Super Mario Bros. at 30

Oh we have a good one for you today, folks. Honestly, I think we have the best one of all time.


Legendary. Photo comes from Wikipedia

Thirty years ago to the day, Nintendo released its seminal action side-scroller Super Mario Bros. in Japan for its Famicom video game system. A critical and commercial success (the game would go on to sell over 40 million copies), Super Mario Bros. made the character of Mario a household name and helped cement Nintendo as one of the enduring titans of the gaming industry.

Developed by Nintendo’s R&D 4 studio, young designer Shigeru Miyamoto directed, produced, and (along with Takashi Tezuka) co-designed SMB. Koji Kondo composed the game’s catchy soundtrack, which has been covered by rock guitarists and marching bands.

The game’s premise presents a simple case of search and rescue. As titular hero Mario (or his younger brother Luigi in the two-player mode), you fight to save Princess Toadstool from the clutches of the dragon-like creature Bowser (also called King Koopa). The game takes players on a fantastical adventure through several different levels (known in-game as “Worlds”) which range from the sunny, greenery filled stages to the bowels of dungeons. Along the way, you pick up a number of power-ups to help Mario and Luigi in their quest, such as the Magic Mushroom (which doubles their size and durability) and the Fire Flower (which enables them to shoot fireballs). Trippy? Absolutely. Fun? Definitely.

Super Mario Bros. is the game that made a lifelong gamer out of me. It was the first video game I ever owned (thanks, family!) and the first one I beat. Without question, my interest in video gaming persisted largely because of this side-scrolling classic.

Thanks for the memories, Nintendo! You’ve given us thirty good years of Mario, and here’s hoping for thirty more. Until next time.

Peace & Pixels















Sweet November

My, how the year has flown by. It’s mid-November and I’m still sad that summer is over. To make matters worse, it snowed earlier yesterday, further reminder that the mild temperatures are gone and the need for boots and scarves is more immediate than I’d like it to be. Ugh.

Whining aside, this November (and the month in general) is cause for some celebration. First, the next generation of video game consoles from industry heavyweights Microsoft and Sony will be launching this month. Sony’s PlayStation 4 launched last Friday on the 15th while Microsoft’s Xbox One will launch later this week on the 22nd. I actually went to an Xbox One event last month that was pretty cool. The One’s a neat console, but at $500, it’s too rich for my wallet. Here’s hoping both consoles have a smooth launch free from any violence or theft. Some folks act a fool over these machines.

Furthermore, two very important video games are turning fifteen this month: Half-Life and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. These two titles are some of the industry’s best ever works, and have undoubtedly transformed video gaming as we know it. I’ve been busy lately, but if time allows, I’ll be sure to get some posts up on those games.

Peace & Pixels

Edit: Five days late, but I forgot to add in that bit about the Xbox One event.