This is the first post (in a long series of posts) about classic video games. I wanted to keep my own private record of rankings for games by system (as I’m wont to do with things) and I couldn’t think of a better and more classic game to start out with. Everybody’s played Super Mario Bros, EVERYBODY, it transcends all barriers as far as people who are gamers and are not gamers. I turned it on to show my daughter Savannah (who’s 7) and she identified with it immediately. She loved tiny Mario and I told her tiny Mario is not good because I’m only one hit away from being dead. When she saw that in action (thanks to a fireball in 5-4) she changed her official opinion to “He’s still cute!”
Picking up the game is just like riding a bike; it’s a childhood skill that seems so far in the past you wonder if it has changed at all since you did it last. And it hasn’t. It’s even more so intuitive than riding a bike; it’s so engrained into your muscle memory you don’t even realize it. I was going down tubes I didn’t even remember had areas underneath and jumping into blank air to find a coin block that materialized out of nowhere. And the Warp zones! Savannah got a kick out of those, and we discussed what exactly does “warp” mean.
Another amazing quality of this game is how difficult it’s core mechanics can still be. How many times has anyone went to stomp a Goomba and misjudged your jump and landed right in front of it, only to be killed (because you’re “Cute” tiny Mario)? Or overshot on a jump , tried to pull yourself back and went off the floating platform on the other side? It still happens and for a game to still have the inherit level of, not difficulty, but challenge, here some 30 years later is freakin’ amazing.
Super Mario Bros. is the standard bearer, if nothing else, to the guy who bought his kids a Nintendo when they were kids and threw down with a controller, Super Mario Bros. is what he remembers about games, even if he never played another his whole life. It’s the Alpha and Omega of 8-bit.
Replay Value/Legacy- 10
total score: 84%
#1 Super Mario Bros.
(and because it’s visual, i’ll always throw a photo in there)