I hate Spring Mario.
There, I said it. I hate something about Super Mario Galaxy.
If I posted this on a forum, I’d be flamed. My opinions on gaming would no longer have any validity. I’d probably be called an anti-Semite racist for good measure too.
It’s amazing how much of a free pass people give Nintendo, especially a Mario game. If anyone else released this exact game, every review would be full of criticisms: Too little health, too much “try and die” gameplay, too linear, etc. Instead, it’s mostly, “Best Game Ever Made!”
Let’s use one example. You have three health, with an occasional red mushroom that doubles it. (These are usually found before a boss battle.) To offset the decrease in health, Galaxy has occasional save points within a galaxy, and there are plenty of ways to get an extra life. (By the end of any session, I’ll typically have twenty or more… of course they reset back to five every time you reload. Bah.)
But let’s say another game does this, say something with space marines or a dude with a gun. People would be screaming that repeatedly killing off the player isn’t gameplay or game design, it’s sadism. Why isn’t it more next-gen? What about letting the player save anywhere? Where’s the open-endedness? Why is there no player choice? Where’s the branching narrative?
None of these are particularly great criticisms of Super Mario Galaxy, but no one would dare raise any of these kinds of issues for a couple of reasons. One is that it’s never had these features. Of course it never was in 3D until Mario 64, so I’m not sure why we don’t expect it to evolve more with the times. Super Mario Galaxy isn’t exactly a re-imagining of the franchise for the Wii—it’s merely a better version of Super Mario Sunshine—but no one would accuse Nintendo of resting on its laurels, of not challenging its players, of not pushing gaming forward.
You don’t dare criticize a big Nintendo game. You would receive so much hate, threats, people saying you hate gaming (and possibly Jesus), and attacks on your overall credibility for daring to offer (possibly legitimate) criticism.
Like Spring Mario. I fucking hate Spring Mario. Yeah, a spring wrapped around Mario. It’s cute. But who thought it was a good idea to take the best thing about a Mario game—running! jumping!—and throwing it out to make the movement horrible, and the jumping even more horrible? And why would you build entire levels around horrible movement and jumping?
So can you love Super Mario Galaxy and hate Spring Mario? Probably not. Clearly I hate gaming. And freedom. The terrorists have won.