Hello, mariomaster88 here. If you can't tell by my user-name, I love Mario. Who doesn't? He's the plumber that showed us all what a good platformer is, and he was the one who single-handedly saved video games from extinction after the crash of 1983. (Curse you E.T.!) I don't think there's anyone out there, even SEGA or Sony fans, who hasn't played one of Mario's games.
But that's not to say that everything related to Mario is remembered today. As a matter of fact, there are quite a few things about Mario that people have forgotten, or would just rather not talk about. And that's why we're here today, to honor the Marios that have been lost to the sands of time. This is the Top 5 Forgotten Marios!
#5: Hotel Mario (Phillips CD-i)
This one is at the bottom of the list because it's really more infamous than forgotten. Everyone's made fun of this game, be they using the cutscenes for idiotic YouTube jokes (Hey you! Get offa my cloud!), or just complaining about the idea of shutting doors as a gameplay element. But to be honest, I've played the game, and its really not that bad. Its not great, but I really don't think this qualifies as the single worst Mario game ever...
The game is played by making Mario travel through different floors of a themed hotel, shutting all the doors so that you can get to the next level. There are Mario elements in here, from Goombas and Koopa Troopas (Why they're so obsessed with keeping doors open is beyond me...) to Super Mushrooms and Invincibility Stars. There's even a Warp Zone that takes you from World 2 to World 6! Sadly though, the game is hampered by bad controls (Owed mostly to Phillips' weird controllers), and cutscenes with voice acting that makes the Super Mario Bros. Super Show look like Shakespeare. But they don't last long, and they give you a hint on what to expect in the next world, so they have their purpose...
Hotel Mario, it's bad, but not that bad.
#4: Yoshi (NES, Game Boy)
When you think of great puzzle games, what comes to mind? Tetris, Dr. Mario, Bejeweled, Columns, Puzzle League, Yoshi's Cookie, maybe even Pac-Attack? Well, this game is not one that you'll see people talk about much on message boards or play endlessly on their computer while their boss isn't looking, and that's a shame. I think this game has untapped potential, and could do with a remake...
This one is played by mario holding blocks of enemies such as Goombas, Boos, and Pirahna Plants, and stacking them to get points. Despite his name being the title, Yoshi plays a more passive role, being an item used for bonus points. Occasionally, the bottom half of a Yoshi egg will fall down, and if the top half falls on it, a Yoshi will hatch out of the completed egg. If there are enemies between the two egg halves, they will combine to give bonus points, and a bigger Yoshi will come out. It's fairly basic, but I think with a decent remake of this, it could be a great four-player experience. Maybe with the release of the 3DS, this game's time could come...
Yoshi, a fun little gem from an age gone by.
#3: Mario Clash (Virtual Boy)
Aah, the Virtual Boy. One of the biggest catastrophic failures of gaming, and it was from Nintendo, who is like the Disney of game companies. With strange graphics that only use the colors red and black, a short library of games, and the lack of a two-player function, this thing was pretty much doomed from the start. To increase the lameness, there's actually a game of WaterWorld for this thing. Who wants Kevin Costner on their Nintendo systems?
With all that against it, Mario Clash has its work cut out for it. But for what its worth, I think they did okay. Its a simple game of defeating enemies to move on to the next level, and you do so by jumping from background to foreground, grabbing Koopa shells and throwing them at Spinies, Boos, and Spike Tops. It actually feels very reminiscent of the arcade game Mario Bros.! Unfortunately, like Hotel Mario, it suffers the problem of bad controls. (B is jump and A is throw, a complete reversal on every Mario game before and since.) Also, like every Virtual Boy game, the graphics are painful to look at for too long, and when you're done your eyes will hurt. Shame, this probably would have done better if it was on Game Boy...
Mario Clash, a nice game on a bad system.
#2: Yoshi's Safari (SNES)
This is one that I'm surprised people don't talk about more. You've got Mario riding Yoshi, using a gun to fight the newly armored Koopa Clan, and a whole new kingdom separate from the Mushroom Kingdom, predating Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga by at least 10 years. Why don't people play this more? Is it because the Super Scope is pretty hard to find nowadays, or does the idea of Mario using a gun just bring flashbacks about that live-action film?...
This game is an on-rails first-person-shooter, with elements of the Mario games in. Enemies like Para-Goombas and Bullet Bills come at you, and you have to use your trusty Super Scope to shoot them down. Occasionally you'll have to fight a boss, be it a Hammer Brother or one of the Koopa Kids, and you'll also get items to use during the battles, either to heal you or to give you more time. This game wins because all of the Koopa Kids (as well as some regular enemies) all have giant mechs to fight you. Hell, the final battle with Bowser has him wear a giant metal battle-suit to fight you! How awesome is that!?
Yoshi's Safari, plumbers with guns and dragons wearing battle-suits.
#1: Super Mario Bros.: Peach-Hime Kyushutsu Dai Sakusen
This last one isn't a video game at all, its an anime movie based on the original Super Mario Bros. for the NES! This one was quietly released in theaters in Japan, and then quickly became available for rent from Japanese video stores. Unfortunately, this was the last that was heard from it. It was never shown on TV, never released on DVD, and never shown in any other language. I searched for a long time to find a fansub of this, and it wasn't until last year that I finally did, 24 years after the movie originally came out!
The movie's plot is that Bowser has kidnapped Peach (What a shock...) and its up to the Mario Brothers to save her. They learn that the only way to stop Bowser is to get the Mushroom, Flower, and Star, so they set out on this quest with their new dog friend. (Who looks like a cross between Wiggler and Gonzo...) Simple, but reflective of the source material, which already puts it leagues above half of the Video Game-based shows I could list. The humor is pretty good, with the most hilarious interpretation of Luigi as a money-grubber as well as occasional product placement for Mario ramen (I'd love to try some of that...) and of course standard humor for mid-80's anime. The music's pretty great, using different remixes of songs from the game as well as its own original songs. I also enjoyed the voice acting, from the hilarious noises of the Mario Brothers to the most adorable voice for Princess Peach I've ever heard. It should be noted than a lot of these voices were from the original Japanese version of Dragon Ball, such as Yamcha's voice being used for Mario. Yeah, Yamcha was Mario, how's that for a mind screw?
With good voice acting, good music, and respectful adapting of the game, Super Mario Bros.: Peach-Hime Kyushutsu Dai Sakusen is one Mario classic that deserves much more than it got.
Well, that's my list. I'm just gonna goof off now, maybe play some of these forgotten gems. This is mariomaster88, signing out!