Commonly referred to as the greatest 2D platformer of all time, Super Mario Bros. 3 is delightfully challenging, imaginative, and an excellent illustration of stellar game design. Super Mario Bros. 3 crafted a legacy of its own and pioneered many conventions that have become staples of modern game design. Yes many elements of Mario 3 may seem trivial or primitive in comparison to the current standards of gaming, but seeing how its first innovative steps have evolved so immensely is nothing short of amazing. Its true brilliance is craftily hidden within its intricacy and difficulty; despite its vibrant colour palette, the game can be downright unforgiving, in a manner that seems to be a rarity in the Super Mario series. The level design is also immaculate, where every platform, power-up, and enemy is masterfully placed and is effortlessly entwined with the responsive controls. Super Mario Bros. 3 is a timeless, golden piece of software that truly shows that Nintendo are the unparalleled kings of video game design, and whether you’re embarking on a nostalgic trip down memory lane or experiencing its innovations for the first time, Super Mario Bros. 3 is a bona fide classic that’s worth experiencing over and over again.
Shovel Knight, for the most, has been widely acclaimed by both critics and fans alike, praising its nostalgic 8-Bit graphical approach and its heavy influence from NES games, specifically the Mega Man series and Super Mario Bros 3. Many have addressed their concerns on Shovel Knight’s clear grasp on nostalgia, and how it doesn’t necessarily provide anything new and primarily rides off of the nostalgia alone. As someone who grew up exclusively playing the original PlayStation and have never owned a NES or SNES, I can deliver a warranted slice of perspective. Shovel Knight is not revolutionary by any stretch of the imagination, and most definitely rides off of nostalgia, but none of these are necessarily a bad thing. I, for one, am not playing the game with tinted goggles as I never grew up in the 8 and 16 bit era of gaming, so no nostalgic flashbacks to Mega Man or Castlevania will ever resonate in my obscure mind. Despite all of this, I am happy to report that I absolutely adore Shovel Knight and if I had played it during its original release last year, it would’ve made its mark on my top 10 games of 2014. Shovel Knight is exceptionally charming, wholeheartedly addicting, and reasonably challenging; its 8-bit art style and sound direction are undoubtedly nostalgic, but that doesn’t detract from its overall presentational quality. Regardless of its nostalgic factor, Shovel Knight is a lovely bite-sized experience that shouldn’t be missed.
I’ve been gaming since I was about 7 or 8. The very first video game console I ever owned was the GameBoy Color, rocking Pokemon Silver 24/7. Pokemon Silver is was got me hooked to this phenomenal medium and is still one of my favourite games of all time. I also loved playing Spyro the Dragon on the original PlayStation, my first home console. However I didn’t start my current, habitual gaming hobby until I was about 15, and that’s when I got my PlayStation 3 as a Chirstmas present. And for a long while, I primarily played my PS3, I didn’t own an Xbox 360 at the time and I never did end up grabbing a Wii. And that leaves me with a confession: my very first Nintendo home console was the Wii U. People find that statement to be quite a shocker, especially because of how much I love video games. I never owned an NES, SNES, N64, GameCube, or a Wii; I guess you can say I jumped on the Nintendo bandwagon fairly late. In addition to my Wii U, I also have a 3DS which I do love and wish I had more time to play. So I thought I’d share my sad list of completed Nintendo titles with you all and express my interest on the other titles, whether they be recent or classic, I wish to experience, and hopefully you more experienced gamers can suggest some of your favourite Nintendo titles that I forgetfully omitted!