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Mario: When Does the Line Get Crossed?


I'm baack. Who missed me?
Sep 7, 2011
United States, Michigan
Over the years, many of the Mario games have been very similar in gameplay style. With the Super Mario Bros. series, you explore side-scrolling worlds with various enemies and in each series gaining some new items or other gameplay style. The 3D Mario games like Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine involve collection of some object that will eventually help you finish your goal of saving Peach and these usually number to 120 (but not all are required to save Peach). So for most of the serie's life, it has had a similar history, and yet it is still one of Nintendo's most popular series. Even I'm tempted to go buy New Super Mario Bros. 2. But when does this end? The old saying goes "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" and Mario's lived up to this pretty well. But when does it become broken?


Sep 20, 2008
Joliet, IL
I see what your getting at, I think. I'm not sure if the series is 'broken', just repetitive. I was tempted to buy Super Mario RPG for the N64 yesterday, because I was sick of the same old Mario style. I turned it down though. I just think they should stick with the current formula and when people get bored with it, then try something new.
Super Mario is a franchise which has always retained its traditional platforming roots while gradually refreshing the formula. The New Super Mario Bros. games succeeded on the grounds of reviving the 2D platformer era, their 3D counterpart Galaxy games manipulated traditional genre physics across spherical planets.

Critics have panned NSMB 2 with the game receiving a low 78 Metascore, 11 points behind its DS predecessor and 9 below the Wii game. Sometimes however the aggregate review scores aren't accurtate though. They give you a general impression but you need to play a game in order to create your own opinion. That said if you enjoy precise jumping and desire a longer game with the promise of future DLC I recommend the purchase.

Lower budget platformers such as Limbo and Rayman Origins may be utilizing more intriguing elements and giving the plumber in red a run for his money but Nintendo will ride off the success of its principle franchise for years to come.


Turnabout Terror
As already said, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it.": the phrase applies well. I also think Nintendo won't cross the line. I mean, if Bowser becomes, 'repetitive' so to say, Nintendo has some old villains from the past they can use(Like King Wart or the Koopalings), a whole armory of extra materials to work with. The gameplay elements still work fine; but the only way Nintendo can cross the line with Mario, is if they do change the formula too much. No risky business is needed with the series; but the line would be crossed if major changes are made in my opinion.


The incomparable legend
Dec 19, 2011
Temple of Light
I hate to say this and as sad as it sounds, I'm sure Mario will perish the same time Shigeru Miyamoto does. So let's hope that alteast another good 25 years.
Sep 10, 2011
Mario is a fun game. Always has been, and if it continues in this repetitive pattern, always will be. I like your question of when exactly it is enough. I for one have become somewhat bored with Mario. I feel in new installments there's new levels and new ideas yet in similar worlds, circumstances, and gameplay. There's very few things wrong with the Mario franchise other than it's ability to keep up with the growing video game market of today. How long will people keep coming back to the same old thing when so many new things are coming out all the time? I personally see Mario's last great hoorah in Super Mario Sunshine, one of my favorite games period. It brought something incredibly new to the side-scrolling world we were used to. I feel Mario will need to do something game-changing and big like that soon to show the world how fun it can still be. Gamers are picky, especially Zelda and Mario fans. We love/want to see classic elements, however we want new and exciting features as well. This isn't easy, and while some may stay loyal to their respective franchise, others may become fed up and look for something fresh.

I'm not sure how Mario's popularity stands in the world at the moment, however there's no denying he was, is, and always will be Nintendo's, and all of classic gaming's, most recognizable mascot. Something so old does seem to bring something fresh along with each installment, however the formula is and will continue to become more and more noticeably repetitive and stale as the years drag on. Will people mind this, or will people want something new? Only time will tell. Again, I personally love Mario and it's many installments however I really am craving something new at this point.
I think Mario is getting close to crossing the line right now (whereas Zelda crossed it ages ago)

With Mario in his 2d era, the games were all very different, they were all marvels of innovation and wonderful ideas and were fully realised and a wonder to play. Mario Bros is nothing like Super Mario World and Mario Bros 3 is nothing like Mario 2. Yoshi's Island again is one of the greatest games ever made and its a 2d game. Mario's Gameboy outing like the Six Golden Coins which introduced Wario was another stunning game with some awesome items and a decent and varied over world...

Although the New Super Mario Bros series brought the 2D era back (if it was needed or not) the problem is that it is a series, the aforementioned games in this post were part of the mario series but this one follows the same title, the same style the same concept with little change, and with NSMB2 on the 3DS having such a focus on the most basic aspect of Mario games (the coin collecting) it feels as if nintendo are trying to reach for ideas already with a series that only has 3 installments.

With the 3d side of things i can't help but feel Nintendo are struggling there too. I loved Mario 64 and Mario Sunshine felt very different but only because of a gimmick item which a lot of the time was stolen. The assault course section in Mario Sunshine also make me immediately think of Mario Galaxy and really there isn't that much difference int he style or concept there which makes me feel that Galaxy wasn't the grande innovation people see it to be, but maybe thats just me.

Nintendo were lucky to b able to transist from 2d to 3d and do it well which is more than Sega could do and something that sony never really did and something microsoft never did, but i'm wondering if the 3d realm somehow gives less room for innovation despite more things being possible. Its a shame that Nintendo can't jump again like they did from 2d to 3d, 3d is as far as it goes so nintendo are locked in an innovation loop and will have to constantly recreate, after so long and so many games though i'm not sure how long they can keep it up.

conversely though, this isnt a bad thing. Most franchises keep on going with no change at all like Assassin's Creed. Nintendo just get a raw deal from the fanbase because it is expected of them by the fans to keep changing things up. Even if Mario and Zelda stay the same we will still be given quality and playable products, modern gamers have proved they can play the same game multiple times and not get bored like the call of honour, medal of duty battlefield ops crowd.
Jun 14, 2011
I don't have a problem with the 3D Mario games because they have pretty good and fun ways to collect stars/Shine Sprites, and there's not many 3D Mario games. The New Super Mario Bros. games are the problem for me. New Super Mario Bros 2 really lacked new ideas and was just New Super Mario Bros Wii with new Levels and Power-ups, the only new thing was the whole concept of collectig coins. Don't get me wrong it was fun to play, but it's just the same old format: complete side scrolling levels, collect Star Coins to access secret levels and Rescue Princess Peach.

I think the whole New Super Mario Bros series is getting stale, and Nintendo should think of new ideas for their games. They could take some inspiration from Super Mario Bros. 2 because that was different compared to the other Super mario Bros games. I can wait for New Super Mario Bros. U because it will just be the same thing over again, but like I say the games are fun.


poog tnalp yknuhc
Jul 11, 2012
I like the style of SM64 and SMS but i'm not really a fan of the newer 2D side scrollers there just something cool that was in the older ones but made into a different game that doesn't seem to have much of it's own style.

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