O Mario, Mario, Wherefore art thou Mario?
I have been a fan of Mario, the mustachioed plumber, since I was 10 years old. I still remember receiving the best gift any kid wished for back in 1987, the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System). I spent the following years playing all the Nintendo classics: Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros 2 and 3, Duck Hunt, 1943, Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out and others.
When I saw Shigeru Miyamoto, the game’s chief designer, also know as the “Father of Mario” announcing Super Mario Run back in September, during Apple’s iPhone event. I got all excited and nostalgic, waiting impatiently to play the game, that made me play games in the first place.
Add to that, being a techie dad, I wanted my kids to get to know the real Mario, my Mario, and live the experience. So, we signed up for the App store’s notification, to be informed whenever the game becomes available, and yesterday we finally downloaded it.
I guess, my excitement ended when the download was complete, and I started playing the game. I am not sure if I am the only one who is having mixed feeling about the new Nintendo release, but looking at the numbers and the ratings, something is definitely weird.
Super Mario Run saw a staggering 5M downloads in the first 24 hours as per Sensor Tower, the biggest the App store has ever seen. But, looking at the ratings, more than half are a one-star rating, mainly due the in-app purchase and the need for internet connection to play the game.
It is currently available only for iOS but will be expected on Android early 2017.
The game can be downloaded for free on the app store. But, three small levels down the game, you get prompted to pay a $9.99 fee, to unlock and access the remaining levels.
Sensor Tower reported that the game earned $5M in the first 24 hours.
The first thing you expect to hear is the classic Mario Tune, along with the classic sound effects. That wasn’t the case, my first encounter with Super Mario Run had a new unrecognizable tune, one that had lost it’s identification with the signature Mario music. Of course, the music was recreated, and when you start moving through the different layers, the tune becomes more prominent and you start hearing bits and pieces of the original music.
Although Nintendo’s primary objective is to make the game playable in one hand. The game play was modified so that Mario is constantly moving in one direction, you can only go forward, up or down.
Although the art was recreated to give a 3 dimensional modern feel to the game. The user interface felt rather odd. It seemed like the classic Mario, all the elements are there, but for the older generation players, it didn’t feel like it.
I guess I am a bit sentimental about the game, it is more of a first impression emotional post rather than a detailed review. But then again, this is Mario, my childhood friend, and friendships are all about right emotions.
I’m gonna give it another chance, buy my way through the layers and see if the experience gets any better.
Let me know your thoughts!
If you are feeling nostalgic for the original classic Nintendo games, you can purchase the new mini retro console, the NES Classic Edition. It contains 30 classic NES games and can be bought for $59.99