Origin: Super Mario 64
Plays In: Peach's Castle
Status: Original Composition
Composed By: Koji Kondo
A new Nintendo console is coming in just over a week! How's everyone handling the suspense?
For me, the anticipation for a new Nintendo console is unlike anything else; of course, other company consoles have come and gone with some great hype periods as well, but there's just something magical about your favorite home team ready to unleash five-years worth of untold adventures, dreams and memories to the public. Nostalgia will be cultivated in young one as us grown-ups revel in the magic that's kept us coming again and again for the past thirty decades. With how much Nintendo is banking on the Switch to last and the ever-changing expectations of the game industry, perhaps we'll enjoy all those and more in a longer cycle.
One of my favorite gaming memories is the time I surely first laid eyes on a Nintendo 64...we were in a Blockbuster (remember those?), and I couldn't stop staring at the demo station in the corner. It was playing Super Mario 64, and everything about it was a marvel: the new 3D graphics not found in my Super Mario World game at home, the way Mario hopped and swam about with precise ease, how the controller echoed to me that of Mario's gloved hands...everything about it was a mystifying magnet to six-year old me, one that screamed "play me!". It was then the seeds of my gaming passion were certainly born.;
Switch might not have a Mario 64 of its own; in fact, that it's launching with a Zelda game and a title introducing the system's controls (1-2 Switch) recalls more to that of the Wii, a system that captivated many because of how it played rather than the context and dynamics of the games themselves. Certainly, the Switch is set to sail a similar course: a system that captivates the public through one central gimmick. In this case, a hybrid that brings people together and encourages outdoor player is highly appealing.
And yet, I am always reminded of Super Mario 64 and its gardens and castle walls whenever a Nintendo system launches, no matter what the goals it sets for itself. The Wii's motion controls may've defined its respective generation, but Super Mario 64 changed everything on such fundamental levels that its heartbeat still lingers in every 3D title today. Even now, when we're about to be introduced to a Zelda designed to demolish everything we've associated with the series for the sake of a proper open-world experience, I can only think of how Super Mario 64 did the same for the purpose of revolutionizing gaming.
Well, that, and how it looks godly and it may very well be the game to finally surpass the N64 Zelda duo and A Link to the Past, but the point here is that while envisioning a new Super Mario 64-esque impact on the industry is near-impossible, I can't help but see its footsteps being followed here. Yes, Breath of the Wild was built as a Wii U game from the ground-up, but like Twilight Princess before it, it'll be largely associated with the new console. And that already renders it the most exciting Nintendo launch title in over a decade.
Next Friday will surely be something special.
Final Thoughts: Or, hey, maybe it's that Super Mario Odyssey is going back to the original 3D template for Mario? Easily the best thing to come out of last month's conference; I already can't wait to hop around for the heck of it!