Feature: Mario and the supporting characters

So as I mentioned yesterday at JConaBike’s request I have decided to write why the Mario additional characters have an appeal that the Sonic ones just don’t seem to have to me personally. So here we go.

There’s something for everyone.

There’s one thing the Mario spin off games have and that’s something for everyone. You’re the guy who likes Superman, Leonardo and the Red Ranger? Then Mario’s the true hero of the game. You love the underdogs like Michaelangelo and the Blue Ranger? Luigi’s for you. Maybe you’re more of a badass and actually prefer Lex Luthor, Shredder and Lord Zedd? Bowser’s for you. How about Batman, Kasey Jones and the Green Ranger? You want the anti-hero in Wario. For those who actually preferred Krypto the Superdog and Alpha 5 you have the cute companion in Toad or the female equivalent in Toadette. What if you’re a prim and proper girl like Supergirl or the Pink Ranger, then you have Peach or if you like a bit more attitude like Wonder Woman or the Yellow Ranger? Daisy’s for you.

There’s a sense of achievement.

Take Mario Kart Double Dash, when you look at your screen and see Petey Piranha and King Boo you realise you’ve finished the Special cup on Mirror mode. Or in Mario Power Tennis when you unlock Wiggler, or in Mario Golf GCN when you unlock Bowser Jr. or in Mario Kart Wii when Funky Kong gets his cameo. You’ve worked hard to unlock these characters and because of that you like them more than you would normally, I mean would anyone play as Baby Peach if you didn’t unlock her? Exactly, just play Mario Kart Wii online and you’ll see her very weird appeal.

They’re not the hero.

They’re not the stars of the show, Mario is. Yeah you have your Lugi who has rightful sidekick duties and Toad who has appeared in SMB2 and NSMBWii as a playable oh and there’s Peach who helped out once (but it was all a dream) but canonically that’s it. You don’t play as a red Echidna or a two tailed fox this is Mario’s show and no one has come close to upstaging him well aside from Wario…

Breakout stars become characters in their own right.

In my Sonic piece I noted that Knuckles was part of the demise of Sonic, most people seemed to miss the point I was making in that because you have a character who is cooler than the main character people will naturally like them more as was the case with Knuckles. Mario had the same problem when Mario Land 2 the six golden coins was released, here you had an anti-Mario named Wario, despite being the bad guy of the game people loved him. What was the difference between Knuckles and Wario? Knuckles they kept as a character in the Sonic series main games whilst Wario has never appeared in a main Mario game since (yes Wario land had Mario land 3 as the title but come on, it wasn’t really was it?). This gave Wario a chance to break away and become popular in his own right whilst Mario himself isn’t overshadowed by the man in yellow.

Wow writing request articles is a lot harder than I thought. Back on track tomorrow though as we countdown seven days until the 3DS launch.

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Posted on 17/03/2011, in Features. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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