17 October 2017

Obscure & Forgotten Mario Games Remastered- Part 7: 80s and 90s Arcade Games

While Mario got his start in the arcades in 1981 with Donkey Kong, he was still present in the arcade scene even with Nintendo shifting focus to the home console market just not always in the form of the traditional type of gameplay you may expect from the series. Part seven features Mario games that were released in arcades in either the 1980s or 1990s.

10 October 2017

Obscure & Forgotten Mario Games Remastered- Part 6: Edutainment Games

If games like Mario’s Time Machine and Mario is Missing have taught me anything, educational games with Mario are not fun or good in general. Heck educational games in the grand scheme of things aren’t fondly remembered with some of the only exceptions being Oregon Trail and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego. During the 90’s Nintendo seemed very open to licensing out their most popular character to various game companies with the result being a stack of mostly educational games with the occasional outlier like Hotel Mario. Games in this part attempt to teach players skills like math and how to type. I use the word attempt because these games will likely not keep your attention for long.

3 October 2017

Obscure & Forgotten Mario Games Remastered- Part 5: Sports and Party Games

Perhaps it’s just me, but it seems like sports games are one of the least popular genres of games outside of people who only buy the latest version of Madden, NBA 2K, or whatever the other yearly sports game releases are. I assume a chunk of that reason is because of the yearly releases of these types of games and how little changes between them or that if you were going to play football or basketball, you could just do that in real life. Regardless, the only sports games that seem to get any love are the Mario ones, which is what this section will be about along with party games. Why are party games included? Well like the yearly sports games, for a while the Mario Party games followed the same pattern of releasing a game each year with very little changing between entries. It totally wasn't because I didn't want to end up with two more parts to this series that would be super short.

26 September 2017

Obscure & Forgotten Mario Games Remastered- Part 4: Art Tool Games

The Mario franchise has offered players games like Super Mario Maker along with inspiring tons of fan creations, be it in the form of art, fan games, accessories, mods, etc. to express themselves creatively and while some of these may get taken down by Nintendo, more will get created, even if take-downs could happen to them as well. To me, this shows a community full of creative, passionate individuals who grew up enjoying and continue to enjoy Nintendo’s games, be it Mario related or not. Games in this section focus on various programs that let players create. While Mario Paint and the aforementioned Mario Maker have been successful, quite a few of these creative type games have been left behind, usually due to advancing technology.

19 September 2017

Obscure & Forgotten Mario Game Remastered- Part 3: Puzzle Games

Going from the shortest to the longest with this week’s part. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from writing this series is that there are not only a lot of puzzle games in the Mario series, but that Nintendo REALLY loves Dr. Mario. Games in part three will have players dropping pills on viruses, using logic to uncover images, blowing up woodland creatures, and more. Hope you have some spare time since their are fourteen games  to cover.

12 September 2017

Obscure & Forgotten Mario Games Remastered- Part 2: Ports & Remakes

Moving on from the traditional Mario games, we’re still going to be in fairly familiar territory with this part, covering ports and remakes of pre-existing games. With a highly acclaimed game, eventually comes various ports, remakes, and virtual console rereleases. The Mario series is no stranger to this with games like Super Mario All-Stars on the SNES and the four Mario Advance games released on the Game Boy Advance being the most well-known examples. Most of the games in this section still have the traditional 2D Mario gameplay. When I say most, I only mean two of the three games (technically four); this is the shortest of the nine parts. Any remakes of puzzle games will appear next week in part 3.

8 September 2017

Mole Mania Review

A game falling into obscurity isn’t a new or rare thing; every year there are games that get released, usually with very little advertising or suffer from bad timing by releasing around the same time as a AAA game or new console. Being released in 1997, Mole Mania ended up being forgotten due to both of the reasons just mentioned; there were no commercials for the game and its timing couldn’t be any worse in Japan since the first set of Pokemon games were released only a few months prior which took the country—and later the world—by storm. Even with Pokemon Red and Blue being a year away outside of Japan, the game didn’t fare any better in the western world with audiences and developers being focused on the 3D worlds made possible by new home consoles like the PlayStation. What isn’t so common when it comes to games becoming forgotten is when it’s made by a big company like Nintendo, let alone Shigeru Miyamoto like Mole Mania was.