Friday, January 30, 2015

The History of Mario

It’s amazing how much animation graphics change throughout history when referencing video games. One of the most popular games of all time, created by Nintendo, is the Mario Brothers collection. From the 2D to Three-Dimension world, Mario Brothers stands at the forefront of animation in video gaming from the perspective of user experience, graphical presentation, and overall innovation of animation techniques as technology improved from year to year. Beginning in 1985 with the release of the original Super Mario Bros, the game not invited the user to get lost in the colorful 8-Bit world, but to also guide the main character from the left to the right sides of the screen. Similarly to many famous films, characters are introduced from the left frame of the shot in order to present them in a way that makes sense to the viewer. In Mario’s case, the animation appears from the shadows on the left frame of the screen and forever continues to explore by always continuing to the right.

As technology continued to improve, however, the 2-Dimensional cookie-cutter colored Mario evolved into a three-dimensional boxed animation in Super Mario 64 and then ultimately grew into the polished, immensely colorful character in Mario Party 8 that we hold as today’s modern standard. The animation transformation can be observed in many other games following the technological generation timeline as did the characters in the Mario franchise. But, how many games can state that they have maintained popularity over two generations of family members? No other game has proven its presence in the gaming community and its versatility to take advantage of the available gaming hardware that Nintendo releases every console cycle. The iconic color pallet utilized in Mario games can be recognized by any new user because its visual effects, sounds, game mechanic simplicity, and overall animated diversity.

 The facial structure has remained the same. The scaling of the character in relation to the surrounding landscape has remained constant. The effortless intuitive controls have maintained consumer popularity. From an animation standpoint, the Mario franchise continues to push video game designers to their limits by creating new stories and worlds that take advantage of technological innovations while consistently upholding the iconic video game character.

 If you haven’t played a Mario game (from start to finish), you have no idea what you’re missing!

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