Monday, June 7, 2010

RTG: Super Mario Crossover

If you grew up in the 90's, as I did, then you are fully aware of the awesome piece of machine lore that lies to the left of these words. This hardware has induced millions of nerdgasms throughout the years and still influences video games and modern media alike. And when hearing the word "Nintendo," what is the first thing that comes to mind? Well, for me at least, that is Mario.

I still remember growing up and getting a Nintendo for Christmas. My kindergarten was abuzz in the days prior (I almost used 'weeks' as the duration, but let's be honest, as a child I had no concept of looking that far ahead) to Christmas wondering who was going to get their grubby little hands on the heralded device. I vividly recall ripping off the colored paper, hooking up (my Dad hooking up) the system, shoving the cartridge in, and hitting start. I was immediately welcomed into a new world:

Ahh...nostalgia was so much better in the old days. In any case, I'm sure I'm not the only one that had this same experience. I can't even imagine how many hours I have put into this game and how much fun it used to be. Nowadays, with its 8-bit limitations and simple controls, this game would be quickly dismissed. But, just like a remix can be a breath of fresh air to an older song, enter Jay Pavlina, the man responsible for Super Mario Crossover.

In Super Mario Crossover, the gamer is granted the privilege of re-playing the original Super Mario Brothers with other characters. Mario is still present, but I rarely play with him in this game b/c why not just play the original then? In this reboot, the gamer can choose to play with Link (Legend of Zelda), Bill Rizer (Contra), Simon Belmont (Castlevania), Mega Man (well, from Mega Man), and/or Samus (Metroid). The controls will feel very familiar if you have ever played the original Mario game. However, each one of these characters brings along some of the gameplay from their respective games. Just like Mario, each character changes when they eat a mushroom or a flower. For example, when Mega Man consumes a mushroom, he gets "big" by putting his helmet on. When he eats a flower, his laser pellet shooting gun changes and becomes more powerful.

Super Mario Crossover thrives because it allows the player to re-enter a nostalgic period while experiencing an interesting and new wrinkle in gameplay. Just as a movie or a song can bring the viewer or listener back to a period of time, so can a video game. However, after coming along in the late 80's, it is refreshing to experience new gameplay in essentially the first game I was ever exposed to. As an aside, it's interesting to note that the original Super Mario Brothers was the best-selling video game of all-time until being surpassed by Wii Sports (another Nintendo title) in 2009.

Here is video of the game's creator, Jay Pavlina, playing the new title. Some of the language is NSFW and he can come off as a douche at times, but overall he is fairly funny and the video shows off the gameplay.

If you are interested in trying out the game for yourself, here is the link:




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