Today is Friday March 10th. Normally not a big deal but this year a few planets have aligned….. Mainly the Flashback Friday feature here at GameOctane, Leet speak for an abbreviated March 10 equals Mario, and with only some exceptions the GameOctane team totally has Nintendo on the brain due to the past week being focused on the Switch and the new Zelda title. Anyways, Here we goooooo….
Noel – A lot of my Mario Bros. experience is definitely within the retro era. The original Mario Bros. was always fun times and extreme frustrations as well. If I had to pick one that really stood out for me, it would have to be Super Mario Bros. 3. I felt like that was one of the first Mario games that really started pushing graphics to a new level.
Spending countless hours going back over all the levels to figure out which blocks you could drop behind for secret access to level warps, finding the magical whistle to whisk you away Wizard of Oz style to another world, trying to guess which treasure chest to tap open hoping it would be the exact item you needed, matching puzzle pieces together, and of course who could not forget hitting the 3 stars just right at the end of each level in hopes you would get some bonus lives to help compensate for that loss of actually being able to save your progress in a game.
All in all, it was a solid game for me that really delivered and even to this day I find myself going back to it just for fun and finding it surprisingly a bit easier from when I was a kid.
Curt- My favorite Mario Game is Super Paper Mario. The classic side scrolling platformer that crashed into our homes in 1985 is fantastically fun. Super Paper Mario takes that idea and flips it on its side. The game takes the best of the original formula from the first four Mario titles and adds a second dimension. I loved the visuals and ways the game designers played with the 2D theme in a 2.5D space. It was fun and full of surprises. The ability to switch planes was used to solve puzzles, avoid enemies, and defeat bosses. The story is so weird and odd with a magician and his pixel enemies taking over for Bowser and the Koopas which was a nice refreshing change away from the typical feud with the fat green dragon. Anyways the imagination that was behind the way Super Paper Mario was executed made it a fantastic romp through a new imagining within the Mario franchise.
Ryan – Ok, here me out. I know there are a ton of amazing Mario games for all the major Nintendo consoles. But one of the best Mario games has to be Super Mario Land 2 for the GameBoy. I played the ever living crap out of that game. Super Mario Land 2 has some of the best lands of any Mario game. Where else can you find a tree zone along with a Halloween zone and a robot Mario zone??? Super Mario Land 2 has a bunch of unique zones, enemies, and power ups that you won’t find in any other Mario game. Plus, the music is absolutely amazing (the star power up gave you some of the coolest music you will find). I absolutely love Super Mario Land 2. If you don’t have love for Super Mario Land 2, then please send a self addressed stamped envelope so I can send you these hands.
Alan – My Favorite Mario game would have to be Super Mario RPG. Took the classic plumber platformer and turned it into a turned based RPG!! The new characters that the game introduced that you can team up with; a Puppet boy, and an orphaned Cloud boy. The new baddies were unique and had great mechanics! You can even team up with Bowser and the Princess! The game took the usual story of Mario going out and trying to save the Princess and changed it up with a whole new story line. The new game mechanics to new items to new locations and just amount of the old familiar things to make this feel like an extension of the “Mario-verse”.
Jason – While there are many Mario games out there, and there has been a ton, hell he has even been to space and the Olympics. But out of all of the amazing games the mustached plumber has been in, there is one that I fell in love with, Super Mario RPG Legend of the Seven Stars. This was the first Mario game where there was actually a story involved. Not only that but Nintendo co-developed it with Square. Yes the Final Fantasy Square. This game had an amazing story and even gave you an unlikely ally in Bowser. It had a fun battle system; timed attacks (which was new for me at the time), even attacks where bowser throws Mario at the enemies. It had unforgettable characters, Geno the puppet and Mallow who controls the weather with his emotions. It is such a shame that they have not been used since besides lame cameos. GET THEM IN SMASH BROS NINTENDO. Please bring them back to life. It had great mini games, and fun and humorous dialogue all throughout the game. Link and Samus had cameos, as did F-Zero and Starfox. Nintendo tried bringing the RPG element back in Paper Mario and it’s Mario and Luigi games but I always felt it was missing the touch that Super Mario RPG, and I loved some of the earlier Paper Marios. Super Mario RPG was the game that got me into RPG’s. I never knew a game could have such a story and stick with you over the years. I know everyone has that one game. This is mine. If you haven’t experienced it yet. You’re missing out.
Nathan (Paradigm Gaming 101)- While it’s extremely difficult to narrow down about which Mario game I love (Super Mario RPG definitely comes to mind), I feel that I would have to choose Super Mario 64. This 3D action platformer changed the game, the industry, the world. 2D side scrolling adventures have been around since we had to go the arcade to play game. Mario has had many adventures in the 2D realm. But when Mario jumped into the world of 3D, I feel that this game changed the way we look at games and play them. Not to mention, Super Mario 64 launched with the Nintendo 64. I feel it was a way for Nintendo to show the world what the new system is capable of.
Jumping through paintings and being transported into new worlds was an amazing experience. Being able to have Mario run, jump, and fly, like he never did before made you want to push him to his limits and see how far he could go. The depth of the levels were so huge, it made you want to search every corner and height to see if it held any secrets. Many of the levels did. Bowser never so looked to huge and menacing until this game. He was massive! Nintendo’s approach to defeating him by having the player grab his tail and swinging him in circles was just downright fun. The soundtrack was nothing short of stellar. It set the mood, atmosphere, and perky upbeat tone of the game. When you first step foot into Peach’s castle, when the track “Inside the Castle Walls” starts playing, you knew you were in for a fun experience.
After its release, I feel this game gave developers a blueprint to follow for every 3D game that would come after it. Because of Super Mario 64 and its success, we got games like The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time. And when Rare started making games for the Nintendo 64, you can see its influence in its games such as Banjo-Kazooie, Banjo-Tooie, Conker’s Bad Fur Day and Donkey Kong 64. You can see other games on other platforms take notes from Super Mario 64 like the Crash Bandicoot series or the Ratchet and Clank series. I could go on. But all in all, Super Mario 64, definitely my favorite pick of them all.
Huge thanks to Nathan from Paradigm Gaming 101 and Alan for assisting us with the article!
What’s your favorite Mario Game? Let us know in the comments below!