Welcome to the newest column here at Diehard GameFAN, “Hi-Technical Knockout”Â, a shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist. Michael Knight: a young loner on a crusade to champion the cause of the innocent, the helpless, the powerless, in a world of criminals who operate above the law.
Wait. . . I’m confusing my column with talking vehicle vehicle, Knight Rider. . . AGAIN.
This column is about two Diehard GameFAN staffers battling in a contest of wits and contains significantly less Hasselhoff.
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Topic #3: Of Hedgehogs, and Plumbers
I assumed after seeing them together in a sports mini-game collection and a party fighting game, that we would see Mario and Sonic together in an rad 2-D platformer.
I’m still waiting.
What the hell, guys?
Are the platforming adventures of Mario and Sonic incompatible?
First addressing this issue is Guy Desmarais. Because he is Quebecois, we know that he speaks French, fights beavers, is a badass hockey-playing lumberjack and pronounces his name is such a way that the nickname “cream of some young Guy”Â only works somewhat.
There is just no way to put Mario and Sonic in the same platforming world without breaking the basic gameplay of either series. Sure, they could coexist in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, but that was a game that thrived on having different style of characters in order to see which one reigned supreme. This is great for a fighting game, but when it comes to platformers, this is a terrible idea. No matter which approach is taken, it is bound to fail. In order to crush everybody’s hopes before they could get any higher, I have decided to list every horrible way such a game could turn out.
The first one would obviously be a hybrid of the two franchises. Now what exactly defines these two franchises? Kennedy specifically asked for a 2D game. In this case, Mario is all about timing, jumps and power-ups. Sonic is about going very fast while dodging enemies and collecting rings. A hybrid of these styles would mean that we would get a fast paced game where tricky jumps need to be executed at high speed? Would we see typical Mario stages with loops and trampolines tacked on? Would Sonic get to try a power flower? Even worse, would we simply get a slightly faster Mario game, or a slightly slower Sonic game? No matter which way you spin it, a hybrid of the two would end up disappointing everybody because the only way to do it would be to dilute the spirit of both games. Focusing on the forces of each franchise would simply turn the whole thing into an unpalatable mix because Sonic’s and Mario’s strengths are direct opposite. How can you be precise on a jump if you’re going too fast? This incompatibility means that we would have to throw one of the two characters as a guest star in the other’s world.
Let’s start with Sonic visiting Mario’s world. If we want to include the hedgehog without breaking its original design, it means he needs to run on coins and lose them when he gets hit. So far so good. However, it means that he needs to speed through levels, which is highly improbable because Nintendo has always designed Mario levels around obstacles. Sonic would have to stop every second or so to dodge a pipe that is in the way, or a series of blocks forming a wall, or lava pit. The other problem is that coins are much more present in Sonic’s world than coins are in Mario’s world, mostly because Mario gains an extra life for every 100 coins. In order to sustain Sonic, the game would need to include way more of the currency than usual, which would get us an insane amount of extra lives, which would in turn make the game ridiculously easy. To balance this, I guess we would need to make this one of the hardest Mario games in history. How does Nintendo make games harder for Mario? That’s right, they add more speed-stopping obstacles, which brings us back to an earlier problem.
Let’s try with Mario being dumped in Sonic’s world. Sonic relies on speed and agility to make his way around loops, trampolines and hills. Mario simply does not run as fast, and his speed would need to be increased significantly in order to make him fit. Mario also defeats enemies by jumping on top of them, something which takes away rings in Sonic games. If you take away that power, all Mario is left with is his power-ups, of which there are none in Sonic’s world. If you add them, it breaks the original gameplay, so this is a big no-no in this scenario. The only thing we are left with then is a fat plumber with a mustache who can’t run fast enough to get around a loop, and who cannot really navigate around terrain all that well. Quite simply, this game would suck.
As you can see, there’s no way to incorporate any of the characters in the other’s world without changing something about the basic gameplay of each. The flash game Super Mario Crossover has shown with many other characters that it is very hard to incorporate characters from other franchises in a new world without making things either incredibly easy or incredibly tough. Sure, a game like that is fun for a laugh, and it mainly works because of the nostalgia factor. However, the fact remains that such a game, objectively, wouldn’t be very good.
So I’m sorry Kennedy, but such a game is not coming. You’ll have to keep pitting Mario against Sonic in a fight or in a swimming competition.
Next up, we have Matt Yaeger. Matt Yaeger was born with two hands and to this day has that same number. Matt sometimes wears blue shirts and I once heard a rumor that he “Ëœbombs and skanks.”Â
Matt Yaeger is a valued member of the DHGF due to his near complete immunity to Bieber fever, a virulent pathogen that has in recent months claimed the lives of three staffers.
“Are the platforming adventures of Mario and Sonic incompatible?”
Short answer? Yes. They aren’t compatible.
Long answer? I know this will piss some people off (and I may have to hide from Bebito) but Sonic the Hedgehog sucks, and while watching folks kick a dead horse is sometimes funny, watching SEGA flog the corpse of their ages old mascot is just sort of sad at this point. The only thing sadder than that is watching the fans of the blue hedgehog get violently angry about what color his eyes are.
Sonic is that guy who was cool in grade school who still acts the same way as an adult and thinks he is still cool.
Mario is like a piece of pizza. Even the next day when it is cold it still tastes good. Different, but good. Sonic is like a glass of milk that is sour after awhile. Sure you could drink it but you’d feel gross after. A meal of cold pizza and sour milk is a terrible meal.
Aside from terrible analogies, I have some actual reasons as well. Mario is about figuring a way to make it across a level though jumping and different abilities. Sonic is about speed, and does not work in 3D. Mario does. Creating a game with them both would mean either limiting the game to a 2D plane, or making a terrible another terrible 3D Sonic game. Level design would be a nightmare, Sonic needs loops and ramps, Mario needs levels broken up into different jump gaps to navigate, as well as pipes and stuff.
What about power ups? If Mario or Sonic had both a Chaos Emerald and a Power Star they could rule the universe and that is just too much power in the hands of one mascot.
What would the motivation be? Mario saves princesses while Sonic hates Dr. Robotnik (never Dr. Eggman. Ever). Like Sonic gives a crap if some chick can’t keep herself from getting kidnapped 17 times. That and the egos of Dr. Robotnik and King Koopa would never let them work together for very long.
Plus, I’m fairly sure Mario might be racists against blue hedgehogs. I’m not 100% sure of this, but how many Italian plumbers do you know that would let their daughters date a blue anthropomorphic animals? Exactly.
It’s a failure in multiple areas. Profit division between SEGA and Nintendo. Level design. Motivation of characters. Racism. As you can see it just wouldn’t work. As a fan of the Mario series I must also add that I hope that this would never come to pass. Sonic games have been terrible except for the ones that try to exploit nostalgia.
Closing argument; Mario has had several good RPG games. Bioware couldn’t make a decent Sonic RPG game. Any mixture of the two would only make Mario look bad and Sonic…well look like Sonic.
Guy makes the argument that because he cannot imagine how a platformer with Mario and Sonic would be any good, there must not be a way for such a thing to work.
*No points awarded.
Matt makes the argument that because he cannot imagine how a plat former with Mario and Sonic would any good, there must not be a way for such a thing to work.
*10 points awarded to Matt Yaeger, due to Rule 1787: (U! S! A! U! S! A! )
Guy mentions the possibility of Sonic getting a power flower-
*25 points without awarded
. . . Without pausing to reflect on how awesome that would be.
*8 points deducted due to the rule of the unexamined life.
Guy mentions the possibility of disappointing everybody with a dilution of the Sonic franchise. The capacity of Sonic fans to feel hope and joy was crushed many years ago. They are no longer capable of disappointment.
*15 sympathy points awarded to Buffalo Bills fans.
Guy mentions Super Mario Crossover.
*50 points awarded.
Guy threatens me with swimming. I am terrified of Sonic going anywhere near the drink.
*10 points deducted.
Guy’s Total Score: 57 points
Buffalo Bills Fans Total Score: 15 Points
Matt Yaeger: Analogies:: Rob Liefeld: Pouches
*10 points deducted.
Yaeger doesn’t trust Italians with power and thinks they are racist. He also compares Mario to Pizza.
*No points awarded.
Yaeger eschews the name Dr. Eggman.
*67 points awarded (Semolina Pilchard’s Rule).
Finally, Yaeger issues the blanket statement that Sonic sucks not realizing that Angels: Elvis Costello:: Sonic: ML Kennedy. Id Est, I want to wear his red shoes.
*10 points deducted.
Yaeger’s Total Score: 57 Points
Winner: TIE: (Matt and Guy each score 57)
Loser: Bills Fans (Typical)