What do you think of this game? If I were to ask you to tell me what you think of Portal 2
or maybe Call of Duty: Black Ops
, what would say? Are they worth my money? What about the story, did you find it engaging? Was it what you hoped it would be? What did you think about them?
Shut up. It doesn't matter what you think.
The fact is you're(possibly?) a human. A damned dirty homosapien who has his own opinions and views about life, the world and cupcakes. Well I don't care what you think, I have my own damned opinions and I happen to think that muffins are better. The chances of me liking what you though was the greatest thing since deep fried Twinkies are about as good as me winning the lottery tonight; slim to none. And I happen to know the winning numbers too.
So what now? What do we do to solve this dilemma? Well my friend, the question is not "what?", but "who?" Who can we trust? Who can give us their unbiased opinions about videogames, and we would be unable to argue? Puppies? God? Jim Sterling?
The answer is simple: Video Game characters. After all, who better to trust than the very people who were part of the damned games. No one knows video games better than they do, therefore their judgment is unquestionable and their critique unbiased.
So, in the first of what I hope can become a reoccurring series, I will assemble three of the most high profile of video game characters to discuss and, of course, review a game. And today, I've chosen one of the most iconic games of all time: Super Mario Bros.
Reviewing and discussing with us today are three equally iconic characters, all chosen from different decades. Sonic The Hedgehog, Mario's age old rival and former nemesis. Samus, star of the Metroid
series. And finally, Captain Price, and new face to gaming from the Call of Duty
series, who many believe encapsulates this generation of video games.
Let us begin:
: So guys, what do you think about the first Mario Game?
: I think it's the best one. Over the years Mario got fatter, he got slower, the games became less creative and they lost a bit of that special magic. Also, his overalls are too blue.
: I honestly remembered it was way more fun when I was a kid, these days it just seems less so. I honestly believe this one was a rookie attempt, and with each newer entry it seems to be getting better and better. As time passes, and they put more work into it, the developers unlock new technologies. With that they have new options, and more ways to make the games better. So the more time they invest, the better they get.
: So you're saying the new games are better then?
: I'll bet you a couple of pints that they are mate.
: Samus, what's your input?
: As the man stares blankly into my eyes, I feel compelled to answer him. After all, he did ask me a question. But what should I say? Should I attempt to tell him something different than what they expect and risk alienating my fans? Doing something that could tarnish their love for everything I have done, and all the memories I have given them? Should I just say what I think they truly want from me?
Why did that Metroid jump in the way? As a child I had a puppy named Billy, would Billy have jumped to save me if he was there? I'm guessing not, since I was too busy writing poems in my diaries to bother feeding him. Billy didn't like me, most guys don't seem to like me either. I wonder why?
The man is still awaiting my answer, he is still staring blankly into my eyes, only now it's coupled with a slacked jaw and a sense of boredom and disbelief. I want to give in to this compulsion to answer him, but what of the repercussions of my actions? What about my emotions? What if I have my period just as I am about to answer? What if periods tasted of strawberries?
I finally work up the courage to answer and I say: "what's the question again?"
: Ok... Sonic and Price, let's get back to you guys, so what was this argument going between you two?
: Right, Sonic here-- what kind of a name is Sonic anyway? -- was arguing that FNG Mario was better than the new ones like Galaxy 2, which I truly believe is the best Mario yet, that is until the new arrives of course.
: Look, I don't like using food metaphors, but I'll make an exception this time. Mario is like a good chilidog, it worked perfectly the first time they did it, no need to change it or tamper with the recipe. It's prefect as it is, in fact if you change anything with a chilidog it ends up becoming just a regular hotdog, and hotdogs are boring.
: This game has mushrooms in it, I like mushroom ketchup.
: Mate, I counter your food metaphor with another: Omelets. With every omelet you keep getting better, and slowly but surely, the omelets just keep itching closer to perfection with every attempt. It's impossible to reach, but you get closer with every waking day.
FLASHBANG! BOOM! Your move now, mate.
: Pure videogames, this is what I seek when I search the vast vistas that are my memories. And when thinking of true pure gaming I think of two main things I think of, pixel art and chip tune music. These two are tied by their very core to videogames. Another, more crucial quality exists also: Simple fun. The future Mario games might not have sacrificed their simplicity, but they have been gradually attempting to do so. With each game a new power-up is added, a new mechanic and a new enemy.
Add to that, the fact that they've become 3D has made them lose a certain irresistible charm to them. Maybe it's out of my own preference, but I truly believe that the simpler a game is, the better. The less needless gimmicks and cheap mechanics you give me, the more fun I have.
: Has anyone noticed his moustache keeps changing from black, to brown, and then black again?
: You've hit me hard mate, real hard. Luckily however, I have regenerative health. This means, that with time I actually heal, I improve. Funnily enough, this is how I've always seen the game industry. Many see as the technological leaps and bounds we experienced ruined what was once a golden age of gaming. But they are wrong. With these advancements came with them many new problems. And this is when game designers became truly creative again. With new challenges came new solutions, and with them new gameplay opportunities. Now merge that with all the past knowledge of past endeavors in gaming, now you have a master plan for success.
Judging by the games getting released today, you can clearly see that many triumphs were made, the new Mario games are definitely included. Super Mario Bros. is not a bad game, but it's paled as the shadows of greater sequels have come to eclipse it.
: Samus, any last thing you'd like to add?
: When faced with a controller, you have two choices. A or B, Start or Select, Traditional or new. But to run the game, to actually play the game you have to actually turn it on first, and that is done in one universal way, the power button.
: I think that actually makes sense. Well, that about wraps it up I guess, thanks to all for participating.
This is what Link form the Legend of Zelda
series had to say on the matter:
"Whenever I think of Super Mario Bros, I'm speachless..."
Well, there you have it folks. One of the most iconic games, criticised and analysed by equally iconic game characters. Yet even they could not come to an agreement. I guess there's some lesson in there somewhere.
The only thing I've learned though, is that sometimes, silence truly is golden.