Nintendo Switch - Grey
Mario Bros. still holds up – or does it?
Before Super Mario Bros. Wonder is released, I want to relive some old NES and SNES classics. But somehow the experience isn’t quite as rosy as I remembered.
For dedicated Super Mario fangirls like me, this year promised two highlights: the full-length movie and the new Switch game Super Mario Bros. Wonder. I’ve already seen the Super Mario Bros. film twice, and I’ve also had the legendary Peaches, sung by a lovesick Bowser, on a continuous loop a time or two.
So what to do until the new game finally comes out in mid-October? That’s right, reminisce. I reach for my digital treasure chest and download old NES and SNES games to the Switch via Nintendo Online. In particular, I want to play the two platformers Mario Bros. and The Lost Levels. Full of anticipation for the good old days, I start Mario Bros. – and look at my TV, somewhat perplexed.
Was it always this pixelated? Mario seems so… flat. And that squeaky sound! My poor ears. And besides, why is there so little action? Sure, every now and then a Koopa or a Goomba runs across the screen, later I meet the Hammer Brothers and Lakitu again, but it feels like there’s nearly no challenge whatsoever. Accordingly, I quickly arrived in world 5 of a total 8, where I ran out of steam.
I tried, I really did…
Moving on to The Lost Levels. I loved this game as a child! It was so hard at the time, every level was a challenge. Nasty shrinking mushrooms, unpredictable gusts of wind, nerve-wracking trick castles. I cut my young gamer teeth on it all. And even now, 30 years later, the Lost Levels have lost none of their appeal. The first two worlds are still halfway doable, after that the game-over screen quickly becomes a common sight. Nintendo Online’s rewind function is of little help here.
But here, too, I’m not as gripped as I thought I should be. That irrepressible childlike will to complete all the (lost) levels and save the princess is gone. Maybe I’ve got old, maybe I’ve become more pragmatic. My attempt to revive these old Nintendo games feels kind of like trying to reignite an old love. You know you had a good time. A damn good time. But if you want to follow it up, you’ll find something’s missing.
So now I’m patiently waiting for 20 October, the day Super Mario Bros. Wonder comes out. Let’s hope for new love at first sight.
Are you also looking forward to Super Mario Bros. Wonder? Or do you still celebrate the old games? Let me know by commenting below.Header image: Anika Schulz