Shigeru Miyamoto – the man behind the virtual creation of some of the most beloved video game characters – gave the world Mario. Who would have thought a mustached Italian plumber would save the video game market? Super Mario Bros. creation was the saving grace of video game consoles and the rise of Nintendo. And the brought a beloved franchise to past, present, and future gamers.
Super Mario Bros. originally intended to be a shooter, but eventually the jump mechanics took over and became the game everyone recognizes today. The colorful 8-bit graphics and tunes delivered something new and unique to gamers worldwide and became a pop culture phenomenon.
The graphics defined Mario – literally. Miyamoto planted a mustache on Mario because the 8-bit graphics couldn’t define the plumber’s facial features without it. The game’s beautiful worlds are one of the most recognizable. In 1985’s standards, the graphics were amazing and defined the games in the 80’s.
Music in Super Mario Bros. helped define music in games (and it’s own 8-bit genre of music). What video game tune gets played the most? What about World 1-1? Mario’s theme is easily running through every gamer’s mind. The high-pitched beeps and boops are something you couldn’t pull yourself away from, even if you wanted to.
Nintendo set the bar for difficult gameplay of the 80’s and beyond. Hell, the reason why Super Mario Bros. 2 was different here (in the U.S.) than Japan’s was because they thought it was too hard for the Western audience. More difficult games will eventually come out later for the NES – looking at you Contra and Battletoads – but Super Mario Bros. easily had gamer’s burn through their lives quickly. No matter how simple the gameplay was, the jump and run mechanics all required timing to achieve perfection. Hidden levels and secret passages were one of the great things about Super Mario Bros. as it gave reasons for gamers to come back and explore the game more than once.
Miyamoto had the perfect view of what a gamer is and will always be when he created Super Mario Bros. No matter how young or old a player is, they will enjoy the simplicity the game has to offer. Easily one of the best games of all-time, but not only for the game itself, but what it did for the gaming industry. The game created a staple in the digital art medium and paved the way to what we have now.
Rating: 8.9 out of 10