Mario has always been a trendsetter, it is only recently that his role in video games has largely diminished. However, Donky Kong, Super Mario, Mario 3, Super Mario World, and Mario 64 all created buzzes in the industry. Even Mario Galaxy is hugely innovative, though the platformer may be so dead by now that we may not see the clones like we once might have seen.
He still has his moments however. The
[amazonify]B000ERVMI8::text::::New Super Mario Brothers[/amazonify] game that came out last year on the DS was wildly successful. The idea of taking this classic series, and making a brand new game for it, but in the original style proved to be a very good idea. People loved it, and really why wouldn’t they? The gameplay of the original has been refined through decades, and it was great in the first place. This game provided people with new levels and new abilities to a game that people haven’t really seen for awhile. I mean sure there has been a number of sequals to the game over the years, but these haven’t really resonated with people like the old versions did.
While Mario 64 proved to be genius in its own right, I think platforming really hasn’t worked in 3D the way it did in 2D. You see countless old classics going from side-scrolling to full on 3D and while there is a sparkle from time to time, they have largely been gigantic failures to the series in question.
It is because of this that we shouldn’t be surprised by the new fad that Mario has started. That of the classic remake. We already saw
[amazonify]B000UZVL58::text::::Contra 4[/amazonify] which also turned out to be very successful (it still boggles my mind that they couldn’t come up with a Contra that worked in 3D given that it is a shooter after all). The lesser known Super Dodge Ball, also saw an update, which I am more than happy about. And recently we have seen remakes of Breakout and Space Invaders. Now there are rumors of another New Mario sequel, and even Mega Man 9. I think I’ve also heard of a new version of Asteroids.
With all these new classics, it makes me wonder what other classics we should get. There’s been rumor of a DS side-scrolling Metroid for ages which I think is no more, but this I think would be a very cool and relavant update. However, given how the latest Metroid sales have faired (despite being very good), I have a feeling Nintendo won’t be continuing this series much for awhile. I think Prince of Persia would be a good one, especially considering the new 3D ones have done fairly well. Sonic is a given, and it is a shame they don’t seem to be going this route as the series has suffered the longer it stays in 3D. Oddly, I could see Pac-Man doing this very well as well, though on the surface there is little they could do to the series, I think there are little tweaks and powerups they could add in to give it a breath of freshness. I have a feeling fighting games like Mortal Kombat would work as well. The more fantasy oriented ones never really translated as well IMHO, and I think would be really easy to update the graphics and new characters and powers in a side fashion.
Lastly, I’d like to see a true sequel to Super Mario World. While in many aspects it wasn’t the best of the marios (3 largely is considered the best), the theme of the world made it my favorite of the bunch. I would so love to see a return to this world with the koopa kids, ridable Yoshis, and a playable Luigi.