The Top 5 Super Mario Games

After having played and beaten all of the Mario titles currently available, including the recently released New Super Mario Bros. Wii, I would like to put together a list of my top five favorites.
5) Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES)

This game is incredibly difficult and offers a steep challenge after the third world. With checkpoints few and far between you will oftentimes find yourself frustrated. It also doesn’t have the visual charm found in other entries, but this entry makes the cut because of its creativity in level design and power-ups such as the Tanooki Suit, Hammer Bros. Suit and the Frog Suit. I also happen to like being punished in games.

4) Super Mario Bros. (NES)

This game started it all. One of my earliest gaming memories, and fondest. It also features a fairly even difficulty curve unlike Super Mario Bros. 3, and while difficult it much more manageable. Iconic graphics, sounds, music and enemies make this a game everyone should experience. Its game play is timeless, and remains largely unchanged in modern releases like New Super Mario Bros. Wii.

3) New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii)

The perfect evolution of classic Mario platforming, featuring hectic four player co-op and difficulty that harkens back to the series infancy. I wasn’t sure I’d ever see another 2D Mario on consoles again and this was a welcome surprise. It features new power ups like the propeller hat, penguin suit, advanced techniques such as the wall jump, taking the series to new heights. Much improved over the New Super Mario Bros. available on Nintendo’s handheld the DS, this is an entry that any gamer hankering for an old school challenge would be foolish to miss.

2) Super Mario World (SNES)

In my opinion, this entry features the best mixture of gameplay and graphics found in 2D Mario. It may be nostalgia talking, but I find the presentation much more alluring than that of Super Mario Bros. 3, and while a bit easier, still offers a challenge to seasoned gamers, especially if you intend to uncover the games many secrets. This was where Yoshi made his first appearance, adding variety that had not been found in previous Mario games. This is probably the title I have replayed most due to its high level of accessibility.

1) Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)

After Super Mario 64 and Mario Sunshine, I was wondering if we were ever going to get a true 3D platforming Mario game. The former games, while good, featured more adventure aspects than true platforming, relegating the running and jumping to a few small stages. While some might like the adventure aspects, I think the first two 3D entries missed the essence of what a Mario game was. Super Mario Galaxy delivered what I had been waiting for.- beautiful graphics, a soaring orchestrated soundtrack, the return of classic enemies and power ups, and most of all platforming. The bite size galaxy set up allowed developers to basically do whatever they wanted because they didn’t have to stick to any particular theme. There is little in the way of wandering around, instead offering a world that is a virtual playground that you must traverse to reach your goal. While lacking much of the difficulty of its 2D brethren, it did offer a decent challenge if you went for all 120 stars. Super Mario Galaxy 2, due out in 2010, promises to up the ante, offering an increased difficulty and the return of trusty sidekick Yoshi.


Talking about Xbox 360 overheating – problem and solution

Although there is no specific article or warning about it on the Microsoft Xbox 360 website, many users have noticed that the next generation video game system overheats, even to the point of causing the Xbox 360 system to “freeze up” the display and the ability to control the system with the wireless remote. According to SmartHouse, a lifestyle technology guide, retailers have had to deal with about a 30% failure rate with the Xbox 360. Many consumers have noted that this happens around the 12-13 months mark, just as the video game console’s 12-month warranty is up. This can create an extremely frustrating situation for hardcore gamers who play their Xbox 360 system a lot, and who paid $300-$400 for the system by itself, let alone multiple video games, extra controllers, and various accessories.

Microsoft, along with not even acknowledging that the problem exists on such a massive scale, also hasn’t implemented any programs to address the issue. One thing that Microsoft has done is to run a short-term replacement program, but only for the Xbox 360 consoles that were sold in 2005. They have also announced an internal update to the system for release sometime in the fall of 2007. This update claims to solve the overheating issue by using different chips that can run at a cooler temperature while maintaining the same level of performance, but it won’t solve the problem for current Xbox 360 owners, only future ones.

Various third-parties have stepped up to help solve the problem of the system “freezing up” due to the overheating. One of these solutions is to attach a fan to the system, either internally or externally. These fans, although helping to cool down the system a little bit, haven’t been a good solution for many Xbox 360 owners.

Proper way to place your Xbox

XCM, a company that creates various add-ons for video game systems such as the Nintendo Wii, the original Microsoft Xbox, the Sony Playstation 2 and the Sony Playstation Portable, has created a new case for the Xbox 360 to help owners of the console to identify the system heating up to various temperature levels. The case is clear for two reasons: 1) to be an attractive alternative to the original case, allowing others to see inside your Xbox 360, and 2) to be able to display a glowing LED light to warn you of various temperature levels. At 29¢, an orange light will display. As the temperature rises to 30-31¢, a purple light will display. At 32-35¢, a light blue light, at 36-39¢, a green light will display, at 40-43¢ a blue light will display, at 44-47¢ a red light will display, and over 48¢ the red light will begin flashing, warning you to turn off your Xbox 360 immediately. The case also displays a digital readout of the current temperature in Celsius, but the myriad of colors provides a way for gamers to glance down and see the temperature of the system. This case will sell for $59.99, and you can pre-order it at Totalconsole, Divineo, Consoleshop, or Heo.