I have a predominantly PlayStation orientated background in gaming, and whilst I have of course played Mario games, they have always been a novelty for me. By the time I was old enough to play video games on my first console, the PS1, Sony had completely their monopoly over the gaming market. They had already created their Mario beaters, a purple dragon and an orange marsupial, to the western world with unprecedented success. This new generation of games indirectly limited my appreciation of what the Mario games were. At that point my only experience of playing a Mario game was when I would visit my older cousin who owned a SNES.
It goes without saying that the Mario series contributed a huge amount to what has become a global industry. The games have had a huge influence on contemporary video gaming. Back in 1983, the first Super Mario (Super Mario Bros.) game was released. That game held the title of best selling console game until 2009. Other games in the series have faired similarly, and to date, over 310 million copies of Super Mario games have been sold worldwide. The character has kept Nintendo alive virtually single handedly.
The way that Nintendo have used this symbolic character to create games of various genres is fairly unique. From Super Mario have spawned the renowned Mario Kart series, the Paper Mario RPG games and multiple collaborations with many other iconic characters and franchises. While you would think this would become tiresome, but there is nothing to be disliked about the design and feel of a Mario game. The upbeat, bright and colourful worlds provide so much joy to every who plays that there is absolutely no reason not to play the games. They are as close to perfection as a game is ever likely to get. The fact that this reflection has been maintained for over 30 years says more than any words I could use.
With the Nintendo Switch well on the way to release, the latest Mario title looks set for release along with it and I am certain that it will serve as another worthy addition to the Super Mario series. Having recently played the Wii U’s Mario 3D World, I am comfortable that there is no sign of the character becoming stale. There is so much life left in this legendary title and I am thoroughly looking forward to the next opportunity to step into the unique Mario experience.