Nintendo Does Not Understand the Appeal of Challenge in Mario Games

GenGAME writes: "Super Mario Bros. is not a game that inexperienced players have a good shot at completing – and yet it had a tremendous reputation in its heyday. Why? Because people caught on anyway. They struggled through despite their early failures, and instead of being handed every opportunity the developers could concoct to easily finish the game in the form of excessive 1ups and extra power-ups – and now the ability to conjure platforms out of thin air to block enemies and help you make difficult jumps – they grew in their own skill and knowledge of the game and overcame."

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ChickeyCantor1335d ago (Edited 1335d ago )

You don't exactly need many 1-ups to finish the old games. Besides what does a game-over exactly do? Those 1-ups don't really add much.

"But then the later worlds threw challenges at me that I just wasn’t ready for. In order to face these challenges, I had to become better at the game."

So you have experience with Mario games. Of course the new games with practically the same formula are going to be easy. It's a skillset you have build from long ago.

legendoflex1335d ago

I still get Game Overs in the old Mario games.

ChickeyCantor1335d ago (Edited 1335d ago )

Yes but what is the added value compared to the new games?

"Game Over", especially in the first original game was just a pain in the ass. Fortunately you could skip worlds by using secret passages.

In SMB3 and later you just start at a certain point again.

I died a lot in NSBW( I'm a run and jump guy, so I become reckless). Who is to say there was no challenge? Dying in a mario game made you improve your skills. Even if it's for a short section of the level. The only thing 1-ups really do is let you continue playing. A game over screen just sends you back to a certain point in the game without the saved data. How is this even related to a "challenge"? Why would I want to redo levels I've already beaten?

N4g_null1335d ago

What is interesting is you could get just as many one ups in the older games. You can also choose not to get them or try and finish the game with as many one ups or coins as possible.

Maybe the gaming media should take a course in design? The vocal minority is really skewing their perceptions.

Also the new challenge is not just you getting thur the game but can you get less skilled gamers through the game? Back in the day the core gamers converted casuals into core now they just complain and make troll articles. You would think they would have more gaming money from all of the troll baiting?

deafdani1335d ago

Well, I never got the memo. I consider myself to be a pretty good player when it comes to platform games (Super Meat Boy is one of my favorites), and I still saw the Game Over screen a million times in the 8 special worlds in Super Mario 3D Land, despite having racked in a ridiculous amount of lives in the first 8 worlds.

Then again, I don't tend to rush those games, I'm a completionist and don't feel satisfied until I collect all the big golden coins (3 per level). Oh, and I never touched the golden leaf in the first 8 worlds, either.

I also died countless times in Super Mario Galaxy 2, pretty much in the same vein: the later levels owned my ass, but I still completed the 120 golden stars... but then there's another whole 120 Green Stars to collect after that, too! I don't know about you, but that, to me, is quite the challenge.

Regarding the New Super Mario series... granted, the DS one was a bit on the easy side, but even still I died quite a few times there. And what about the Wii version? If you played it alone, you played it wrong. That game was meant to be played with friends and / or family, and like that, it's a whole different beast. It becomes a ridiculous challenge to complete, and a hilarious one to boot.

Was the original NES Mario Bros tougher than actual Mario games? Yes, it was. I played it and loved it to death back then in the 80's. But there's a important element that the author completely omitted here: context of the times. Back then, those games were way shorter than what's out now (generally speaking), and because of that, the developers actually saw it fit to make those games pretty difficult to artificially increase its replayability. The first Super Mario Bros doesn't have anywhere the same amount of content as Super Mario 3D Land. On the other hand, Super Mario Bros. 3 was a way lengthier affair than the first Mario game, and guess what? It was also much, much easier. That doesn't stop Super Mario Bros. 3 from being one of the best Mario games of all time (THE best for many gamers, actually), and the toned down difficulty also doesn't stop the current Mario games from being awesome.

Also, 4 words: Donkey Kong Country Returns. Granted, it's not a Mario game, but it's still a superb platforming game from Nintendo, and one that shows that they actually know how to make things insanely hard if they want to.

And the most amazing part of it all is that they manage to put those challenges for us gamers who actually love to suffer a bit, while keeping the game approachable for more casual players. If you don't find challenge in the Mario games, you're either a superpro player that should from now on play only I Wanna Be The Guy or Syobon Action, or you haven't played the Mario games properly, just completing them in a basic manner without trying to get the extra stuff (big golden coins, extra stars, a million coins, etc, depending on what game you're looking at).