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Could Mario please stop playing sports and start stomping on some Koopas?

By Sean P. Kelly

WOW! What a GREAT year has it been for Mario games. There was approximately 13 games released this year (for GCN, GBA, & NDS combined) that either featured Mario or Mario characters.

The sad thing is 10 of those 13 games were secondary Mario games, with little to no adventure elements.

The tally of those secondary games comes down to this:

Don't get me wrong, I love secondary Mario games. Some of them, such as Mario Kart, can be just as, if not more, fun than the primary games.

But, look at that ratio. We have 3 primary games (2 of which are Yoshi games) against 10 secondary games. And, believe me, some of those secondary games were completely unnecessary.

Take "Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix" for example. Who's bright idea was it to put Mario into a DDR game? I know this game is popular and all, but wouldn't it have been able to sell on Gambcube on it's own merits without them having to throw Mario into the game?

And what about "Mario Party 7?" Isn't it time for Nintendo to retire the series? I haven't played Mario Party since Mario Party 3 (well, that fact could be partially attributed to the fact that I didn't have a Gamecube when MP4 came out an I never got to catch up). Is Nintendo really so desparate for sales that they will just make photographic sequels every year with slightly altered "plots?"

Don't forget about "Mario Superstar Baseball" and "Super Mario Strikers." It seems Mario has retired from fighting Bowser and is taking up every sport imaginable. The question now isn't what sport will Mario play next, it's what sport won't Mario play next?

Speaking of sports, don't get me started about "NBA Street V3" and "SSX On Tour." It seems EA Sports is trying get some cheap sells by throwing Mario, Luigi, and Peach into their sports games. Not only does Mario and gang look COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS compared to the realistically rendered players, but it really does demonstrate what people will resort to just to sell some games.

So, is there hope that we will see another Mario adventure. Well, of course we are going to see another Mario adventure. We have "New Super Mario Bros" coming out for the NDS next year, and EAD is working hard on a Mario game for the Revolution. But, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, could Nintendo stopping cheapening Mario by throwing him into a bunch of novelty games.

For SMBhq, I'm Sean Kelly

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