Probably the coolest thing ever: Super Mario Bros. Crossover

Somehow I just found out about this yesterday: Super Mario Bros. Crossover! Basically, it amounts to one of the coolest crossovers ever. Here’s the recipe:

the lovely character select screen

Ingredients:
-start with the video game, Super Mario Bros.
-add Bill Rizer (from Contra)
-add Simon Belmont (from Castlevania)
-add Mega Man
-add Ryu Hayabusa (from Ninja Gaiden)
-add Samus Aran (from Metroid)
-add Link (from The Legend of Zelda)
Et voila! Super Mario Bros. Crossover at your fingertips.

Now, this isn’t some slapped-together hack.   It’s not like Mega Man’s sprite is just filling in for Mario.  Nope, Mega Man has a mega buster, a charge shot, and can call on Rush to jump to hard-to-reach areas.  Samus can roll around and lay bombs.  Bill can blow Goombas away with his spray gun.  Ryu can climb walls.  Ugh, it’s just too awesome.

Like Mario, all of the heroes can kill most enemies by jumping on them but most of them can’t break bricks by jumping up to hit them.  Each of the characters brings his/her own strengths and limitations that play out in really interesting ways.  Most of them can’t jump or run as fast as Mario, which means they end up having to solve things differently.  For example, those end-of-world fake Bowser confrontations that usually end with Mario jumping over Bowser and hitting that whatever to send Bowser crashing into the lava below?  That’s not so easy for many of the other characters, which can result in machine-gun or sword fights with the King of Koopas.  The hero characters bring their own music, too, which contributes to the overall euphoric confusion of the experience.

So far, my favorite characters are Bill and Simon.  Playing as Bill feels a lot like a standard Contra game, actually, as you can race through machine-gunning everything in sight and jumping over tricky pits.  Simon is just boss because of his brutal throwing axe attack.  My only real complaint is that the Link from the original Legend of Zelda is used, which just looks incongruous with the rest of the game.  His sprite is about half as tall as everyone else’s and is squished, since it does come from an overhead-view game, after all.  I’m perplexed by this decision because there is a perfectly good side-view sprint from Zelda II that would have fit in perfectly.

Anyway,  the creator of the game has stated that he has many updates in mind and I look forward to seeing their implementation.

If you have a gamepad, make sure you follow the instructions at the site to allow you to use one with this game, as it’s definitely worth it.

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