What’s the game you start to play when you want a nice platform game and you don’t mind if it is a bit retro? Of course you play Super Mario Bros or Super Mario Land or Super Mario Bros 3 or the New Super Mario. Whatever your choice is one thing is certain – there are lots of options here. That’s basically because there seems to be no limit to how many and how varying game titles have been released in this video game characters lifetime.
The featured image of this blog post is the cover of a book about how Nintendo and Mario “conquered” USA. Of course this character made its way into the minds of all gamer’s across the whole wide world. Super Mario was chosen to be the main character that represented the whole Nintendo as a company. There are lots of games and also some other material in which Super Mario has been used.
But who is this guy actually? We get to understand that he’s a plumber. He has a brother named Luigi. I think he’s a plumber too. Mario has the tendency to try to be a hero and he is always trying to save the princess. Mario is a bit softer than Sega’s mascot Sonic. Basically Mario is a product of the beginning of 80s while Sonic seems to be from the end of 80s and also from the beginning of 90s.
Of course all the real hardcore retro gamers know that Crash Bandicoot took the title of the most fascinating video game mascot back in the 90s. But you have to realize that Mario was the first of them. Nintendo was the brand that made gaming great again after Atari had effed up the whole game with it’s foolish strategy on releasing poor quality video games. Basically, back then, Atari just got too greedy.
And only Nintendo is able to come up with this kind of material. At the same time it seems a bit naive and childish but do you know what kinds of mushrooms he actually is able to consume? A mushroom that looks like Amanita Muscaria and makes him to grow. Wow! How did that happen and how did it happen so fast. Maybe there is something more to it than we at first can observe. Maybe parents should look after their children despite the fact that Nintendo seems to be so settled with its in game content.
Super Mario remains as a character that is a bit mysterious. You don’t get to talk with him in deep conversations. You might remember him from your childhood. Is he the one that is responsible for luring all these people in to video gaming? There haven’t been so many interviews or story lines in games that would have described his personality. Yet you definitely recognize his voice as he says “It’s me…Mario!”.
Why are things this way? Maybe it has everything to do with how under developed video games were. We had two dimensional pixel graphics and the audio quality was poor. There just weren’t enough space for this character to form some kind of a more progressed image in our minds. I think this is also a strength for him. He is kind of abstract figure. He was made to be simple and easy to approach. So Mario is at the same time very simple and also very attractive in a mind of a determined retro gamer.
Just stopped my daily evening routines, or maybe I had some free time, to play some Sonic The Hedgehog on Sega Mega Drive. This was actually my first game on this platform. And actually it wasn’t on the original system but on Retro Trio HD. I haven’t yet figured a way to get HDMI out of my Mega Drive. I should really dig into that some day. There might be a converter available for that specific purpose. But let’s get back to the game.
There exists tens of games that have the name, Sonic The Hedgehog, or at least Sonic, as their title. This was the first of them all. It was 1991 and Sega desperately needed some kind of a front figure or mascot to compete with Nintendos Super Mario. So Sega really made an effort to produce a quality game that would be able to compete with Nintendo. Sega had this issue of having a powerful console, more powerful than Nintendo then had, but it lacked good quality games. Nintendo had their Mario, Castlevania and Bubble Bobble games. Mega Drive games were thought to be too repetitive and not so appealling. That was partly true and even today this matter comes to mind when comparing these two gaming consoles.
So Sega made its best to bring to the game something different and in some way they even succeeded. Sonic was basically a platformer, just like Super Mario Bros, but it extended this concept a bit. Sonic had abilities Mario couldn’t even dream of. It could spin and it’s speed increased as it ran a little bit forward. It collected rings instead of coins. When an enemy hit Sonic, or the other way around, it lost all the rings it possessed. And…you could collect some of them back after you had been stroke by an enemy. This was something unique that had never seen before. Sonic had a wider and more approachable personality than Mario had. Sonic was maybe even cooler than its competitor.
As a game Sonic The Hedgehog isn’t as playable or enjoyable as for example Super Mario Bros 3. Even Bubble Bobble, that didn’t have these games scrollable screen, stands out as a better platformer. If you compare it to some good platformers that were released on later, newer, consoles, it loses to them. But Sonic has its own fans and it is clearly the most approachable mascot for Sega. The one thing you remember this company of. So it is honorable that they created this well known character.
I paused my life for a moment and played Sonic for about two hours today. I just had to take that picture with my phones camera and tell you a bit about this remarkable game. After all this the start. I have some other very interesting games that are having this blue hedgehog inside them. One of them is Shadow The Hedgehog that is a game I recently bought for original Xbox. And I’m now lucky enough to have a working Xbox 360 and I’m very satisfied that the game works on it also. Another very interesting game, which has Sonic, is Sonic Adventure, that was released on Dreamcast almost ten years after the debut of Sonic. So maybe I’ll tell you more about this character later. I have to go but we are going to continue with this blog in one direction or another as soon as I have some more time to spend and to write more…