by Christopher Kelley
Earlier this month, Nintendo celebrated the 30th anniversary of their most popular plumber, Mario. The mustachioed mascot has starred in countless games spanning from Nintendo's first humble home console, the Nintendo Entertainment System, to their current console, the Wii U. Mario has competed in various sports such as tennis, soccer and baseball as well as racing games such as “Mario Kart. He has thwarted the plans of Bowser and other foes on numerous occasions and even taught us a few things about typing. He is, also, easily the most recognizable video game character to come out of Japan.
Most of Mario's games involve running and jumping while fighting through hordes of Bowser's henchmen, usually Goombas or Koopas. Using power-ups he may find throughout levels, Mario shows Bowser he means business. Sporting frog suits, raccoon tails, capes and fireball throwing abilities he makes his way through many dangerous levels on his way to reach King Koopa's (Bowser) Castle. Mario's powers differ from game to game, but his goal is usually the same; save Princess Peach.
To go along with this anniversary celebration, Nintendo released the “Super Mario Maker” game for the Wii U. In it, players not only play through levels designed by Mario's creators, but also take the helm and create their own levels using the Wii U's gamepad. Players can make simple, fun levels, punishing, difficult levels, or anything in between. When creating levels, the sky is the limit, until you use power-up that lets you fly such as the propeller hat. Level creation is very intuitive and the game features the ability to share levels with other players which opens up the floodgates of creativity Mario fans have been sitting on for years. How many times have you thought “If I made a Mario level, it would go something like this...?” The “Super Mario Maker” makes this dream a reality.
Mario has brought joy to many gamers and their families over the years. His simple to learn, sometimes hard to master adventures have entertained many parties or get-togethers, whether they were from his platforming roots, racing outings, party or sports games. I, for one, hope we see many more years of great games featuring this lovable character.