Editorial #06: Not going far enough, Nintendo

Lyndsey Mosley

Lyndsey Mosley, editor

I am an advocate for the old-school, I’ll heartily admit. I love to reminisce about the days when Nintendo was king and had the greatest system ever made on the market: the Super Nintendo. I’m also an unabashed Mario fan girl, and I don’t even like using the term. However, my love for the forgone days of dominance from the House that Mario built has its limits, and I’ve reached them with one of their recent releases: Super Mario All-Stars for the Wii.

The 25th anniversary of the Mario should have been a spectacle to behold. Nintendo could have pushed the older days back to the forefront with the spectacular release of a Mario compilation disc for the Wii, which would have utilized all manner of control types. This would have reminded gamers that Mario was still king of his domain and when he wants to say something, you pay attention because it will be guaranteed to be something amazing. Instead, Nintendo throws out a bare bones Wii remake of the original Super Mario All-Stars that was released in 1993 for the SNES. We are not playing with power at this point; we are experiencing abject failure.

I could wax poetic about how the original All-Stars played wonderfully or how great it was to see Mario cleaned up and save states added. But, in fact, I already have. In the fourth quarter 2010 issue, we praised the game in a review, which I wrote. I lovingly gazed upon the franchise’s first four versions and practically gift-wrapped it as one of the greatest examples of remakes that could be had. However, this was written before Nintendo decided to be cheap and throw out the exact same game on Wii with few additions to the external package. From what I gather, all you’re getting is the original game on a Wii disc; a pictorial with sparse commentary from Shigeru Miyamoto, Koji Kondo and Takashi Tezuka; and a soundtrack with one or two songs from each game. That’s it? It couldn’t be, right? Well, it is, kiddies. Take it or leave it, because that’s apparently all that the 25th anniversary of one of the greatest games ever made means to the company that profited the most from its success.

If I were Miyamoto, in particular, I’d be extra special pissed. First of all, Mario has made Nintendo and continues to make the company unimaginable amounts of profit. He is Nintendo. You can’t go anywhere without seeing Mario and instantly associating him with video games and Nintendo in general. So for Nintendo to half-ass a significant milestone for Mario is ridiculous. Second of all, Mario deserves a huge celebration for 25 years. There are few other franchises that have been around that long, let alone have been successful and still continue to inspire games. And we’re not just talking decent games; we’re talking great games that are routinely included in “Game of the Year” conversations and innovate and change the way we think about playing video games in general. Finally, I’d be ashamed if I were Nintendo because what does it say when you can’t even muster the effort to give your marquee title a special push? It tells me you’ve become complacent, and Nintendo can’t afford to rest on its laurels.

Here’s what I wanted to see in this special release:

1. Super Mario Bros. 1, 2, 3, Lost Levels, World and Mario Bros. on one disc. On a second disc, Mario 64 and Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island, but this is depending on getting both to fit on the disc.

2. A special version of a level editor simply entitled “Super Mario.” It could function much like Little Big Planet wherein you create levels using Mario elements from the first four games in the platforming series. Super Mario Kart could also be thrown in here, and the player could create tracks and scenarios like ModNation Racers. I think it could work, and if Nintendo’s Internet strategy were worth anything, created stages/tracks could be uploaded to servers. I’m almost positive it could be a big hit in Japan and the U.S.

3. A multi-disc set of Mario music. Most Mario fans will already have their favorite tracks from the games but let this be a Koji Kondo’s composer’s choice. He could write the foreword on the CD liner notes and include a written paragraph on why he picked a particular track. The music could go all the way from Mario Bros. to Super Mario Galaxy, much like the included soundtrack already does, but it’d have more than one disc with two songs from each game.

4. The artwork book could be included but add the NES Game Atlas maps for Super Mario Bros. 1-3 in with Lost Levels and the Super Mario World atlas from the Mario Mania Player’s Guide of 1991.

This package would be well worth more than the $30 that Nintendo charged for the package they’ve released, but for the content that I could get with this enhanced package, I would gladly pay whatever they asked. It would be enough for me to buy a Wii again and use it.

Nintendo, shape up. This should have been a crowning achievement for the company, and a major celebration for Mario and his legacy. You’ve let down your longtime fans long enough, and it’s shame that Mario didn’t receive the recognition it deserved for an achievement such as 25 years of captivating gamers. Shame on you, Nintendo.

Lyndsey Mosley, editor

Gaming Insurrection

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12 2010

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