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super mario 3d world

I never played Super Mario 3D World on the Wii U. I’ve historically been a big fan of the mainline Mario games, but I don’t like them quite as much as I used to, and in particular the more linear outings don’t grab me as much as the more open ones. I think they’re very […]

super mario 65

The main question that I’d like to understand better in the current Vintage Game Club playthrough of Super Mario 64 is how the game fits into the taxonomy of the genre of platformers. Or, indeed, whether it fits into the taxonomy of that genre: while, at the time it was released, Super Mario 64 seemed […]

n’gai, publicity, older games

The latest Brainy Gamer podcast is up, and it’s an interview with N’Gai Croal. The whole thing’s great, go listen to it, but in particular one thing that he talked about is something that’s been on my mind: the way that enthusiast press coverage of videogames is heavily weighted towards the preview period. I’ve talked […]


N+ is the first XBLA game that I’ve bought. It’s a platformer in its purest form: your only controls are a joystick for movement and a jump button. Each level is a single screen: you start at one point on the screen, there’s an exit somewhere else, and a button that opens up the exit […]

super mario galaxy

My thoughts on Super Mario Galaxy got long enough that I spun the first part off into a separate entry. In short, we’re back to linear platforming, with tons of jumping, done very well. One question that any platformer has to answer is: what non-core player abilities will it mix in? Jumping is great, but […]

the evolution of platformers

My current spate of video game playing began in grad school when my friend Wayne gave me his old NES, together with Super Mario Bros.. If I’m remembering correctly, Jordan later found a copy of Super Mario Bros. 3 at a yard scale, after which I was doomed to several years of platforming addiction. Not […]

super paper mario

I wasn’t too excited about Super Paper Mario when I first heard about it. I certainly enjoyed the 2-D Mario games when I first played them, but the state of the art has changed, and nostalgia only takes me so far. So I’ll occasionally play a 2-D platformer and enjoy it, but I figured New […]

new super mario bros.

I would not be the person I am today were it not for Mario. At some point in grad school, a friend of mine gave me an NES (during the mid 1990’s; I was a bit behind the times), and the original Super Mario Bros. and the third in the series completely blew me away, […]