Yesterday, the top two Super Mario Bros 3 speedrunners faced off for a race that ran into problems - including game crashes. Despite the hurdles, speedrunners Mitchflowerpower and GrandPOObear bounced back and showed sportsmanship and skill under stress.
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Mario may be known for his background as a plumber, or his recent adventure as a body-snatching fashionista, but over the years he's also become one of gaming's most popular athletes. With Mario's newest tennis iteration launching later this year for the Nintendo Switch, it's the perfect time to look back on the many games that preceded it.
Like other classic Nintendo franchises, Mario sports has become a staple of each console and handheld library. While it seems like Mario's athletic glory days are behind him, through the good, the bad, and the painfully mediocre there have always been moments and modes that have stuck with players.
One night at my church youth group, I thought I played the best game of Mario Kart in my life. Somehow the controller perfectly interpreted my moves better than it usually did - I wasn't crashing or going the wrong way at all! At the end, I realised I had actually been watching my opponent's screen, and I'd never caught on that I wasn't actually controlling it. Meanwhile my character had just been careening randomly into the side of the racetrack.
Mario Tennis Aces is the sequel to the spiritual successor to the follow-up to Pong. Somewhere along the way, video game tennis became significantly more complicated than two paddles and a square ball. Fortunately, this upcoming Switch game will teach you all its tricks, by way of the RPG-style single-player adventure mode.
Last September, modders created a way for up to 24 people to jump around together in Super Mario 64. The ROM hack was called SM64 Online and it garnered a lot of attention, including Nintendo's who promptly issued copyright strikes to have the ROM hack and videos demoing it taken down.
Eight months later the modders have revived it under a different name and are trying again.
This cosplay by Oh My Sophii is called "Apocalypse Princess Peach", but there's definitely some Borderlands influence here as well.
I try to play Super Mario Bros. 2 every spring in the US. The game's bright colours, whimsical level design, and obsession with weeding make it feel right at home around the time of the the vernal equinox, and it's also one of the easiest to pick up and play. It isn't as challenging as the original Super Mario Bros. but not as long and involved as Super Mario Bros. 3. Dipping back in over the weekend, I remembered all over again why it's one of my favourites.
Google's already tossed Pac Man into its maps - now it's Mario's turn to shine. To celebrate Mario Day, users of the Google Maps phone app can now send their favourite plumber karting around their neighbourhood.
In September, Nintendo crushed hearts across the world by declaring that Mario was no longer a plumber. This week, the publisher has remedied that horrible mistake, changing Mario's bio to note that he is, in fact, a plumber.
Super Mario Odyssey speedrunners often use glitches to grab tricky power moons or skip through major portions of the game. A new patch implemented alongside the new Luigi's Balloon World mode last week blocked some of those crucial tricks, slowing any runner who upgraded their game. Now, the community is trying to figure out what to allow in their runs and how to keep their leaderboards fair.