Mario = Awesome; Top 6 Reasons Why
There are a lot of gamers out there that have a soft spot for the also soft bellied plumber that we all know as Mario. In fact, whenever I talk to people, there are a hand full of characters that come up immediately upon mention of Nintendo. The Zelda franchise is one of them and usually the Mario clan gets at least three mentions; Mario, Luigi or Peach. But that made me ponder, over a cup of coffee, and made me wonder “Why is the Mario franchise so popular?”. Well, I, Fernando Da Costa, am going to give you my not-so-much-expert-but-obsessed-gamer (what a mouth full) opinion on what I think adds to the popularity.
Number 6 -
The fact that Mario still has the same voice; that is my first reason for his continued popularity. Yes, I’m aware that his voice actor has been doing it for years; but Mario’s voice is easily imitated by many people, that even when his “voice” retires; they can easily get him another one. I, myself, can do some of his voice but sadly, not the accent aspect as the only accent I can do is a muttered and broken Scottish one (that apparently sounds better when I’m drunk, go figure) The point that I am trying to make is that most gamers hate change; it has been seen with many franchises that had to make big changes to their franchises (Example would be Hudson’s “Bomberman Zero”. It was re-imagined, re-skinned, and re-tarded)
Number 5 -
For me, one of the things that makes this character so lovable is the appearance. A lot of times, you have amazingly fit, über attractive characters that for average Joes like me, think “My God I’m ugly”. Mario is a fat Italian plumber that has an enormous love for Ravioli. In fact, if you let him fall asleep in Mario 64; he will start dreaming about an über delicious stuffed shell, with cheese sprinkled all over it and tomato sauce…Oh God, I drooled a bit. This revelation, if you will, allows for the average male to really feel like he is awesome and he can do anything he puts his mind to. Who says you have to be over-attractive and drive a kick-ass motorcycle with crazy hair? (I’m looking at you Cloud Strife)
Number 4 –
This is really a no brainer; the iconic Mario tune that is played in a lot of the earlier games, plus some new, has really made this franchise stick. Actually for several months, I had the Mario theme on my phone; it played while people called me and waited for my answer. I was immediately graced with not “Yo dude, what’s up man?” but something like “Dude, you have Mario on your phone!? That is *censored* awesome!”. Most of the music from this series is well-known within all of society, gamer or not. This is due to the fact that a lot of the earlier, more iconic tunes, are simple and easily recognisable if just hummed for instance.
Number 3 -
The Mario franchise has an undeniable charm to it that just makes a gamer feel happy. This is mostly due to the fact that the gameplay is rather simple and easy to pick up. There is nothing confusing about jumping on heads, running through a level and obtaining Fire Flowers or Mushrooms (Remember Kids, drugs are bad, mmkay?) But something else that really contributed to and helped this game throughout the years is the fact that the character itself has undergone little change. The gameplay is still the same basic jump on a head and complete the level. Of course, some games were more than this; Super Mario 64 gave you the ability to kick, punch and butt slam. But, for those older gamers (guilty) that grew up with this Italian Hero; this game hasn’t steered from its roots, making it feel familiar and warming to those that are just playing another game of their favourite mascot, opposed to first-time Mario players.
Number 2 -
One of the best things that I have loved about the Mario series is that is doesn’t really take itself fully serious. I think that one of the best examples of this would be the Mario & Luigi franchises for the GBA and Nintendo DS. That game is filled with just the most silliest things that it could even be considered genius, in my eyes. Both Mario and Luigi don’t know actual words; or they are talking Italian to each other, who knows. But that iconic jump of his is given another usage; it was both Mario and Luigi’s way of saying a simple “Yes”. So, I guess in the future, when you are asked something; try jumping instead and imitating the Mario jumping sound; see if it gets recognized as a “yes”. Mario is truly a break from all that serious atmosphere’s of gaming and presents a fun, enjoyable environment that gamers just cling to.
Number 1 -
The number 1 reason that I think gives Mario credibility and popularity is not-so-much his personal gameplay abilities but the fact that he can be so diverse. How many characters do you know of, that can easily translate to such genres as Soccer, Tennis, Racing, Board Games, or Platforming and still do it with style and flair? I think the fact that Miyamoto chose not to center Mario and input so much detail and thought into him makes him able to go into anything because all the general gamer is expecting is to hear that voice and quirky gameplay.
These are 6 reasons why I personally think that Mario is just an amazing character that I honestly do not see dying out anytime soon. And I hope that I’m right because he is a joy to control and a welcome retreat from the overload of FPS lately. Hell, I still get giddy when I listen to him yelling, each time that I make him jump. This character has a lot of iconic presence and he will only continue to be an iconic part of Nintendo. Thankfully, we only have until August 18th until we can enjoy another Mario Platform adventure on the 3DS. Of course, let’s not forget that the Holiday season see’s Mario’s brother Luigi, play ghost buster and the whole clan hits the Wii U in The New Super Mario Bros.U.