Thursday, June 4, 2020

Uncouth Review of Super Mario Maker 2

What strikes me immediately in Super Mario Maker 2 is it's not a game made with children in mind. Man children? Yes. If the average gamer is 35 years old, the average Mario or Nintendo enthusiast might not be far off. There's something unsettling about seeing Mario put on his catsuit and crawl around levels. The audience is old. The developers are old and literally trying to recreate their youth, and possibly their furry fetishism. They do a brilliant job with their creation. But something about this dynamic is not right. This is a perverse fascination. It's like doing chest compressions on the corpse of your childhood. Sure, you can throw tens of millions at a game and dress it up, but the feeling is gone and true creativity can't be iterative. So Mario presents a beautiful dreamscape in its high production but the subtext is a disgusting hellscape.

Mario in his catsuit, his yellow catsuit, reminds me of a theory I'm inventing as I type. Let me ask you, reader, why, why do people need to dress up as foxes and fuck? Super Mario Maker 2 is like a furry orgy. It's surreal and meta and upsetting and, just like the people in those positions, I imagine there's a lot of going through the motions. This is what you're into: Your mom calls you and asks what you're doing this weekend. You say you're just going to hangout with your friend Steve at Arby's, but deep down there's that gnawing in your subconscious that you are a person who dresses up as an anthropomorphic animal and fucks other people from the internet who do the same. Those are your plans. How long can you hide from reality? Maybe if you admitted you were into fucking foxes to your relatives they could help steer you in the right direction. And no, that direction is not the phrase, "well you're not hurting anyone," it's "you should see a therapist." I get it, people have to try new things. Everyone should fuck a person dressed like a fox while they are also dressed like a fox once in their life, maybe even a couple of times. Why do you think they included that scene in The Shining? Fucking people in anthropomorphic animal costumes is a tale as old as time. You've seen those Egyptian drawings where they have animal heads, that's probably what that is. But that shouldn't be the defining centerpiece of anyone's existence. A depressive who pontificates on the behavior of human-fox hybrids fucking is mentally sound by comparison. And where does it end if you don't take action? You have dementia, you're eighty, your family put you in a home, and all you can say is, "get me a fox to fuck." And people think you're crazy but your last firing synapses will be the only time you are honest and sane in your life, as a sympathetic nurse figure through wistful eyes shakes her head and wonders if you're trying to communicate hunger.

I have not played a Mario game since some of minutes of Super Mario Galaxy over 10 years ago. Its current form is beautiful and bizarre. It speaks to the death of Western civilization in that we have resigned ourselves to the base enlightened reptilian brain that seeks only infinite novelty at this point. Just like Marvel. Just like people dressing up the corpses of their favorite Star Wars characters in two hundred million dollars worth of CGI, before they complain on a forum on how their forty-year-old intellectual property is not creative or original. Every color is oversaturated and begging for your attention. Who needs a good idea when you could have every idea. Every moment of wonder is so quickly eclipsed by the next thing you have no time to absorb just one idea and the total sum becomes a resounding indifference. Because where creativity and actual greatness lacks, have a buffet of everything to make up for it. Ice cream used to be a novelty itself, and so Oreo cookies, and then they made them together, and then they added M&M'S, eventually they'll add caramel and cookie dough, and you can have it while you're high on weed but you also took a speedball which is cocaine and heroin combined, and you're eating it off the ass of a hooker because mixing just two pleasures isn't enough, but it's a transexual because why not simulate both genders while we're at it? And you're going to demand Old Town Road be playing. In the year 2000 everyone said they liked all music but country and rap. And now we only like country-rap. Not long ago any respectable paper would never print this because it's too absurd, but now they wouldn't because it's too accurate. By the time anyone makes it to this article bacon bits peppered over bacon will be a thing sold at a major national chain restaurant.

So in New Super Mario Maker 2 the story is you are rebuilding a castle. All these games are reboots of themselves. Of course they are all choked and drowned in nostalgia but also meta. Everything is a reference and rearrangement of its former self. They are not kid games, nor are they even a parody or satire that plays off old ideas in a revisionist story. I can't imagine actual kids care about this shit anymore. Kids care about Minecraft, Fortnite, Candy Crush, and Pokemon Go, and GTA if they can get ahold of it. If Nintendo is lasting long it's because nostalgia is being forced upon them by parents. If this hypothesis isn't true, then why is Nintendo, notoriously protective of their brand and intellectual property, allowing a version of Mariokart, Animal Crossing, and Super Mario Run to be released for smartphones. Because they are just a brand running on the fumes of brand recognition for ten, maybe twenty years, and like Sega, that reign could easily slip. But that brand so is powerful for now, Nintendo more or less says: This is Super Mario Maker, cunts. The sequel, at that. We're going to serve you what we didn't sell yesterday, rehashed, but actually the bulk of what the game is is going to be created by you, and you're going to pay for the privilege to do so.

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