintendo fans empty-handed. C'mon, Nintendo, throw us a bone. Would it be that hard to at least throw Super Mario All-Stars on the Virtual Console or something? Even if it came at a premium price to discourage competition with the NES games, it would be better than nothing.

Universe B

Nintendo fans have been wondering for months what it would take to get the Big N to remember the Virtual Console service. The answer: Mario's 25th anniversary. To mark the occasion, Super Mario All-Stars has been released for the Virtual Console service at a shocking price of 1200 Wii Points -- more than the price of most Nintendo 64 games. While most people expected the inflated price to keep the other Super Mario games on the service competitive, it comes across as a slap in the face to Mario's hard-core fans. Why couldn't we get something like a special collector's edition? It wouldn't be hard to put the ROM on a disc and bundle it with some extra content to really celebrate Mario's history.

Universe C

And what do you get for your $30? A dinky little SNES ROM tucked away in the corner of a giant Wii disc, ten music tracks taken straight from the games, and a thin art book with quick blurbs about each game. Why not an updated version with New Super Mario Brothers graphics? Why not include Super Mario World, Super Mario 64, and maybe even Super Mario Sunshine? Why not full interviews to give it a real sense of history, or fully orchestrated remixes of the game music?

Universe D

New Super Mario All-Stars: Anniversary Edition just comes across as another opportunity for Nintendo to cash in on a retread of its properties. While it's really cool to see how Super Mario Brothers 3 looks with fully 3D characters, the novelty wears off pretty quickly, and you're left with the fact that these are the same games you've played for the last twenty years with a new paintjob. And seeing Super Mario 64 in the new style just makes you appreciate how much better the Super Mario Galaxy games are. The bonus CD features 18 beautifully-orchestrated remixes of classic Mario music, and it's interesting to thumb through the 125-page "History of Super Mario Brothers" book, but the prohibitive $100 price tag is sure to turn off all but the most hard-core Mario fans. Maybe Nintendo should stop trying to milk their back catalogue like this and focus their efforts on bringing us some new games instead.

Universe E

Super Mario Galaxy 2 arrived to critical acclaim this holiday season, but it was all but lost amid high-profile releases like Microsoft's Kinnect. Reportedly, the game had been done since the spring, but Nintendo held off so they could release it to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Super Mario Brothers. Maybe it would have been best if they'd just released it in the spring like they'd planned instead of trying to put together a release to coincide with a milestone.


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