Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Super Mario Babbling

I’ve been playing some Super Mario Bros on the 3DS virtual console, and I have to say, DAMN but Super Mario Bros is a hard game.  I’d forgotten just HOW hard.  People always talk about the latest New Super Mario Bros game or whatever being challenging, but really, man—I completed NSMB Wii with a friend, including the damn secret world, and sure it was brutal in places, but claims that it’s anywhere near to the NES game, challenge-wise, are laughable.  Probably part of that is down to me not playing it that much in my formative years—I DO have strong nostalgic memories of playing it at friends’ houses, but I never had an NES of my own, so I didn’t get to REALLY sink my teeth into it until Super Mario All Stars, when I was a little bit older.  The first Mario game I  beat was Supermarioland, and I still have no trouble whatsoever finishing it (both first and second quests) when I revisit it every few years or so (though I think it IS objectively a lot easier), but the original SMB—DAMN.  I honestly cannot quite remember if I ever actually beat it, though I definitely beat the so-called flippin’ “Lost Levels” (including Worlds A-D), which ratchets up the difficulty so much that in the later worlds you feel like you’re playing one of those fuck-you rom hacks (admittedly, I was only able to do this because the SNES version has mercy on you by letting you save your progress after every level, instead of every world.  No way in hell I’d’ve ever won if I had to play through four stages straight).  But plain ol’ SMB?  I’m not so sure.  I know I got to World 8, but I think that’s as far as it went.  I think a big part of my problem is that I haven't quite figured out instinctively how to play with Mario's inertia as opposed to trying to fight it, which leads to frequent needless deaths, but whatever the reason--man.

Anyway, this has been so much pointless babbling, but I want to say this: I feel as though all the Mario mainstays have sort of had their impact diluted by the number of later games they appeared in.  But GOOD GOD, you play SMB, and you are forcibly struck by the sheer horror of a lakitu or an inconveniently-placed pair of hammer bros.  They are not cuddly.  They are nothing less than pure, focused generators of human misery.  Aslan Is Not A Tame Lion.  &c.


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