Have Mario games reached their peak?

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#1 Posted by Sieferx2 (107 posts) -

 

I have really enjoyed my time spent over the past few weeks playing Super Mario Galaxy 2. What really makes the Mario galaxy games so special is just how well they capture the essence of what makes Mario....well Mario. SMG 2 is one of the better plat formers ive played since the first Mario galaxy…incredible design, unhinged creativity, beautiful charming worlds and characters….really great stuff.

Gone is the revolutionary “wow I can walk all the way around the world” wonder from the original, but now we have the more interesting ideas the series could offer us as gamers. A game like this is truly special because the foundations of the original have already been established. Playing through SMG2 I was treated to clever idea, after clever idea, after clever idea. I really felt like Nintendo was just flexing their game designer muscles throughout most of the game, understanding the importance of following up a game many people called one of the best games of the decade, and a revolution in platform gaming. Its not a perfect game, but conceptual speaking at its best, SMG2 is Nintendo at their pinnacle of pure creativity.
  
Which really got me thinking………where the hell can the Mario series go from here? I guess they could go for another galaxy game. Maybe this time throw a curve ball and go for some odd light world/dark world combination (Zelda style) or attempt to infuse an actual storyline into the series.  Maybe nintendo will wait and then create a galaxy game with incredible graphical prowless, finally treating gamers to an HD Mario galaxy journey....but even then were just upping the visual ante. The core idea would be the same that weve experienced before.

However, I am talking about the next chapter in the plumber’s story….the next saga in the Mario legacy.
 
Conquering worlds was never enough for what is probably the most recognizable character in all of video games…..Nintendo went for the galaxy’s. Taking the tight, fun charming world of Mario to immaculate plat forming heights. But in all honesty…..one your at the top, the only way left….is down.
Mario 64 brought the platformer to full 3d glory like no game before it.....Mario sunshine was a fun romp with the game cubes graphical power building on the concepts of Mario 64 with the only real twist being a water gun that allowed Mario to "cleanse" the world he was exploring. Mario galaxy was the big leap though...the leap to end all leaps. Removing all boundaries and rules of a Mario platform game ( and gravity for that matter) in search of the ultimate Mario experience. Which it mostly achieves right?

Where else can Nintendo really take the series as far as fresh new content goes? Sure leave it to Nintendo to come out of left field with some brilliant idea…but I truly feel like they may have climbed the mountain too fast! Of course we the gamers are all the beneficiaries of this getting to play some of the finest plat formers ever created…..but what now? Super Mario Universe ? 
  
Perhaps we will see different plat formers take the spotlight. During Nintendo’s 2010 e3 conference they released footage of the newly developed DONKEY KONG COUNTRY returns. The sequel to one of the most beloved platform games ever made and a true sequel to the classic series( which hasn’t been seen since the early 90’s). Also there is a lot of interest surrounding the new sonic game “sonic the hedgehog 4” a true 2d heir to the sonic series which also hasn’t been seen since the early 90’s. It will be interesting to see if other plat forming series like donkey Kong and sonic can begin climbing the gaming mountain in pursuit of their own pinnacle....as Mario games will probably only go downhill from this point on( or at the worst feel very stagnant). Sure we will still probably get alot of great Mario games, but nothing as incredible as the galaxy series. Which is why ive really been allowing myself lately to appreciate how great they are. Conceptually speaking, These games may end up being the best of what Mario may have to offer us as gamers.
 
Mo


 


#2 Posted by schizogony (975 posts) -

Man, I don't know.   I haven't played a Mario game since the abysmal Mario Sunshine.

#3 Posted by Arkthemaniac (6535 posts) -

Mario will never peak, since almost all his platformers have been spectacular. I say almost since I never played Sunshine and heard bad things. But, other than that, Mario's 1-3, Super Mario World, Yoshi's Island, and Super Mario 64 have all been great, and I hear constant great things of NSMB.
 
Mario platformers are good. It seems like they always will be.

#4 Posted by Hailinel (24819 posts) -

Every time someone comes along and says that Mario has peaked, Nintendo blows our faces off with something that trumps their previous efforts.  Mario's still got a lot of life left in him, and Nintendo has successfully demonstrated how to keep a mascot such as him relevant for so long.  Sega really should have taken lessons from them, but if you want to talk about characters that peaked, look no further than Sonic.

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#5 Posted by BlackIrish05 (348 posts) -

I don't think so, as Nintendo keeps finding ways to innovate.

#6 Edited by schizogony (975 posts) -

I need a Wii. Ha, all this motion control emergence at E3 and I still feel like a Wii over the rest.   Miyamoto is mad prolific.

#7 Posted by Icemael (6321 posts) -

Of course not. However, I do think that on current-generation hardware, the series -- and, as a result, the genre -- has peaked.
 
When I read "this isn’t a game that redefines the genre: this is one that rolls it up and locks it away" in Edge Magazine's Super Mario Galaxy 2 review, I didn't really understand what they meant, but after spending 17 hours of the game and amassing 88 stars... man. They're right. Until some huge step forward in hardware occurs -- and when I say huge step, I don't mean slightly more processing power allowing for slightly better physics, or more advanced screens allowing for more detailed graphics; I mean huge as in the jump from 2D to 3D huge -- I doubt any platformer will be able to top Mario Galaxy 2.

#8 Posted by AgentJ (8778 posts) -

I have little doubt they will have trouble finding something new. Maybe an open-world platformer? 

#9 Posted by ArchScabby (5809 posts) -

Well personally I think Mario games reached their peak at Super Mario World. Because that game was awesome.  The most awesome, awesome ever.

#10 Posted by Bones8677 (3243 posts) -

I don't know if it's peaked, perhaps plateaued. I doubt it'll reach the heights it did back in the N64. 

#11 Posted by schizogony (975 posts) -

Mario has reached the second apex of a double-jump.

#12 Posted by schizogony (975 posts) -

Oh shint, Mario doesn't even HAVE double-jump. Fail.

#13 Posted by cooperfoyt (188 posts) -

It's unfortunate that Nintendo will never allow a "darker" game to exist in the Mario Franchise. I know that games getting a sinister spin to them is a bit of an overdone cliche in the gaming industry, but giving Mario a setting similar to what's coming up in Epic Mickey could be interesting. Maybe a sort of outside force has come to ruin the Mushroom Kingdom and all of the characters in the Mario universe have to band together. Sounds kind of fan fiction-y but I'm sure Nintendo could pull it off. 
 
Heck, I would even love to see a Kingdom Hearts type of mash-up of characters kind of game. You could even explain it off as Super Mario Universes as they all start to blend together! 

#14 Posted by Cwaff (1260 posts) -
@schizogony said:
" Man, I don't know.   I haven't played a Mario game since the abysmal Mario Sunshine. "
Am I a bad person for thoroughly enjoying Mario Sunshine?
#15 Posted by VWGTI (1919 posts) -
@Cwaff said:
" @schizogony said:
" Man, I don't know.   I haven't played a Mario game since the abysmal Mario Sunshine. "
Am I a bad person for thoroughly enjoying Mario Sunshine? "
No, it was a fantastic game.
#16 Posted by Colin (707 posts) -

Never.
#17 Edited by PenguinDust (12519 posts) -

I don't know either.  I've never had much connection to the character being a Sega person when the NES/SNES was in the spotlight.  I grew up before the character was redefined so I identify him more from arcade classics like Donkey Kong and Mario Bros., the game with the pipes.   But, I've still enjoyed various Mario games over the years.  A small handful over the decades, and so they are like any other franchise for me.  I don't look at each release with anticipation because they are a Mario game, but rather as a game first which may include a well known character.  I guess if someone was into Mario games and played a lot of them, the over exposure of the character might be distressing.  He's kind of the "Krusty-brand" of video games.  However, since I only play one or two every few years, I don't feel that much distress over it.  The last one I played was Mario Kart on the DS and I probably won't play another for a while, although I am looking for a copy of Mario and Luigi Bowser's Inside Story.  I don't have the time for it right now, but it's on my "to-do" list.

#18 Posted by HandsomeDead (11863 posts) -

Mario peaked at 64. Super Mario Galaxy 2 is uninspired and too segmented. I'm not being Armond White here, I just think the planet system kills a lot of the charm and the space theme just makes me wonder why they don't do Star Fox games anymore.

#19 Posted by MysteriousBob (6272 posts) -
@HandsomeDead said:
" Mario peaked at 64. "
#20 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -

People who shit on Mario here, I look at their history and they're almost always into some shitty games. So. Mario's good. They're not losing any valued costumers.

#21 Posted by MikkaQ (10290 posts) -

The only significan development in the franchise since Mario 64 was throwing him in dumb sports themed games. Well, golf was awesome, but the rest were pretty awful, and shameless.  
 
The recent Mario platformers are fun, they're just not that original. I mean the level design is pretty neat, but outside of that, it's the same old gameplay mechanics in place. I'd like a little evolution, at least. 

#22 Posted by Sieferx2 (107 posts) -

 @hailinel
you said...
Every time someone comes along and says that Mario has peaked, Nintendo blows our faces off with something that trumps their previous efforts.  Mario's still got a lot of life left in him, and Nintendo has successfully demonstrated how to keep a mascot such as him relevant for so long.  Sega really should have taken lessons from them, but if you want to talk about characters that peaked, look no further than Sonic.

I believe mario does still have life left in him, but that doesnt mean he hasnt peaked. Isnt it possible that nintendo has already reached the pinnacle marios efforts? Im sure they will have some other twists on the series but ......but those games wont FEEL like a mario game......
Sonic may have peaked in 2d form....but the dreamcast games were oh so close to helping sonic find his pinnacle (much like mario 64) its too bad sega has since derailed our little blue hedgehog. 
 
Ironically sonic is probably a better character than mario....even if his games have become far worse.

@icemael
you said..
Of course not. However, I do think that on current-generation hardware, the series -- and, as a result, the genre -- has peaked.
 
When I read "this isn’t a game that redefines the genre: this is one that rolls it up and locks it away" in Edge Magazine's Super Mario Galaxy 2 review, I didn't really understand what they meant, but after spending 17 hours of the game and amassing 88 stars... man. They're right. Until some huge step forward in hardware occurs -- and when I say huge step, I don't mean slightly more processing power allowing for slightly better physics, or more advanced screens allowing for more detailed graphics; I mean huge as in the jump from 2D to 3D huge -- I doubt any platformer will be able to top Mario Galaxy 2.

I mostly agree with what you are saying . As you said though "conceptually" on this generation of hardware he has peaked and thats mostly what i was getting at. Maybe it could be refined a bit...polished more....ect. The core however as you mentioned unless there is some gargantuan leap in gameplay design i believe has possibly peaked. Its interesting if nothing else..

I think the only way a game will top it as a platformer comes down to personal preference. Take the new donkey for example. As a gamer who has stronger emotional ties to the series i may end up enjoying my time with the new donkey kong country returns MORE than SMG2. Doesnt mean its necessarily a "better" game, but it will be judged as a 2d platformer much like sonic 4. I remember the original donkey kong country was the first game EGM ever gave a perfect 10 to.....now i hope we will soon see the full potential of both the donkey kong series and sonic.

@agentJ

An open world platformer you say?

It could be done...it could be charming...but i think mario and his cast of characters would make the LEAST interesting open world game...maybe thats just me.

@cooperfoyt
you said...
It's unfortunate that Nintendo will never allow a "darker" game to exist in the Mario Franchise. I know that games getting a sinister spin to them is a bit of an overdone cliche in the gaming industry, but giving Mario a setting similar to what's coming up in Epic Mickey could be interesting. Maybe a sort of outside force has come to ruin the Mushroom Kingdom and all of the characters in the Mario universe have to band together. Sounds kind of fan fiction-y but I'm sure Nintendo could pull it off.
 

Actually technically in super mario sunshine on the GC mario was going after the evil mario...the evil mario was painting the world with this poision paint you had to clean up ( hence marios water pack) so in a way that sort of reminded me of their attempt at a "darker" mario game...


Its wierd that all this mario talk has gotten me so excited for the new Donkey Kong game....am i the only person who grew up in awe of its mystique?

mo

#23 Posted by paradox121 (317 posts) -
@VWGTI:  I agree. Sure, it was a bit of a letdown in places but it had some great ideas and innovations and looking back was a nice step between 64 and Galaxy. Yet it seems to have become the 'black sheep' of the Mario family. And yet its still metacritic-ing 92 which must say something for Mario games if thats considered the worst.
#24 Edited by gasgesgos (8 posts) -

Mario games generally tend to push the genre regardless of the system being played on. SMB1 had a multitude of secrets and ways through the game, SMB2 was... well... different.. SMB3 introduced the map and all the different costumes, while SMW was a beautiful game in almost every respect. 
 
SMG/SMG2 may be fantastic, and I'm confident Nintendo will find a way to (excuse the pun) 1-up themselves with the next Mario game.

#25 Posted by Sieferx2 (107 posts) -

@gasgesgos
This is true, every title has found a way to improve the series....and mario galaxy  took mario to his full 3d potential.
 
Im confindent nintendo will muster up all sorts of mario games, i just dont see any of them being quite as well done as mario galaxy.....or for that matter capturing the essence of what "makes a mario" game as well as the galaxy series has...
 
mo

#26 Posted by HandsomeDead (11863 posts) -
@Sieferx2 said:
" @gasgesgos This is true, every title has found a way to improve the series....and mario galaxy  took mario to his full 3d potential.  Im confindent nintendo will muster up all sorts of mario games, i just dont see any of them being quite as well done as mario galaxy.....or for that matter capturing the essence of what "makes a mario" game as well as the galaxy series has...  mo "
By full 3D potential, do you mean featuring many levels that are simply 2.5D obstacle courses and others which revolve around one simple gimmick?
#27 Posted by C2C (855 posts) -

I don't think we'll know if Mario as a series has peaked until the next game.  I also think we will not see another entry to the main Mario series for a long long time.

#28 Posted by Zidd (1846 posts) -

They should have just called new super mario bros wii(or ds) Super mario bros. 4.

#29 Edited by mutha3 (4985 posts) -
@XII_Sniper said:

" The only significan development in the franchise since Mario 64 was throwing him in dumb sports themed games. Well, golf was awesome, but the rest were pretty awful, and shameless.   The recent Mario platformers are fun, they're just not that original. I mean the level design is pretty neat, but outside of that, it's the same old gameplay mechanics in place. I'd like a little evolution, at least.  "

This is complete and utter nonsense.
 
Mario 64, Sunshine and Galaxy are about as similar to each other as Wizardry and Final fantasy 7. Which is to say, the only things giving  these games any sort of  resemblance is the fact that they have a fat guy in blue overalls jumping around.
 
Oh, and none of them get bogged down by a retarded narrative like most Vidja gaems.
 
(Also, shame on you for not mentioning the amazing Mario RPG's)
#30 Posted by JeffGoldblum (3704 posts) -

No.

#31 Posted by buzz_clik (6975 posts) -

Man, I remember when I thought that the graphics on the SNES were the pinnacle, and that was the best we were going to do. Okay, you could put that down to lack of vision, but you get my point. No matter what you think is the height of technology and design and clever thinking, there's always someone coming up with the next new hotness to blow your mind in ways your humdrum normal brain couldn't conceive of.

Moderator
#32 Posted by mutha3 (4985 posts) -

I do have to say: SMG2 was platformer godliness. 
 
Its, like,  the ultimate litmus test for your GAEMERZ cred.

#33 Posted by pachowski (38 posts) -
@Cwaff: 
dont worry, me too
#34 Posted by mutha3 (4985 posts) -
@Cwaff said:
" @schizogony said:
" Man, I don't know.   I haven't played a Mario game since the abysmal Mario Sunshine. "
Am I a bad person for thoroughly enjoying Mario Sunshine? "
No, you are a person with taste.
 
A rare species on Giant Bomb.
#35 Posted by Sieferx2 (107 posts) -

@handsomedead
 you said.
 By full 3D potential, do you mean featuring many levels that are simply 2.5D obstacle courses and others which revolve around one simple gimmick?  
 
Alot of what makes the game so great is that it brings that vibrant world of mario to life in such a beautiful way....everything is literaly popping off the screen...Oh god i just had an epiphany...with all this 3d talk at this years E3 maybe a 3d nintendo console down the road is the next evolution....galaxy in 3d would be insane. 
 
Also the use of both gravity, flipping the worlds around, camera placement, and all sorts of other tricks really add to the challenge and bring the whole game to life...sometimes i feel like the genius's at Nintendo uses my own depth perception against me! haha...
 
mo

#36 Posted by Gee_rad (64 posts) -

Mario peaked long ago, with Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World.

#37 Posted by jonnyboy (2920 posts) -

He's done everything now, Dude's IN SPACE!
 
 
Maybe he could do some plumbing, you know the fall-back career.

#38 Posted by Alex_V (615 posts) -
@XII_Sniper said:
" The only significan development in the franchise since Mario 64 was throwing him in dumb sports themed games. Well, golf was awesome, but the rest were pretty awful, and shameless.   The recent Mario platformers are fun, they're just not that original. I mean the level design is pretty neat, but outside of that, it's the same old gameplay mechanics in place. I'd like a little evolution, at least.  "
Couldn't disagree more with this statement. SMG took the platformer and completely revolutionised it by playing with gravity, space and perspective. Debatably the most original game of this generation.
#39 Posted by joshwent (2207 posts) -

I think the reason Mario games will still be popular even after I'm dead is actually their LACK of innovation.  This sounds weird but hear me out...
 
The main overarching draw of every Mario game to me is that they just "feel" good.  So many games have potential, but the controls are just a little inexplicably odd feeling, and that ruins your entire experience.  Even going back to SMB, the movement speed, the jumps, the fire flower shots, they just got it right where almost every other platformer failed.  And they've continued to rock this vital aspect of the games in every incarnation since.  It's hard to call this itself "innovation", it's just great design.  And Mario has a mustache full of that. 

So, about that main point.  SMB3, blew my fucking mind apart.  Racoon suit?  Fuck.  Frog Mario?  OMFG.  Statue Mario?  Well, ok, that one kinda sucks, but this was the game where they unlocked mario's pure potential.  Combining those great feeling        controls with different awesome forms for you to take.
Every game since has of course built on this, but they brilliantly have stayed almost ridiculously close to the formula.  In other words, they know how to NOT innovate the game out of being fun.  This all became clear to me playing the incredible NSMBWii.  That game is SMB3.  And that is a fact.  The innovation?  A few really fun new forms to play with.  And it's just as fun as the classic games.
 
We're gonna be jumping around with this Italian weirdo for a loooooong time, because where other franchises will "shake things up" and "fuck things up", Mario will just be FUN!

#40 Posted by ProfessorEss (7376 posts) -
@MysteriousBob said:
" @HandsomeDead said:
" Mario peaked at 64. "
"
#41 Edited by Meowayne (6084 posts) -

After playing a lot of Super Mario Galaxy 2, I still consider the first Jak&Dexter to be the best and most perfect platformer ever made.

#42 Posted by tutuboy95 (90 posts) -

 Mario has been captivating the video game world for over 20 years. Sure, there were shaky points. Some of the GameCube ones, such as Super Mario Sunshine and Luigi's Mansion had some major potential, but could never expand on all the good points like 64 and Galaxy could. But when most people thought "Mario's 3D, what else can be done?", he was found blasting off into space, returning to 2D, and appearing in very entertaining RPGs made by various companies. 
 
So no, I don't think Mario games have reached their peak. They probably never will. Looking farther into the future, Mario's probably going to be one of the last video games to fall into obscurity.  
 
It's just that good.  

#43 Posted by Bellum (2944 posts) -
@cooperfoyt said:
" It's unfortunate that Nintendo will never allow a "darker" game to exist in the Mario Franchise. "
 
V_V
 
There's always at least one...
#44 Posted by TripMasterMunky (2403 posts) -
@Bellum said:
" @cooperfoyt said:
" It's unfortunate that Nintendo will never allow a "darker" game to exist in the Mario Franchise. "
 V_V There's always at least one... "
Lol. Yeah, Mario has never been "dark" and doesn't need to be.
 
Has Mario peaked? It's hard to say, because he's so spread out now and lacks focus. I personally still enjoy SMWorld the best, but games now are still great too. But they're different. It's a bit weird too because I think people are enjoying the New SMB games more than the "main" series of Mario games (Galaxy and whatnot). So I don't know. Mario lacks focus. But that's what makes him likeable by all.
 
In short, everyone has their own opinion about when he peaked, but he will continue to evolve/grow/adapt and be able to rumble with the latest games at any time.
#45 Posted by Ignor (2372 posts) -

Super Mario Sunshine had the best atmosphere >=|
Also this topic is 3 months old.

#46 Posted by TripMasterMunky (2403 posts) -
@Ignor said:
" Also this topic is 3 months old. "
I don't see why that matters. Especially on Giant Bomb.
 
Not only is this topic still equally as relevant as it was 3 months ago, but Giant Bomb organizes information so that old topics are constantly being seen by users as they browse pages for specific games/series/etc. If there's only a few topics on lesser-known page X, all 6mo. old but asking still relevant questions, why create a new topic to start from scratch?
 
Didn't mean to chew you out, I just never understood the "old topic" logic, especially on Giant Bomb.
#47 Posted by paradox121 (317 posts) -
@tutuboy95 said:
"  Mario has been captivating the video game world for over 20 years. Sure, there were shaky points. Some of the GameCube ones, such as Super Mario Sunshine and Luigi's Mansion had some major potential, but could never expand on all the good points like 64 and Galaxy could. But when most people thought "Mario's 3D, what else can be done?", he was found blasting off into space, returning to 2D, and appearing in very entertaining RPGs made by various companies.  So no, I don't think Mario games have reached their peak. They probably never will. Looking farther into the future, Mario's probably going to be one of the last video games to fall into obscurity.   It's just that good.   "
Luigi's Mansion was dripping in potential and character (and even spooky/dark atmosphere), I have no clue why Nintendo didnt bother creating a sequel, specially since it would work perfectly for the Wii. 
I think in terms of current tech, Mario has reached its peak. But no doubt Ninty will come out with some weird new console in a few years and that will help push the franchise further. Even now, imagine a Mario 3DS game built from the ground up. A proper 3D platformer has a massive amount of potential.
#48 Posted by Deusoma (3006 posts) -

Personally, I thought Mario peaked at Sunshine, but then that's just my opinion.

#49 Posted by Godwind (2597 posts) -

I think this was a means to advertise a website.
#50 Posted by Hailinel (24819 posts) -
@Ignor said:
" Super Mario Sunshine had the best atmosphere >=| Also this topic is 3 months old. "
@Deusoma said:
" Personally, I thought Mario peaked at Sunshine, but then that's just my opinion. "
You're both crazy.
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