When Will Mario Grow Up?
Review by: GuyInGreen (guyingreen@sm128c.com)

Editorial Posted: March 24, 2001

During the past twenty years, Mario and his friends have been some of the top video game characters on our TV screens. Mario has always been known as the strong noble plumber who always saved the Princess by kicking the whatnots out of King Bowser. Mario and Luigi have always enjoyed proving their significance by saving the Princess from the evil King Bowser. But Mario's one major flaw is beginning to show. That flaw is his childish character. And now it is giving him a bad name.

Ever since the release of the Nintendo 64, Mario has been given a more childish image in each of his games released. Every game on the Nintendo 64 that Mario has been included in has been rated E (for everyone), and if you have one that isn't rated E, then you have a pirated game of some sort. This childish image that Mario has inherited throughout the years has cost him the high regards of older video gamers everywhere. Personally I believe that this is pure BS, only because it could easily be avoided by following a few easy guidelines.

First of all, Mario needs a deeper voice. This annoying high-pitched voice gives this middle aged plumber the reputation of a hero gone homosexual. Second, Mario games shouldn't always be based around magic and power stars. Having them in nearly every game, Super Mario is becoming Super primitive. Third and last, Mario platforms need to have a different plot. Saving the princess sounds like something fresh out of a fairy tale. Plots like the one included in Super Mario RPG are many times better than those half-assed "save the princess because the evil dragon kidnapped her" plots.

People often joke about Mario having sexual relations with Peach, or just being a gigolo in general, like SolarGam.. err well that's not important right now. The important part is, that outrageous ideas like this would not make Mario games more appealing to older gamers, but would in fact turn his reputation around for the worst. If Mario were to be given a much more mature personality, it would have to be done in small steps, one game by one.

Perhaps maybe the answer isn't in making Mario's characteristics more mature. Maybe the answer lies in making his surroundings more suitable for older gamers. Sonic the HedgeHog for instance, hasn't always been the most mature video game character, but in Sonic 2 for Sega Genesis, there was an area called "Casino Night Zone" which featured extreme amounts of gambling.

With all of this in mind, it's easy to see why Nintendo needs to take a giant step in making Mario and his surroundings more suitable for all ages. That doesn't mean take all of the qualities of the game and twist them into something stupid and idiotic for some older teenage scum to worship, all that means is that Mario needs to grow up a little. Hopefully, Mario's role in GameCube games will be one of a more mature nature. And screw what Joe Lieberman says, Mario isn't about to get censored because he isn't the childish figure he used to be. And as you can see in the GameCube demos, Mario already slimmed down a little. Now all he needs to do is grow up.

-- GuyInGreen (guyingreen@sm128c.com)