The first console games I owned (when I received my NES for Christmas back in 1989), were 2D Mario platformers: Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 2 (incidentally, Super Mario Bros. 2 is still my favorite Mario game ever). For me, Mario always made sense in 2D.
There was a huge chunk of time where I wasn’t gaming (from around 1995-2005). Sure, I’d periodically boot up my NES and play some Dr. Mario or Bubble Bobble, but I wasn’t gaming on anywhere near a regular basis.
In 2005, when I moved back to the United States from Germany, I got two consoles on the same day: the original Xbox and the GameCube.
I bought a couple of games for each, and for the GameCube, I bought Disney’s Haunted Mansion (a game I still love) and Super Mario Sunshine.
Looking back, I feel sure the game was inverted and it threw me the heck off. I probably could have gone into the settings to change it, but I didn’t. I tried to just roll with it, and I didn’t get very far. I loved the setting and I loved F.L.U.D.D., but I had so much trouble controlling the game that I put it aside…forever. Please keep in mind that until 2005 when I picked gaming back up again, I had never played a 3D game. I wound up adapting fairly quickly with other games, but I always mildly regretted never playing through Sunshine.
I still remember the advertising posters for the Wii and Super Mario Galaxy. I wanted to play Galaxy so badly, I spent the better part of a year trying to track down a Wii (it took me a good long while to find one) just to do so. When we finally got it and I popped in Galaxy, I realized I couldn’t play it without feeling physically uncomfortable. I think the game is technically so impressive, but the changing sense of gravity and the falling into space just wasn’t for me. I played probably 30 minutes of it, and never played it again (incidentally, my partner played both Galaxy 1 and 2 and adored them both).
When I first saw Super Mario Odyssey, I was smitten. The worlds looked colorful, beautiful, and whimsical. I knew I wanted to make this the 3D Mario that I played all the way through. It does make me awfully amused that, at the age of 40, I’m finally going to be playing my first proper 3D Mario game. Something about this time of year just makes me crave Nintendo games. I honestly think it goes back to that fateful Christmas of 1989. It was such an amazing day for me, and cemented my love of console gaming.
(That being said, I still love arcades. Later this week, I’m fortunate to have someone who wanted to throw me a belated birthday gathering at my favorite place in Portland: Ground Kontrol. It’s the best arcade around. The atmosphere, the cabinets, the pinball machines, the music, and even the food and bar, are all top notch. I can’t wait to see their new expansion; it will be my first time visiting since it was completed.)
So, if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with a plucky dude who likes to throw his hat at things.
This makes me wonder: what was your first 3D game?