Friday, 12 March 2010

*Article* Through the years: mario Spinoffs (all 3 parts).

Note: This was my first article for the site and it was split into 3 parts. Some things I wanted to go over, it is wrong of me to call Hotle mario terrible because I have never sat down and played it. I blame the internet.

Welcome to a series I am starting called through the years, in through the reads I will write about gaming and its history.
This week we are talking about the Mario spinoff's there have been a huge amount of these in the last 25 years due to Marios popularity, Mario has now featured in over 100 games.

Game and Watch Mario
Like I said Mario is very popular even in his early days, Nintendo decided that it would be a good idea to release game and watch games based off him so they did.
They were no different from the normal game and watch games, a total rip-off. The Mario game and watch games are now worth loads on internet auction sites like eBay.

Wrecking Crew
This was the first popular Mario spinoff.
Wrecking Crew was released on the NES in 1987 (1985 if you live in Japan or America) and featured Mario straight out of his hugely successful NES debut in Super Mario Bros.
This game saw the plumber as a construction worker demolishing buildings.
Being fair the game wasn't quite as good as Mario's first NES outing.
The game did have a sequel on SNES called Wrecking Crew 97 but it was only released in Japan.

Super Mario Bros 2
Ok I have cheated here, most people know this as the second game in the Mario Bros series but did you know that it was never a Mario game to begin with.
This one is a pretty big controversy in the gaming world, it starts like this: In 1986 Nintendo released a sequel to Super Mario Bros in Japan, the game was called Super Mario Bros 2 and it ran off the same engine as the first Super Mario Bros, after the release Nintendo came to this conclusion, this game was hard and I mean Mega man hard. Nintendo decided that the game would be too hard for western gamers to cope with. So instead they took an already existing game and put Mario in it and called it super Mario bros 2, the game was Doki Doki Panic it was a game for the Famicom disk system.
The US version of Super Mario Bros 2 was released in Japan under the name Super Mario USA but to the Japanese all it was to them was a game that they already had minus the ability to save.
A true injustice, Nintendo really got the better of everyone that time.

This Next one is a spinoff series. In 1990 Nintendo released Dr Mario a puzzle game for the NES and game boy.
The game sees you playing as Mario killing viruses using a new medicine that he has made. The game was pretty good and has had 2 sequels since it was released. The game also got a rerelease in on the Game Boy Advance 2005 as part of the Nintendo NES classics collection.
The newest game in the series is Dr Mario & Germ Buster on WiiWare.

Educational Mario
In the 1990's Nintendo released several educational Mario games,
These games spanned across several platforms including NES, SNES and PC.
These games were:
Mario Teaches Typing (PC)
Mario Teaches Typing 2 (PC)
Mario's Early Years! Fun with Letters (SNES)
Mario's Early Years! Fun with Numbers (SNES)
Mario's Early Years! Preschool Fun (SNES)
Mario's Game Gallery/Mario's FUNdamentals (PC)
Mario's Time Machine (NES/SNES/PC)
Super Mario Bros. & Friends: When I Grow Up (PC)
Mario is Missing! (NES/SNES/PC)

I won't lie these games were terrible, people tend not to speak of them.

Mario & Yoshi
Also known as Yoshi's egg and Yoshi. Mario & Yoshi is another Mario Puzzle game, it was released on NES and game boy in 1991.
The game was a fairly decent puzzle game which saw you making lines by swapping the piles around.

Mario Kart
Now here is the one we have all been waiting for arguably the best Mario Spinoff ever made this game has gone to become one of Nintendo’s biggest series, there isn't much to be said about Mario Kart that hasn't already been said.
Mario Kart is always expanding and getting bigger.
Today there are 6 Mario Kart games, chances are that there will be more in the future.

Yoshi's cookie
This game was released on the NES,SNES and Game boy and is about making Yoshi's favourite food. Yoshi Cookies. The game see's you play as Mario who has to align Yoshi cookies in The game was another decent Mario puzzler, there was a game mode based off Yoshi's cookie in Tetris DS.

Mario Paint
Mario Paint on SNES was just like MS paint so it was a bit primitive, you used a SNES mouse to play the game.
This game has become famous thanks to one of the features to be found in the game. Mario Paint has a feature known as Mario Paint Composer, this game mode lets you create music, if you wanted to you could create the Super Mario Bros theme using it, and it was a very good music program. It is still used by many people today, just go on YouTube and type in Mario Paint you will be amazed.

Mario & Wario
Mario & Wario was released on the Super Famicom in 1993, just like Mario Paint you play with the mouse. The game was developed by Gamefreak (Famous for Pokemon, Pluseman and the SNES mouse). In Mario and Wario you have to guide Mario to the end of each stage while avoiding Wario's traps.
Sadly the game was never released outsize of Japan despite the fact that the game itself was in English text.

Yoshi's Safari
This Mario game is one of a kind; it is an on-rail shooter.
Released on the SNES in 1993, Yoshi's Safari saw you playing as Mario shooting foes with the Super Scope while on Yoshi's back.

Donkey Kong 94
This is the sequel to the game that started it all.
Donkey Kong 94 is just like the original Donkey Kong but with a bit of Super Mario Bros 2 thrown into the mix. Ever played Mario Vs Donkey Kong on the GBA? While this is just like that minus the mini Mario’s.

Hotel Mario
By now I'm sure many of you would have heard of this game (Thanks to YTP, AVGN ect), hotel Mario was a game that was not made by Nintendo.
It is a long story and it goes like this.
In the 16-bit era Nintendo were trying to come up with a CD drive add-on for the SNES Nintendo hired two company’s Sony and Phillips.
Sadly talks with Sony broke down so Nintendo made a deal with Phillips.
Because of this Phillips were allowed to take well known Nintendo franchises and do whatever the hell they wanted with them, the result was 3 rubbish Zelda games and one bad Mario game.
The plot o Hotel Mario is this, Bowser has once again kidnapped the princess and it is up too Mario and Luigi to rescue her, to do this Mario and Luigi must make it through Bowsers 7 hotels.
Now the aim of the game is this. To get to the next stage you have to close doors, this is easily one of the worst Mario games ever made.

Mario's Tennis
This would you believe was the first game in the Mario tennis series, it was released on Nintendo's Virtua boy. The Virtua boy was a "handheld" Nintendo console that you had to look into. The idea of the console was that it was virtual reality.
Mario's tennis wasn't that good a tennis game; it was just tennis, nothing more.

Mario Clash
This was the other Mario title to be released on Nintendo's Virtua boy.
The idea of this game is too throw shells at enemies. That's it. The game does make good use of the Virtua Boy's 3D effects but that's just about it.

Mario's Picross series
For all those who don't know Picross is a nonogram logic puzzle involving a grid with numbers.
In Mario's Picross you have to chip have squares to solve puzzles, it isn't really that much of a Mario game but it is still pretty good for picross.
There were sequels released on the Gameboy and SNES but they were Japan only.

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the seven stars
Developed by Squaresoft and released on the SNES in 1995 Super Mario RPG was the first Mario game to be an RPG.
The game saw you as Mario on a quest to save the Mushroom kingdom from an evil being called Smithy.For the time the games graphics were amazing and it was easily hailed as one of the best RPG's on the SNES.
Sadly the game was never released in Europe, but don't worry it is now available on Wii Virtual console.

Game & Watch Gallery Series
Remember what I said about the game and watch in part one well they weren't the only game & watch that Mario featured in.
The game and watch gallery is series of compilation games, the games let you play the original game and watch games as well as new versions featuring Mario characters.
In all there are 4 Gallery's.

Mario Excitebike
This game was released on Nintendo's Satellaview in 1997. For all those who don't know Satellaview was a service that Nintendo did in the late 1990's. You how these days everyone goes on about DLC and downloadable game on PSN/XBOX Live/WiiWare, well Satellaview was just that.
Mario Excitbike is just Excitebike with Mario in.

Mario no Photopi
Now this one is really obscure, Mario no Photopi is a creativity game that used a smart media cartridge that let you import photos to your N64. The game was only released in Japan and over there it is pretty rare so don't fancy your chances of ever getting this game.

Mario Party series
When ever there is an argument about Nintendo milking its franchises and characters this game is always used as evidence.
Mario party was released for the N64 in 1999 (1998 if your Japanese), it was a like playing a board game. The whole idea of Mario party is to see who can get the most starts; Mario Party also features mini games. These are the best thing about the games.
Mario Party isn't bad but you have to consider the fact that there has been 10 Mario party games in the last ten years. The fact that games are always the same from the last doesn't help much either.

Super Smash Brothers
Ahh Super Smash Bros a game that takes our all time favourite Nintendo characters and has them beat the crap out of each other.
The first Super Smash Bros was released on the N64 in 1999 and has since become one of Nintendo's biggest games.
Super Smash Bros was the game that started it all.
Melee was the best selling game on Gamecube.
And Brawl is one of the best games on wii.
Just like with Mario Kart there isn't anything that I can say that hasn't already been said.

Mario Sports Series
These are a series of Sports games that feature Mario characters, games in this series include Mario Tennis, Mario Golf, Mario Strikers, Mario Baseball, Mario Basketball and Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games.
The Mario sports games are all pretty good and they have all had good feedback.
The next game in the Mario sports series is set to be Mario and Sonic at the Olympic winter games.

Paper Mario Series
These three games are all Mario RPG's; these games are famous for their art style, in the game Mario is everything around him is made of Paper.
Paper Mario is often regarded as the best RPG on the N64, same for its sequel Paper Mario and the thousand year door and Gamecube.
The Latest game in the series is Super Paper Mario on Wii.
Unlike the first 2 Super Paper Mario is a platformer and not a turn based RPG.
All three games are worth owning, the first two are now fairly rare.
Paper Mario is available on Wii Virtual Console.

Mario Artist
Here is one more obscure Mario game that you have most likely never heard of Mario Artist.
This was a game that was played on an expansion for the Nintendo 64; the expansion was called the DD64.
There were 3 versions of this game Paint Studio which is just Mario Paint on steroids; Polygon studio which let you make 3D images and Talent Studio which was an animation program.

Luigi's Mansion
A Gamecube launch title Luigi's Mansion was the first Mario game on the console, but the game wasn't about Mario, it was about Luigi.
This game was Luigi's first solo adventure, the thing that makes this game standout is it's gameplay, its one of a kind I don't think that Luigi's mansion fits into a genre.
The plot to Luigi's mansion is this Luigi has won a mansion in a competition that he never entered, he tells Mario about his new mansion and they agree to meet there, but all is not well when Luigi gets there he cannot find Mario anywhere and to make matters worse the mansion is invested with ghosts.
To get Mario back Luigi has to capture Ghosts using a vacuum cleaner.
Some people consider this to be a gaming gem but there is one big fault with the game as a whole, it's very short.

Mario & Luigi Series
This is the 3rd Mario RPG series and is exclusive to Nintendo Handhelds.
Mario & Luigi superstar saga is the first game in the series and it see's Mario and Luigi on a quest to receive Princess Peach's stolen voice.
The second game in the series is partners in time, in this game Mario and Luigi have to travel in time to defeat a race of aliens who invaded the mushroom kingdom when they were children.
Last year a new Mario and Luigi game was announced.
The Mario and Luigi games play just like Paper Mario.

Mario Vs Donkey Kong Series
Released ten years after Donkey Kong 94 Mario and Donkey Kong see's you doing the same thing you did ten years ago. Only this time Mario and Donkey Kong are fighting over Toys.
There are currently two games in the series with a 3rd one announced three weeks ago at E3.

Super Mario Ball
By now Mario has done just about everything when it comes to games, so what was next for him? Pinball, sadly to say this game was rubbish.
You'd think that Mario would have learnt from Sonics Mistakes when it came to pinball games.

Dancing Stage Mario Mix
Known in the US as DDR Mario Mix this game was just like every other Dancing stage game the only difference here was that this one had Mario in.

Super Princess Peach
Just like Luigi's Mansion this was a Mario game that didn't have you playing as Mario. Super Princess Peach is a platformer for the DS that see's you play the role of the Princess. In this game the roles are reversed Mario has been captured and it is up to the Princess to save him.
Easy to say this was a decent platformer and is worth owning.

EA Sports Big
I'll be honest when I first saw this I laughed; EA sports games that featured Mario, Luigi and Peach as playable characters.
As you would expect with it being EA sports BIG these games were good.

Itadaki Street DS
Itadaki Street is a party game made by Square-Enix, Itadaki Street is a Dragon Quest crossover game for example the Itadaki Street games on PSP featured characters from Final Fantasy including Cloud Strife.
Itadaki Street DS is just like the others but this one has Mario characters.

Well that's it all of the Mario Spinoffs (Excluding Yoshi's island but that's a separate franchise).

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