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Mario's Future

Or What's in store for our plumber pal

    Mario hasn't been the most popular, in demand, busiest guy in gaming recently. Sure, he had Super Mario 64 a few years back, but that's old news by now. The Zelda's and the Metal Gear Solids of the holiday season have made everyone forget about them. Where's Mario's new game (or games!). Will Nintendo's tried and true mascot be destined to cameo's in Nintendo's bigger games until he becomes the plumber equivalent of Cranky Kong??!

    Fear not, true Mario fans, Mario's future is beginning to look brighter than ever. While he has taken a short break from the "in" scene of gaming, Mario's still got some life left in him! Let's look at Mario's future line up, shall we?

    Zelda: The Ocarina of Time: Huh? This isn't a Mario game! True... but it is one of Mario first cameos in a long while! I was beginning to think that a cursory Mario appearance was no longer standard in the big name Nintendo games, but this proved me wrong. Way to go, Mario! (See the news if you have no idea what I'm talking about)

    Game & Watch Gallery 2: Not much of a game on the surface, I'll give it that, but if G&WG2 is anything like the first one, people will spend hundreds of hours on this little cart trying to beat their own high scores. Mario's inclusion isn't necessary, true, but all the characters are there, and it does add a feeling of familiarity to the game. In addition, one of the most classic Mario handeld's is included on the cart... Donkey Kong. Not the arcade game, but the two screen game & watch classic! All this plus one of the first games to take advantage of Game Boy Color... and t's out now. Not bad, Mario!

    Wario Land 2 Color: Let's not forget that one of the biggest and best Mario sidekick games is getting the color treatment with Wario Land 2 for Game Boy Color! More Mario-related fun

    Smash Bros.: People have been talking about a game like this for years... and it's finally actually happening! Mario in a fighting game! OK, so he has to share the spotlight with oter Nintendo characters, and most of the enemies don't show up (I wanted to fight a Koopa Troopa!). So what?! It's still Mario and it's still fighting. Expect him to bring along a few friends (Luigi, Bowser?), and some standard items (fire flower anyone?!) Making this a quintessential appearance for Mario.

    Mario Party: 50 mini-games, all of them having to do with Mario! Wow! It's like 50 cameo appearances in one. The "Party" in the name shows the focus on four-player action, which should make this a get-together favorite. The whole gang shows up too, with everyone from Bowser to boo buddies hiding somewhere. Could this be the next Mario Kart?

    Super Mario 64 II: This game isn't looking as hot as it once was. The extreme time Miyamato put into Zelda 64 means less time devoted to SM64's sequel. In fact, he says they're just really getting started. It may not even show up on the N64. Sigh!

    Mario Artist series: These titles progress is also looking grim. Billed as a sort of Mario Paint for the N64, no news of it has come in recent months. The possibility that the 64DD will never come out also hurts these game prospects. Even if it does come out, American shores may not see it if there's no demand. Don't place any bets on this one.

    Super Mario RPG 2: I hate to end on a low note, but this title isn't looking too promising either. Screenshots are leaked every so often, but the game just isn't looking up to snuff. HAL handling the game instead of the RPG masters at Square will probably mean the sequel will fall short of the originals gameplay masterpiece. The kiddy oriented 2D cutouts approach isn't helping my thoughts of the game either. But we'll have to wait and see.

    So as you can see, Mario definitely has a future in gaming. Even though some of his games are look less than promising, there are some nice ideas in there, and he's definitely still around!

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