Series Ranked: Super Mario Bros

This past Friday marked the release of the amazing looking Super Mario Odyssey for the Nintendo Switch, which is now one of the highest rated games of all time, joining The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

To celebrate this exciting occasion, I am going to rank all of the mainline Super Mario games. There are far too many spin offs to include all of them. Unfortunately, this means RPG, the original Mario Bros, Mario Maker and Yoshi’s Island will not be included in this list, but oh well.

I will rank them from worst to best.

#17

Super Mario Land

Game Boy, 1989

Times Beaten-1

The very first handheld Mario game turned out to be a very short adventure, taking no longer than 20 minutes to beat. It is still a fun little game however.

 

#16

Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels

Famicom, 1986 / SNES 1993

Times Beaten-0

Originally called Super Mario Bros 2, it was somehow never released outside of Japan. Most people didn’t play it until it was called the “Lost Levels” which was added in Super Mario All-Stars several years later. It is very similar to it’s prequel and takes off right where it left off, making this game very infamous for it’s difficulty. I never put too much time into it to really say much about it, for it was so similar to the first game.

#15

Super Mario Bros

NES, 1985

Times Beaten-2 or 3

This is probably the most famous game of all time, and forever will be so. To this day, it is a fun enough game, but I was never that huge a fan of it due to it’s stiff jumping mechanic and constantly having to replay through the same levels to get to the warp pipes so you can continue where you left off.

 

#14

Super Mario Land 2

Game Boy, 1992

Times Beaten-2 or 3

 

This game is quite unique and still a lot of fun to play. The level designs and nifty power ups, not to mention the introduction of Wario, make this a game to be remembered.

 

#13

Super Mario Bros 2

NES, 1988

Times Beaten-2

This game really took the series in a whole new direction. Suddenly instead of jumping oneverything, you were throwing radishes at them. It’s a really bizarre game, but a lot of fun. The fact that there is 4 playable characters, all with unique traits, make this a very ambitious game for the time.

#12

Super Mario 3D Land

3DS, 2011

Times Beaten-1

This was another twist for the beloved series, taking advantage of the 3D graphics to create a different adventure for Mario, combining elements from the side scrolling games with the 3D ones. While it is a fun game, I wished I was playing a regular 2D or 3D Mario most of the time.

#11

New Super Mario Bros

DS, 2006

Times Beaten-1

A return to the side scrolling age after a decade of being in 3D was a most exciting concept. The only bad thing was that this meant it would be facing up against the last 2D Mario, Super Mario World. And it didn’t even come close, having focused more on keeping faithful to the original NES game, but with a ton of new features added to it.

#10

Super Mario 64

N64, 1996

Times Beaten-2

This is also one of the most famous games ever made, responsible for ushering 3D games into the limelight in a good way. Though the game had a few flaws, it was still pretty amazing for the time. I never was too into it, however, for I felt it was far worse than some of the 2D games.

#9

New Super Mario Bros Wii

Wii, 2009

Times Beaten-4

While this game was a huge improvement over the DS game, it still sorely fell behind some other 2D Marios, making me realize they weren’t even trying to create these side-scrollers like they used to. The “New” series seemed to be something completely different, and while not as good as some of the classics, they are still solid games.

#8

New Super Mario Bros 2

3DS, 2012

Times Beaten-1

This game is a lot of fun, especially compared to the previous two on this list. It was so satisfying to just run like crazy, collecting absurd amounts of coins, through some of the best platforming seen in years.

#7

Super Mario Sunshine

GameCube, 2002

Times Beaten-3

This is probably the most unique Mario game around. Cleaning graffiti with a water pack that has all sorts of different settings, while traversing through beautiful landscapes…just awesome. There was plenty of platforming challenges scattered throughout the game as well, making this a fantastic game all around.

#6

New Super Mario Bros U

Wii U, 2012

Times Beaten-1

Now this is what I’ve been waiting for. Amazing platforming chock full of secrets and challenge, new power ups and other ideas, all scattered throughout a massive world. This was the game I have been waiting for ever since they announced the “new” line of platformers back on DS.

#5

Super Mario Bros 3

smb3

NES, 1988

Times Beaten-2

This game was more than anyone could ever have expected at the time of its release. It completely blew every other platformer out of the water, and still does to most even today. It was such a vast improvement over it’s prequels, it’s amazing to think they are in the same series. A huge world, tons of new content, and unique items will keep this one in the record books forever. It is funny I have only ever beat the game twice, for as a small child, I played this game constantly, just goofing around on the many great stages.

#4

Super Mario Galaxy 2

Wii, 2010

Times Beaten-1

The only reason this places lower than the first game is because this was not really the true game. The only reason this game exists is because there was so much that couldn’t fit into the first game, that Nintendo decided to just make another game to put it all in, which is great news for fans! It’s almost like the best DLC ever. So the whole central idea was not fresh at this point, but there were a ton of new ideas and planets to explore and items to grab that made this game stand out by itself.

#3

Super Mario Galaxy

Wii, 2007

Times Beaten-2

This game is a masterpiece. It is probably one of the very few games I can say I could literally not put down. I was so amazed by how good it was, that in only 3 days I got every star and unlocked Luigi, only to immediately beat the game with every star with him too. No other game has had me play so much at one time, and do it over again with no time in between. The game is so unique and incredible, that I long to play it again…(Curse you backlog!)

#2

Super Mario World

SNES, 1990

Times Beaten-At Least 20

This is probably the best platformer ever made, in my opinion. I spent my childhood uncovering every tiny little secret in this diverse, huge world. The game is so vast and just perfect. I absolutely love it and I can pick it up anytime and play through it, taking all the shortcuts to beat the game quickly, or slowly beat every level, and uncover all the secret paths and not stop until I beat Special Land and turn the world into that awesome weirdo place where the Koopas are Marios.

#1

Super Mario 3D World

Wii U, 2013

Times Beaten-1

Here it is, the best Mario game ever made. I was rather disappointed when they announced the next 3D Mario would be in the same 2D/3D combined style like Super Mario 3D Land, seeing that I wasn’t all that impressed with that game.

But the second I played it, I was proven wrong. The new items, particularly the cat, is amazing, the fact that you can play as a variety of characters, each with unique traits, is even more amazing, the humongous world to explore is creative and diverse, and the gameplay is just simply solid. This game delivered everything I could have wanted for this style of game, and I love it to death.

There is plenty to do in the game, giving it some nice replay value too. I had long given up hope that they would ever top Super Mario World, but it seems any game with “world” in the title is destined for greatness.

And there you have it. That is all the mainline games, ranked from worst to best. They are all very good, memorable games, and there are tons of spin off or other series with Mario that are just as good, if not better. It is safe to say that the gaming industry would not be the same without this little fella, so my hat’s off to him. I can’t wait to see where Odyssey fits in this list!

switch-super-mario-odyssey-press-7pd-1280x720

Advertisements

I Played The First Four Levels Of Star Fox Zero…Here Are My Thoughts

 

Before I get into my feelings towards the game, I just want to say that I am not a huge fan of Star Fox. I mean, I like them, own and enjoy every game, but Star Fox is by far my least favorite franchise from Nintendo. The next thing you should know is that when they first revealed the control scheme of this game, I was mortified. I thought it was a ludicrous idea and it ruined the game. I was still going to buy it, but only because Nintendo and Platinum Games both impress the heck out of me with every thing they do. I even looked at a review or two, something I never pay attention to, to see what others thought. And not surprisingly, they were mostly negative, complaints about the voice acting, graphics and ESPECIALLY the controls being the most prominent.

So I did not actually buy Star Fox Zero, but my cousin did day one. Right away he called me and said he loved it. He only played one level, but swore it was the best in the series. So the next day he came over and I watched him play the first level, and right away I noticed it was neat to watch. Now know, I typically hate watching others play video games, but for some reason, the view on the screen made the whole thing seem like a cinematic, rather than someone playing a game. This made it interesting to watch. I also noticed that my cousin, playing the game for the second time only, had the controls mastered and was flying and shooting like a pro. For those who don’t know, the flying is done on the TV screen, where much of the shooting is on the gamepad in a first person cockpit view.

After he beat the level, he handed me the gamepad and I tried the second level out, not knowing any of the controls whatsoever other than moving the gamepad was how you aimed. In under 30 seconds I figured out all the controls and had them pretty well mastered. So right away all the nightmarish reviews confused me. The controls were so easy to pick up and get used to and on top of it, it utilized the gamepad! Something rare for the Wii U, unfortunately.

It was so much fun to fly around in a Star Fox game again, blasting away at everything. It played and looked and felt just like you would expect it to. Switching from looking at the TV and the gamepad was easy and made for a different experience for each view. I found that this new type of gameplay added a certain tactical element to the game. Did I want to look at the screen to better see oncoming threats and fly more precise, or did I want to sacrifice that for more accurate firing? I found this choice to really add to the depth and strategy of the game, which added to the fun and overall experience.

And I know a lot of people would say, “If they made the targeting on the TV, you could have both!” To answer this, I would simply say, true, but then you would have to focus on one or the other anyway, possibly resulting in an overwhelming and crowded experience. With the two different screens, again, it adds new depth and unique characteristics to the game. Plus looking at the gamepad made me actually feel like I was in control of the Arwing, fighting alongside Falco and the others. I almost wished this game had come out for the virtual reality systems to enhance that feeling even more.

Speaking of adding depth to the game, the new Walker mode allows your Arwing to transform into a walking robot thing of mass destruction. The ability to change into this at almost any time during the stage allows you to flip the gameplay on its head with the push of a button. It feels almost like you have entered into a different, yet incredibly similar game. The Walker allows you to access different areas, attack from different vantage points, and more! And again, looking between both screens is amazing and extremely fun.

I then played through the third level, actively switching between flight and Walker modes and had a blast, the controls completely comfortable and mastered by now.

After I beat this level, I played the first level, but this time I tapped my Fox amiibo on the gamepad. This turned all the Arwings into their SNES Star Fox polygonal glory and even changed the sound effects to their 16 bit awesomeness and even added a graphic for the charged laser, something that was not in the original game. Best of all was the original music from the first Corneria, one of my favorite video game songs ever, started playing thanks to the amiibo. Even the Walker was 16 bit, probably the original design of the canceled Star Fox 2 for SNES it was supposed to appear in. That was a ton of fun to play through like that. Having Walker mode unlocked this time, I was able to go through different paths during the level and even defeated the stage boss in a different way, resulting in a different ending cut scene.

Next, my cousin and I tried out co-op. I took the gamepad, which meant I could do nothing but shoot around, while he watched the TV, so he was in control of flying, but also had a laser he could fire straight ahead of him. We had a blast playing this. I loved the fact that I had no control of the ship, because all the movements were a surprise. I felt like I was on a roller coaster when all of a sudden he would barrel roll or somersault, getting a first person view of the maneuvers the Arwing was doing. Awesome fun. We got to fight Pigma of Star Wolf like this, my cousin flying around trying to keep up with the ship, and me blasting away at it. I felt like I was in the scene from Star Wars: A New Hope when they escape the Death Star, but get chased by TIE Fighters. My cousin was like Chewie, flying the Millennium Falcon, and I was Han or Luke in the gun turret thing, trying to blast away at them. Having a feeling like that is amazing, especially since I love Star Wars.

The next part of the mission introduced a new ship called the Gyro something or another. This was great, especially in co-op. My cousin flew around while I shot at things, then he could drop down this little robot thing that I took control of to hack into things. Lots of fun.

So that was my experience from Star Fox. I absolutely loved it, and it just may be my favorite in the series, though I will wait until I complete the whole game when I eventually buy it to make the official judgement, for playing it took all my doubts about purchasing it and incinerated them in an Arwing laser blast. I hope this encourages anyone else on the fence about buying it to give it a shot. It is well worth it.

I already said I am confused about why the controls are getting knocked by reviewers, but I imagine that it is because the developers took a risk and broke away from traditional controls, and change is something a lot of people are not receptive to. Change can be a bad thing sometimes, but in this case, it is incredible and delivers an experience you can only get on Wii U.

Though honestly, the game is almost completely playable if you wanted to just look at the TV screen anyway, or even if you just looked at the gamepad. So work on mastering that if you have issues with doing both at the same time.

As for graphics, is it the best looking game on Wii U? Absolutely not, but it’s still a great looking game, and the graphical style is everything you would expect from a Star Fox game, so again, I’m not sure what people are upset about.

And as for the voice acting…it is just like its always been since Star Fox 64. Again, this game is everything you would and should expect from a Star Fox game, just with a ton of new features and gameplay mechanics that make it a worthy title in series and well worth your time. Plus it comes with another game with it! So get them both right here!

Images from computergames.ro

http://www.digitaltrends.com

http://www.ign.com