Yesterday may have been Video Game Day–as confirmed by nothing less of a source than daysoftheyear.com--but today… today is the 30th Anniversary of one of the industry’s most ground breaking accomplishments. Super Mario Bros. turns 30 goddamn years old today.
There is seriously nothing that I can add to the conversation about this game.
I could marvel at its design–so innovative that its high water mark has only ever really been topped by other games in the same franchise. I could talk about it cementing Mario as a pop culture icon. I could share personal anecdotes about trying to reach The Negative World, or playing the game while looking at the TV in a mirror, or wrestling the controller away from a superior Player 1 shouting “Hurry up and die, so I can play!”. Something Something Iconic Soundtrack, etc., etc.
But everything… everything–good and bad–has been said better by someone else. Go read and/or watch their stuff. It’s good, really.
Instead, I’m going to be a lame dad, and share the names my daughter, Charlotte, gave the Goombas (and Koopa Troopa) found on World 1-1. That’s right, I’m turning a review of an unparalleled gaming classic into a shitty Facebook post.
Another Nintendo console means another installment of the definitive Kart Racing franchise. Mario, Bowser, Donkey Kong and their friends return to the Rainbow Road in Mario Kart 8. Like every home console version that’s come before it, Mario Kart 8 tries to keep its style while adding new gameplay elements, tracks, characters and functionality.
Since I was disappointed in the Gamecube release Mario Kart Double Dash I ended up skipping the Wii release, and having never owned any flavour of DS handheld, it’s been a while since I really spun my wheels in a Mario Kart game at all. With that said, for me, Mario Kart 8 is a return to form.
If I’m not on record with this statement elsewhere on this blog… I’m going on record with it now. The Super Nintendo Entertainment System is the greatest console ever made. Every game on it that I loved, I’ve gone back to play again over 10 years later, and they still hold up. This can’t be said for many of the great games of older consoles. It can’t be said of (many) newer consoles, either, because enough time hasn’t past yet.
“But… that’s just nostalgia talking,” I can hear you saying.
“Is not!” was once my go-to response to such naysaying. But no longer! I now have evidence. It’s Charlotte’s favourite system.
Since the advent of YouTube, there have been videos about video games, made by fans & reviewers of all types… professional, amateur and asshole. In recent years, a type of video called “Let’s Play” videos have become increasingly popular. These videos generally feature gameplay of the game, and overlapping commentary from the player. They could be intended as humourous, critical or as a walkthrough of the game. No one seemed to care very much about them for a long while… until YouTube started allowing video creators to monetize their channels and videos using ads. It’s been a while now, and all hell has started to break loose.
Recently, YouTube has pursued video game companies like Nintendo, Mojang, Microsoft, Sony (and presumably all the others out there) to get them to cash in on the advertising revenue of videos featuring their games. I haven’t exactly got my finger on the pulse of gaming news any more, but now that a company as big as Nintendo has jumped into the fray, with a seemingly heavy handed, Big Brother-esque stance on the issue, it’s gotten my attention. Nintendo has apparently claimed all rights to any advertising revenue generated by a video featuring gameplay of their games. At first glance, depending on where you stand on copyright issues, it seems either pretty shitty, or perfectly understandable. But like everything else in life, it’s never quite so black or white.