Super Mario Bros. has been with us now since the early 1980s and continues to improve with age. In 2012, we’ve seen all-new iterations of the franchise that have built upon the many successes of the series. But how has Mario managed to stay fresh all of these years? And how does the future look for Nintendo’s most popular character?
Early beginnings and great playability
One of the things that set Mario apart from his peers when he arrived in arcades and homes was the sheer playability of the game in which he featured. Titled simply ‘Mario Bros.’ in its initial incarnation on the Nintendo Entertainment System, it brought adventure to a whole new level by being so easy to get into and addictive to players young and old. Just a couple of years later, Super Mario Bros. would arrive in The Mushroom Kingdom with all new features and power ups. The world was hooked and since then, no Nintendo console has been complete without its own version.
Exploring The Mushroom Kingdom by land, sea and air
While we’ve all enjoyed Mario’s platform adventures in The Mushroom Kingdom, a big part of his success has been in his ability to explore other genres of video game using this world as his backdrop. Nintendo has launched party games, role-playing games, sports games and racing games using not just Mario, but all of his friends (and enemies) from the kingdom to create a real dysfunctional family atmosphere. In the last 12 months, titles like Mario Party 9 and Mario Kart 7 have continued this trend on the Nintendo Wii, Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL – giving them the refresh they need for a new generation of gamers.
A new console, a new Super Mario
Just when you thought Mario couldn’t get any more super, along comes a whole new console system that comes with a fresh adventure for him to face. One of the first things people wanted to know when the fabulous Nintendo Wii U was announced was when Mario would arrive and Nintendo were quick to answer with New Super Mario Bros. U.
Having already refreshed the handheld series with New Super Mario Bros. 2 on the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL, this means 2012 has been a pretty big year for Mario and his friends. It also goes to show that there is a great deal of life left in the franchise that will no doubt see him with us for decades to come.