I Hate Mario!

Well actually that’s not true. But it’s a slightly better title for a blog post than ‘I have completely indifferent and ambivalent feelings towards the lead character and any of the supporting cast in Nintendo’s most popular videogame series’.

I don’t spend hours chuckling at grown men running around in plumber costumes on You Tube. The Super Mario Bros theme tune isn’t set as my ringtone. I don’t get warm fuzzy tingles when I see pictures of crocheted mushrooms and knitted turtles on the Internet. In fact it takes a Wikipedia search for me to find out I should be calling them Goombas and Koopa Troopers.

I understand why you guys love him. I really do. It’s just a passion that I’m completely and totally unable to share.

Part of the problem is that I didn’t own any sort of console until I purchased a PS2 and I didn’t have a Nintendo console until I bought a Game Boy Advance. I don’t have misty-eyed memories of the NES or SNES and I’m unable to look back fondly, with or without rose-tinted spectacles, at the legendary N64. Money was tight, when we were young, and was spent on other things.

“But that’s okay, Strident” you might say, “There are plenty of poor, deprived, misguided people in the world like you. But you do know that you can play most of the Mario games on your Wii and DS?”

Well, yes I do and, in the past, I have tried to play several of the Mario games on the systems I currently own. I’ve really tried to give them a chance and learn to love them the way everyone else does.

The thing is… I don’t like 2D platform games. I know that’s a pretty big genre to just dismiss with a sweeping statement but the reason is pretty simple. I am absolutely, totally, utterly, completely rubbish at playing them.

Back in my youth our family computer, the ZX Spectrum, was blessed with a wonderful plethora of platformers… and I was useless at all of them. Manic Miner, Jet Set Willy, Auf Wiedersehen Monty, Starquake, Chuckie Egg, Dizzy … all great, enjoyable games that I completely failed to get very far in. I just can’t play anything that requires pixel perfect jumping or memorising the movement of multiple enemies.

So what about Mario’s 3D adventures? Surely I can enjoy them? Recent gaming experiences have led me to believe that I don’t actually enjoy platforming games that much anymore. That’s a little weird since one of my favourite game franchises is Tomb Raider which involves a large amount of 3D platforming. It dawned on me, playing the two most recent editions of the series, that I find the climbing and jumping parts of the game quite tiresome. I’ve always been more interested in the puzzles, the locations and the characters.

So his 2D games and his 3D platformers aren’t going to win me over. What about Mario’s appearances in other games? Surely there’s something in the huge collection of titles he’s appeared in that’s more my cup of tea?
Well yes and no. I like Mario Kart. I enjoyed playing it on both the DS and Wii. The Mario Kart series of games are great. The thing is, though, as far as I’m concerned you could chuck anyone in those carts and I’d be happy. Even that blue guy with the spikey hair.

I know I’ve already lost what little gaming street credibility I had with this article but don’t get me wrong. I can understand why Mario is popular. I can even see why his series of games was influential. But love Mario? No. Like him? Not particularly.

Now I’ve got that off my chest, I’m going to go and listen to the latest Big Red Potion episode which discusses which is the best Mario game… or, perhaps as far as I’m concerned, the least worst. Mind you, if anyone can make me appreciate the inner beauty of the moustachioed plumber it’s Sinan and Joe. Maybe they’ll tempt me to really get into Super Mario 64 and I’ll be singing its praises in a few weeks time. I probably wouldn’t hold your breath.

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3 Responses to “I Hate Mario!”

  1. When I read the title of this post, I expected to have to rant and rave about your ignorance. But after reading it, you’re forgiven. While I like Mario, I’ve never been a fan of Final Fantasy, Gears Of War, Halo, Sonic, Metal Gear Solid, Castlevania, Monster Hunter, World Of Warcraft, Call Of Duty and countless other franchises, both modern and retro, that people say I ‘have to love’. In fact, if you tell me I ‘have to love’ game, I’m more inclined to hate it!

  2. Jacquelyn Cook Says:

    I don’t like Mario that much either. My first console was an N64, but Mario never really drew me in. Don’t worry about losing your street cred either, in my opinion, a person that stands up for what they believe in deserves a lot more street cred than anyone who mindless rants and follows the masses.

  3. Hot damn, I thought I was the only one out there! I’m one of the “indifferent” crowd too, and instead of playing Mario on the NES I was too busy playing Sonic on the Master System. Ouch. Either way, I do appreciate a good bash at Super Mario World from time to time, so I’m not completely lost. Not much of a platformer myself these days, but I smiled when I recognized all of the Spectrum games you mentioned in passing.

    PS found this blog through Big Red Potion etc, so no cause for alarm, but this post here caught my attention 🙂

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