The Many Faces of a Multi-Talented Mario

This week’s hot new video game release is Mario Sports Mix for the Wii. The game compiles basketball, dodge ball volleyball, and hockey all onto one disc. Mario is traditionally associated with platformers, but he’s dabbled in other genres as well. Here is a sample of the dozens of Mario games released worldwide.

Mario the Athlete: Mario is quite the athlete, despite having a reputation for being a chubby, Italian plumber who eats too much pasta. Nintendo has released countless sports games featuring Mario, which include, golf, tennis, soccer, baseball and basketball. He even collaborated with Sonic the Hedgehog for the summer and winter Olympic Games. All of them are pretty good, but tennis is by far the most fun.

Mario Behind the Wheel: Who doesn’t love Mario Kart? There have been many iterations of Mario Kart, but the most criminally overlooked entry in the franchise is Mario Kart: Double Dash!! for the GameCube. This game mixes up the formula with two racers per kart, and multiplayer supports up to 16 players.

Mario’s Fiestas: Like Halo or Call of Duty, the Mario Party series is the perfect game for those nights when you just want to eat pizza and drink beer all night with a group of friends. Mario Party is like a virtual board game, but with dozens of mini-games designed for one to four players.

Sparring Mario: Super Smash Brothers is probably familiar to most of you, but if you need a refresher the basic premise is classic Nintendo characters like Mario, Donkey Kong and Link gather into the fighting ring, and kick the crap out of each other.

Mario RPG: Mario’s first appearance in a role-playing game (RPG) was Super Mario RPG Legend of the Seven Stars, a dream collaboration between Nintendo and Square (the makers of Final Fantasy). Although the game was great for its time, the Paper Mario games that came out afterwards are significantly better. Two things these games do better than most RPG’s out there are well- written stories with hilarious dialogue that are laugh out loud funny, and a timed button-press battle system that keeps combat from growing stale.

Miscellaneous Mario’s: Virtual Boy – Nintendo’s first stab at 3D gaming – wasn’t very memorable, but there were a few gems for the system. One was Mario Clash, a take of off the classic Mario’s Bros arcade game where you throw shells to eliminate your enemies. Another odd Mario game is MarioPaint for the Super Nintendo, which came packaged with a mouse. The game was noteworthy for its applications that allowed users to create their own artwork and music.

Puzzled Mario: Dr. Mario is a takeoff of Tetris where the goal is to line up vitamin capsules by the same color either horizontally or vertically to eliminate viruses. Mario’s other take at the puzzle genre is Mario’s Picross for the original Game Boy. To solve puzzles you needed to fill in numbers on select parts of a grid to form a picture.

Mario Arcade: The Mario vs. Donkey Kong games for Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS are similar to the original Donkey Kong arcade game but larger in scope. Gameplay is a combination of platforming and puzzles. Mario also can be found in the Game and Watch Gallery games for Game Boy, a small collection of easy pick-up-and play games like rescuing people from a fire.

Mario and the Gang: Mario has appeared in minor roles in some of his friend’s games, from the mushroom kingdom as well as a few non- Nintendo games. Some highlights where Mario can be found are in Luigi’sMansion, a Ghostbusters style video game for GameCube. Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 is a platform game staring Mario’s rival Wario.

As for cameos, Mario can be spotted in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past for the Super Nintendo, and both of the Nintendo 64’s Zelda’s. And as far as non-Nintendo games are concerned, Mario has been a playable character in SSX Tour, NBA Street Vol. 3, And can be seen in Metal Gear Solid: TheTwin Snakes, all for GameCube.

Cool free Mario flash games: Go to http://www.Funnygames. Co.Uk to play dozens of free Mario games. Highlights include Mario Combat, a game that plays like a platformer, but where Mario uses kung fu to defeat his enemies. The other standout title is Super Mario Crossover, where you can play through the original Super Mario Brothers as Megaman, Samus Aran from Metroid, the guy from Contra, and other characters from the NES era.

Mario games that suck: Avoid the educational Mario games like Mario is Missing, Mario Time Machine, and others like Mario’s Early Years: Fun with Numbers at all costs. They’re complete crap, and don’t live up to the Mario name.

What’s next for Mario in 2011: A new Mario game has been confirmed for the Nintendo 3DS and is rumored to be a new take on Super Mario World. New versions of Paper Mario and Mario Kart have been confirmed for 3DS as well.

This article originally appeared in the UWM Post. Check out the original article here. http://issuu.com/theuwmpost/docs/2-7-2011

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