May 22, 2006
The Anti-hero-ization of Mario
Nintendo, in the past few years, has developed an uncanny sense of what I want, occasionally sucking me back into the world of video games like the green pipe used to suck you out of the underground level when you were trying to get the last coin block. And true to form, last week, Nintendo released New Super Mario Bros., the first original Mario 2-D platformer since, I don't know, since I was in high school?
Anyway, I won't bore you with a review of the game and a comparison to earlier entries in the Mario saga*, but there is something important to note. When you start a level, Mario proclaims, "Here I go!" I've played a lot of Mario Kart in my day, and Mario was always the one to shout, "Here we go." "Here I go" was reserved for Wario, Mario's evil twin (I'm not sure if they're actually related). This somehow implied that Wario was greedier and more selfish than Mario, although I never really bought it. I mean, they were both clearly racing out of self interest, it's not like Mario was helping Toad and Yoshi across the finish line.
I didn't think much of it until I played New SMB as Luigi, who nervously screams, "Here we go" when he's shot out of a cannon. Is Luigi being portrayed as the more altruistic Mario brother? That's what I thought until I realized that at the end of every level he tells you, "Yay for me, Luigi," saying his own name, like you didn't know who he was already. And when he starts a level, I think he says, "Oh, 'uigi," which is weird too. It kind of comes off as affable overcompensation for being the less famous brother though.
So what's this all mean? It means I put more thought into Mario's sound bytes than the game designers probably did. Yay for me, Will.
* Although I was ridiculously close to doing so.
May 2, 2006
An interview and some housekeeping
So, that Sundance story kind of trailed off, I know. The money was the scam and the flu, after that it becomes, well, you know, going to a film festival. Anyway, I'll summarize the trip in a bit for those of you with unbelievably long attention spans, but in the meantime, enjoy this interview I did with my friend Kevin Maher for independentfilm.com