Is Mario Bomb Proof?
The biggest video game mascot faced plenty of danger and emerged victorious. A career bruising game, though, is a whole other matter.
This past weekend, we had the misfortunate of seeing Dinner for Schmucks, the critically panned 2010 comedy starring Steve Carell and Paul Rudd that went on to sell $73 million worth of tickets at the box office.
The majority of theatergoers, we presume, were lured by Hollywood's promise of another gut busting romp featuring Carell and Rudd, two actors that for the most part choose entertaining scripts.
This, sadly, was not one of them. On the contrary, Dinner for Schmucks is one of the worst films we've seen and a huge disappointment. That said, money talks, and both actors appear no worse for the wear. Take the paycheck, ignore the reviews and move on to something else.
For whatever reason, we started thinking about Mario, Nintendo's celebrated mascot and the biggest video game hero of all time. With over 100 games to his credit, the pudgy Italian plumber has starred in some of the greatest hits, including the original Super Mario Bros., Super Mario 64 and New Super Mario Bros..
He's as big a star as you'll find in this industry, but that doesn't necessarily make him bomb proof. All it takes is one bad decision to tarnish an otherwise pristine resume.
Take Hotel Mario, for example. In 1994, Nintendo let electronics giant Philips and a relatively unknown developer called Fantasy Factory create and publish this abomination, a terrible puzzle game for the now deceased CD-i console.
Widely regarded as one of the worst Mario titles all time, Nintendo doesn't even acknowledge the game's existence.
Of course, when questioned, the company can always admit bad judgment while reminding us that it didn't create Hotel Mario. It did, however, have a hand in the horrid Mario Party Advance, while also giving the green light to the Luigi platformer, Mario is Missing!
All of these games happened some time ago and by all accounts, Mario survived, largely because his main adventures have remained consistently great. Some disgruntled fans took issue with Super Mario Sunshine on GameCube, but it scored in the low 90s and sold over five million copies. A failure? We think not.
The question, though, remains: could Mario survive a bomb?
The short answer is yes. The character has such a storied history that fans wouldn't leave by the millions because of one Battlefield Earth sized slip up. Sonic the Hedgehog is certainly proof of this, despite having a string of missteps over the course of 20 inconsistent years. Nintendo would catch a tremendous amount of heat for it, sure, but the company and its mascot would rebound.
To that end, Nintendo would have to release more than one stinker to do considerable damage.
Thing is, this will likely never happen, since the company is overprotective of its cash cow. Mario's creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, would upend several hundred tea tables to get it right. Plus, Nintendo knows exactly what its fans want.
On that note, while we don't think Mario is invincible, don't expect to see any Lara Croft style reboots any time soon. As for Dinner for Schmucks, avoid at all costs.