Have I gone over to the Dark Side?

So, you may or you may not know this, but I am a Sonic the Hedgehog fan. A huge Sonic the Hedgehog fan (both in terms of my love for the franchise and physically – seriously I have a very large belly…) So why am I really, really excited about a Mario game, that long term arch-rival to the blue blur? Surely that is treason?

Well the truth is that I did play Mario games when I was young in the 1990s. Admittedly not as much as Sonic and I didn’t own one until much later. For reference I finally got my own copy of Galaxy in July thinks year and Sunshine about 3 weeks ago (then of course just after this game got announced).

One thing changed my opinion of Mario games, but it is worth noting that despite this, I am still a Sonic fanboy and my game room (in progress) would show this as below. In comparison I have about one or two Mario mugs out and that’s it (and even then one holds the backs to my Pokemon pin collection).

This is the current incarnation of my Sonic showcase – once I get room plenty more will be on display including some cool oddities.

As I said though something changed my thoughts on Mario games, incidentally also the same thing that made me the Nintendo fan I am now – the Nintendo 64. Like many 90s kids, I’m sure the Nintendo 64 was one of/or their first experience of 3D gaming having possibly been to young or not having access to the Super FX chip in the SNES or Virtual Racing on the Mega Drive.

I found 2D Mario games boring, not bad in any way, just boring (and I’m still not keen now). Sonic games were much more fun – they looked prettier, had better music and also didn’t feel as slow to play. I loved the speed of Sonic games and still do to this day.

The Nintendo 64 however brought the all time classic Super Mario 64. This looked much more beautiful than Sonic on the Master System (I didn’t have a Mega Drive) and had amazing music, even today I still love Bob-Omb Battlefield and the slide music. On top of that to a 10 year old kid who had been trapped in 2 dimensions, having full freedom to explore in 360 degrees was a wondrous thing, like being introduced to a new world.

This was a Mario game I could get behind – I loved everything about it from the boss battles with Bowser to throwing the penguin off the cliff (we all did it and I’m sure we all will), unlike any previous Mario game I was having the same feeling of excitement I got with Sonic games, though for different reasons. For this reason I still fondly look upon memories of playing Super Mario 64 in the kiosk in my local Argos.

Super Mario 3D All Stars – the Mario game that actually excites me by bringing back joyful memories and new experiences

Super Mario 3D All Stars has me excited as I feel like I’m playing it for the first time again despite having it on the Nintendo 64 and Wii U for the last few years. Yes it won’t feel exactly the same as it won’t actually be the first time and won’t be with the N64 controller but I can already feel the nostalgia and it makes me happy.

Although Galaxy doesn’t excite me as much where I’ve hardly played it, I do look forward to properly giving it a go now. Sunshine however I am eager to play. I’ve always loved Sunshine as it gave me similar feelings to 64 – the locale looks pretty with some awesome music (the Mario theme in puzzles, Pinna Park and Ricco Harbour which is my personal favourite). On top of that there is the Blooper Surfing, the rollercoaster level and the various mini-levels dotted around Isle Delfino. All unique but very fun side quests to discover and then play.

Even then being able to listen to some of that classic music and especially being able to play on the go has me anticipating the game with eagerness. I will get to relive memories with more ease and access even before, even more in my opinion than the DS release of Super Mario 64 (which I actually bought on release). The music in particular brings back memories of epic boss battles and overcoming challenges on the way to completing stages.

The inside of the Super Mario 3D All Stars case – so many memories in such a small object

Sonic is my true love in the Sonic-Mario equation and always will be. But Super Mario 64 and Sunshine (and maybe Galaxy once I’ve played it more) both give me a similar feeling that playing Sonic 2 does and that’s my favourite game of all time.

That is why Super Mario 3D All Stars has a Sonic fan excited.

Special Announcement

So you may be aware that I have a YouTube channel (my videos can be found under the YouTube Videos tab in the menu above).

Why do I mention this? I recently posted a video where I share my thoughts on the 35th anniversary of Super Mario which ties in with this article.

The video can be found at https://youtu.be/swA1BFFVqpk

I will soon be adding the video to the YouTube Video page.

Thanks for reading the article/watching the video