Tuesday, January 3, 2012

12/24-12/31: An omnibus of Mario

First off, I'm drawing a blank for a funny way of combining Mario and Omnibus for a portmanteau that makes sense. Mariomnibus? Maybe.

Second, here's what I missed during my slothful days off:

12/24: Nintendo had a contest not unlike the famous-in-comic-book-fan-circles 24-Hour Comic Book Challenge: a 24-hour movie contest, starring Nintendo characters. it's kind of amazing how much you can do in a day*.

*Don't assume these guys were basically chewing coffee beans by the end of the 24 hours just to keep going. Making things gives you an energy that's better than caffeine.

12/25: Thought briefly of posting a Super Mario death metal cover, but let's stay with the spirit: Here's a Mario gingerbread house. While you're mentally eating it, try to imagine how many Mario games Santa has delivered over the last 25 years.

12/26: End-of-year list time: Mario's making a lot of people's lists: Gamasutra, IGN, more Gamasutra, Escapist, Pocket Gamer,

12/27: Exchanging something from Christmas that you didn't want or need? Pick up one of these with your in-store credits: Mario-riding-Yoshi plush, Mario bamboo magnets, a LOTR/SMB mash-up t-shirt, or an actual Bob-omb from the dreadful Super Mario Bros. movie.

12/28: The rumors of the 3DS's death have been greatly exaggerated. Or, to put it another way: console launch with Mario game: yah! Console launch without Mario game: boo! I'm very curious if Nintendo will have  mario ready for the Wii U. I'm guessing...no.

My suspicion is that there's some printed-on-flash-paper-so-it-can-easily-burn document showing that a hardcore minority will buy ANY Nintendo console, and Nintendo releases Mario-less consoles and gets the early adopters, and then when the momentum is waning they call up the plumber and he "saves the day." But it's no different than Syndrome saving the Incredibles city from a giant robot: it's all a show. Or maybe Nintendo is so wonderfully stymied by the Wii success that they thought that anything they touches would magically turn to gold. (In movies I think this is called the Vin Diesel Circa 2002 Syndrome, and it has fallen some greats.)

12/29: For the second year in a row, Super Mario Galaxy 2 is the year's most pirated Wii game. Congratulations?

12/30: When I would do interviews for the book, people would ask me what sort of challenges the Xbox 360 and the PS3 offered to Nintendo. And I'd always have to say that it was Apple who was Nintendo's biggest competitor. Just as Apple's quietly saved the music industry by destroying the very concept of a physical music store, they've changed the downloadable game in ways that it may take a generation to change. One could hardly say that Nintendo's copying Sony's or Microsoft's online game policy -- quick, try to have an online Smash Bros. game! -- but it has taken several pages from Apple's notebook. it's WiiWare shop is very similar to the App Store, except with higher prices, a confusing play-money system, and a teensy selection. Granted, that teensy selection contains most all of the games you'd want to play, but still.

Nintendo looks to keep stealing the iPlaybook.

12/31: The mod community had for what seems like years been teased and tempted by the prospect of a Super Mario 64 mod. It would be almost as big as the original game, one of Mario's all-time classics. And now you can see for yourself: go download it. You know, if you fall on the "meh" side the equation of how much this is copyright infringement and how much a new game using existing skins paying tribute to Nintendo's IP.