It’s the 35th anniversary of Super Mario Bros., which means that Mario’s adventures have been entertaining players of all ages for over three decades now. To celebrate Nintendo has released new games for the Nintendo Switch and even a new retro console.
The world of Super Mario brings back all kinds of nostalgic memories for so many of us. I chatted to my friend Harold Goldberg about some of his favourite Super Mario memories. Harold has written for the New York Times, Playboy, Vanity Fair and elsewhere. He is the founder of the New York Videogame Critics Circle and New York Game Awards as well as the author of All Your Base Are Belong to Us (How 50 Years of Videogames Conquered Pop Culture).
Super Mario memories
Why do you think people love Super Mario and why is it still so popular today 35 years later? Harold: People love Nintendo generally and Mario in particular. It feels timeless. Mario has a seeming simplicity of artwork, of theme, of narrative, of gameplay and of goals that kids and adults love easily. They can play together as a family. It’s easy to pick up and play, but often maddening to finish. I think, because of the familiarity of the characters, you go in thinking you know it. You think, You got this. And because you think you know it, you keep coming back for more when you’re daunted. And, you come back for more because you can’t believe you messed up a level – especially if you’ve beaten Mario games before.
What is your favourite Super Mario game and why? Harold: Super Mario 64 felt like taking a trip where I could go anywhere. But Mario Galaxy not only let me take a trip – to space – it led me to dream more. Once again, I was led to conceive my own stories each time Mario landed on a planet. Whenever a game leads me to think creatively beyond the game, it becomes one of my favorite games.
New Super Mario games
We have enjoyed being a part of the Super Mario Bros. 35th anniversary celebrations – from racing with Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit to building Mario’s level-based world re-imagined in LEGO with Super Mario LEGO, stepping into three classic Mario 3D adventures in Super Mario 3D All-Stars, challenging ourselves with the Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. and battling online with Super Mario Bros. 35. If you haven’t already make sure you check out these new games as some are only available until 31 March.
What’s coming up?
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury will be available for the Nintendo Switch this Friday, giving players the opportunity to enjoy adventures in the Sprixie Kingdom as well as a new bonus adventure where Mario teams up with Bowser Jr. We can’t wait to suit up as Cat Mario, there’s even special Cat Mario and Cat Peach amiibo figures launching alongside the game!
A new Nintendo Switch Mario Red & Blue Edition also launches this Friday. This stunning new special edition hardware features the distinct red and blue colour scheme that reflects Mario’s legendary outfit. This includes red Joy-Con controllers with blue straps, a blue Joy-Con grip, a red Nintendo Switch dock and for the time ever a red Nintendo Switch as well as a Mario Red & Blue Edition Carrying Case and a screen protector.
Which is your favourite Super Mario game?