Though Super Mario 3D World was a lot like Super Mario 3D Land, it was hard to complain about another adventure with more levels and brand-new power-ups. Besides the overused Cat Mario suit no one asked for, the Double Cherry item never wore out its welcome. Simply nabbing the Double Cherry in a level pops out a clone of Mario, one that mirrors the player's every move. It lead to some neat puzzle-solving situations, and also unbridled chaos when combined with other powers.
Unfortunately, your clones vanish once you finish the level, so you can't storm Bowser's castle with an army of dead-eyed Italian stereotypes. But it's fun while it lasts, and it never slows down gameplay; if one of your clones meets an unfortunate end, you can still continue on without them. But what happens if the Prime Mario dies?
Nothing. Nothing happens. The clone continues on in Mario's place, even after the original is wiped out of existence. Despite being born seconds ago, this new Mario takes over Prime Mario's life. No one notices or cares that Mario died and was usurped by a soulless doppelganger. The Double Cherry is the Waluigi of power-ups.
Yoshi is one of the last major additions to the Mario canon, and he's endured for years. It's always a treat to see Yoshi pop up; he's like a power-up that happens to also love you unconditionally.
But that's sort of the problem. Despite his sentience, Yoshi has always been treated like an expendable power-up in the mainline Mario series. From the moment he's born, Yoshi is used as a tool to meet an end. I'm not even exaggerating. The first time you meet Yoshi in Super Mario World, he hatches and you start riding him in seconds.
Luigi can't be bothered with reading anything poor Yoshi might have to say, because he's already busy punching his new friend in the face to get his tongue to come out. Nobody sees Yoshi and says "Wow, a talking dinosaur hatched out of this egg as a fully-formed adult! It's a miracle of nature!" Instead, the Mario Bros. first thought about Yoshi is how best to enslave him for their own purposes.
It's even sadder when you realize that the Yoshi species have evolved to deal with this reality -- they're born with built-in boots for the endless miles they'll have to walk and a saddle for their tormentor to sit in. You know, just so Mario is extra comfy for a few minutes before he ditches Yoshi down a bottomless pit to get some extra jump height.
To be fair, some Yoshis are actually born babies. They don't have it any better.
In order to grow, Mario force-feeds this comatose newborn constantly, gobbling several times its own weight in seconds. This will happen until the Baby Yoshi grows into an adult, after which it is immediately enslaved. But in the newer games, Baby Yoshis are never seen growing up -- so they're basically just used as a weapon, a living garbage disposal by Mario and company.
All in all, it's a pretty deplorable way to treat the species that saved your ass as a kid.
They probably should have eaten Baby Mario and pooped him out as an egg right then and there. Would've saved themselves a lot of trouble.
Remember the original Super Mario Land? I'm talking about the first Mario title for the Game Boy, released all the way back in 1989. When I say it was an odd game, please understand that I mean it's weirder than the butterscotch pudding-themed bathroom at David Bowie's house. Super Mario Land featured all sorts of crazy enemies like the Egyptian Sphinx, killer bees and the world's most pissed-off seahorses. It's unrecognizable to even the most ardent Mario fan, save for the first appearance of Princess Daisy.
The zaniness of Super Mario Land makes Super Mario Bros. 2 look like The King's Speech. That's not to mention Tatanga, who took time from his busy schedule of being Cory's girlfriend on Boy Meets World to be the villain of the original Super Mario Land.
It should be noted that Tatanga is an alien. Like, an alien from space.
Yeah, there were aliens in Mario games almost 20 years before Super Mario Galaxy. But here's the thing: They haven't been seen since. After Tatanga was demoted to miniboss in Mario Land 2, he and his army of mismatched creatures never showed up again. Even when Mario flew through space a couple times in the Galaxy games, there was nary a Tatanga nor an angry seahorse to be found.
You'd think that you'd at least see Tatanga make a cameo or something, but nope. Neither Tatanga or his army of weirdos ever show up ever again, which is extremely weird for the Mario series. Bear in mind, the events of Super Mario Bros. 2 were all a dream, and somehow Shyguys made it into future games. And you can't say Super Mario Land isn't "canon," because we still have Daisy gleefully bleating her name at other drivers in the Mario Kart series.
The only conclusion is that there really was life on other planets in the Mario Universe -- and Mario made sure to destroy it immediately. Maybe he was a little more wreckless early in his career, maybe he jumped a little too hard and threw too many fireballs, and people got hurt.
Of all of the unbearably charming Nintendo games out there, Captain Toad's Treasure Tracker might be the cutest. The conceit of the game revolves around Captain Toad and his comrade Toadette roaming the lands, seeking adventures and the spoils therein. Playing the game is a delight on the level of watching an Indiana Jones Disney cartoon while holding five puppies.
But underneath that five-inch thick sugary coating, both Captain Toad and Toadette are monsters. Awful, adorable monsters.
Normally in Mario games there's some sort of selfless goal, whether it's to save the Princess or, well, usually it's to save the Princess. But after Toadette is rescued early in the game, the Toads just keep going. They keep raiding everyone's loot as if that was the goal all along. Each level is a mini-island, full of inhabitants who obviously own the treasure which the Toads are trying to "track" -- the real title of the game should be Captain Toad: Treasure Stealer. You can't blame them for mobbing up and chasing after Captain Toad. He's the one that came to their territory to swipe their shit.
The only other Nintendo games I can think of with such a selfish goal are the Wario games, and those work because Wario is a garlic-scented asshole who is like two notches greedier than Scrooge McDuck. But the Toads are definitely painted more as unassailable good guys, otherwise Nintendo wouldn't have made them so cute.
And yet, they invade the home of a dragon to steal his star and end up causing him massive head trauma.
Again, this dragon didn't do anything other than own something the Toads wanted. They stormed his domain and just started taking his stuff, and eventually it was too much. The dragon was dominated and enslaved.
Maybe he and Yoshi can get together. There's got to be a support group for this kind of thing.
For the longest time, Nintendo's sports games kept getting bigger and bigger, their rosters swelling with each subsequent entry. Unwilling to go the cross-franchise Smash Bros route (no matter how awesome Ganongolf would be), they eventually settled on adding baby characters to the roster. Nowadays Baby Mario, Baby Luigi and Baby Peach infest pretty much any Mario game with a cast in the double digits.
And it's downright horrifying.
Not only is it irresponsible to use an infant as a tennis partner, it's even more insane when that infant is a past version of yourself.
Presumably Mario is going back in time and nabbing Baby Mario for Golf and Karting adventures, and it boggles the mind for several reasons. Why baby Mario? Why not like a version of Mario from 20 minutes ago, or Teen Mario, or even shaky but experienced Old Man Mario? Why specifically go back in time and pick the worst, most useless version of yourself? Does Mario not remember what a pain in the ass it was to take care of him as a child?
Not only that, but anyone with a baby version of themselves in the present is risking the entire timeline by putting them in mortal danger. Something like Mario Kart has a pretty cutthroat atmosphere. What if Baby Peach loses a leg and changes the course of history? What if Luigi traumatizes his baby self with the Luigi Death Stare?
Oh god. We're already too late.