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Mario VS Pokemon: The Mascot War

Or "Why Mario needs a better agent"
By Jay Resop

    Lets go back in time about 10 years ago. The Nintendo Entertainment system is in the prime of its life. And the big star can be seen everywhere. Mario this, Mario that, Mario is everywhere. You can not walk 10 feet without seeing the red plumber. I can remember this year quite clearly. I was playing Super Mario Bros 3. with one hand, playing with Super Mario Bros action figures in the other, and all while watching the Super Mario Bros. Super Show. I bet if you had a poll for all elementary school students back then, 75% of them would recognize Mario before they would President Bush. The new system the Super NES came out and Mario still found himself on top. While Mario was having a hard time making a hit TV series, he was still pretty much known as the Mascot of Video Gaming. When you thought of video games, the first thing in your mind was Mario and Nintendo.

    But as we walked into the age of the Nintendo 64, we find Mario's popularity fading. Though he still has countless fans across the globe, Nintendo finds Mario to have a hard time selling products. Mario's general recognition was beginning to decline. The release of Super Mario 64 was a huge ego boost for the plumber......
    And then came Pokémon.

    I still don't know what exactly happened, but about a year or so ago the world was hit by a case of Poké-fever. Aparently it started as a huge hit over in Japan (those wacky Japanese) at the time when in America people still worshiped the red plumber. Then the migration began. First it started with a Game Boy game called Pokémon. This game was terrible. (Uh oh, Jay has just alienated most of our readers -Ed.) It had simple graphics, terrible control, and not very user-friendy. To sum it up short this game was as bad as an RPG can be made (I am saying this as an RPG-pro). But behind this mess was a plot that turned people into Poke-adicts. The idea of catching all 150 pokémon in the game lured people. But not only was it nigh-impossible, but to do it you needed to buy both copies of the game! Red and Blue. Not to mention two game boys. If this isn't one of the best money making ideas from the minds of Nintendo, I don't know what is. I for one am puzzled how this one came coul d start a Poké-craze across the globe. There had to be some kind of explanation......
    The TV show.

    Elementary kids became glued to their TVs as they watched the cute, little Pokémon (I think the show caused seasures in kids in Japan, but I won't go into that). What started as a Japanese hit became an American hit quickly. Now the Pokemon TV show is being shown on multiple stations everywhere! Pokémon stuffed animals, posters, and even a card game are displayed all throughout the mall. If there was a poll today, I bet that 99% of all elementary students would recognize Pikachu before they whoud President Clinton.

    I am seeing the same kind of craze that hit my generation hit the new generation. Will this new Poké-craze be great enough to push the current king of video game mascots, our beloved Mario, from his throne? I don't know what the outcome will be, but I do know it will be one heck of a fight. Lets look at the Video Game stats for both Mario and Pokémon. Why? Because I like stats.

Mario
Pokémon
Current Games:From Kyles List, 68About 4
Upcomming Games:From Kyles List, 4I think something like 3 or more.
That are destined to be hits:1 (SM64 2)All of them.
Products:TonsTons
New Products:A few toysEVERYTHING
TV Show:3 (SMW, SMB3, SMSS)1
TV Shows still on:None1 that is more popular now than The Simpsons (sad but true)
Card sets made:2 (NP cards and SMB Movie)1 (The Collectable Card Game)
Card Sets making lots of money:None1 (Soon may pass Magic: The Gathering)
    So you can see from this quick list that I made that Pokémon is quickly gaining on Mario. Who knows what the world will be like in a few years. Unless Mario starts to get his act together, he may be pushed from his spot as head honcho and be replaced by Pikachu (shudder). Could Nintendo's next system, Dolphin, be the first to be packaged with a Pokemon game? Maybe Mario should get more cute sidekicks or something. I'm just glad I'm too old for this Poké-craze and I hope it will pass over soon. Possible rants by Jay Resop in the future: Neglected Characters: The Revenge of and Nintendo: The Money Hungry Maniacs.

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