Happy Birthday, Mario! The Super Mario Series Turns 30

Monday, September 14, 2015

Nintendo is celebrating the 30th anniversary of Super Mario, one of the best-known characters in the history of video games. The Super Mario series was created by Shigeru Miyamoto on September 13, 1985, and ever since Nintendo has sold more than 300 million units.

Personally, I love Mario. I've been playing the series since I was 10. One of the first games I played when I was younger was Super Mario Bros. 3 on the NES. The first few levels eased me into the concept, but it was World 4 that set it apart from previous games thanks to its sense of scale and giant enemies.

What's interesting to note is that Super Mario actually appeared before 1985 in another Nintendo game called "Donkey Kong", but instead of Mario he was named Jumpman. I wonder if Jumpman would've caught on the same the name Mario did. Either way, Mario is indistinguishable with his distinctive plumber uniform and moustache, which makes him stand out among all other video games characters.

Mario's best-known adventures was Super Mario Bros. where he, along Luigi, have to go and rescue Princess Peach from Bowser the invader Bowser. Mario has also been inserted into other gaming formats featuring football, golf or karting.

Having said this, it was the release of "Super Mario 64" and "Super Mario Sunshine", which really saw Mario's popularity soar because of their 3D platforming. In fact, at the time noone else seemed to be able to make 3D games the way Nintendo did, not even Sega's 3D Sonic Game came close.

To mark the 30th anniversary of Super Mario, Nintendo has recently released in Japan "Super Mario Maker" on the WiiU console. This allows players to create their own worlds for Mario, or use those created by other players and shared through the Internet.

Nintendo is also eyeing the booming smartphone games market and they have said they would create games based on its host of popular characters, but did not release any details about which characters would be made available for smartphones or tablets.

Mario is the closest thing to Mickey Mouse in the world of video games, an instantly recognizable symbol of gaming and a mascot for Nintendo.

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