Games

The Mario franchise has made Nintendo a lot of money over the years. Almost game staring the plump princess rescuing, gorilla battling, green dinosaur riding, mustache having Italian dude has been a success. This is s list of the top five Mario branded((As in, they must have his name in the title to make the list.) video games as I see it.
Top 5 Mario Games: 6 Golden Coins.
The second Mario land Game for Nintendo’s highly successful Game Boy system was the debut of both a new power up, and alternative star within the company. Only one of these was good enough to help this game crack the top five.By touching a carrot on screen, Mario acquired a set of rabbit ears that enhanced his air time while jumping. It’s basically the poor mans version of raccoon Mario. Wario made his official debut as a boss character, and later went on to star in his own series of well made games.

Top 5 Mario Games: Mario 64.
As the grandfather of platform mascots, Mario makes perfect since as the one character able to prove that a great 2 dimensional franchise can fair well when introduced into the third dimension. Mario 64 was an example of what 3D platformers should play like. It was fun watching the pudgy plumber scamper around the Mushroom Kingdom, jumping off walls like a parkour expert, and riding turtle shells like they were skate boards. Butt sliding up and down stars was a little weird, but everything else about the game was pretty neat.

Top 5 Mario Games: Mario Kart.
If it weren’t for the lack of corporate sponsorship, cart racing would be one of the worlds most popular automotive sports. Mario Kart games should be seen as a template for potential professional cart organizations. Natural hazards such as oil slicks, banana peels and projectiles that seek out the leader of the race to knock him out, should all be embraced by the governing body. Some people would say those would all be examples of cheating. Those same people probably think Mario is Missing deserves to be somewhere on this list.

Top 5 Mario Games: Super Mario Bros. 3.
If someone walked up to me and asked which Mario game should they play on the original Nintendo, I’d say skip the first two and just play Super Mario Bros. 3. It’s truly the best Mario experience on Nintendo’s 8-Bit console. Mario 3 Has everything. There’s ice levels, lava, light levels, man eating plants, frog suits, dudes that throw hammers at you for no good reason, and you can fly with the raccoon and tanooki suits.

Top 5 Mario Games: Super Mario World.
Mario World may as well be called Mario 3: Super Duper Expanded Edition. The Mario formula was pretty much perfected with Super Mario Bros. 3. Super Mario World is just a slightly better version of that game, but available on Nintendo’s Super Nintendo Entertainment System.. My reasoning for ranking this above 3 lies in the amount of content and extras within World. The multicolored Yoshis found in Mario World all have their own little special attributes and advantages, Beating the secret levels unlocks an alternate graphical skin for all levels and enemies., and it’s more fun kicking Bowser’s tail in this game than in Mario 3.

No one will accuse Konami of missing out on the retro gaming trend. Over the years, they have released some of their most classic titles through either compilations or through Xbox Live. One of the most eagerly anticipated releases for Xbox Live last year was the original Contra. Players were looking forward to blasting aliens with futuristic weaponry along with a friend in one of the premier co-op titles of the 8-bit era. But with the Xbox Live release widely looked upon as a disappointment, players began to look to the Wii’s Virtual Console to satisfy their urge for the Contra series. What they got was a pleasant surprise.
Rather than release the original Contra, Nintendo and Konami have decided to bring the heralded Contra III: The Alien Wars, originally released on the Super NES, to the Virtual Console. Not only is this game considered among the best launch titles of the 16-bit system, but it is still considered the best game of the Contra series. It’s also the first to be made exclusively for console play, as the original Contra and its later sequel, Super C, were both arcade ports. If that’s not enough, it’s also one of the first to fully demonstrate the Mode 7 graphics engine for some dynamic effects.

The game plays similarly to the original. The first stage sees one or two players on a 2D side-scrolling level full of aliens and zombie dogs. While armed with mere shotguns, players later pick up trademark Contra artillery like the Spread shot, Lasers, and Homing Missiles. Unlike previous chapters, this time players could dual-wield weapons, making for interesting and destructive combinations.

Two levels stand out, however. They take place from an overhead perspective and gamers guide their soldier through eight different directions attempting to solve the level’s puzzle that would lead to the boss. Co-op play here takes a delightful turn, as two players can split up and go their separate ways and keep track of each other through split screens, a la Toe Jam amp; Earl. Players could either attempt to unify their power, or attempt to go separately in an attempt to finish the stage quicker.

Level design in general in this game is unlike any seen in the previous two Contra games. One stage sees players bikes while firing away on foes. That same stage will pit players in a harrowing battle in which they must navigate their way by jumping and clinging onto missiles. Yes, missiles! And still, there’s another level where players proceed by climbing walls and taking out incoming enemies. It was a lot of fun in the early 90’s and it still holds up today.

One of the best qualities of the Contra series has been the larger-than-life bosses. Konami upped the ante in a big way with their Super NES outing. Bosses were still big, bad, and ugly. But this time, thanks to the Mode 7 graphics, they also came right at the TV screen. Bosses, and mini-bosses also, would occasionally pop up from the foreground to the background and back again. The imagery was astounding and gave off the Apocalyptic atmosphere that the game was shooting for.

The game’s biggest negative remains a glaring issue today. For as much as Konami brought to the fold this time around, the game was over far too quickly. The game only contains six stages and gamers can breeze through those in an afternoon. While this installment was beautifully done with state-of-the-art (for the time) graphics and sound, the previous two games were able to pack in more levels filled with more fun. Graphics are great and all, but it’s never a good idea to focus on them at the expense of fun and gameplay.

Still, many will say that this is the best Contra of the series. Which is unfortunate, because it’s also considered by many to be the last good Contra of the series. After this, Konami attempted to take the series into 3D. The games were horrible and the series was left for dead afterwards. Which is part of the reason why gamers will be happy to see this game hit the Virtual Console. For 800 Wii Points, Contra III: The Alien Wars proudly displays one of the best gaming franchises of yesteryear. It’s short, but it’s still well worth the purchase.