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Mario over Sonic - Why the success?

Shooting_Palanx

The Rock is cooking atm..
Was just wondering about how Sonic and Mario were introduced around the same time (if im not mistaken) and since they were kind of head to head, I mean Sega promoted Sonic as a way to combat against Nintendo's Mario, right? It's always interesting to see how far both franchises, gaming characters have come. Why do you guys think Mario trumped Sonic over time? What made Mario more successful, spawning off more sequels and more games and gaining a whole lot more notoriety? If anything, the premise of Sonic the Hedgehog had way more potential, meaning that the idea of a Hedgehog running at the speed of light, would've seem more "cooler" than a middle aged plumber that was italian? Hmmm ... What do you guys think attributed to Mario's success over Sonics? Just something I thought would be nice to discuss and gather opinions over :)
 

dDave

Well-Known Member
V.I.P.
If you ever played Sonic Adventure for the Sega Dreamcast, that pretty much sums it up for me.

The Dreamcast was the last SEGA console, at the time it was competing with the N64 and PSX. Sonic Adventure was the best selling title for the Dreamcast if I remember correctly, and with good reason; Sonic Adventure was an amazing game, super fun. Unfortunately for Sega, Super Mario 64 on the Nintendo 64 turned out to be one of the most perfect games to ever grace the world with it's presence. This was what really killed the sonic franchise and that was the point when Sonic was definitely overtaken by Mario.

Another thing that doesn't really make sense to me.

Mario storyline - In pretty much every mario game, the plot can be summed up in one sentence. Princess peach gets into trouble with Bowser and Mario has to save her (it wasn't all games, but that's generally the storyline.).

Sonic storyline - Dr. Robotnik/Eggman is turning animals into robots and Sonic has to save them... by running through various stages and neglecting to really do anything important. I've also thought it was weird how later sonic games transitioned to more urban settings, not sure what they were trying for there.


Anyway, that's just my 2 cents on this topic.

Welcome back by the way SP!
 

Shooting_Palanx

The Rock is cooking atm..
Very interesting Dave :) I was never an avid fan of the Dreamcast, I always saw it as a failure, since it never really stood it's ground quite well against the N64. However, with that said I'd like to take our attention to the actual games and it's style. The way they did the sonic games has always been interesting, I mean he speeds through and collects rings? Sounds rather one dimensional as opposed to the Mario games where he seamlessly runs in a linear pattern, beating enemies, collecting coins and end of stage. Maybe that panned out to be the way both franchises came to be with the way it is now. Who knows? I mean if that game on the dreamcast were an even bigger success than Mario 64? Would that have changed anything? Interesting indeed :)

Cheers for the welcome Dave :)
 

dDave

Well-Known Member
V.I.P.
Gameplay? Alright, I have comments on that as well.

Mario - Through various generations of this game it became clear that Nintendo was pushing the boundaries of what was really possible with games. Super Mario Bros. was a revolutionary game along with half of the other games in the series. I know that this isn't really a thread about Super Mario 64, but I think that game was the jumping point into the modern era. In Mario 64, Mario gained a bunch of new moves never seen before such as punching, kicking, triple jump, elongated jump, diving forward, etc. This is something that Sonic did not do, from Sonic 1 to Sonic Adventure 2 Battle (the latest title I have) Sonic has not gained any new abilities to speak of. That's one of the main differences in gameplay as far as I'm concerned. Another thing to note is that Mario, to this day, doesn't have more than 5 lines in any given game, Sonic now has full dialogue which I just can't stand.

Also high speed games don't really work well in a 3D environment either unless you're driving a car or doing something of that nature. That's another reason why Sonic didn't succeed as Mario did.

Sorry, my thoughts are a bit jumbled on this, I think I said everything I needed to though.
 

Shooting_Palanx

The Rock is cooking atm..
You made a lot of sense bro, no worries. I agree with everything you've said in regards to the revolutionary aspect, you said it yourself Mario always IMPROVED time and time again, game after game over the years, where as Sonic hasn't. It's just always baffled me, how if you were to break it down to it's very core, you've got a super fast hedgehog vs a middle aged plumber, and the plumber is the most appealing? lol The funny thing is that I enjoyed the games on SNES so much during my youth, that I didn't even know that Mario was a plumber :/ lol Perhaps in a different light, Sonic would've shot to the skies in success, but not in a world where you either have to different or revolutionary, which sonic wasn't.
 

dDave

Well-Known Member
V.I.P.
It's just always baffled me, how if you were to break it down to it's very core, you've got a super fast hedgehog vs a middle aged plumber, and the plumber is the most appealing? lol The funny thing is that I enjoyed the games on SNES so much during my youth, that I didn't even know that Mario was a plumber :/ lol Perhaps in a different light, Sonic would've shot to the skies in success, but not in a world where you either have to different or revolutionary, which sonic wasn't.
You hit the nail on the head exactly for what Sonic is all about, not so much for Mario. While technically Mario is a plumber, it's hardly even hinted at. (I think the closest thing we get is the warp pipe and maybe the overalls if you actually stop to think about it.) I'd bet that 99% of children today couldn't tell you that Mario is a plumber, it's just never been something super important to the series, I think Nintendo is trying to steer away from that and sort of reinvent Mario in this modern era.

Honestly looking at Mario games I think that there are a lot more drug references than plumber references. I only say this because there are shrooms, fire flowers, leaves that make you fly, invisibility cap, flying cap, mutant turtles, stars, and a vast array of other odd items. They're subtle hints, but they're there. I don't think it's possible to come up with some of these ideas under normal circumstances. :lol:

I didn't even have a SNES until about 2 years ago, I picked up a lot of the popular Mario titles such as Super Mario World and Yoshi's Island, I'm yet to purchase Super Mario Kart, I love going back in time and experiencing what video games used to be like. Those were much simpler days, games were cheaper, and it wasn't all about the graphics. I'll always love the old Sonic games for what they're worth as well, but Mario really has won the battle over Sonic, especially in this modern era.
 

Shooting_Palanx

The Rock is cooking atm..
[email protected] normal circumstances. I think only the casual adult would look at the flowers, shrooms and what not in that respect, joke or not haha. Mario has definitely beat Sonic, in the 8 bit era, the 16 bit era, the 64 bit era and even up until today. That's the one thing I loved about the video gaming era at some aspects, the level of competition there used to be. I guess I can even go off on a tangent and use the Sega Genesis vs Super Nintendo as an example. It's just a win for all us gamers at the end of the day. Whether you were a Sonic fanboy or a Mario fanboy, it was just an awesome time for gaming, even up until now. Super Mario Kart is only worth playing on 64 and onwards, much respect to the SNES version, but you just need that slight improvement, and you're on your way.

In all honesty, if I wanted to combat against competition like Sonic the Hedgehog, I would've made an over the top animal like character fused with a cyborg or something lol (use your imagination) but I guess even the simplest things, such as an italian dude who jumps through pipes and saves princesses seems to do the trick. I guess it's true what they say, sometimes the best things in life are the simple things in life.
 
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