Merry Christmas all TRR readers…and to the haters and losers, as Donald Trump might say. I really don’t like writing today, but it’s been slow around here this week, so let’s do a few posts. The first thing I wanted to talk about is Super Mario Run, the new iPhone game from Nintendo. As a general rule, I don’t play games on my phone. It just feels, I don’t know, trashy. I have a PC, PS4, PSP, or the Wii U if I want to game. There have been a few exceptions with mobile stuff, but 99% of it is garbage…in my humble opinion. So, I had planned to skip the Mario outing as well, even though I recently got an iPhone for the first time ever.
That was before I read this article in The New York Times…
Unfortunately, despite Nintendo’s history and reputation, Super Mario Run is not a family-friendly game — or at least not one my wife and I will be letting our 6-year-old daughter play. The game is rife with stale, retrograde gender stereotypes — elements that were perhaps expected in 1985, when the first Super Mario Bros. was released in the United States, but that today are just embarrassing.
The idiot who wrote it, Chris Suellentrop, actually says it’s not family friendly. Mario isn’t family friendly. I can’t even get that through my head without laughing. The most family friendly franchise of all-time is now deemed “problematic” because of offenses like this…
Super Mario Run begins, as does almost every Super Mario title, with Princess Peach becoming a hostage who must be rescued by Mario. Just before her ritual kidnapping, Peach invites Mario to her castle and pledges to bake him a cake. Upon her rescue, she kisses Mario. The game also includes a second female character, Toadette, whose job is to wave a flag before and after a race, like a character from “Grease.”
By failing to update Super Mario for a contemporary audience, Nintendo is lagging far behind the Walt Disney Co., one of its closest American analogues. Disney’s film “Frozen” subverted and reinvigorated the fairy-tale princess movie; “The Force Awakens” gave us a female Jedi. Super Mario Run doesn’t even try.
In isolation, there’s nothing wrong with princesses or baking. My daughters love those things, too. But Super Mario Run relegates its female characters to positions of near helplessness. Peach and Toadette become playable only after you complete certain tasks, which makes the women in the game feel like prizes. (To be fair, the same is true of a few male characters.) Worse, should you then use Peach to defeat her kidnapper, Bowser, you’ll discover that neither Mario nor a kiss is waiting for her as a reward.
Nintendo refuses to change their stories to fit our “progressive” worldview! Fuck them, their game is dangerous for my children to play!
Who even thinks like this? I watched The Force Awakens and I enjoyed it. I didn’t get upset because they arguably tried to push some new story elements. So what? It was good. Plus, this is fucking Mario. You don’t play it for the storyline. Peach gets kidnapped, Mario goes to save her. Why should Miyamoto have to reinvent the wheel? It’s the most successful franchise of all-time, or at least one of the top 3. It makes no sense to try to push SJW bullshit into it.
Oh, and speaking of Miyamoto, Sue-Ellentrop decides to go at him for good measure….
Shigeru Miyamoto, the designer of Super Mario Bros. — as well as Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda and other landmark games — is frequently called the Walt Disney of video games. He may have a little too much Uncle Walt in him and not enough Hayao Miyazaki, whose Studio Ghibli movies like “My Neighbor Totoro” and “Spirited Away” are filled with adventurous young heroines.
Mr. Miyamoto told Wired this month that he was more involved with the design of Super Mario Run than that of any Mario game since 2007’s Super Mario Galaxy. That means that the only two Super Mario games that include a playable female character from the start — 1988’s Super Mario Bros. 2 and 2013’s spectacular Super Mario 3D World — were games in which Mr. Miyamoto was not directly involved with the level design.
There’s more in his whining, pathetic critique, but I can’t be bothered to go through anymore of it on Christmas Eve. I do plan to play some more Super Mario Run tonight, though. It’s surprisingly good. I’m not a huge fan of the “constant runner,” but there’s some cool elements in this outing and the controls are on-point (as with almost every Nintendo first-party game ever made). I definitely don’t have any problems with the storyline like this fucking pussy.