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When Fanboys Attack: Super Mario Reviewer E-Lynched By Foaming Nintendrones

The biggest release this week Super Mario Galaxy. This is a game that is so hotly anticipated that the mere sight of it causes small Japanese schoolgirls to instantly combust. There is a vast, bloodthirsty horde of barbarians on NeoGAF that will kill everyone standing between themselves and their preorder. Game magazine editors genuflect in the presence of retail copies. Calendars are marked, jobs are quit, pilgrimages are undertaken, to play this game. It is a game that features the undying godfather of gaming iconography himself, Mario, on the fastest-selling console system of all time, the Wii, just in time for Christmas. It is, in every sense, pure distilled fanboy megaton.

I’ve seen the game in action, although I have not played it. Here, take a look for yourself if you haven’t already:

There’s a nice Japanese couple demonstrating the title.

Now, I see all this hype, and I watch the video, and I think: that’s sort of cute. Looks like… a Nintendo game.

I played the crap out of Mario 64 when it was new. I loved, loved that game. It was really awe-inspiring. Of course it was the first platform game in 3D. Ever. That seemed like a big deal at the time, and an even bigger deal now. Because for all of Galaxy’s nifty gravity tricks and interesting level design, I cannot bring myself to care because I am so fucking sick of Mario.

And I don’t even want to say it. But I am. I’m just really tired of that little bastard. And this game doesn’t look awe-inspiring, it looks sort of interesting, and that’s it. It doesn’t go too far enough.

This is blasphemy. Like cursing the gods of videogames. I am potentially dooming myself. But what can I say? Perhaps a part of my soul is dead. I’ve considered the possibility.

Look what happens: Ben Fritz of Variety had a look at Super Mario Galaxy. Some quotes:

The latest platforming adventure starring the portly plumber features the most astoundingly original levels of the year, enhanced by gravity tricks never before seen in videogames. But “Galaxy” makes poor use of the Wii’s motion-sensing controls and the graphics simply aren’t up to par with what players can now find on the Playstation 3 or Xbox 360…

Some of the 50-plus levels in “Super Mario Galaxy” are similar to ones players have seen before: the little red guy rides a manta ray in a water race, for instance, or hunts for missing star pieces in a desert. But the best ones take full advantage of the game’s fantastic physics…

As good as the game is, though, it’s evidence of how bad the Wii is for third person action games, a problem first made clear in last year’s “Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.” Holding the nunchuk, which moves Mario, and the Wii-mote, which makes him jump and spin, in separate hands, is an awkward arrangement…

A second player can join in by using his or her Wii-mote to collect and shoot star bits, but again, it’s completely gratuitious. As brilliant as “Super Mario Galaxy” is, in fact, it’s one of the worst two-player experiences ever seen in a videogame.

And then he commits the real sin:

Fans may claim that the graphics are good “for the Wii,” but that argument quickly grows tired. There’s clever art design on many of the planets Mario visits, but given the vastly superior quality of the graphics in a game like “Ratchet and Clank: Tools of Destruction,” currently available for the PS3, “Galaxy” looks old fashioned and lifeless.

Ouch. So not only did Ben Fritz malign he great Mario, but he compared it to Satan himself, i.e. the PlayStation 3 (we’re in fanboy world, keep in mind) and Ratchet and Clank Future.

The fireworks kicked off with Nsider News. Some overcaffeinated writer over there discovered Variety’s effrontery, and then saw a SONY badge in the adpool banner at the top of the page, shat himself thinking that Sony had paid this guy (and wanted us to know!), so he banged out the aforelinked fanboy garbage. And then submitted it to Digg with a nice trollish write-up, where it climbed to 1349 votes.

This is what I hate about Digg and the fanboy mentality in general. For all intents and purposes, those Nintendo fans are Walter Sobchak, and Ben Fritz is Smokey. It’s a league game, dude. Internet Arguments About Videogames Are Serious Business.

I cannot render any judgement on SMG because I have not played it. But while Ben Fritz may or may not have been a little Over The Line, the reaction definitely is. Does it always have to be fucking Lord of the Flies with these console games? I’m all for having a strong opinion and all but christ, the tribal identity bullshit is just deafening sometimes.


6 responses to “When Fanboys Attack: Super Mario Reviewer E-Lynched By Foaming Nintendrones”

  1. Digg = ravenous hoarde (with mob mentality included), you can avoid that with the slashdot’s, etc. of the world, but are then beholden to their agenda’s. Use both and accept the limitations.

    p.s. I however am not tired of a game/icon which I expect to live up to the hype (and has for many of its incarnations - unlike other games which seem to get as much fanboy reaction/coverage halo/final fantasy/etc, and to whom I would gladly see calm the heck down.

  2. Why aren’t we allowed to have vowels in our names anymore?

    Oh yeah, and um… gaming is cool and stuff.

  3. I just want to give up sometimes. Some people on the internet are so fucking stupid it just makes me want to curl up in my bed and cry for a few years.

    It sucks because I really, really like reading gaming sites… but the fanboys keep striking, again and again and again.

  4. I wish i had the energy to blast the Nsider idiot. It is my duty, after all. But i cannot, and you have already done a beautiful job.

    Have i ever told you you’re my fave gaming blogger? Because you are.

  5. I can’t comment about the fanboy backlash, that’s the kind of mentality that I am incapable of stooping to, but you really should give Super Mario Galaxy a try. Playing it you are reminded of what made the Mario games so good to begin with (not constantly brand whoring with sports/party games). It really is up there in my consideration for game of the year. It’s an experience that keeps on giving and every new galaxy is a total surprise. Seriously, that ad doesn’t begin to scratch at the stuff SMG does.

    And I say this as someone that’s been incessantly shooting people online in Halo 3 and CoD4 over the last couple of weeks.

  6. Oh don’t get me wrong – I’m definitely going to give SMG a go at some point. I can’t just outright ignore a game that gets those kinds of rankings. (Highest meta ever, at this point?) I just don’t feel any initial excitement looking at the movies…. but I’ve been surprised before.

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