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Cave Story+ Nintendo Switch Review

Cave Story+ releases June 20th, 2017 on Nintendo Switch.

I was first introduced to Cave Story in 2010 as a downloadable demo on the Wii.  Before I knew it I was sucked in and had played the demo multiple times over, but despite my love for the demo, it wasn’t until about a year later that I received my own copy of Cave Story on the Nintendo DSi.  I don’t think I set my DSi down for more than a moment to grab something to eat before I was staring back at the small 3 inch screen, completely immersed in the colorful world of Cave Story.  Years later I received a copy of Cave Story+ for the PC as a gift from my dad.  A few years after that, I found myself again purchasing Cave Story from the Nintendo 3DS eShop, boasting original pixel art with some added 3D depth.  Now, seven years after I had originally fallen in love with the game and 13 years after the original release, we find ourselves with another version of the game; Cave Story+ for the Nintendo Switch.

As the name would suggest, Cave Story is a story about rabbit-like creatures (Mimiga) who live in a cave.  You take on the role of a robot named Quote.  With no memories of how you ended up there, you attempt to discover not only your own purpose, but the story behind the Mimiga and the entire cave itself.  In some ways Cave Story feels like a lost NES classic, and having been inspired by games like Metroid and Castlevania, it’s not hard to see why.  The game rewards exploration, choice-making and mastery of its controls, allowing the player to change the outcome of the story by how they play.  The world of Cave Story is filled with lovable characters and clever dialogue.  The game oozes with charm and you can feel that the creator really put work into making something that was special to them.  Right off the bat, Cave Story feels like a beloved childhood classic while also mixing up the formula with some of its own ideas.

The first thing you’ll probably notice that is different in Cave Story is the unique weapon system.  Unlike other 2D shooters where you collect ammo and level up your characters stats to move forward, Cave Story features a dynamic weapon leveling system.  Weapons feature three levels of strength, usually with level 1 being the weakest and level 3 being the strongest.  The weapons you collect level up when you collect Weapon Experience from fallen enemies, but will level down as you take damage.  This way Cave Story rewards skilled players who don’t take damage with greater weapon levels, while others may find themselves struggling to keep their weapon levels up if they are not careful.  Every weapon collected has its own unique strengths and characteristics, while your initial weapon, the Polar Star, may not drastically change upon leveling up.  The Bubbline offers a very different experience at each of the three levels.  Every weapon offers advantages and disadvantages in different scenarios.  Where some might succeed wonderfully in one area, it may not in another.  So while you might have your favorite weapon, it’s always helpful to explore the strengths of others in the event you find yourself in a challenging situation.

Cave Story+ PC
Cave Story+ Switch
Cave Story+ PC
Cave Story+ Switch

Visually, the original Cave Story features some gorgeous pixel art.  This is only improved upon in Cave Story+ with the addition of remastered graphics.  Moreover, Cave Story+ on Nintendo Switch is more visually advanced than even the PC version.  The Switch version features an overhauled water system that reacts to the players movement through the water rather than the static image of the PC version.  Along with new water physics, a new lighting engine is also present.  Characters, shots from weapons and other items placed throughout the world will emit light that will slightly illuminate the background and other elements around them – a subtle but welcome change. Along with the new lighting engine, some of the excess foreground has been removed replacing it with black space and some shadows around the elements.

Alongside these features, the Switch version of Cave Story+ features a true 16:9 aspect ratio, unlike the 4:3 aspect ratio of the PC version.  As performance goes, the game runs at 1080p and 60fps while docked, and 720p, 60fps in handheld mode.  All make for a very pleasant experience with flawless performance all around.  Even in the most hectic scenarios, everything runs buttery smooth, with no hurt to performance whatsoever.  All of these changes make the Switch version by far the most visually appealing version of Cave Story we’ve ever received.  Halloween and Christmas visual changes are also present in this version if you are playing during their respective time-frames.  That being said, as of now, the Switch version Cave Story+ does not offer the option to switch between the original and remastered visuals like the PC version, something we’d welcome back in a possible future update.

Cave Story has a wonderful and addictive soundtrack that feels right at home in the world that’s been created.  In the Switch version of Cave Story+ instead of being greeted with three different options like the PC version we’re greeted with four! “Famitracks” is a new audio option only present in the Switch version, and like the name suggests, sounds like the original tunes using the Famicon soundfont.  Everyone seems to have a different opinion on which Cave Story soundtrack is the best, but with all four different music options to choose from, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to decide for yourself.  Unlike previous versions of the game, the “Jukebox” is also unlocked in the menu right from the start, so if you want to sample music you’ve heard from the game from all of the different soundtracks, just select the option from the menu and listen to your hearts desire.

With a tight control scheme, every button press counts in Cave Story, and luckily all control options are present in the Nintendo Switch version (apart from touch screen functionality). Single Joy-con support will be especially helpful when a free multiplayer co-op update* is released this summer.  If you want to test your mastery of the controls even further, a challenge mode will be unlocked after you progress to a certain point in the game.  Modes like Boss Rush, Sanctuary Time Attack and Wind Fortress, as well Sand Pit, (a new challenge mode exclusive to Switch version) will push your skills to the limit. Online ranking support is also present so you can see how your skills compare to players all across the world.

*This review will be updated when the multiplayer update to Cave Story+ for Nintendo Switch is released.

So even after thirteen years is Cave Story+ for Nintendo Switch still the Cave Story game that’s been lauded for years? It’s that and more. With even further enhancements, a multiplayer update just around the corner and possibly even more, Cave Story+ for Nintendo Switch is a wonderful addition to the Cave Story family and the best version we have to date.

You Can Play the Switch Anywhere, Even on Coffee Tables

We moved to Georgia when I was four years old and in the initial move, we lost some things. A ceramic cat my mom had put in our old living room had shattered into a thousand pieces.  The flight from Islip to Atlanta had misplaced our dog and she ended up on a different flight in a different state and it took a few days to get her back to us.  The condo we had temporarily rented had been filled with cockroaches, and when my mom turned the light on to our new home, the horror of watching the floor transform from black to white as the bugs scattered into the walls practically made my mom lose her mind.  I can remember her picking me up into her arms and running back into our rental car as she sobbed in the front seat while I patted at her arm and told her, “It’s okay mommy, we can sleep in the car.”

It was 1994 and cellphones were a far off luxury we didn’t have.  My dad was driving from Long Island, New York with our cats in a U-Haul, and we wouldn’t see him for two whole days.  Our necessities were all packed in suitcases my mom had yet to unload to our new home. All of our memories were inside the truck my dad was driving.  Photo albums, Christmas decorations that my parents bought before their wedding on Christmas Eve and practically all of my Barbies were unceremoniously tossed into a cardboard box labeled, “Susie’s Playroom.”

Before moving, my parents ran a VCR repair company in their spare time.  My mom worked in a dental office and my dad worked at a tech company. That was why we had moved; The promise of a job where he could at the very least double his wages lured us into the humid and far off South.

Electronics in my home were about as plentiful as the Polly Pockets I had in my playroom, which was located just outside my dad’s workshop.  The workshop in our old house was in the basement.  Just beyond my colorful Disney VHS tapes and sea of pink plastic toys was a treasure trove of circuit boards.  Just as my toy box had been overflowing with dolls, plastic figurines, and dress-up clothes, his own toy box held wires, precision screwdrivers and whatever odds and ends he needed to tinker around.  My dad would take everything apart.  I can recall one instance in particular when I grew out of a pair of old light-up shoes.  My dad took them to see what made them tick, what made the light came on, and took them apart to satiate his curiosity.  He was like that with just about everything.  My house, from the moment I could remember, held  a few staple items in it I can recall without fail; My mother’s Kitchen Aid mixer, my dad’s computer, and a mysterious gray box of mysterious origin.

I’m uncertain as to where my dad got the NES, but it was always part of our household.  I can’t remember playing it in my old home but I can remember hearing the distinct World 1-1 song playing somewhere. Most of the time spent in the condo had been in my room.  It wasn’t a pleasant place to be and my mom did her best to assure me that it was alright, but often told me to stay in my room to avoid the less than pleasant aspects of our new home. The whole condo had practically been a game of “the floor is lava” for me to play.

A few months later we moved out of, as I used to parrot my mom much to her dismay: The Condo from Hell, and into the suburbs about half an hour away (though it felt like a world away). It was a big two story house with a swimming pool in the backyard and a room I could use as my bedroom, a separate one for my playroom, an office for my dad, a living room, dining room and what intrigued me the most, the den.

The den had been among my favorite rooms in our house in New York. It was where the big television sat in an entertainment center that I could watch “The Little Mermaid” or “Beauty and the Beast” on repeat.  The new den was far bigger than our old one with a real working brick fireplace for Santa to comfortably slide down.  We put a couch against the windows atop a decorative green rug, which also housed a large wooden coffee table with bulbous and round legs.  It was a squat and low table that I’ll always remember. The den was one of the few rooms in our house with a hardwood surface and became a room I spent a great deal of time in.

My dad had hooked up the NES in the den and that is my first true memory of it.

I was born in 1989, and before that my dad used to play the original Super Mario Brothers with my cousins who were a couple years older than me.  My dad told me one time he saw the princess with his own two eyes after rescuing her and I thought that was impossible after my less than dexterous fingers slammed on the jump button only to go headfirst into a Hammer Bro’s hammer. There were a few cartridges that we owned. Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros 2, Super Mario Bros 3, and for whatever reason, Popeye. The NES Popeye game is not one I’ll ever suggest playing, by the way.

One of my favorite games.

Beanbag chairs were bought because the cable from the controllers couldn’t reach the couch from behind the coffee table. My dad and I would spend hours cycling through games trying to get through levels the best we could to top each other’s scores. I always went second because I liked playing, “The green guy Luigi, because he’s green.” My dad who was the son of an Italian immigrant would purposely mispronounce his name, “Lou-whee-gi” especially if my mom was nearby because she’d chastise him, “That’s not his name, don’t call him that!”

My dad had an unfair advantage in challenging me to games. He was always better than me and would last far longer in game.  His turns would sometimes take hours since we had to wait for the other player to die before we could play again. I can remember many occasions when the system was turned off by “accident” so my dad would have to fight to regain his place.

We’d happily play games together side by side in beanbags until the support hurt his back and he’d scoot the system back across the wooden floor to give the controllers more reach and sit on the coffee table. I copied my dad in just about everything he did so I planted my butt right next to his atop the table and watched him play.

The look of abject horror on my mom’s face was priceless. “James!” Everybody called my dad “Jim” but when my mom and I needed to get across that we were being serious, we called him ‘James’ instead of his nickname or dad.  She said something along the lines of us having beanbag chairs for a reason and to not sit on the table because I’d make it a habit, or worse, think that it’s an acceptable thing to do as an adult.

Pictured above, the author incriminating her father from a picture drawn in 1998.

Any time my mom was out of the house, my dad and I would sit on the coffee table and play games. When we heard the garage door lift we’d slide off the table into the beanbag chairs and sit there innocently like we hadn’t moved. The rivets in our jeans betrayed us and we scuffed up the table, much to my mom’s dismay.

In the mid 90s, game consoles were cheaper to buy and not as hard of a sell as the systems that initially followed the NES, but we never got any of them. I can’t remember playing any games on the SNES, but I can remember seeing Smash in action on an N64 at a friend’s house as we mercilessly beat each other with Link and Mario.  I can remember distinctly playing a sushi game in Pokémon Stadium. My mom worked in a children’s dental office throughout my childhood, and on summer breaks or teacher workdays, would bring me with her.  I’d spend hours either watching movies in the waiting room or greedily hogging the PS1 to do my best in Rayman or Crash Bandicoot.  The slew of games that were tossed in our young faces was overwhelming and while I wanted to get my hands on all of them, I was more than content to play on my NES at home and try my best to beat the games before I moved on.

We got a van with a television and VCR in it since we did a great deal of driving. On one occasion, my dad and I had a road trip from Georgia back to New York, unfortunately for a funeral, but my dad actually hooked the NES up for me to play in the back seat.  We’d sit together in the back seats and play Mario when my dad was tired of driving and needed a quick pit stop.

In 1998 the Game Boy Color was released and it was also when my dad started to get sick.  The next few years were spent in and out of hospitals.  My mom would pick me up from school and we’d sit in traffic to spend the afternoons and evenings with him before I’d have some time to myself to play games and go to bed.  I won’t go into the details of my father’s illness, but three years later in 2001 he was gone.  The last few months of his life he had spent out of home, in the hospital waiting for a heart transplant.  We did everything to make his, as he called it, “home away from home” as comfortable and like our home as possible.  We decorated his room and he kept his chunky laptop from work with him, and on one occasion, “snuck” our cat in to see him.  We rented videos he wanted to see and left his favorite VHS tapes with him so he could pop in a movie whenever he wanted.  We of course brought him the NES so he could play games when we were gone.  Sometimes we’d play together and we did our best to get to Princess Toadstool.

After my dad passed we collected his personal effects from his hospital room and I had difficulty hooking the system back up.  By the time I was able to finally plug it in, it died.

I got my hands on a number of systems afterwards.  The Dreamcast and PlayStation were easy choices since the Gamecube and Playstation 2 both came out, and I caught up on games that I hadn’t been able to play before.  I always felt like I was a step behind everyone else when it came to playing games but I never minded taking things slow and going my own pace.

2002 was when I finally caught up with everyone. I got a Gamecube and my mom bought a PS2 bundle with Kingdom Hearts.  I was finally on page with everyone else.  I won’t be saccharine and say that I wish I could have still played my NES games while I was beating up Sephiroth with a gigantic key or executing elaborate rooftop heists with a cane in a slick raccoon’s hands, but I was so enraptured with what was occurring then that I focused on where games could be.  Part of being someone who loves to play games is to constantly move forward.

Mario had taught me to never stop going, even if I was afraid or even if I could fail.  I’m glad to see that Nintendo is taking a lesson that I had learned and had taught countless other children from the 90s, and are moving forward with their new console.

This is the very first console release I’ve ever been excited for.

The first time I’ve ever felt hyped for a console with brand new games that I’ll be able to get at launch.  I wish I could tell my dad that he had been way ahead of his time with bringing our NES with him.  I wish I could play a co-op game with him with controllers that detach from a screen you can bring with you anywhere.

I know it’s been said from here to Hell and back, but this is the system I’ve always wanted but could never articulate having.  The Switch is the system that I could imagine in a television show or a video game something so far out of reality because it’s so cool it can’t actually be real. The closer the release date gets, the harder it is to articulate the excitement I feel on getting my hands on it.

Moving forward with all of you as we all speculated what the Switch has been is nothing short of breathtaking.  I’d like to think that if my dad was here, he’d probably be in the Switchcore Discord talking to all of you excitedly awaiting the Switch so he could take it apart and put it back together, but I think a few of you guys may be planning on doing that already.  A good portion of the people on the Nintendo Switch Discord aren’t even as old as the NES or couldn’t use the Internet when I was lying on my bedroom floor with a PS2 controller in my hands.  Everyone waiting for the Switch comes from different walks of life.

Everyone from artists and programmers from the South, to store managers in the Midwest, students in both high school and college and everywhere else in between and far beyond that are all excited for the Switch.  We all spoke to one another when it was under its code name, the NX, and excitedly trolled through the Internet in search of answers.  What was it?  When would it come out?  Would we ever get to play the new Zelda?

A community of people were all brought together for one reason: A love of games.

A love for games is nothing short of moving in the eyes of not partially sentimental woman like myself.  Maybe I’m a wide eyed optimist, but I honestly feel like this is a revolution in gaming.  I don’t think that Nintendo was overconfident in choosing to put Imagine Dragons’ “Believer” in their recent Super Bowl ad for the Switch.  It’s also fitting due to the band’s relationship with Nintendo and the Zelda franchise.

Pictured the brilliant Koji Kondo and longtime Zelda fans Imagine Dragons circa 2014.

I’m sure that the band believes,“It’s Time”.  Now is the perfect time for a revitalization in gaming.  Gaming in general has transformed so drastically since the 1990s and almost just as much throughout the past couple of years.  People enjoy sharing games with one another through let’s plays and online matches with their friends from across countries and states.  Kids play games just about everywhere, either on their parents’ cellphones or their own tablets.  Gamers and gaming aren’t synonymous with strictly exaggerated depictions of gamers with a fine dust of chips on their fingers hunched in front of a monitor bathed in the glow of unnatural light.  If you’re someone that can pick up a phone and play a match-three game or even a heavy strategy games on your custom built rig at home, you’re a gamer.  Most of us began playing games through Nintendo, whether you were a 90s kid that excitedly received an NES system, your parents were fortunate enough to get their hands on a SNES for you to experience the first taste of the Console Wars, or screamed with sheer delight while peeling back paper on Christmas morning to receive a Nintendo 64.  Maybe you saw the commercials for the Wii and the affordable price.  Maybe active games lured your parents into buying one or you found the appeal of games on the go with the Nintendo DS so you could play with digital dogs.  Nintendo’s helped shape not only childhoods and memories, but are always the first push into innovation in the industry.

Sure, sometimes that innovation doesn’t always go as they plan or the risks they take are just too out there or too ahead of their time, but just as Mario lost a life from a stray hammer being tossed on his head and the player has to learn to get quicker dodging, Nintendo finds a way to get better at traversing the market.  Nintendo had been king and all but singlehandedly revitalized gaming in the 1980s, and I believe they can be king again. The hype for the Switch is so real it makes me shiver with antici—

The amount of passion and excitement displayed in not only hardcore gamers, but the market in general, reminds me of the philosophy of Nintendo’s late former president, Satoru Iwata.  Games should be fun for everyone, and I can honestly see anyone playing it from my eight year old niece as her small hands encase the Joy-Con and she plays “Splattytoon,” to my mom playing 1-2 Switch with my aunt after a few glasses of wine.  Even people that don’t traditionally play games may not be sold quite yet on the system or fully understand its capabilities, soon will.  I’m elated to see a post-Switch release world where I see twenty somethings in bubble tea shops playing Snipperclips, businessmen on trips that would normally interrupt dungeon crawling sit near a charging station as they valiantly fight on Zelda’s behalf, and kids experiencing a Mario game that’s both mobile, so they can take it with them anywhere and their parent’s get their phones back, and one they can play on the big screen at home.  Though, if I’m being honest with myself, most of those kids may still be playing Minecraft. But hey, maybe soon enough, they’ll even be playing that on the Switch.  –pation.

I can’t wait to rescue Princess Peach!

As for me, I can’t wait to take the Switch over to my mom’s house when I visit at Christmastime after Mario’s release.  That way I can play the game as it’s meant to be played and comfortably sit on top of her nice new coffee table and rescue the princess.  What can I say?  Old habits die hard.

From Bits to Glory: A Retrospective on 2D Mario Games

The first ever print ad for the “Nintendo Entertainment System”

Super Mario. It’s a name that many people can easily recognize the second they hear it. A lot of people got their start with Mario with Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo Entertainment System. This was at a time where video games were definitely not as big as they were today, as the infamous Video Game Crash of 1983-1984 just happened prior to the game’s release. The market still reeked of buggy, unfinished products, such as the Atari 2600 versions of E.T. and Pac-Man. There wasn’t a single company who wanted anything to do with home video games anymore in the Americas. Until, in 1985, just a few short years after the crash, a company rose and advertised their new “toy”, the Nintendo Entertainment System.

The name “Nintendo” was barely heard of in North America. If anything, they would mostly be known for their smash hit arcade title, Donkey Kong, which released in 1981, and was ported to consoles such as the Atari 2600, and Mattel’s Colecovision. This was about to change.

In October of 1985, the Nintendo Entertainment System was released in a single test market, New York City, and the console was bundled with a light gun, an electronic robot pal, called the Robotic Operating Buddy, or “R.O.B”, all of R.O.B’s necessary accessories,  two wired controllers, and two cartridges with games loaded on them. Duck Hunt and Gyromite, which were basically tech demos packaged with the system to showcase the previously mentioned light gun and R.O.B’s functionalities. A home computer that was bundled with a light gun, robot toy, 2 controllers, and 2 games, all for the efficient price of $249.99. This was extremely competitive with home computers on the market at the time, such as the Commodore 64, which was almost $550 when it launched in 1982, and didn’t even come with any gamepads, or light guns, or even a screen.

Fast forward to September of 1986, as this was when the NES was released nationwide in North America. A much cheaper bundle was released, known as the Control Deck. It didn’t have a light gun bundled anymore, nor did it include everybody’s favorite Robotic Operating Buddy. That would also mean it didn’t include Duck Hunt, or Gyromite. After analyzing the results of the Nintendo Entertainment System’s soft-launch in NYC, Nintendo came to the conclusion that for their cheaper bundle, they only needed to bundle two things with the system. Two controllers, and a copy of their all-new game, Super Mario Bros.

Mario became just as well known as Mickey Mouse. This is where so many people got their start with not just Mario, but video games in general. A lot of them might have been turned off by the crap that was showcased on previous consoles, but by bundling Super Mario Bros. with every Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo showed that there was quality content on their system. Of course word got around. People wanted more, so Nintendo gave more. Of course, most people know the story of the fabled Super Mario Bros. 2, but if you don’t, here is a short summary of the story.

They released Super Mario Bros. 2, on the Famicom Disk System, an add-on to the Japanese Nintendo Entertainment System, called the Nintendo Family Computer, or “Famicom” for short.

The disk and case for “Super Mario Bros. 2”

The game was sent for testing to Nintendo of America, Nintendo’s American branch. The game was deemed “too hard” for American players, and was sent back to Nintendo of Japan.  They didn’t know what to do. They knew that people wanted more Mario. So, they took a game they had already released in Japan, and re-skinned the game, making all the assets related to Mario. They sent it back for play-testing at NOA, and it was approved, and the game was released soon after as Super Mario Bros. 2.

The game that they released in North America and Europe as Super Mario Bros. 2 wasn’t the Famicom Disk System title the Japanese got. Nintendo created a game called Doki Doki Panic after completing the original Super Mario Bros., in collaboration with a Japanese TV studio named “Fuji TV” for their yearly “Dream Factory Festival”. A lot of the developers that created Doki Doki Panic worked on the original Super Mario Bros., and because of that, Doki Doki Panic really felt like a Mario game, gameplay-wise.

Now, obviously, once word got around that there was ANOTHER Super Mario Bros. 2 in Japan, people got confused.

“Which one is the real one, and why didn’t they released the Japanese one here,” people wondered. Well, people got their wishes granted, as in 1993, in Nintendo’s title Super Mario All-Stars, a compilation of Super Mario Bros. 1, 2, and 3, with Super Mario Bros. 3 being released in 1990 for the Nintendo Entertainment System. All-Stars was released on Nintendo’s newest system, not the Nintendo Entertainment System, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System!

“Including the never before seen ‘Lost Levels’!” is how the commercials would advertise the game, as the game really was never before seen. In any region but Japan, that is. Yes, Nintendo released Super Mario Bros. 2 under the moniker of Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels in North America and Europe. When Nintendo released The Lost Levels everywhere else, they also released the re-skinned Doki Doki Panic in Japan. What did they call it, you ask? It was called Super Mario USA. What a name. But, let’s backtrack a little, because I just forgot a game. Nintendo released a Super Mario Bros. 4 in 1990, alongside the launch of the Super Nintendo. Only it wasn’t called Super Mario Bros. 4 in North America and Europe, it was called Super Mario World!

Super Mario World took everything about Super Mario Bros. 1 and 3, and just made it 10x better. It brought in Yoshi, your dino pal who you can ride on and eat enemies with, only to betray by throwing him in a pit for a boost when you jump. Again, the game came bundled with every Super Nintendo, just like Mario 1 came bundled with every Control Deck NES, because Nintendo wanted to show the capabilities and quality of the SNES from the get-go. Nowadays, a lot of people I know call it their favorite 2D Mario game, and some even call it their favorite Mario game. Some even call it their favorite video game. It truly did a number on consumers, as the game made the SNES just as high in demand by children at Christmas time as the NES was.

After Mario World, we didn’t really get anything. Nintendo moved into the 3D era of Mario. Super Mario 64 released with their new system, some 6 years after the Super Nintendo was released. We didn’t get anything that was a 2D Mario game for a while. We got re-releases of previous Mario games, such as Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario USA, and Super Mario World, all on the Gameboy Advance. But, we finally got something in the year 2006.

New Super Mario Bros. came out for the Nintendo DS system in 2006. At the time of writing this, 2006 was 11 years ago, so we wouldn’t call it very “New” anymore. But, that’s besides the point, because this game sold nearly 1,000,000 units in Japan alone. IN THE FIRST FOUR DAYS. Clearly, this was something people didn’t know they wanted. Except, some people did know they wanted it? I don’t know, but this wasn’t the first Mario game on a Nintendo handheld.

You thought I’d forget about the Super Mario Land series? Of course not, I loved Mario Land! 2. I liked Mario Land 2. I wasn’t a fan of the first one, but I’m not bringing opinion into this article more than I already have. The Mario Land series was Nintendo’s attempt at bringing the Super Mario Bros. experience from your TV to your pocket, and it worked! Super Mario Land was good, but Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins was a, how the cool kids say nowadays, “hoot and a half”. I don’t really have much to say about them, other that…well, they were there. I’m not all that familiar with them. I should really go play them. After Mario Land 3, the game just evolved into Wario Land, so it isn’t really a Mario game anymore.

Back to the New Super Mario Bros. series, Nintendo kept making new ones. They made New Super Mario Bros. Wii, for the Wii, in 2009. It introduced simultaneous 4-player action into the formula. No longer did you have to wait for your brother to die in the game for your turn, even though you knew he was never going to die.  It also brought back Yoshi, who you were still betraying by jumping off of while above a hole. The game sold many copies, clocking in at around 28 million of them sold to this day.

After this, the series got stale. They released New Super Mario Bros. 2, and New Super Mario Bros. U, for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U respectively, but were basically just more of the same. The games were short, and didn’t really feature anything “new” in them. Which begs the question, what is next for the 2D Mario games?

The future of the 2D Mario games probably lays in the hands of the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo’s newest console. Or…is it a handheld? It’s bothWhatever the new game is, whether it’s Super Mario Land 4, New Super Mario Bros. Switch, an entirely new Mario game, or maybe even Super Mario Bros. 5. Mario got his start scrolling from one side of the screen to the other. It’s what got a lot of people into playing his games. Nintendo definitely knows to never forget their past. So, the future of these games are unknown for now. But, I have a hunch that something will come very soon.