Due to hand-held technology the dexterity of our thumbs is evolving at a frightening rate.
In fifty years they’ll apparently have superseded the forefinger as the preferred digit with which to point.
Well most people, I suspect my boys are going to persevere with their lazy nod.
In many ways evolution has passed me by (see Janet for a comprehensive list), but not when it comes to thumbs. On the thumbs I have a head start over the texting generation.
You see, I have Nintendo thumbs. It’s an affliction/blessing bestowed upon me by years of playing Mario.
Ask me to put my hands in the air and you could slip a Nintendo controller between them without it dropping.
The youth of today may be able to tweet without taking their phone out of their pocket, but when they chase a 1-up mushroom they’ll find this Granddad of technology got there first!
And herein lies the unadulterated beauty of Mario. In all its many guises over the decades it’s never strayed far from its soul. Left, right, and jump.
I can do left, right, and jump!
It’s the comfy slippers of video-gaming.
Sonny and Luca have tried explaining the controls of other games to me. I looked like I was listening; in reality I was thinking about how much I needed a wee.
I’ve watched my nephews play Minecraft. I get what they’re doing and how they’re doing it, yet I’m always left asking the same question.
Far be it from me to criticise Minecraft; millions of players can’t be wrong. Well, actually they can.
What Minecraft lacks is a finishing pole. A 1-up for collecting 100 coins. It’s missing question marks and three hidden stars on each level. Levels that will eventually lead you to Bowser!
Super Mario 3D World sits somewhere between the original Super Mario Bros and Super Mario Galaxy, which is in no way a criticism.
Super Mario Galaxy was ground-breaking. Nostalgia aside probably the greatest Mario incarnation to-date.
This feels like it precedes Galaxy.
It has the look and feel of Super Mario Bros whilst drawing on Galaxy for its 3D elements.
Arguably the best of both worlds.
It has everything you’d expect from a Mario title. The visuals are beautiful in all their HD glory, the music as wonderful and unobtrusive as ever, and the game-play simply stunning.
All the levels and worlds feel familiar yet fresh, original, and unique.
Where the game truly excels though is two-fold.
The new power-ups are a master stroke. The cat suit in particular is inspired, allowing you to climb obstacles and walls in order to uncover areas of a level otherwise unseen.
And as a multi-player game it surpasses anything seen before. The 3D worlds allow Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad to explore like never before. To work as a team whilst still competing to finish with the highest score and the illustrious crown.
It’s a family game in the truest sense.
Xbox One and PS4 may grab all the Christmas headlines this year but the Nintendo Wii U comes with smugness as part of its bundle.
A smugness from knowing that however good the other consoles are they’ll never have Mario.
If you own a Nintendo Wii U then Super Mario 3D World is a must buy. Sorry, I don’t make the rules.
If you own Super Mario 3D World then you should probably buy a Nintendo Wii U to play it on.
Not as stupid as it sounds, my mum bought a Wii Fit Balance Board and then couldn’t figure out how to plug it into the TV.
She didn’t own a Wii.
I kid you not.