Monday, March 15, 2010

Some random thoughts while I was playing Super Mario Bros.:

1. I've been tossing around the concept of warp pipes in my head. I mean, it would be pretty sweet if you could just hop in a tube and end up a few seconds later in a completely new place. It would certainly make the commute into the city a hell of a lot faster; then again, knowing the MTA, they'd figure out a way to make that a clusterfuck, too. And given what we've learned from the SMB games, you ultimately end up in an area where there's fire and danger at every turn. And while I'm sure Cleveland and Detroit could use the tourist money, I don't really want to go there.

2. Why do the magic power-ups pass right through the enemies? I think it would be a nice change of pace if a Koopa Troopa grabbed a Fire Flower or a Starman and just starting going berserk. As it is, too many of the enemies present little to no challenge at all - even the Hammer Bros. got toned down way too much. Remember them in the first Super Mario Bros? If you weren't Fire Mario when you saw them, you were pretty much boned. They were makin' it rain, except with hammers instead of money. I'm fairly certain the strippers in Vegas are thanking their lucky stars that Pacman Jones decided not to completely emulate the Hammer Bros back in the day. But now, all they do is shuffle around, throw a hammer, shuffle some more, make a sandwich, think about throwing a hammer, shuffle a bit more, and - assuming you haven't killed them at this point - throw another hammer. It's depressing.

3. My favorite power-up in all the Mario games has to be the Tanooki Suit in Super Mario Bros 3. You can fly, turn into a statue, and for cryin' out loud, just look at it:


Of course, I figured I'd find out just what the hell a tanooki actually is. As it turns out, a tanuki is a Japanese raccoon. Many shops and restaurants have statues of tanukis outside their establishments to symbolize good fortune. This all wouldn't be weird, except for the fact that the statues (and apparently the tanukis themselves) have rather large... um, Bob-ombs...

Only in Japan. I gotta say, that would've made the power-up much more interesting, but I'm fairly certain one or two parents would've filed a complaint after they saw their kids making Mario tea-bag a Goomba to death....

4. Why does Mario keep trying to rescue Princess Toadstool? [NOTE: Yes, I know they renamed her as Peach, but I kick it old school.] This game for the Wii has to be like the 7th time that Mario's had to bail her ass out. In fact, for the Princess to be "kidnapped" that many times, something fishy has to be going on. Here are my three hypotheses:

A. She's a moron, and can't figure out that maybe it's a bad idea to hang around in an area where she's been captured half a dozen times.
B. Stockholm Syndrome. Yup, you read it right - she's been held captive so many times, that she only feels like herself when she's with Bowser. Hell, she might actually be in love with him; as they say, "Once you go Lizard, [deleted for the sake of moral decency]!"
C. She's a drama queen, and is only playing the victim to draw attention to herself. And what's even worse, she's a bit of a cocktease - every time Mario gets close, she has one of her toadies tell him, "Sorry, but our Princess is in another castle!" Which basically amounts to telling him, "She really does like you; I'm sure if you keep chasing after her, maybe you'll get lucky one of these days..." So Mario has to go all over the world, sacrificing his very life to save her, and all she does is thank him? Then two weeks later, she goes and gets kidnapped again. See? Fishy....

So it makes me wonder why Mario even bothers with her. Granted, when you take a look at most of the other inhabitants of the Mushroom Kingdom, there's not much of a selection. But he's got so many hobbies (go-karting, golf, soccer, painting, drug-dealing, MMA, partying, etc.) that you wonder if he'd really even miss her if Bowser just kept her. By the way, when exactly do Mario and Luigi actually do their plumbing jobs? Has there ever been an actual reference to that in the games? Or are we going to have to wait for Nintendo to release a game called Super Mario Turd Wranglers? I can see that being a big hit with the whole family - must be a ton of fun with the Wiimote....

5. Ever since the very first game, collecting 100 coins gets you a 1-Up (an extra life, for those of you who have never played Su... what's that? All of you have played one of these games?!? Wow. So these past few sentences have been completely extraneous, huh? Good to know.) I always thought that this was a little bit of capitalist propaganda, basically telling little kids "grab as much money as you can and you'll live longer". Of course, if that were the case, if your lifespan were determined by how much money you have, then I think I'm going to die sometime around Thursday afternoon. I think I've figured out the music they'll play at my funeral...


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