For most, the seminal cinematic moments of their childhood can still be easily visualized, and those same emotions from decades ago can be just as readily mined while reflecting upon anything from the tragedy of Bambi's mother to the majesty of E.T. and Elliott seemingly flying their bikes past the moon or the first time they saw the words "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away" accompanied by that bounding John Williams score. One of the most vivid and cherished silver screen memories of my early (or some might say "Wonder") years involves a whole lot of Fred Savage and some heavy product placement from one of my favorite brands of all-time, Nintendo. I speak of course of the surprise Super Mario Bros. 3 launch that sets up the climax of one of 1989's proudest accomplishments - The Wizard. Despite being shocked by the Beyoncé-esque drop of one of the greatest games of all time, our hero doesn't falter and secures legendary "Video Head" status with a staggering 81,520 points to smoke the competition. Now, over two decades later, I have made it my life's goal (read: one random Saturday night's goal) to see if all these years of gaming have finally molded me into a supreme gamer who is worthy of being crowned "The Wizard".
I swear I'm not an asshole, but the levels I keep coming up with in Super Mario Maker 2 seem to be conspiring to prove the opposite point about me. Given my propensity for trying to build my own video games and love of the greatest bros in the history of the world, Mario and Luigi, pre-ordering the latest Mario level builder was the easiest decision I've ever had to make. Immediately after getting home the Friday night that it released, I tore into the Story Mode hoping to learn all about the intricacies of what makes a truly great Mario course. Two days later, with the Story Mode complete, I was primed and ready to start creating my first world. That's when I started to notice something odd about my level building. That's when it started to dawn on me that I might just be an asshole.
Since I'm currently in the midst of a crushing run through Dark Souls, I decided I needed something to level my gaming mood out. Inspired by my recent ode to Luigi, watching a speed-run in person, and my undying love of Fred Savage's 1989 opus, The Wizard, I opted to revisit perhaps the greatest 2D Mario of all time - Super Mario Bros. 3.