Super Mario Bros. 35 Years Later
35 years ago, Super Mario Bros rocked the world.
After the North American video game industry was left in shambles after a huge crash, Nintendo rose through the ashes and reignited the whole thing. Released in 1985, the Nintendo Entertainment System instantly stood out among its competitors because of one game: Super Mario Bros. Before this, players were used to arcade-style games; single screen games that revolved around racking up points. Super Mario Bros. invited players to explore a whole world full of different enemies, obstacles, scenery, collectibles, and power-ups. The game was revolutionary and fun, and it single-handedly brought together a new generation of gamers. It has been 35 years since then, so is Super Mario Bros. worth playing today?
If one word had to be used to describe Super Mario Bros., it would be "iconic". After powering on the console, the well-known title screen is instantly shown, and players are able to jump right into the action. Some of the first things you'll notice are the insanely popular soundtrack composed by Koji Kondo and the familiar enemies and items that have become mainstays in the series. Goombas, Koopas, coins, mushrooms, and fire flowers are all here. This is also where one of the game's problems lie, as there is not enough variety in the game to keep it interesting. Through the whole game, players will only come across 3 different power-ups to face against mostly just Goombas and Koopas. If it weren't for the occasional underground or water level thrown in every now and again, the game would get very stale very fast. As for how the game plays, that will never get stale! Its the classic runnin' and jumpin' that's synonymous with the platforming genre, and its as fun today as it was back in 1985. The simplicity of the gameplay makes it so anyone can pick up a controller and have fun with the game, at least for the first few worlds. Due to hardware limitations, developers could not make very long games, and so to make the game seem longer than it is, they would make it a tad bit more difficult than it probably should be. Although Super Mario Bros. is not affected by this as hard as some games on the NES, it is still affected by it and it is noticeable. The first four worlds are a blast to play through, but the last four, especially the eighth, can be pretty infuriating at times. This is the game's greatest flaw, as it causes players to lose motivation to play through the rest of the game. Despite these flaws, I do believe the good outweighs the bad; Super Mario Bros. still delivers a good dosage of fun!
Super Mario Bros. has many strengths and many weaknesses. The game doesn't have a lot of variety and can be crazy difficult at times, but on the other hand, the game feels great to play and there is so much charm and love packed into it that it's hard to not love the game. But to answer the question if its worth playing today, I would say yes and no, for different reasons. Back in 1985, there was really nothing like Super Mario Bros., but the platforming genre and video games as a whole have evolved so much since then, so its only natural that the game feels a little aged. Nobody can deny, though, that Super Mario Bros. is an absolute classic. It is amazing to play such a legend of a game and realize how far video games have come since then. Whether you think the game is worth playing today or not, everyone can agree that Super Mario Bros. was a big step in video game history, and for that it should be appreciated and remembered. To celebrate this huge milestone for one of gaming's greatest faces, gather some friends and play some Mario. You won't regret it!
Happy 35th, Mario, and here's to 35 more!