Wednesday, August 29, 2012

EPISODE 74: "Rusty Pipes"

A few weeks ago, my colleague Jim Sterling did a video on what he so as the waning (or, at least, "water-treading") state of the Super Mario Bros. franchise which, along with a general sense of "I've gotta get to this at some point" regarding the matter, inspired me to undertake this episode... which is NOW SHOWING on ScrewAttack!

ALSO! The "wraparound" segmentsof this episode includes, among other things, a Golden Age enemy, my terrible impression of Sean Connery and the ultimate reveal of what The AntiThinker's return means for the continuing adventures of The OverThinker.

Embedded video (and SPOILER TALK) after the jump:













So... "gotcha," I guess. The AntiThinker WAS back... for about five minutes. I've been planning this bit, broadly, since before shooting wrapped on "War of The Thinkers." AntiThinker was always going to go away for at least two "arcs," then come back but in an unexpected context. Not long after that, the notion of adding "evil robot" ("RoboThinker," who you'll probably see in the metallic flesh next episode time permitting) to the evolving bad guy character-roster (alongside "ninja" and "demon") and "Terminator parody" seemed like a logical way to go about doing it.

THEN it occured to me that A.) I hadn't really done a Dragonball Z parody yet, either, and it seemed like a natural fit for the show; B.) DBZ's Androids/Future-Trunks/Cell episodes WERE a Terminator riff and C.) a version of The OverThinker in Trunks' purple hair, blue coat and sword ensemble would (hopefully) be inherently funny... it was suddenly an obvious manuever: Let "OmegaThinker's" debut be taking out AntiThinker in a parody/recreation of the "Oh no not MORE Frieza epis-OH! Frieza's DEAD just like that!?" debut DBZ gave Trunks.


R said...

Have you played any of the Sonic Rush games on DS, Colours or Generations? They're not perfect, but they make your dig at Sonic seem rather late-to-the-party.

Other than that, a solid episode.

Aiddon said...

every time accusations against Mario (or against Nintendo) it just makes me roll my eyes. There's really nothing with Mario that really needs changing; you can't fix something that's perfect, that'd just be asinine. There's a reason no one tried to fix the wheel. Mario is 2D platforming at its finest and all it needs is perfect level design to succeed (and which Nintendo ALWAYS delivers on). Zelda, Metroid, Kirby, and Smash Bros are the same way; you can't really improve something that has a core that incredible. This is kinda why I'm glad Nintendo kinda turns a deaf ear to the more inane criticisms that fester within the gaming "community."

Steven said...

Wow i'm surprised you didn't get a visit from the police or at lest the men in the white coats doing this so close to a road. Then again you are in the US otherwise known as Weirdness 'R' Us.

Otherwise Nintendo doesn't print money anymore what with 5 consecutive quarters of losses behind it.

I blame the Wii the console that is going to be responsible for killing Nintendo by ostracizing many who are now former Nintendo fans.

The Gamecube showed how few people cared about Nintendo with how poor it sold so the Wii went for a casual audience and it worked but those people have now deserted Nintendo for phone and browser games while a lot of former Nintendo fans feel maligned and have also deserted Nintendo (seriously the number of people I know who still have Nes, Snes, N64 and Gamecube but dumped their Wii within months from buying it is a lot).

I can't see the WiiU as repeating the Wii's success maybe not even the N64's and with the 3DS unable to hold the high sales marks the DS did with big game releases and new models things look bad.

MovieBob said...


FWIW, all three (non-animated) characters were shot in different sets of takes, so I can only assume I looked like some photography student taking self-shots for OverThinker and AntiThinker's parts (note that AntiThinker DOESN'T have his real-ish looking gun, though, just to err on the side of caution.)

I got some awkward looks from passers-by when shooting OmegaThinker's scenes, certainly; but the only person who said anything was a teenage kid who passed by on his bike while I was suiting up in the jacket and wig (it was like 80 degrees out), then came back a minute later, pointed and gave me a "YEAH!" before taking off again (I'm assuming he recognized the costume from DBZ.)

Sean said...

Moviebob, were you aware of the irony of using the Antithinker in a video that was fundamentally calling on Nintendo to be more willing to take chances? I mean, he was pretty much the start of you taking a huge chance with your show. The comparison seemed obvious to me.

WyrmWithWhy said...

The pink hair threw me for a second, I always saw Trunks' hair as grey. That Zero theme though.... sublime.

The argument you use for Mario's status here is actually how I feel about a lot of games that get complained about these days. Of course, I've got such a massive backlog of games to play that if nobody released a must-play game for 5 more years I probably wouldn't be caught up.

Anonymous said...

Why didn't you mention the Mario RPGs/Paper Mario series? They're far better than the platform games.

Sabre said...

It was an interesting episode as I expected you to go into full fanboy defence mode, but it was good that you didn't for the most part.

However, I do feel you ignored the elephant in the room of Mario getting a free pass whereas Call of Duty and Halo get slammed for similar behaviour.

Pat said...


He actually HAS mentioned that in previous episodes. To sum up, his reasoning is that while Mario might not be innovating THESE days, there have been PLENTY of Mario games that have been very groundbreaking. Meanwhile, the Modern Warfare and Halo franchises haven't innovated since their first outings in any meaningful way outside of new multiplayer maps, modes, and setpieces, and as the biggest names in FPS with the biggest budgets out there, that seems like a wasted opportunity.

WyrmWithWhy said...

Huh, Bob mentioned doing a big Mario game with a stronger focus on plot would be a good idea. I wonder if he didn't play Super Paper Mario or just didn't like it? Or is it disqualified for being in the Paper series? I think it's kind of weird how Super Paper Mario is kind of forgotten, it's probably my personal favorite Mario game ever.

Popcorn Dave said...

Aiddon: That's a very lazy attitude for a creator to take. If Nintendo had just said "fuck it, this is as good as 2D platforming is ever gonna get" in 1989 we'd never have had Yoshi's Island. We might not even have had Mario Kart or Mario 64 because Nintendo would be too busy making Super Mario Bros. 19 or whatever. A creator should always be willing to try new things, especially when they're sitting on a property that's as versatile as Mario. It's not about "fixing" something that's broken, it's about doing something new vs. resting on your laurels.

If you're happy with Mario just being the gaming equivalent of the Rolling Stones, running through his greatest hits year after year, then good for you. It's just a pretty lazy and boring direction for the series to go, and it's hard not to miss the days of the 80s and 90s when each new Nintendo game would move the whole medium forward.

Anonymous: Bob did mention the Mario RPGs, and even suggested that the storytelling in the Mario & Luigi series might be a good direction for the main series to go.

Bob: I didn't expect to be agreeing with you on this topic, but here we are. Good episode. It must be hard to be even-handed about this topic (and the comments will probably be full of "but in video X, you said..." type accusations) but you did pretty well, I thought.

Aiddon said...


Due, the 3DS is actually selling better than the DS did its first year. And considering the INSANE amounts of money they made with the DS and Wii (and that's BEFORE getting into software sale) they could post those kind of losses for over a decade and still be fine. If there's anyone you should be worried about it's Sony considering that the Vita is flopping so badly it's driven Sony back into the red

Sabre said...

Pat- Not really. As someone as who only plays Mario occationally, what has changed in the 2D marios since SMB3? Not much. I played NSMB and to me, it was just 3 with different graphics and a few new suits. I think they added the arse stomp, but that's about it. Hell, it still had 1-1 from the original Mario iirc. I will have to take your word for it in terms of innovation because I don't play enough to know for sure, but that's how it seems to me.

As for CoD/Halo, sorry, but you are completely wrong. CoD got popular and started the modern army FPS fad at CoD 4 as it was creative and a breath of fresh air at a time when it was all World War 2. Before that, CoD revolutionised WW2 games by changing from the lone GI killing nazis to being just 1 guy surrounded in a massive battle. In MW2, things like the ability to shoot down UAVs, and to choose airstrikes, made a big change to how the game played. This review even opens with it due to how crazy it was at the time.

As for Halo, ignoring how much of a game changer Halo 1 was, things like Forge, which brought modding to consoles, replays, open world gameplay, an arena survival mode, and secondary abilities and deployibles, and that's just the big stuff, not to mention the tons of little things that changed between each game. Can you seriously look at all that, and then say that it's just maps?

"You can dress and a penguin now!" is what passes as innovation in a Mario game, and it took 15 years to get there.

Yes, Activision has run CoD into the ground, but Nintendo is doing the same with Mario and people are defending it.

gavstern said...

You're only 31 years old? I always thought you were Gen X, but you're really just the oldest in my generation. Why'd I think you were older? I was born in '86 so to me NES was just a toy. I was five years old, after all. To me, it doesn't get better than the PSX/N64 days. It was similar to SNES/Genesis in tone and there was a still a real contrast between systems. We had a little bit of Internet, but not too much. The character that holds a special place in my heart in Solid Snake. Ah, middle school. Always great videos, GO. Now I think I understand you better.

Nixou said...

A problem I have with this episode (as well as with Jim Stearling's take) is that it completely avoid talking about the elephant in the living room: Money.

Mario Galaxy sold around 10 million copies, NSMBWii sold over 25 million copies, the original NSMB sold close to 30 million copies. Galaxy, hailed (for good reason) by many as the greatest plateformer ever made sold three time less copies than Mario 3.5: a game which demanded less people, less effort, and a much smaller budget to be made. So of course Nintendo is going to churn out more 2D plateformers with minimum deviations from the tried and true and oh so very profitable formula: did anyone believe that Nintendo was some kind of artsy charity?

A sound business model for a video game company the size of Nintendo is to have some of its games providing a safe income which can be then used to pay for more experimental projects (no guaranty of return on investment) and extremely polished (and expensive to make) games.

The great irony is, for all the praises heaped on the Mario games, only a few of them are really groundbreaking: Mario World was a prettier version of Mario 3 with slighly bigger levels, the two Mario Land were light versions of Mario one and Mario 3, Mario Sunshine was a half-assed attempt to bring the Mario franchise closer to the action adventure genre... Sure: once or twice per decade, Nintendo release a plateforming masterpiece, but out of the 18 games of the main series, only three or four really deserve to be called "groundbreaking" while the other competently played it safe (and that's not even taking into account the numerous spin offs)... and brought the cash needed to create and advertise (while keeping the stockholders placated) the once-a-console-generation best installments which built up the franchise's reputation.

Of course, releasing seven games in four years does make the fact that Big N most often plays it safe with its most emblematic franchise much more obvious, but I hardly see it as some dramatic new development: there will eventually be a groundbreaking Mario game on the WiiU, and it will probably sell less than the 2D episode and be followed by a couple of formulaic sequels, creating the next lavish-praise-followed-by-scathing-critique cycle of internet commentary.

vlademir1 said...

@gavstern: Generation boundaries have more to do with cultural identity than they do with exact years, it's why among those whose field of study/work the topic is there are myriad debates on the exact point of transition between them.
@Bob: Why did it have to be a DBZ reference? Why?

Nixou said...

Why did it have to be a DBZ reference? Why?

Because ending an episode about whether the Mario series is overated by a reference to the most overated cartoon ever made was funny in a meta-sarcastic-oh-the-irony way?

Steven said...


From the quarter ending 30 June 2012


Revenue - $19.2 billion
Profit/(Loss) - ($312 million)

Cash - $8.330 billion
Total Assets - $166.215 billion


Revenue - $1.08 billion
Profit/(Loss) - ($220 million)

Cash - $5.4 billion
Total Assets - $13.6 billion

If Nintendo has enough cash to last 10 years so does Sony though why you brought up Sony I don't know?

Anonymous said...


"To sum up, his reasoning is that while Mario might not be innovating THESE days, there have been PLENTY of Mario games that have been very groundbreaking. Meanwhile, the Modern Warfare and Halo franchises haven't innovated since their first outings in any meaningful way .."

Well, I can't really see Master Chief or Generic MW guy be in a kart racing game, tetris game, RPG, or party game.

SonicBonjoviFan said...

I think the reason why Nintendo seem to be so hesitant to try and change things up for the Mario series is because of the reaction to Sunshine and Luigi's Mansion. Might not be the definitive reason, but I imagine that would have played a role.

Kudos to the DBZ reference but could you tone it down on refering to Sonic as the ultimate definition of a dead franchise. I don't want to sound like a fanboy, but it IS improving and certainly hasn't been as bad as 06.

Jannie said...

Mario hasn't really been a "character" for a long time though, he's been squarely in "brand name" territory since the mid-late 90s.

The crazy part is, what Aidon said earlier about all you need to make a Mario game is gameplay, is correct, but not in the ridiculous self-gratifying masturbatory Nintendo fanboy way he meant it...that's not a GOOD thing, that's a terrible, stupid thing that denotes a major problem with the ORIGINS of the whole franchise.

The reality is that Mario was never meant to BE anything more than just a thing on screen that you move around and kill stuff with. Any kind of story, and we're using the term loosely here, that was ever extant in the Mario franchise was at best a placeholder and at worst simply an excuse to make the game function--in other words Princess Peach isn't a character she's a reason why you had to do stuff with the guy in that place, as opposed to just saying "do stuff with the guy in that place PRESS START TO PLAY!" on the title screen.

As such the question "is Mario stagnant" is a moot point because it implies (incorrectly, I may add) that Mario was ever meant to evolve or grow beyond "do stuff with the guy in that place". He wasn't which is why now, in a time when games actually are expected to have stories and character arcs, Mario seems stagnant.

The fetishism of nostalgia and childhood not withstanding, Mario was hardly ever anything more than a brand name for a wholly generic and by-the-numbers platformer. It was never like, for example, even something like Contra where a story--however ridiculous and cliche--existed in some form or another, and has continued on into the modern era (for example, the story of Shattered Soldier and Neo Contra are meant as direct sequels to the NES and SNES games).

Now the thing is, that's not entirely bad. I can understand having a series which is purely just a game with no discernible plot. But let us also be, how do I say this, "not fucking stupid" for a moment (I'm talking to Aidon here, directly) and not pretend that this is somehow "perfection" or that it is "platforming at its finest". It's neither.

I could, off the top of my head, name a dozen other games that do platforming as good or better than any Mario title (starting with Sonic 3) and also have some kind of story or characterization however faint or absurd. Alex Kidd immediately leaps to mind.

What it is...tearing away all the wishy-washy language, hand-wringing and nostalgia masturbation...what it is, is simply a band name for Nintendo's specific BRAND or STYLE of platformer. Lots of power-ups, lots of different environments, enemy patterns becoming more and more complex bordering on bullet hell territory, and so on.

Mario games are a KIND of game, not a series or franchise or even a universe onto themselves. Sonic games are about Sonic, Mortal Kombat is about Raiden and Shao Khan's eternal struggle, Halo games are about Master Chief, Final Fantasy games are about oversexualizing teenaged girls in a way only anime fanboys can appreciate but which scares and repulses the fuck out of actual women.

Mario is Nintendo's in-house term for platforming games. In a way, ironically, this is BETTER than "the Mouse" because at least people GIVE A FUCK about Mario.

Jannie said...

Also I had to kind of shake my head about how we're trying to get semantics-y (is that a word?) over what "overrated" means.

This is like that Intermission about how terrible objectivity is and how bias isn't really a bad thing (my response in a nutshell: it's not, and it is, respectively).

Overrated means, "it's not as good as everyone thinks it is". SO whatever the majority opinion is, it's less good than that. And yes that's JUST an opinion. But some opinions have more weight behind them logically than others--in the same respect that you can, based on the proper subjective argument, say that Nintendo is the "most popular console of this generation!!!!" in anything resembling the real world it isn't. The fact that Nintendo was smart enough to convince housewives and non-gamers to buy it as an exercise machine says more about the intellect of their marketing department and less about how good, useful or even popular or well-liked it is.

But that's not relevant, what is relevant is that OVERRATED has a very specific meaning. One very specific meaning, which is "it's not as good as everyone says it is" and this is the meaning that it has had for generations.

It's like when Sterling made that video about art games and how people try to "be all contrary", as my old Southern mother would say, by saying ALL games are art. Well, yes, semantics-whore, all games are art...and ART GAME is a specific term with one defined meaning. So while all games are art not all games are art games. Just like all wolves are dogs but all dogs aren't wolves.

And while you can make hay about what overrated does or doesn't mean the actual SINGULAR way it is used by virtually everyone else in the world is as a short hand for "its not as good as everyone says it is".

Now I would argue that Mario games aren't overrated, because for what they are, a specific brand of platforming games made in Japan, they are generally above average to excellent. But that doesn't mean we can just CHANGE or DEBATE the definition of a word that has been used in proper context for generations because it's irksome to some of us to have them talk about our favoorite series that way.

I hate it when people bullshit about beat 'em up games and say they're all about moving right and hitting things (even though Double Dragon games, the ur-beat 'em up, had parts where you MOVE LEFT but I digress) the point is however I don't get into a debate about "what does RIGHT really mean though?" because that's so far beyond the point I'd need a space program to get there.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I actually liked the wraparound this time. I think that might be a first.

James Pond is the best character in this show, and needs to be recurring.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how well this episode is going to age when New Super Mario Bros. U launches less than three months from now.

Oh, and Aiddon? Please drop the 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' crap. If it isn't broken, you IMPROVE it. Should car companies stop making new models because the ones they're making now are just fine? Should they just re-release the same car with just different cup holders and buttons for the radio?

Of course not. That would be stupid. That said, there is no reason why Nintendo can't try anything new with... well, New Super Mario Bros. They know it will sell, and yet, they feel the need to recycle pretty much everything: music, art style, animations, enemies, even the level design. They're taking absolutely no risks and are still selling each game at full price. It's not the best design decision; it's because they know it will sell and fanboys like you will defend it.

It really is sad that more money, time, effort, and, dare I say it, creativity goes into the yearly Call of Duty releases than each New Super Mario Bros. game that only sees one release per console.

Although it's not as sad as Nintendo thinking that New Super Mario Bros. U is perfectly fine for a brand new HD console that's supposed to contend with the 360 and PS3. It would be like Microsoft coming up with a new online interface for the next Xbox but releasing a single player-only game. Or Sony making a new motion controller but making a launch title that's only playable with a standard controller. Or Epic Games using the Unreal Engine 4 to create a game that uses nothing but 8-bit pixel art.

Sylocat said...

Here's the problem, Jannie: when you say that something "isn't as good as everyone says it is," you are making a big assumption about how good "everyone" says it is. Who is the "everyone" in that statement? What aggregation of their opinions are you measuring this by?

Similarly, the claim that the Wii is or is not the "most popular console of this generation" depends entirely on what metric is used to determine popularity... and in your post, you arbitrarily declared what metrics did and did not qualify for a measure of popularity "in anything approaching the real world."

Now, as to claiming that Mario is a brand and not a franchise. Well, that claim could be said about any beloved franchise from the console game. Sonic lent his visage to just as much godawful and contradictory merchandise as Mario did in the first console war days. There was no more storytelling in Sonic games than Mario games until maybe Sonic 3&Knuckles (which does indeed have one of the best dialogue-free stories from its era).

Similarly, in most big-name games today, the story is completely divorced from the gameplay, apart from dialogue trees that result in some character wearing a different hat in a cutscene later on. The only exceptions have been sleeper hits like Portal and BioShock, and a few standouts on the indie game circuit.

Botman said...

And the #3 most used word that the internet doesn't know the meaning of: "troll".

And, speaking as someone whose criticisms of the story segments may have caused me to be labelled as a "troll"/hater, I have to admit, I was surprised to find myself finding a great deal of humor and satisfaction in the way that James Pond was written to be actively pissed off at the Overthinker for forcing him to take part in the episode's story segment.

As self-aware humor goes, it's certainly a step up from "have the fairy point out this unrealistic plothole".

Christopher Delvo said...

I have a few things to say here, though to make a video of my own would probably be more productive.

Wall of text in 3...2...1...

On the State of Mario: If I were to put a particular time on when the problem with Mario, as of late, began, I would say that it was with the announcement of Super Mario Galaxy 2.

Until then, people were actually pretty happy with the Mario games. Super Mario Galaxy was a welcome addition to the franchise, and New Super Mario Bros/Wii were both good games that played toward Nostalgia, and were welcomed with mostly open arms (the biggest complaints being leveled against Nintendo's inability to embrace online multiplayer). But when Galaxy 2 hit, suddenly it became painfully obvious that Nintendo didn't seem to care. It was textbook "take what worked/made money, and do it again. But with a dinosaur." And while Super Mario 3D land might have been a step in the right direction (using 3D efficiently, some strong nostalgia with the leaf/tanuki suit), the moment they announced both Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Mario Bros. U at E3, it just reinforced this idea that Nintendo doesn't (as you pointed out) take risks any more. They care only about baiting us into handing them money. And Mario isn't alone in this accusation. Games like Donkey Kong Country Returns or LoZ: Twilight Princess (Not Skyward Sword. That game actually took several steps in the right direction) are just re-hashes of what worked before, and without any real innovative games to compare them to, it essentially proves that Nintendo is stagnating, and, in my opinion, they don't really believe in what they're doing any more.

On the State of Sonic: While I understand that Sonic is an easy target, you really need to get up to date, Bob. Yes, Sonic 06 is REALLY BAD. Everyone gets that. But this "wallowing" you speak of is simply not true. Sure, Sonic had a bad spot, there. Shadow the Hedgehog, Sonic 06, even Unleashed can all be classified as bad games. But what about Sonic Colors? It is easily the best Sonic game in years, and is far more innovative in the way it uses its mechanics than any recent Mario title (even moreso than Galaxy, I would argue). What about Sonic Generations? While a bit stale when compared to Colors, Sonic Generations was a great game. Even the much-lamented Sonic 4 has some greatness in it (granted, part 2 far more than part 1). Sonic is not wallowing by any means.

to be continued...

Christopher Delvo said...

...continued from my last comment.

On Call of Duty: This is mostly directed at the commenters. Everyone claiming that every Call of Duty is exactly the same is patently wrong. I'm not the biggest defender of these games, but I think that some things need to be addressed here. In general, these warfare-based first person shooters are NOT single-player experiences. The design teams focus on multiplayer first, and single-player after the fact. Many think this is a downfall of the genre. It is NOT. People like Bob and Yahtzee criticize them for not being able to put forth a strong single-player experience, because they, personally, prefer single player/dislike online multiplayer. Yahtzee himself often states that a game should be able to stand up on its single player alone.


Don't get me wrong. They're not bad for disliking multiplayer. That's just the way people are. Some people like things one way, others another way.

But the fact is that there are great games with NO single player at all. League of Legends is completely based online. Team Fortress 2, often touted as one of the best FPS games ever has zero single-player outside of tutorials. Counter Strike is WELL known for not having any form of single player. Are these then BAD games? No. Not at all. Do they stagnate? Maybe counter-strike and TF2 a bit, but overall: no.

The same goes for Call of Duty. Now, it took me a while to get to this point, but here it is. Call of Duty has just as much innovation as any given Mario title. Maybe more. People look at new power-ups in a Mario game, like the Propeller Hat, or the Penguin Suit, or the Flying Squirrel Suit, or the Golden Mushroom, and cry "Innovation, Innovation!" while decrying Call of Duty as a baleful game, to be hated and spat upon. CoD has its own innovation. The thing is, these games aren't single-player experiences, so people who only play the single-player aren't going to see it. "CoD points" as an online currency in Black Ops, game types like "Sticks and Stones" (only crossbow/knife allowed), "One in the Chamber" (only one bullet in your gun) or even "Infected" (death means you're "infected", with only a knife as a weapon), or new point-streak rewards like the Juggernaut Suit or the R/C car; these are Call of Duty's new power-ups. Because in a game like Call of Duty, it really is the multiplayer that matters.

In conclusion, Call of Duty is no more stagnant than Mario. It possesses the same amount of innovation. But the innovation is different. It emphasizes changing the way one uses the core gameplay with different rewards and game types, rather than adding new gadgets to the core gameplay, like hats, mushrooms and leaves. Neither is wrong. Yes, the core of Call of Duty is still going to be "those dudes are not your friends. Shoot them." But then, the core of Mario is still "You need to scale those platforms to reach your goal. Jump on them."

Overall, though, good episode.


Sir Laguna said...

I Laughed at the Trunksbob... I really, REALLY laughed. It was an honest laugh.

Thanks for that.

yamato-0 said...

I honestly didn't think Shadow the Hedgehog was as bad as most people claimed it to be. Gameplay-wise, it at least seemed like a step up from Sonic Heroes (although, it was still just as glitchy), and even the whole "he has a gun" thing wasn't as god-awful as it could've been (several of the weapons are still wildly fantastic, and they work in taking out enemies quicker than using the homing attack on them). Overall, far from great, but still playable, which is why I think it seems a bit much to be putting it on the same level as the 2006 title. Besides, Sonic Genesis (the GBA re-release of the first game) has usually made for a far better comparison, considering it was released around the same time period, when Sonic Team was at their absolute lowest and prove they couldn't bother with even some play-testing.

Alex Wrench said...

Hey Bob, I liked the jokes and all, in fact "Come along, Pond" almost made me forget the excruciating accent, but please stop spending the sentence after every pop culture reference explaining that yes, yes, you did make a pop culture reference and it was a reference to Doctor Who, or yes, yes, It's a DBZ reference, yes.

If someone doesn't get the reference, they won't suddenly find it funny just because you tell them it was a joke. Even when you're legitimately clever, watching you take three minutes to explain the joke makes me cringe so hard I hurt myself.

Basically, if you're going to be this corny, at least do it confidently.

Also, I just want to say to Jannie: it's good to see someone doing what you're doing.

Sabre said...

"Well, I can't really see Master Chief or Generic MW guy be in a kart racing game, tetris game, RPG, or party game."
Just the RTS game, the score attack zombie survival game, the top down shooter game, the co-op game, the game where you play as one of the cannon fodder soldiers, and if the hype for Black Ops 2 is to be believe, the tower defence game.

Christopher Delvo- I agree, and you said it better than I could. I get accussed of being a CoD fanboy/Nintendo hater here from time to time, but I stopped caring about CoD after MW2, although I did like Black Ops multiplayer for being pretty balenced. As I mentioned before, at the time, things like shooting down UAVs, or choosing your own killstreaks, were big deals at the time.

On the Sonic thing. I have to say I'm with Bob on this point. In my experience, the only people who like sonic are old fans who claim sonic is better now because the recent games have not been horrible. Not horrible is not the same as good.

hevendor said...

This sounds like internet trolling, but I swear to Miyamoto that I made a comment last episode that went something like "I wonder if AntiThinker will be dispatched quickly to make another villain look stronger. Like Frieza in DBZ."

If so, it is an honor to have a simple idea spark the creative choices of you, Mr. Game Overthinker. Or to have made such a smart guess when you said "you don't know what's coming"...and have it deleted to reduce spoilers.

Even so, it still caught me off guard because of all the buildup. I could still experience the awesome bait and switch there. When I realized why the purple hair was there, I was all giggles.

Jannie said...


About the whole "overrated definition" thing, my only response is, well, yeah I guess. But that still doesn't change what it is MEANT to evoke when someone says overrated.

When someone says EVERYONE no one literally means EVERY SINGLE HUMAN BEING ON EARTH they basically use it as a more emphatic way of saying "majority opinion".

So yes, again, if we're going to get semantic about it "what everyone thinks" means "majority opinion".

Now if you want to claim there IS no majority opinion or whatever then I just give up. We can sit and nitpick over the exact definition of words all day but, again like the Jimquisition episode I mentioned, it's silly because the overwhelming majority of people know precisely what these terms mean in anything like a normal conversation.

Overrated simply means nothing more or less than "whatever everyone (majority) thinks (opinion) it's less good than that".

That's it. I'm sorry but all of this hand-wringing and precision guided language is just not going to change the definition of those words, a definition which while not expressly written is implicitly understood by virtually any adult who has ever said them, and WILL REMAIN SO because that is what the term overrated has come to mean.

It's like if you said to someone "you're an idiot" which means "you're incredibly stupid or immature". It doesn't LITERALLY mean idiot, which is a medical condition, a type of retardation, but the meaning is implicitly understood by everyone. And if I got cut off in traffic said "that guy's an asshole", well obviously he's not LITERALLY a self-aware, disembodied asshole like Assy McGee, it means he's being mean or otherwise unpleasant. The meaning is not explicit it's implicit and has been defined that way by society for so many generations nitpicking over them is wildly counterproductive.

And anyway, I would say that Mario is NOT, by the generally accepted definition, overrated. That means that they're not as good as everyone thinks they are, but really most gamers don't even play Mario games anymore, and those that do enjoy them, so for the people who PLAY that game then no they're obviously not overrated.

Mario's never had a problem with QUALITY it has a problem with being more about brand recognition than general value or impact--like Apple, only without the obnoxious commercials.

Jannie said...

The "problem" with Mario is the same problem with "icons" like Bugs Bunny and Mickey one under a certain age cares about who they are and those who do tend to focus more on irony than the character...because the character is nonexistent.

Look up anything that tries to apply some kind of character to Mario and its stuff like "is he fucking Peach", "is Peach fucking Bowser", "is he on shrooms" etc etc.

That's because irony is about the only way to add characterization to something that almost aggressively opposes it.

Young gamers really don't particularly care about Mario. Which is not the same thing as "don't like" or "hate" or whatever Aidon will accuse me of and then scream to "IGNORE HER!! IGNORE!!!" or whatever.

It does however mean that if you grabbed the average sixteen year old and asked them to tell you one thing about Mario he probably would only know stuff like "he eats shrooms" and maybe MAYBE "he's a plumber" if the kid knows about the MOVIE not the game.

In fact I'd say most young people know Mario from Smash Bros than they do from Mario games, since I've seen precisely three people under 25 who regularly buy Mario games and about eleventy million under 25 who buy Smash Bros.

Mario is about visibility now not characters or story. The reality of the situation is simply that while people still ENJOY Mario games they don't CARE about them, and if they went away, if Nintendo said they'd never make a single one, it wouldn't impact their bottom line because Smash Bros and Pokemon are still much, much more well known with the wider culture at large, both here in the west and in Japan.

One can argue that any game is about character branding over story, but that argument is rather disingenuous because, even if you accept it as true, and frankly I don't, it still DOESN'T MEAN YOU CAN'T HAVE A CHARACTER AND A BRAND.

Like I said, Master Chief is the iconic character of Halo, and yet Halo games are hardly built AROUND Master Chief, since some of lacked him completely--Reach, ODST, Halo Wars--and Halo 2, involve playing as another character entirely.

Gears of War has no "band character", yet it's hugely popular and has spawned a whole franchise built largely on the atmosphere and gameplay. You could say the exact same thing, in most respects, for Mortal Kombat but even then Scorpion, Sub-Zero and Raiden are considered icons, enough to be featured in different, separate games unrelated to Mortal Kombat...and yet it HAS A STORY and a world and cosmology that exists wholly without them.

The real question isn't "is Mario still good", because it's never really been bad to begin with, the question is "is Mario relevant". And I'd say no, it isn't, not anymore, not for fifteen+ years now almost.

I'm not one of those people who thinks that Mario should "go away" but at some point, I would hope, for Mario to be anything more than just a name that means "Nintendo platformer game" it has to change and change drastically. Not just adding a story or characterization but filling out the WORLD--what the hell IS the world they exist in, what is the cosmology we're working with here, who are it's inhabitants? If Mortal Kombat, a game about magical ninjas launching meteors at each other, can do ALL OF THAT by the third game, and Mario's had twenty, that's fucking pathetic.

Jannie said...

Or let me make the Too Long Didn't Read version for that:

Bastion is a better Mario Game than any Mario game since the SNES.

I refuse to believe that Nintendo can't do what some indie dev could and make a cutesy adventure game that has emotion and real, tangible meaning and impact.

Lucas said...

Okay, that was actually pretty cool. Although with the purple wig, I thought you'd gotten Marsgirl to make a cameo.

Themilo said...

You and Jim sterling both seem to be forgetting something even if Mario has a lot of rivals in the 2d plat former market he still makes the best 3d plat formers mostly because there really aren’t any rivals beside Lego games so I find it hard to say he’s stagnating in a genre that’s in the same current state as the dodo.

Jannie said...


You know what...that's an excellent point about 3D platformers and I've never considered it. Though, really, you could point to Jak and Daxter as his immediate rivals in the 3D platforming genre.

However Jak and Daxter fished their series years ago with a conclusive ending (that's one of the "problems" with having a STORY in a game is it eventually ends) so that's more in the past tense.

Not sure if Ratchet and Clank count, they strike me more as 3D Contra knockoffs (albeit, adorable ones) than platformers.

JPArbiter said...

@ Steven

Comparing Nintendo's balance sheet to Sony's is inherently unfair cause Sony is hyper massive, with other divisions propping up Playstation during the bad times

it is like comparing Pepsi (who in addition to soft drinks owns major fast food chains etc...) to Jones Cola (who just makes soda)

Aqua said...


As a big fan of Jak and Daxter, unfortunately that conclusive finish was ruined by an The Lost Frontier, a horridly pale immitation of a J&D game made by High Impact Games.

Hypershell said...

First of all, SOMEBODY will always bitch that character as prevalent as Mario is over-used. It doesn't matter how genuinely unique the game experiences are, they don't care because they're not even playing the games. They see the same face, so it's all the same overused overrated thing that they're just not interested in. We saw a lot of this same attitude about Mario long before NSMB came about, exploded, and made Mario platforming releases a regular thing after their relative scarcity during the N64 and GCN eras. So to critics of that nature, I simply say, screw them.

Also I think the valid point can be made that the past is WORTH celebrating in many cases, although that doesn't necessarily mean having to mimick everything about a past game to a tee (see Mega Man 9 and its obvious dry-humping of Mega Man 2), and Mario's legacy most definitely qualifies as something to celebrate. I mean, Galaxy 2 and to a lesser extent 3D Land are still dishing out new experiences while the "New Bros." games are bringing back the elements that were otherwise considered lost to the 3D transition (not to mention the fact that NSMBWii quite literally PERFECTED side-scrolling co-op, at least in the gameplay department; some aesthetic enhancements like playing as somebody other than Toad recolors would be appreciated), and with those retro throwbacks comes a simple accessibility that much of the gaming medium has lost, and quite frankly, NEEDS to be preserving if they want to keep new blood coming in. When handled well, all things said and done, I think it's a great balance to have.

That said, as Bob was "not amazed, but still thought the game was good" with NSMB on the DS, I kind of have the same thoughts about NSMB2 on the 3DS. It's a "good game" yes, but ripping virtually the ENTIRE soundtrack from NSMBWii and offering no new abilities other than fireballs exploding into coins for one stage at a time, well, that kinda dulls the experience, raccoon tail or no raccoon tail. It's EXTREMELY difficult to play that game and argue with anyone who says that Mario has stagnated, because that game most definitely did. And, as said above, I'm still waiting for big multiplayer games to give some halfway decent character roster instead of the freaking Toad recolors (and no, Miis are not the answer to that one). I'm secure enough in my masculinity that I don't object to having to be "the girl" if one of the characters is a princess. Heck, I'd kill to see Daisy get her fair shake at a platformer.

So I guess to sum up, no I don't think the setup of traditional "Super Mario Bros." sequels running alongside the occasional big budget epic 3D platformer to be a bad idea in the least, but oversaturation is genuine concern and there are times, especially now, when it does feel like the Mario franchise could stand to spread its wings just a little further. Mario is still great, Mario is still strong, and Mario can be best served by further improving the current setup rather than outright discarding it.

BTW, Overthinker, nice one on getting us scared of more Antithinker eps. You had me going there. But while the question of why you took so long to do a DBZ spoof is a big one, I think the BIGGER question is why it took you so long to get a Zero theme music on the show. =P

Sabre said...

"since I've seen precisely three people under 25 who regularly buy Mario games and about eleventy million under 25 who buy Smash Bros."
I don't know what you mean here.

As for Gears of war, it does have a brand character. Marcus.

Also, go easy on Aiddon, the Christmas he got a SNES was the last one he had before his parents messy divorce and his mother turned to drink. To say anything that isn't praising Nintendo is like attacking all that is good in the world.

Anonymous said...

"Young gamers really don't particularly care about Mario."

A question.

If Mario is irrelevant to young gamers, who bought 25-30 million copies each of NSMB DS and Wii?

Which is to say, if older gamers bought them, then Mario is still relevant to older gamers in this form, and thus Nintendo shouldn't worry about attracting "older more sophisticated" audiences with NSMB, because they like it just fine as is. And if younger gamers bought them, then apparently he IS still relevant and they DO care and you're heavily mistaken. Oops.

Aiddon said...

Sabre, if you're going to attempt to be witty at least TRY to make a retort that's not a blatant copy of what I did. It's not my fault that you humiliated yourself in public by proudly displaying your ignorance thus making yourself a hilariously squishy target.

And for the record I don't actually know my father and my mother doesn't drink. Plus she worked her ass off raising me and my brothers while also earning a Masters degree.

Anonymous said...


It is hard to be witty when the original he copied was just as humorless.

Aiddon said...

Then he shouldn't have copied it if he thought that. But since he did obviously it was humorous on SOME level. At least I didn't resort to plagiarism

frostay said...

Trunks spoof. Awesomesauce. I think Trunk's ponytail look would have been more hilarious, but would have been inaccurate-- his first appearance was with shorter hair.

frostay said...

I did not know you were a Dragonball fan, Mr. Bob. I would've liked it more if you used the original Japanese music rather than the W.W.E.-esque American shlock. In either case, consider your respectability raised a couple notches in my book :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Aiddon, you mad bro?

Yep, he mad.

Anonymous said...


"Then he shouldn't have copied it if he thought that. But since he did obviously it was humorous on SOME level. At least I didn't resort to plagiarism"

No, you just resorted to a childish joke in another attempt to protect Bob's honor. He is a grown man and can stand up for himself without James levels of fanaticism coming from you.

Aiddon said...

actually the mockery I made towards Sabre WASN'T in defense of Bob but deriding Sabre's ignorance of how well Nintendo is doing financially (i.e. him claiming Nintendo "lost almost all their money" despite the fact that their ledgers say otherwise). Considering that two other people mocked Sabre in turn, it's pretty obvious that he was asking to be made fun of. I also would say that my jab wasn't so much childish as just absurdist. If you're going to argue at least know what you're talking about; something you yourself probably should have thought of before you started typing

Jannie said...

Aidon, you're precisely what's wrong with both gaming and the internet, you're an impulsively childish sycophant who rushes in to White Knight whenever your chosen cause is threatened EVEN IF IT IS ISN'T.

Anyway, on to someone who matters...

"If Mario is irrelevant to young gamers, who bought 25-30 million copies each of NSMB DS and Wii?"

Well first off I have trouble seeing that as even possible due to the fact that literally no one in the gaming press even mentioned it so I figure you mean that happened over the course of a year or two at the very least, if at all. I get the impression that numbers are being fudged here but ok fine, some 30 million people bought the game. Who?

Well if I had to hazard a guess Japanese fans, who view Mario as a cultural icon, and rightly so, I would imagine. Plus at least a few million older Nintendo diehards like Bob who will buy it because it has Tanooki suits and penguin ice lazors!!!omg

But that's not the point of your argument of course the point of your argument is to somehow imply that because Nintendo has a built in fanbase willing to but these games then somehow that makes them relevant.

The immediate counterargument to that is, I'd like to know how many of those people are actually UNDER the age of 25, and secondly how long and over what time period those sales occurred. They certainly couldn't have been at launch if only because that would have made those games the highest selling games to ever launch ever on any system AT LAUNCH, which is absurd because every media outlet in the world would have covered it.

That's like taking the box office for Avatar and not taking into account the fact it was released twice, in 3D, and stayed in theaters for a couple of months too for repeat viewings.

The next immediate argument that comes to mind is I question how on God's Earth that makes sense as a rebuttal?

What is the inference here? That if the games sell enough they must be fine AS IS and never need to change? Or that they're still super-relevant even though VIRTUALLY NO ONE outside of the gaming press even has a passing mention of them? (yeah, I know, a couple of times Mario hit the news, still not the same)

Well that's a horribly flawed argument, because I could easily make the precise same claim for most of the Elder Scrolls or GTA franchises, Call of Duty twice over. Fuck that, I can say that EVEN HARDER about the Street Fighter series, which has been a printing press for Capcom for almost thirty years.

But even if that were a measure of anything besides market share it still doesn't prove anything about what I said. You haven't shown who these people are, if more than one copy was bought, if as I suspect some of them were bought by parents because "Mario is safe" and not because the kid wanted one, if they were or weren't part of the younger demographics Nintendo supposedly courts and so on and so forth so...yeah, I guess it did sell that, and? So? Therefore? Your point being?

That doesn't change anything I said nor prove me wrong at all, all it does is show that the video games industry is huge and can basically print money. That's been demonstrably true for twenty years now.

Jannie said...

Let me make something clear: I'm not saying Anon is lying, I'm saying that I get the impression those sales happened over a year or more at least, not some wild frenzy to get these games at launch, and so it's somewhat incorrect to say that these games have a massive appeal the way that millions of people lined up to buy Skyrim THE DAY OF.

If a Mario game sales 5,000,000 copies at launch I can see that (take note, I don't recall that happening in recent memory however I can easily SEE it happening) but I would need proof to say that this represents anything but the fact that well that video games are fucking huge.

ANY series sells millions of copies if its out a couple of months or years, if it's remotely good at all. Kingdoms of Alamur sold a couple million in a couple of months, if I recall (basing that on Destructoid) so that says more about VIDEO GAMES being, as many have already pointed out, the next big thing in multimedia not any reflection of the game being particularly stunning or innovative.

And as I said I can EASILY see the millions of Generation NES gamers being more enamored of Mario games than younger ones. After all, who even KNOWS what the hell a Tanooki suit is? That was the big selling point of one of the most recent games, it has power ups from SMB3, a game that's older than most gamers alive today.

I KNOW what a Tanooki suit is. But I'm 27, of course I KNOW, how many people under 25 have any idea what the hell it is? Or would care enough about it to buy something expensive like a video game just to have one?

If anything that says more about the age of the buyers than the relevance of the series, since I'm sure that something actually innovative like Galaxy sold far less than Tanooki Mario 4: Holy Shit Raccoon Spirits OMGOMGOMG!!!!

Sabre said...

Jannie- I'm not sure why you are focusing so much on sales when you even said they don't matter. Let's be honest, in 5 years when the PS5 is coming out with VR support, when people reflect on this generation, none are going to be saying "The sales were great."

To use film as an example. The Thing is considered a classic and still spoken about to this day, no one remember the much more successful films like Stop or my mom will shoot, or Best Friends.

Yes, die hard Nintendo fans will know of it, as will a gamers with an encyclopaedic memory, but when people think of the great games from this generation, none of them are going to list NSMB aside from said Nintendo fans, who's list will be mostly, if not all Nintendo stuff anyway.

Nixou said...

Ha, so Jannie is doing his thing again: reacting to actual numbers going against his narrative by pretend that inconvenient data does not exist/is not relevant. Considering this tendency, I'm surprised he's not more busy binge drinking in Tampa

Jannie said...

I wouldn't have mentioned sales at all but Anon seemed to think it somehow denotes that Mario games are still innovative and culturally relevant.

And like you said when people talk about this generation, I seriously doubt outside of Nintendo fans and older, veteran gamers people will be praising the Wii or 3DS Mario games as the best of this recent crop over something like the Mass Effect trilogy and Skyrim or even indie hits like Limbo and Bastion. And yes, even the dreaded Modern Warfare trilogy.


I'm not a Republican, you clod, and even if I were that's not relevant to the discussion. What is even the POINT of that insult? That Republicans, what? Criticize Nintendo more? Or is that part of the usual narrative of "only conservatives like military shooters" that Bob tends to push because I said I'm a shooter fan?

NEITHER OF WHICH is a valid counterargument because, firstly, even if it were true that conservatives like shooters more than liberals, and neither you nor Bob has EVER presented a shred of fucking evidence to support that, that has no impact on facts unless you want to dismiss an argument out of hand because of political affiliation, at which point I would remind you I'M A FUCKING LIBERAL YOU IDIOT and so you'd still be shooting blanks. Har har.

Also you'd be a bigot, but I'll let that slide because I have more pertinent stuff to say. Anywho...

Furthermore if the former is your argument, that only conservatives would ever criticize a Nintendo game, then again I point out, no they aren't the only ones, no I'm not one, you're still wrong and you're still a bigot.

Sabre said...

I don't know why, but I assumed Jannie was a woman? Anyway-

Jannie- I don't get the whole CoD fan = certain political view point either, although my objection comes from being British, and CoD is really popular here despite the lack of gun culture and no one gives a toss about 911 revenge fantasies, reliving the cold war ect.

So whenever I hear the "right wing gun nut" argument, I take it as the person just giving up. NASCAR, Madden, these games don't sell over here (though FIFA, Dirt and Forza fill similar rolls) so there is some other reason for CoD being popular, else it wouldn't jump the culture gap. It would just disappear like the 2 games mentioned above.

Xaos said...

Hmm...I got to admit, you got me.

Clogs really saved the day. I'm pretty sure that NOBODY wants to hear the Anti-thinker's take on Mass Effect 3.

Misterprickly said...

For two seconds I thought Bob was doing a Hit-Girl spoof!

I was like "Oh GOD no!", until I saw the Anti-thinker made into his own twin; THEN I clued in.

OT: I would like to see some kind of character evolution when it comes to the "Mario saga"... Maybe the return of Hammer-Mario (does he still use the hammer?).

Maybe a Mario/link crossover?
Think of it... Ganon & Bowser team up to take over each others prospective worlds and it's up to Mario & Link to stop them!

It could happen.

Nixou said...

"That Republicans, what? Criticize Nintendo more?"

Nope they just get really really drunk before trying to sound smart: that's the "point" of the insult:

You made a big unsubstantiated claim about virtually no one below the age of 25 buying Mario plateformers, someone pointed out that their enormous sale numbers makes your claim hard to swallow (either kids still buy plateformers or there's a horde of tens of millions of closeted adult Mario fans out there: guess which one is the most likely), which prompted a loooooong rant most probably born from the misconception that one can bury the weakness of their argument under a ton of verbose flourish. It's not the first time you try to present as established fact a just-so story, and it makes you sound like a drunk elderly man trying to present a just-so story about a Mandchurian Socialist Muslim from Space trying to nationalise medicare as an established fact.

Jannie said...

"I don't know why, but I assumed Jannie was a woman?"

I am, I don't know why Nixou said "he", I assumed he made a mistake.

The "COD=Republican" thing seems to come from the assumption amongst a certain clique of gamers that if they don't like something it must be "bad"...and let's be honest, most of the nerd community (in which gamers exist) are liberals so "bad" means "not liberals".

It's also an attempt to tie the game to, as you mentioned, football and NASCAR which has a stigma here in America as "stuff that poor people like" along with Republicans for some reason (despite most Republican backers being richer than god) so in a sense it's both an anti-conservative argument and, more importantly, a CLASSISM argument.

Or put another way, Nixou just called me "trailer trash" or "poor white trash". The thrust of the insult is, only someone poor and, therefore, uneducated would like (insert whatever you don't like here).

Or that seems to be the thrust.

Jannie said...

Ah, seems I spoke too soon, or too late whatever.

So ok, Nixou, again what is your point? I'm seriously failing to understand how the numbers here matter one way or the other.

There don't have to be "millions of closested Mario fans".

They aren't closested, first off, they're quite vocal and rightly so if they really like something why not. Secondly it doesn't take millions of them to make up that number--obviously some were impulse buys, or people who bought it for someone else, or for a child because, as I said, "Mario is safe", and then you have a few million diehards and the vast number of Japanese gamers who will buy it simply because Mario has become an icon there.

Combine this with the fact that, as I said, we have no idea what time period these sales covered this could mean anything from a game being a huge hit to a brand name selling the number of copies it's expected to AS A BRAND NAME.

McDonalds sells millions of Big Macs a day that doesn't mean Big Macs are suddenly super-foods. It means that a lot of people just got one because it was a brand name they recognized.

But even if I just threw up my hands and accepted this on face value without trying to examine it AT ALL it has no bearing on if the games are still culturally relevant or impactful the way they were, say, twenty years ago. That's why I brought up Kingdoms of Amalur, which sold fairly large numbers too, but wasn't exactly a world-changing experience.

And I refuse to believe that's what you meant with the Republican joke because that's so fucking stupid it defies reason. Nice try though.

Jannie said...

An aside:

Let me explain precisely why Nixou's ass covering maneuver is illogical.

The "drunk elderly man" quip seems to point to Clint Eastwood or John McCain, one or the other.

Ok fine.

Neither of them made any Birther references in their speeches at the convention, at least any I could see flipping back and forth between that an TNA Impact last thursday, and the Birther thing is where the Manchurian Space Muslim quip comes from.

So either Nixou has no idea what was actually SAID "down in Tampa" while trying to use it as an insult, OR he meant something completely different. My gut says the latter because the "shooter fans are poor white trash militiamen" seems to be an overarching theme in criticizing shooters today. But I could be wrong and he could really be equally completely unaware of politics and yet willing to use it against someone. Poorly.

Anonymous said...

Or it could be Nixou is an ignorant tit trying and failing to be witty.

Omorka said...

Speaking of Mario's status as an icon/mascot more than a specific game character, has anyone else seen his appearance in political activist Minnesota Seed Art?

I shit you not, it's right here in all its glory.

Caladors said...

I am very surprised that you consider Jim a contemporary at all. Before extra creditz became the be all and end all of video game higher education style analysis, I saw you and I put you in the same category and I think your skits have taken away from that but mainly what I remember Tabula Rasa, which by the way is still in my youtube favorites list.
I watched and gave Jim Stirling the same chance which I gave everyone else with Tabula Rasa being my default for video game commentary. I remember a bad gif of a penis and some really obnoxious music, it seemed to me like 4chan had spewed him on the internet fully formed in some abhorrent abortion of logical thought.

There are times I disagree with and vehemently like with the Mass Effect 3 ending which made me dislike you very much for a period of time. But I can not believe you even consider that somehow Jim even compares or video game commentary in anyway shape or form. Responding to something he said is like 2008 comments of Jim the plumber or whoever he was in presidential election.

That said the video was interesting but I just think it was a waste of good space the comments were logical you put out a good argument but responding to someone like him... It's unnecessary. He is the image that people have of the video game nerd and I don't like it. I want the image of the video game nerd to be you, to be anyone from extra creditz. The luminaries of video game commentary.
Perez Hilton and Roger Ebert both comment on celebrates. Which comes to mind when we talking about movies and such? More importantly which should.

You don't have to muck around in the dirt. Just give us your show. I'll take it skits and all before I watch anything from the other guy.

Sabre said...

Caladors- Extra Credits are far from the be all end all of education and analysis. The reasons why likely wouldn't fit here, but I do have a video about the subject coming up.

The reason people hold Jim up is because of inter promotion with the escapist cast in order to generate discussion and issues where none exist. It's like when Kotaku did a campaign to get the card game Tentacle Bento banned, and then sister site Gizmondo did a story asking if this was a bad thing.

In short, Jim and Extra Credits are not after analysis, but rather looking to fill up time every week, and are very self serving in their approach. It's about appearing smart and getting page views.

Nixou said...

The "COD=Republican" thing comes first from a few professional bullshiter who claimed a few years ago that since Hollywood was not "patriotic enough" to churn out John Waynesque simplistic revenge fantasies in the wake of 9/11, Video Games -military FPSes first among them- would become the next "great patriotic" genre.

This idea was at the time dismissed by most -including Bob- as ridiculous, except that since then we've seen ad campains featuring a notoriously traitorous (and plagiarist) right-wing icon, a FPS adaptation of Red Dawn, a far-right mass murderer drawing inspiration from FPSes... which makes it difficult to ignore that not only are shooters appealing to right-wing nuts, the companies making these are deliberately targeting this specific audience.


It's also an attempt to tie the game to, as you mentioned, football and NASCAR which has a stigma here in America as "stuff that poor people like" along with Republicans for some reason

Poor people don't like and don't vote for Republicans: it's a myth, a political zombie: the "poor" Republican voters are mostly middle-class Whites afraid of joining the ranks of the poor who do not believe that one can curb the wealth of the rich parasites on top of the social lader (therefore the Democrats' rethoric does not appeal to them). To borrow terms from Marx & co: they're "Petits Bourgeois", not the lumpenproletariat.


I'm seriously failing to understand how the numbers here matter one way or the other.

You're the one who said that the Mario series had fallen into irrelevance 'cause no kids bought Mario plateformers anymore: numbers matered to you until you were told that the actual sales figures belied your assumption.


"it has no bearing on if the games are still culturally relevant or impactful the way they were, say, twenty years ago"

Yeah: because single-handedly reviving the 2D plalteformer by demonstrating that there was still an viable market for this genre on consoles while remaining the Gold standard against which every plateformer is compared to is clearly sign of cultural irrelevance and lack of impact.


"The "drunk elderly man" quip seems to point to Clint Eastwood or John McCain, one or the other."

Nope: the "drunk elderly man" point to the numerous anonymous elderly attendees at the Republican convention who end up drinking more than frat boys during spring break before throwing peanuts at a camerawoman or repeating debunked lies like they were the Higgs Boson discovery.

Anonymous said...


Your theories as to who bought New Super Mario Brothers are so mind-bogglingly misinformed it's probably not worth arguing with you about it.

"Well first off I have trouble seeing that as even possible due to the fact that literally no one in the gaming press even mentioned it"

WHY DON'T YOU FUCKING GOOGLE IT YOURSELF, DUMBASS? GET THEE TO WIKIPEDIA. I'm sure others have already done so and are laughing at you.

What does it matter if it sold over a year? So only the games sold on launch day count? Eat shit. You think that the game's not relevant because IGN didn;t do some big launch day countdown and stores had midnight launches so a lot of neckbeards can stand around awkwardly? No, everybody, young and old, new and experienced gamers including lots of longtime gamers, got their copies at launch and long after, as it is one of the most consistent seller in the biz.

Your Movie analogy falls flat because we aren't talking about movies, unless you think there's a person out there who bought several million copies of NSMB by himself, like someobdy would see Avatar twice.

As to your thought about Japanese fans buying most of the game? Wrong again, shit-for-brains. Look it up, or be ignorant.

I've never see such long comments with such little substance before Jannie's.

Anonymous said...

"[Jim] is the image that people have of the video game nerd and I don't like it. I want the image of the video game nerd to be you, to be anyone from extra creditz."

Oh God please no.

Sabre said...

Well, it looks like any discussion value has gone, with Nintendo fans resorting to name calling and repeating the same thing over and over but worded slightly different. Oh well.

Nixou- "This idea was at the time dismissed by most -including Bob- as ridiculous, except that since then we've seen ad campains featuring a notoriously traitorous (and plagiarist) right-wing icon, a FPS adaptation of Red Dawn, a far-right mass murderer drawing inspiration from FPSes... which makes it difficult to ignore that not only are shooters appealing to right-wing nuts, the companies making these are deliberately targeting this specific audience."

For one, are you seriously saying that the oslo shootings were caused by Modern Warfare? Either you don't, and thus it's a dumb point to bring up, or you do, in which case, what, all FPS should be banned? Modern Warfare is evil? I also find it in extreme bad taste to bring up a massacre to defend your favourite brand of game console. It's like saying "I prefer coke over pepsi because 911 happened and I heard a terrorist liked coke.". It's crazy.

As for the rest of your post, see my previous argument about selling in europe despite there being no American politics or gun culture here.

"single-handedly reviving the 2D plalteformer"
That was N wasn't it?

"You're the one who said that the Mario series had fallen into irrelevance 'cause no kids bought Mario plateformers anymore: numbers matered to you until you were told that the actual sales figures belied your assumption."
Erm, no. If you look back, we have been arguing that number don't matter. It's the Nintendo Defence Force that is using them as a be all end all for a games quality and relivence.

Ironically, during the GameCube days, it was argued that sales meant nothing, it was the number of exclusives that mattered. Now Ninty is on top, it's all sales sales sales.

"Gold standard against which every plateformer is compared"
If you mean 3D, then yes, but 2D? The 'gold standard' for 2D platforming atm is Super Meat Boy and the recently released Dust.

Sylocat said...


Answer me one simple question that you've been dodging: What aggregate are you using to measure what the majority opinion is? What is your citation for your assertion that people like Mario games but don't "care" about them? What are you basing that generalization on?


"You're the one who said that the Mario series had fallen into irrelevance 'cause no kids bought Mario plateformers anymore: numbers matered to you until you were told that the actual sales figures belied your assumption."
Erm, no. If you look back, we have been arguing that number don't matter.

Nixou was not addressing you with that part of his post, he was addressing Jannie, who explicitly WAS arguing that.

Sabre said...

As Jannie said "I wouldn't have mentioned sales at all but Anon seemed to think it somehow denotes that Mario games are still innovative and culturally relevant."

Nixou said...

"are you seriously saying that the oslo shootings were caused by Modern Warfare?"

Why oh why do so many people believe that playing dumb is a smart way to lie? I never made such a claim, there's no way that anyone with enough brain to use a keyboard and the most basic knowledge of the english language would so grossly misunderstand what I just wrote: you're playing dumb hoping that I may mistake your posturing for some genuine outrage and I have neither the inclination nor the patience to play along.


"As Jannie said "I wouldn't have mentioned sales at all but Anon seemed to think it somehow denotes that Mario games are still innovative and culturally relevant.""

Except that Jannie wrote:

"I've seen precisely three people under 25 who regularly buy Mario games and about eleventy million under 25 who buy Smash Bros"

in her first comment, posted the 31rd of August, at 8.13 AM, while the anonymous reminder of the sale numbers of the NSMB games was posted the 1st september at 5:31 AM: 21 hours later. So: she would'nt have talked about sales at all if not for the comment poster 21 hours after she started talking about sales?

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fox said...

Nice job trying to throw us a DBZ bone, Bob. But it won't work. You think this will make the secret demand for a Tanooki Thinker go away? You can stall all you want, my friend. But sooner or later you will HAVE to suit up properly.

The Universe Demands It!


The Bagwellian said...

Overthinker, your brand of smart-assery is needed. Square has been releasing a series of web videos of the various department heads talking up the third FFXIII game (yes, they're making another one). These videos are so dull I think I witnessed my soul try to escape my body at one point. Or I belched. These people need a marketing department. And someone to dress the stage.

Jannie said...

Nixou, if you weren't trying to concoct some argument that the Oslo shootings were related to FPS games why did you MENTION it? What did that mean other than that? What was the point of even mentioning the Oslo shootings otherwise? Were you referencing some OTHER massacre? Columbine? V-Tech? Aurora? What? And if it was in fact not meant to be interpreted that way, please tell me what it means.

Cause either that's what you meant, Sabre called you on it, and now you're backpedaling or you meant something else perfectly innocent and were unclear, in which case present the argument. Or continue to backpedal, I don't care one way or the other.

For the record, I wasn't directly referring to sales, I was presenting an anecdote about age demographics: specifically, that younger audiences tend towards other Nintendo properties (Pokemon and Smash Bros seem to be the big names) while older gamers tend towards Mario. Now I will grant you I worded that poorly, so I can get how that was misunderstood. Also anecdotes aren't exactly the best positions to work from. But the point was to illustrate the age gap between people who know what a "Tanooki suit" even is (i.e, people who buy recent Mario titles at launch) and people who know Mario more as "the dude from Smash Bros" than a separate character, which seems quite sizable a gap from here.

Jannie said...

"Answer me one simple question that you've been dodging: What aggregate are you using to measure what the majority opinion is? What is your citation for your assertion that people like Mario games but don't "care" about them? What are you basing that generalization on?"

I'm not dodging it, no one's asked it, unless it was buried somewhere in Nixou's failed attempts at jokes and backpedaling.

But that's a valid question so ok: I don't consider it a generalization, I'm basing it on the obvious reality that Mario simply isn't as culturally relevant outside of veteran gamers or Nintendo loyalists as he was at one point.

I know some people like to scoff at XBL and such online stuff, but the reality is that this is the new epicenter of gaming culture, and in that culture names like Mass Effect or Gears of War or even Limbo or Braid get thrown around in the same "household name" way that Mario used to. Mario is still there but the way he was a juggernaut, the way Nintendo trusted his games to launch systems, is not there anymore the way that it was.

I mean, it's really not something that can be articulated other than to say, go ask a kid what his favorite game character is. Listen to the responses. I actually have enough contact with teens and younger gamers that I can confirm names like "Commander Shepherd", "Solid Snake" and "Dovahkin" come up more than Mario. And I'm not kidding when I say that most of these people think of Mario as a character from Smash Bros, and indeed most of the Smash Bros cast as "characters from Smash Bros", not aware that they had pre-existing series.

Except, like, the Pokemon characters and the aforementioned Solid Snake. But then again, Pokemon is still absurdly popular with kids and teens, and Solid Snake is a memetic icon online, which, as I also mentioned before, is where these younger gamers congregate now.

Mario is an entity they're aware of but they would care more if he was cut from Smash Bros than if Nintendo stopped making his platformers because most of them have never played one except in store demos or at their older brothers and sisters' houses so they have no idea what a massive, shocking change that would be to you and me.

Take note: NOT RELEVANT and NOT GOOD aren't the same thing. Mario games are still good they're just not the cultural touchstones they used to be. Because online culture became bigger than anyone expected, and it left Mario behind.

I'd also argue that this is the problem with having a character with NO discernible characterization too.

Mario has nothing to make him stand out from anything. He's not the front runner of all gaming anymore, that's basically either Master Chief now, like it or not. More so he's no longer even the best example of his favored genre--some recent big budget releases and many more indie titles have taken that away too.

So what IS Mario now to anyone who doesn't have a vested interest in him? He's not a "character", he's not even the best of what he is (mascot platformer) anymore. So Mario is just kind of THERE now.

Nixou said...

"Anders Breivik = Evidence that far-right wing-nuts enjoy Shooters"

I'm going to pretend that you're actually as dumb as you pretend to be and make a very short and simple explanation

Anders Breivik = Evidence that far-right wing-nuts enjoy Shooters
Oliver North ads & Red-Dawn remake = Evidence that companies in the business of making shooters pander to this subset of their consummer base
The claim that wingnuts would buy gun-porny military shooters to have the fix of power fantasies that Hollywood was not providing anymore is valid.

Anonymous said...


You are using subjective, non-empirical anecdotes, and I might want to remind you that the plural of "anecdote" is not "data."

You consistently say that Mario is irrelevant, because you think so and it seems like your inner circle of friends and the places where you get your news thinks so.

But the numbers don't lie. NSMB, NSNB Wii, and MArio Kart Wii have sold more than any of those games you listed.

You can think Mario is old hat. You are free to do so. But he is still culturally relevant. His selling power is evident in that the 3DS really took off when Mario 3D Land and Mario KArt 7 were released.

If you don't think NSMB U is a dangerous prospect for competitors this Holiday season, then your are free to stick your head in the sand. But reality is harsh mistress.

Sabre said...

Jannie- You are wasting your time. They are ignoring us and hearing only what they want. They keep flip flopping on if the numbers matter or not. They say things, then backpedel, and are re-using already debunked arguments such as the right wing gun nut argument.

Just let the fanboys live in their fantasy where Nintendo is the king and everyone else is just an evil monster looking to take away their happy memories before they lost their innocence. They are not rational people, they are believers and their religion is the cult of Mario.

Anonymous said...


Don't try internet psychology. You haven't the degrees, nor the practice, boyo.

BTW wouldn't a "cult of Mario" imply that Mario is still relevant to CULTure?

So numbers don't matter, eh? Next you'll be telling me Batman, as a character from the 30's, is no longer relevant to culture. I mean I've talk to all three comic book fans I know, and their favorite characters are Mr. Mxyplitzlk (??), Red Tornado, and Morph (who the f-).

Therefore, Batman is irrelevant to today's culture.

Anonymous said...

And there we have proof.

Anonymous said...

"BTW wouldn't a "cult of Mario" imply that Mario is still relevant to CULTure?"

As in it is relevant to people who are led to drink the kool-aid.

Anonymous said...


I think I meant the cult and culture have the same root word. I know it's hard with these concepts but at least make an effort, son.

Or you could invoke tragic suicides in your argument of... whatever it is that you're arguing for.

Anonymous said...

7:20 in this video

Anonymous said...


It is still a ridiculous grasping for straws, even if they have the same root word. He basically said that Mario is relevant, but only to those that blindly believe in him.

Jannie said...

You know, just because it has the same root word doesn't make it the same word, or even a RELATED word.

Toothy and Toothsome both have the word 'tooth' in them, but one means "tastes good" and the other means "big teeth". See the difference? I mean by your logic they're interchangeable right?

Also you're like, wrong. Cult comes from the latin word Cultus, meaning "to worship" while Culture comes from ANOTHER latin word (Cultura) meaning "to grow", as in like a civilization. So even if your absurd logic followed through it still would be factually wrong since they come from two completely different root words meaning wildly different things.

So shut up.

Nixou said...

"Also you're like, wrong. Cult comes from the latin word Cultus, meaning "to worship" while Culture comes from ANOTHER latin word (Cultura) meaning "to grow", as in like a civilization. So even if your absurd logic followed through it still would be factually wrong since they come from two completely different root words meaning wildly different things"

Cultura is a supine form of the verb colo, which can mean "to grow" and "to cultivate", "to tend" (hence agricola: the peasant), but also "to inhabit" (hence the colony), "to protect", "to honor" and "to worship", and from which cultus is a participle.
Don't try to fake erudition, especially if this is to do something as dumb as pretending that two words derived from the same verb "come from two completely different root words"

Jannie said...

So are you going to explain that reference you made to the Oslo shootings earlier or not?

Nixou said...

The reference was already explained, and you're still playing dumb on purpose

Jannie said...

No, no it wasn't. What was "explained" is that you're either too proud or too stupid to understand what the word inspiration means and are possibly also a compulsive liar.

You said this:
"A far-right mass murderer DRAWING INSPIRATION from FPSes which makes it difficult to ignore that not only are shooters appealing to right-wing nuts, the companies making these are deliberately targeting this specific audience."

Now, anyone who isn't you would interpret this as "Anders Brevik killed those children because of this game." because that is what the word inspiration means. It's one of those things we talked about earlier, a word with one specific meaning you can't debate because it's explicit in the use of the word.

(We'll let it slide that use of the term "specific audience" in this context also implies that the major audience for these games, in your mind, would be mass murderers because I'm still working on the assumption you're not Jack Thompson trying to adapt to social media...then again, that WOULD explain your incredible misunderstanding of empiricism)

You have not presented any alternative argument, other than a one-liner that SAYS THE SAME THING and you continue to claim it means something else.

So if it means something else, then what? Because if it not what it looks like, as you keep insisting, if in fact you're referring to some OTHER Norwegian child murderer, then please illuminate us. And if it is what it looks like it, then you're a liar.

Anonymous said...


"It is still a ridiculous grasping for straws, even if they have the same root word. He basically said that Mario is relevant, but only to those that blindly believe in him."

Which is apparently in the tens, twenties, and thirties of millions. Wow, that niche cult is more than some countries' populations.

I'm going to level with you. This is why this argument of Super Mario not being relevant is difficult to make. It's hard to argue something is bland, mainstream, and popular to be a force for game "art" (whatever), but also too niche to be relevant to today's gamers.

NSMB2 was just crowned the #1 selling single game in August by NPD, despite only having been out for 5 days, and only barely edged out of being the #1 selling game period by Darksiders II on three platforms combined.

Not bad for somebody who's totally irrelevant to today's game culture, wouldn't you say?

Jannie said...

Look, if all you want is for someone to say "oh yeah, Mario sells a lot" then fine, it does. But that's not even the fucking point.

The reason why I questioned what those sales represent on a more concrete level is that, strictly speaking, ANY game eventually sells a fairly large number if it is widely marketed enough. Like I said, Kingdoms of Amalur sold something close to 2,000,000 copies so it doesn't even have to be GOOD it just has to be prominent.

Relevance isn't a measure of prominence it's a measure of what the population actually thinks about someone or something. What I gather is making you all so defensive is that you're confusing "irrelevant" with "bad" but that's not the case. Hitler is more relevant than Paul McCartney because he changed history, not because Paul McCartney "isn't as good" as Hitler.

But ok, let us just assume that sales numbers completely dictate relevance. I ask again, how many of those sales were actual people who know ANYTHING about Mario other than "he exists" and "it is safe for kids" and how many of them are impulse buys, people buying stuff for their kid or grandkid, buying a game based on name recognition and not desire to actually have it etc etc etc.

This is why I mentioned how many games are sold AT LAUNCH because, despite the generalization of a "bunch of neckbeards" having all-nighters to pick up Skyrim or Diablo III or Modern Warfare 3, at least that shows those people were not just buying it because they heard about it, or because someone else wanted it, but that they actually knew what it was and wanted it THE DAY OF and not six or seven months later.

Those games sold over the course of five or six YEARS, but at launch only a fraction of that number actually made it off the shelves. So that means that, at launch, with the marketing and word of mouth and so on, those games sold in actuality something like five-million copies (or one of them did, I read) which is...precisely what I said. That about five million or so were people who actually cared enough to go out and buy a Mario game SPECIFICALLY BECAUSE IT'S MARIO and the rest are people buying it for various reasons that have nothing to do with the game itself.

So that in essence says NOTHING of value other than Nintendo was able to market a well-known franchise to several million people. If this were a discussion about who has the best business plan then you may have a valid argument, but not when you're asking if something is culturally relevant to people outside of a certain generation or not.

More so this doesn't address the central conceit of the original video, which was that Mario may or may not be stagnant. I already said how I feel about that though: no it's not stagnant because that implies the Mario franchise was ever intended to be anything but what it is now. Which it clearly was not or Nintendo would have taken the time to add even the cursory story that most shoot 'em up games attempted into the series, to say nothing of characters or dialogue.

Jannie said...

And since I know I'll be accused of being biased against Nintendo...yeah, kinda, I guess. But not Mario as a franchise, I used to LOVE Mario.

Full disclosure: I was never the biggest Nintendo fan but I used to actually be a huge Mario fan in the 90s. I hate to use the term "grew out of it" because that sounds condescending, but I struggle to find a more accurate term.

Failing that, the least-smug way I can describe it is that I simply no longer find the grinding monotony of the franchise attractive and the way Nintendo purposefully markets it as a throwback is irksome to me.

Gaming is the biggest, most widely used entertainment medium in the world right now. We should be moving forward. Looking back, out of perhaps ironic jest or just for personal enjoyment, is fine but fetishizing the past the way Nintendo fans do just slows us all down.

In another video I remember Bob saying that someday, gaming may just ghettoize Nintendo, Japan and some whole segments of gamers out as the mainstream moves on to other pursuits. Well, I seriously hope not, cause that's just crazy, but unless some of these people can get the hell over the 1980s and start looking forwards instead of struggling to pull everyone else backwards maybe gaming will have to...or at the very least pull them kicking and screaming into the future.

Sabre said...

Jannie- I feel this conversation is going in circles, but see my previous posts, particularly the example of films like Best Friends and Stop or my Mom will shoot! were financially successful, but films such as Blade Runner and The Thing were commercial flops in their day. These days no one remembers those films that sold more, as opposed to stuff like The Thing which is still talked about.

In your "why or who bought Mario", I'd also add that some people will likely have bought it just for something not horrible to play on the Wii.

I also think stagnation(that a word?) is relative. Particularly that CoD, Halo, and others, are often accused of just being map packs with no variation. Yet Mario is praised. I covered this in my retro hypocrisy video, but in short each new Halo has different story, weapons, locations and enemies. Mario adds a couple of new suits, maybe a new enemy, and somehow that is more innovative? No way. Mario fan or not, anyone making that argument is either stupid, ignorant, or lying.

As for the Japan ghetto. That was the Eulogii video iirc. I though he was more talking about there would be the Nintendo console with Japanese, Kid and Nintendo stuff, and the rest would all be grey-ish FPS and sports games. I remember that bit because I found it ironic that he would accuse Xbox/PS3 gamers of having an increasingly narrow range of focus, when it's retro gamers who are demanding more and more of the same.

Remember back during an old E3 when Nintendo announced a big new IP called Project HAMMER, and then it disappeared in favour of more Mario stuff? That could have been great. Even if it was bad, I think it would have be worth sacrificing yet another Mario 3 remake just to see something new out of Nintendo. Didn't happen.

Nixou said...

"What was "explained" is that you're either too proud or too stupid to understand what the word inspiration means"

The killer said it itself. Calling it his "training simulator" for fuck's sake!
And what's the point in pretending not to see that games based on a power fantasy will attract and resonate with people whose worldview is a power fantasy masquerading as ideology? Are you so insecure that the mere fact that you enjoy something also enjoyed by the wingnuts must be denied, hidden, forbiden to be mentionned in polite company?

It's not hard to see the appeal of video games to the wingnut crowd: these are people who want to be the heroic dragon slayers of our age: the next nobility of the sword who will own the world after having cleansed it from some evil threat so wicked that defeating it will make their dreams of power completely adequate and legitimate.
So of course they are going to be inspired by games that make one play as some sort of vanguard-soldier, whether or not the actual plot of the game conforms to their very limited worldview: so long as the protagonist remains as powerful and triumphant as they dream they were in meatspace, the games provide a staging for their fantasy.


"ANY game eventually sells a fairly large number if it is widely marketed enough"
followed by
"This is why I mentioned how many games are sold AT LAUNCH because, despite the generalization of a "bunch of neckbeards" having all-nighters to pick up Skyrim or Diablo III or Modern Warfare 3, at least that shows those people were not just buying it because they heard about it, or because someone else wanted it, but that they actually knew what it was and wanted it THE DAY OF and not six or seven months later."

Because as we all know, day one sales coming after massive ad campains have nothing to do with marketing while sustained sales of a game no longer being advertised are all about the moronic sheeple being brainwashed by marketing.

Graham said...

G4 is shutting down.

Do you think you can maybe make a G-Wiz style tribute to its demise?

Anonymous said...


You certainly write a lot of paragraphs to not really be saying much.

"This is why I mentioned how many games are sold AT LAUNCH because, despite the generalization of a "bunch of neckbeards" having all-nighters to pick up Skyrim or Diablo III or Modern Warfare 3, at least that shows those people were not just buying it because they heard about it, or because someone else wanted it, but that they actually knew what it was and wanted it THE DAY OF and not six or seven months later."

Has it ever occurred to you that some people may not have the money to buy a game at launch the second it comes out and may have to wait until a paycheck or a birthday or some other circumstance? And why would they pay for New Super Mario Bros when they have a wide selection of other games to buy, and not necessarily video games? But, at the end of the day, they bought a video game, and they bought NSMB.

Also, to you and Sabre. Nobody is saying that sales are the arbiter of quality. However, we weren't arguing about quality. We were arguing whether Mario is "Relevant" And since he draws such sales numbers into the 20s and 30s of million, he is relevant. Period. You can cry and talk about IGN and talk about how the message boards you go to don't care about him, but that's the hard truth.


"Remember back during an old E3 when Nintendo announced a big new IP called Project HAMMER, and then it disappeared in favour of more Mario stuff?"

Funny, I thought it disappeared in favor of more casual Wii stuff. Oh well, if that's the script you want to use...

Yeah I remember Project Hammer being shown at E3 2006... before New Super Mario Bros. DS was released. Somehow the NSMB DS fad was so all-encompassing it killed Project Hammer before the fad even existed! Or you're hilariously mistaken. (Hint: It's probably the latter).

BTW Did you hear Nintendo announced or released several new IPs in just a year's time?

A list:
Sakura Samurai
Steel Diver
Spirit Camera
Xenoblade Chronicles
Project P-100
Dillon's Rolling Western
Ketzal's Corridors
The Last Story (Nintendo funded it, at least, and they did announce it being localized)

Now some of these games may not be big budget, AAA large epic cinematic masterpieces that the Oscars should bend a knee to in hushed tones as they walk by, but they are new. And since apparently you don't even care that Project Hammer could have turned out shitty, then there's really no reason that you haven't heard of these or played them, being the new IP hawk that you are, unless you'd rather complain that Mario is too popular or something instead of actually seek out the new IPs you apparently so desperately want from Nintendo.

Jannie said...

"The killer said it itself. Calling it his "training simulator" for fuck's sake!"

And everyone including Bob says that was bullshit, and has made a whole video about HOW FUCKING BULLSHIT it is. Obviously it wasn't his "inspiration": he was nuts his inspiration was a chemical imbalance from birth. Or do you think that Batman also caused the Aurora shooting or the Beatles caused Charles Manson to crack up? Alexander the great killed hundreds of thousands of people because he thought his father was a storm god, what was he playing, God of War? Somehow? Via time travel? Jesus.

Really, just admit you fucking tried to make a shitty insult in the worst possible taste and leave it, your attempts at ass-covering is pointless since most people here agree with your bigoted bullshit, so just saying "I hate you, personally" would be just as well and less difficult to justify.

"And what's the point in pretending not to see that games based on a power fantasy"

They're not. And the more people like you use that term the more and more I see it's a meaningless one. Everytime someone uses it it's simply to justify their own otherwise unjustifiable bigotry towards people or products they don't like. It's no more realistic than the people who said Dungeons and Dragons was satanic and frankly it's slightly dumber, because it's impossible to prove and far less "effective" an accusation.

But ok, I'll bite: what part is a power fantasy, and about what? And the second you say "kill Muslims" you lose since the games aren't about killing anything but Russians mercenaries. Ball's in your court.

"will attract and resonate with people whose worldview is a power fantasy masquerading as ideology? Are you so insecure that the mere fact that you enjoy something also enjoyed by the wingnuts must be denied, hidden, forbidden to be mentioned in polite company?"

No, I just don't like using dead children to prove how AWESUM a video game is. Are you really so completely insensitive to other people's loss you don't get what the problem here is? I don't fucking care that you don't like me, I don't care what you or Bob thinks about a fucking video game.

I wouldn't even have said anything if you weren't so insistent on USING DEAD CHILDREN TO FURTHER YOUR FUCKING ARGUMENT ABOUT VIDEO GAME SALES. Whatever the hell you think you're proving with this is neither true nor logical. All it proves is that you clearly don't care one way or the other unless it directly impacts your life, and the fact these people died is merely something you can use in an internet argument.

And I have no idea what you're on about with the dragons. Also "meatspace" isn't a word. And even if it were it's no more simple than just saying "outside of the game" if, in fact, that's what you meant...I have no clue if it was because I was reeling from the accusation that people who play Halo or COD apparently, secretly, want to slay dragons.

That being said Skyrim practically fly out of stores so I may have to eat crow....

Jannie said...

"Also, to you and Sabre. Nobody is saying that sales are the arbiter of quality. However, we weren't arguing about quality. We were arguing whether Mario is "Relevant" And since he draws such sales numbers into the 20s and 30s of million, he is relevant. Period. You can cry and talk about IGN and talk about how the message boards you go to don't care about him, but that's the hard truth."

I'll make this quick so as you avoid catty remarks about the use of paragraphs.

Sales aren't an indication of relevance. If it were, then the average iPhone game would be far more relevant than Mario.

Sales, up to a point, indicate both both desire from the public and--more so--the success of a marketing campaign, but relevance is dictated by public knowledge of the subject and it's impact on the wider culture.

Or put even more simply: if what you say is true then Peggle is more "relevant" than Mario since Peggle game sold 50,000,000 units over the same time frame. And yet no one gives a shit about Peggle.

Anonymous said...

Aaaaannd... Point for Jannie!

The score is now

Jannie: 4

everyone else: 0

Sabre said...

Aww, I got 0 points? ;_;

Nixou said...

"Nobody is saying that sales are the arbiter of quality. However, we weren't arguing about quality. We were arguing whether Mario is "Relevant" And since he draws such sales numbers into the 20s and 30s of million, he is relevant. Period."

If you take Jannie's earlier post, it's clear that she liked the idea of the Mario plateformer being a declining brand, as it would have made a good just-so story conforming to her preconceptions.
Once told that her cute just-so story was fictional, well, I suppose that aknowledging that one is so lacking in curiosity that she did not even try to look up the sales number to make sure that her claim conformed with reality is too humiliating, even on the comment section of a blog. Better try to make up some bullshit about how the commercial success of a game is disjoined from its relevance in the "gaming culture".

In fact, it's not the first time she does that: she claimed in the past that the JRPG genre was "extinct": a claim that can only be made if one does not look the actual sales numbers (in the real world: 33 out of the 50 biggest RPGs in terms of sales this generation were JRPG, and a string-like corridor extravaganza known as FFXIII still manage to sell as many copies as a Fallout 3 or an Oblivion, and don't get me started of the riiculously enormous domination sales-wise of the Yellow Rat); her tendency to always disregard data when it contradict her narative as well as to make up bullshit when she's called out for it being the reasons why I'm so blatently contemptuous.


But the reason why sales numbers are important is that, by showing that the 2D Mario games remain enormously successfull, they provide evidence that the lack of change in the formula is what the public want and reward.

And by treating the lack of change in the formula as existing in a vacuum, both Bob and Sterling are glossing over the fact that lack of change comes from gamers being not daring intellectuals willing to try new forms of entertainment but simply people who want to eat the same soup over and over.

Manticore said...

I stand by my preliminary comment. We have competition in the 2d sidescrolling platformer and this is, effectively the 2nd of 3 made of the same style and character in the last twelve months. So similar I wouldn't scoff and people wondering why Nintendo doesn't move to a DLC/update/mappack model if EA Sports not doing so is such a crime. So a really good thing combined with an issue of oversaturation so only those who already like it will appreciate it. And even of those there will be a strain.

Now as to Jannie's relevancy commments. I'll agree. Mario isn't the most popular and central figure in gaming. That has shifted in perception to ovjective based dark and scruffy action heroes or possibly Croft or other things.
Mario isn't playing the Shepards level that's because he's not the equivalent of who's going to be the next big star so much as the equivalent of an active or looming legend. Think less Colin Ferrel, Christian Bale, or any current or dominating star so much as legendary figure held if not esteem than influence.

Mario isn't "the hippest" or the "coolest" just as the Wii wasn't the premiere gaming device of the gamer. It was everyone's second gaming home device and either created or helped nurture the casual electronic entertainment wave to the masses. I'm going to say Nintendo performed an excellent surf of this.

Simultaneously the games represent a base standard of platform. Being the median but owning it. Same with Zelda and Action-Adventure (for a while the only competitor the more brawltastic GoW franchise helped there) Right now I fully admit NSMB2 seems more gimmicky than brilliant and fresh. And NSMBWii was just them putting some co-opt into the game not even the first of the genre let alone in the genre that generation. But they did it with something familiar and well.

That said just using say Yoshi's Island as a base as to SMB3/World...wouldn't be a decent enough twist. And you gain nothing by saying. Hey there are other more amazing platformers out there doing different things like Vessel, Fez, the one with the lights and so on. After all this new blood innovation yes.. collect lots of comes on our really highest end portable device feels.. well a little retro and not in a good way. Its not grounded in the familiar to let us try new or more of a lost thing (which is still new) but more of a middling attempt at something more common

Bound to stirrup resentments.

Manticore said...

Now to proceed!

On Mario is basically now the once superpopular fad that's become the dead unquestioned standard. Only now minus the un in that middle word of the phrase.

No one shops at the Gap anymore, its too crowded.

Or Disco is dead (this was not particularly true even when it was popular to pronounce it so true the more prominent outliers had fallen and the culture had changed but it was all POOF gone and with no further influence)

Now I want to agree with the whole Brand Issue with Mario but his ubiquity works for and against him here. As they've make him so diverse he can do anything and be anyone they can expand him out to all sorts of products and these products can take some chances or integrate new ideas without losing integrity or credibility.

The issue is that the competition hasn't been fiercer and more ... well distributed as of late along with design changing shifts. Much as no PC gamer will thank Xboxlive for the current indie/pcgame explosion (t was all Steam and Gabe Newell and and some reference to software piracy we are supposed to pretend hasn't grossly shaped the forming of software development)

I don't think Nintendo can take full credit for the breaking of the previously longstanding harder better faster stronger paradigm but it was with the DS and the Wii (and the iphone and Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, and tablet games and etc) we've seen a sprt pf explosion, widening of game types. Before, well effectively it was the most cinematic and popular and advance game that worked. Now we have live diverse activity amongst several types.

I hope even sticking to its niche Nintedo acts as a living company with its brand. It doesn't have to. Basic standards work.

Also there is the doom a gloom remember where we were all down on Nintendo and the 3DS around now last year. Now its too much Mario. Reggie is right we really do act like unsatisfiable brats sometimes. Sometimes alot of variation on basic standard is just that. And it isn't taking away from more advanced and developed bits. Especially as we now know 3DS will be supporting them AND Nintendo or Sony can stay in the game. They do have to repond to how its changing (the blockbuster model may not be dead but its dying prepare for less chasing the AAA rainbow and more brand/type farming or A-AA development if only to keep costs in line with innovatable ideas)

Manticore said...

Arrgh meant to say Mario more like Michael Jordan, Clint Eastwood, Robert Deniro, The Duke, Dustin Hoffin, or Harrison Ford. They've run the gauntlet and are now.. well able to rest on a certain laurel or don't need to prove themselves. If colin vanishes he might not make it back. the above can come back the the system will accomodate them. Though if they do nothing they'll become more and more likely not to move at all.

That was with my actor analogy

Eze said...

110 comments. Quite the hot-button issue we have here. Hopefully, we all stay remotely civil from here on in. So far, pretty good.

Alivia said...

That was really nice :) Free Computer Games ~ Freeware Softwares

Smashmatt202 said...

"Is Mario getting stale? Yes... and no".

Somehow, I knew MovieBob was going to justify Mario's latest games in some shape or form. You know, even I'm getting sick of Mario side-scrollers, especially after playing Rayman Origins... I mostly buy them because of the Koopalings, because hey, I freaking love them, and even though it's an incredibly trite reason, I'll gladly buy any game in which they're included.

"James Pond"? Of all the video game character cameos you could have, you go with that? Eh... Well, at least now I'm interested in who/what James Pond is. Also, that monster, is it from Ghosts 'n Goblins, by any chance?

You know what, I think Jim Sterling actually mentioned James Pond at one point, on a video of the top 10 worst games of a certain year. I think it was number 2... yeesh.

Wait, Dr. Who reference? I don't get it. Then again, I don't know a thing about Dr. Who...

So, this is a back-up video, huh? I wonder how many of these the Overthinker has... Anyway, let's hear what Bob has to say about Mario.

I'd say Pikachu and Pokemon is just as, if not more well-known as Mario in terms of video games at this point. Everyone else, not so much. But yeah, there's two. As opposed to Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, and Wolverine for comics, Elvis and The Beatles for rock music, Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny for classic animated cartoons stars, etc.

I wish I had a Mario chess board...

OH WOW, MovieBob named dropped another Xbox 360 game along with BioShock and Batman: Arkham Asylum: Mortal Kombat! ...Is it really that good to own?

I should really take inventory on my game collections...

"Mickey Mouse as your favorite cartoon". LoL, I see what he did there! XP (Mickey Mouse has had some history of being generic and boring compared to his friends, especially the likes of Donald Duck and Goofy) "Pizza as your favorite food". My favorite food is hamburger. That's... not that much better, actually. :(

But yeah, being a "fan" of something that's really popular, so popular that EVERYBODY knows about it and has seen it, can suck. Again, with Mickey Mouse, he's had his share of revivals in terms of "connecting with younger audiences" or "appealing to the new generation", and actual fans of Mickey Mouse will not like everything Mickey Mouse has done. Rather, they'll like specific cartoons from specific eras, and therefore, won't really like everything he's featured in, but watch/buy it anyway because they're such huge fans of his... Kind of complicated, really.

Oh yes, the whole "Wii" discussion again. People keep calling him a console fanboy for propping up the Wii so much, without actually listening to what he's saying. They're pretty much denying ALL the sold out Wiis during it's first few months of launch, and just how far and wide a grasp it in the pop culture. It's not a matter of which had better games or personal preference, it's a matter of the cold hard fact that the Wii WAS popular, and literally EVERYONE had one!

I also admit, I didn't love New Super Mario Bros. on the DS. New Super Mario Bros. Wii was much better. In fact, I still feel the need to go back and play that one. Really, I think it's one of my favorite games for the Wii! But yeah, just because you're a fan of something doesn't mean you HAVE to love EVERY SINGLE THING about it.

Not to mention, Yoshi's Island. Really innovated game that was. Nintendo needs to make more games like that. And no, I don't mean a sequel or another Yoshi's Island-type game, I mean a game that switches things up big time.

Once again, thank God for Jim! ;)

Smashmatt202 said...

I like that angle, I'd much rather have Mario be relevant and adequate then completely messed up beyond believe like Sonic. I'd also like to have regular Mario games, and not see a new game every 5 years or so, like Star Fox. But then again, isn't that what the Mario spin-offs are for? Mario has tons of different first and second-party companies to make Mario games, why was their own precious time and resources with the New Super Mario Bros. series when really there won't be much to them?

You know, next time I use the word "overrated", I'm going to think about the context and see how it's overrated, or if it's overrated at all...

"...and therefore, it sucks and should DIE!!!" Boy I hear THAT way too often... :(

A lot of people forget just how much of a big-time seller the Kirby series is. I feel the "Super Smash Bros. cash-machine" is kind of weird, since there are only 3 games in the series so far, and they DO take a long freaking time to make!

Whoa, the Overthinker just said what I basically said. Everyone can recognize Mickey on sight, but you can bet almost none of them have seem most or any of his original cartoons that helped make him so iconic. Hell, even some of his cartoons aren't that good at defining who is is...

Actually, Mario's kind of going down the same route. Iconic, yes, but what do we really know about him? Hardly anything, I'd say... Even Nintendo keeps flip-flopping on what goes on in the series (Koopalings not really Bowser's kids... ugh).

Super Mario Bros. 2, the American version of Doki Doki Panic, was a freaking awesome game. In fact, I keep saying that Nintendo should make their next Mario game based around THAT sort of gameplay again! Or bring back the bosses from those games, that would be AWESOME!!! Luigi's Mansion was awesome, too! And yet everyone keeps complaining about how those games suck! Like what they Hell? You want classic Mario? Well now you fucking got it! HAPPY NOW?! >:(

Fuck yeah, the Mario & Luigi series freaking rocks! I loved the characterization of the Mario characters in those games. A LOT moreso than the (still freaking awesome) Paper Mario series by Intelligent Systems. In fact, I always found the characterization between both RPG series really inconsistent, though I can't blame them since they're made by two different companies.

So yeah, awesome episode that. I think I'm going to share it around, particularly on this Mario forum I go to.

lol, even though I loathed the idea of the Anti-Thinker running the show again, I found it hilarious how he was going to talk about Mass Effect 3, and he held up 4 fingers! Really stupid and small joke, but I laughed.

Oh... FUCK no... Please don't tell me you HONESTLY went out in public wearing THAT WIG!

...Oh crap. It took me a while to realize that this is a DBZ reference. Yeah, Trunks hair and outfit. I TOTALLY get it! Frieza's big return was basically met with one quick curbstomp battle on Trunks' part. So I guess now the Anti-Thinker really is dead? Unless the Overthinker is somehow sent to Hell to fight him...

lol, Androids. The Android Saga was actually pretty good. Too bad I only got into it at the very end. :(

"Clogs Shoes"? Who would name their child THAT?! "OmegaThinker", huh? I WOULD guess that this was a descendant of the Overthinker, but then again, that would imply that the Overthinker actuall gets laid at one point... And considering how he was supposed to have been killed at that point in the original timeline, well...

You know, at some point down the line, I'd like Bob to make a One Piece reference. :P

Lee said...

Man, I can't even tell you how much I agree with you on the word overrated, I've been singing that song for a loooong time. I'm glad one of the people I watch finally said it.