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Is it time for Nintendo to give Mario a break?

There's nothing analysts like better than making sweeping statements. True to form, a Japanese newspaper recently reported that financial analysts reckon that the reason Nintendo's share price has dipped below 10,000 yen for the first time in over 7 years is that everyone's fed up with Mario. According to Japan's Senkei News, "As the game market evolves, Nintendo seems unable to move beyond creating games that rely on the image of Mario..."

Mario Kart 7 may have got a perfect 10 from us, but what do we know? Apparently that's 6 Mario Karts too many. You could argue, in fact, that Nintendo has created a brand so recognisable, it can make money in any language and give gamers of any age a good experience.

You could also add in that Mario games are only similar in name alone and that the core series is actually fundamentally different every time it arrives, with the exception of Super Mario Galaxy 2 - a game to which we still awarded another 10. Mario games make the most of the unique capabilities of the hardware they're on, which arguably keeps them forever fresh.

But then there's the flipside. The side that says: "Do we really need NINE Mario Party games?" The side that says perhaps Bowser should concentrate on being evil rather than keep ringing up Mazza for a game of basketball or tennis. And sleeping with the enemy and teaming up with Sonic and friends to help sell an Olympic tie-in? '90s Mario would be ashamed.

But we want to know what you think. Should Nintendo give Mario a rest, or not? Just click the answer in this here poll and your opinion will magically be turned into a pretty statistic:

No halfway house here, folks - it's yes or no. And if you really can't deal with such a polarisation so early in the week, you can leave your fence-sitting provisos in the comments.

75 comments

  • DaveGoose - February 20, 2012 7:48 a.m.

    I don't think its a yes or no question. The core Mario franchise is innovative and fun. They don't come along all that often. This is the side that needs to keep going. As for the billion spinoffs they could cool that for a few years and I would be cool with it. Instead of Mario Kart you could make Donkey Kong Kart (or Diddy Kong Racing 2). Just do stuff like that, Nintendo had a breadth of characters that they could reach into the stable for more.
  • MCN2011 - February 20, 2012 10:28 a.m.

    @DaveGoose But Donkey Kong Kart would still be Mario Kart, especially as Donkey Kong is IN Mario Kart. Why change the name only?
  • kezins - February 20, 2012 7:49 a.m.

    I don't think it's time for Mario to take a break especially considering the fact that the vast majority of Mario games have been enjoyable and unique. However, I do think it's time for Nintendo to come up with some new franchises. They have been relying on the same characters for a long time. It's time for some new ones to add to the mix.
  • LOZ4EVAH - February 20, 2012 7:55 a.m.

    The core games are always dependable that they'll have good gameplay and be fun. Spin-offs however may be a tad too much.
  • darron13 - February 20, 2012 7:57 a.m.

    I don't think they should STOP with the Mario, I mean at the end of the day they are good games...but they SHOULD concentrate a little more on their other series: Metroid, Fire Emblem, etc. You get a major Mario release every year, not counting the dozens of spinoffs, but you hardly see any of their smaller series.
  • MidianGTX - February 20, 2012 7:58 a.m.

    I don't think it's got anything to do with the character, just the games. If Nintendo can create an entertaining and innovative game with him in it, go right ahead. If they start recycling gameplay mechanics, hold off a while.
  • BladedFalcon - February 20, 2012 8:05 a.m.

    I think they should give him a break. If only to allow/force nintendo's developers to come with new IPs.
  • shawksta - February 20, 2012 8:34 a.m.

    That's a strong one despite there are teams have/already making new IP's very recently in the form of Pushmo,Sakura Samurai(a rebirth but we never heard of it outside Japan), Dillons rolling western, technically Kid icarus uprising, and whatever Miyamoto's Working on. However, seeing something from the Mario developers themselves outside miyamoto would be VERY interesting.
  • BladedFalcon - February 20, 2012 8:59 a.m.

    And I think it's still to be seen if either of those 3 very Japanese sounding names you mentioned will be brought over here at all. And while Kid Icarus uprising COULD be considered an original game, it's still relying on a relatively well known Nintendo brand and character. My main gripe is that while the games keep certainly being good, Nintendo's too much sheltered on the strength of their brand's names. Similar to what Marvel and DC does by always coming up with excuses to always keep Batman, spiderman, superman and the X-men around and with their status quo.
  • shawksta - February 20, 2012 11:11 a.m.

    Um,actually Pushmo(a VERY unique take on the Puzzle Genre,Made by Intelligent Systems no less) and Sakura Samurai are ALREADY in the Eshop outside japan, and Dillons Rolling Western is coming to the UK eshop soon. I dont blame you for not knowing, Non of GR reviewed them for some odd reason. That doesnt change the fact that Uprising is something different, using Pit or not, Paper Mario isnt the same Mario game is it? Though i know what you mean, and i have no problem with them holding things off to make something different. We already have Miyamoto working on something new that will no doubt be a unique concept (Wii Music and Nintendogs ARE unique regardless of what people think of them) but rebirthing of old Nintendo character's shouldnt be ignored either, Nintendo has a rather big amount of forgotten characters that they can rebirth and bring them up to standards besides the usual characters.
  • codystovall - February 20, 2012 8:17 a.m.

    Honestly I hate mario(not counting paper mario) and never really play as him unless I have to.
  • shawksta - February 20, 2012 8:22 a.m.

    No, its not a simple Yes or No. Mario's the only one who innovates the most and it really depends on what exactly Mario should take a break from. The core titles/Adventures/RPG's are ALWAYS innovative and make them worthwhile, while spin offs vary. Mario Tennis for example, the 3DS one will be acceptable as we hadn't have one for a very long time and its one of the more favorable ones. There are certain things we need a break from, but simply saying YES or NO to everything Mario related is just to hasty and I'm not suprised at the amount of people who quickly said YES.
  • Asmodean - February 20, 2012 8:51 a.m.

    I'm not sure I agree with you assessment; do the Core titles always innovate or is their popularity driven my the fans? In all honestly there has been nothing innovative about any of the Nintendo core titles since the N64, they've simply taken their games in the same direction that other franchises walked before them. Sorry but that just what it is, Mario fans are just a better version of Mac-heads. Mario's (and the other core titles) success is driven not by what the games do but but the notoriety of their names. On that alone Nintendo should give the plumber a brake, I mean for every 1 good Mario titled game there are 5 crap titles.
  • shawksta - February 20, 2012 11:16 a.m.

    No, thats totally wrong. Every game have their unique Merits that make them famous. Are you saying games like Galaxy and Metroid Prime DIDNT change the way we look at the genre? Cause if you are, your arguments invalid. Your saying the most obvious argument while ignoring whats really happening. Galaxy 2 didnt get 10's on most of the sites because its "MARIO Blah blah" It earned it cause it revolutionized the 3D Platforming standards after no other game series touched it for a while. Im not saying EVERY game is innovative, but Mario and Zelda, the series Nintendo's known for, do, which is why they're still alive after 25 years, if they just kept rehashing, they wouldve died already.
  • tomthespesh - February 20, 2012 8:52 a.m.

    Olympic games, party, tennis and other ones can sod off. But kart and the main games along with paper mario are always great and always bring something new and fun to play.
  • benchesh - February 20, 2012 9:06 a.m.

    I'll never get tired of Mario games, so no!
  • Net_Bastard - February 20, 2012 9:12 a.m.

    They should either make some changes or take a break for while. Make a gritty reboot or something. Either that, or Nintendo should come up with some new IP's already. They're relying on Zelda, Mario, and Pokemon to sell their consoles. Maybe make an M-rated IP again (Yes, I know how Geist turned out. But that was when people weren't wanting a mature IP), or just something different from the usual Nintendo fare.
  • yonderTheGreat - February 20, 2012 9:15 a.m.

    Ain't no derned reason. If the games are good and they're not story-oriented, then having the same mascot is perfectly fine.
  • ithurtstopoop - February 20, 2012 9:50 a.m.

    No - no they should not, that little blue hedgehog on the other hand...
  • winner2 - February 20, 2012 9:50 a.m.

    If Mario was given a break and I didn't get a new paper mario I'd be pretty pissed. So no.

Showing 1-20 of 75 comments

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