Unpopular opinion: Mario is no longer the innovative icon.
It's sad to look at New super mario brothers 2 for the 3DS, and compare it to early nineties mario. The mario of the late 80's, 90's, and early 00's were all essentially telling the same story, but the games, aesthetics, mechanics and character designs couldn't be more unique. Nintendo in general took big risks to say the least, but this isn't a doom and gloom story about Nintendo, it only proves how the Mario franchise has changed with Nintendo for the worst.
Above is Super Mario, the most beloved platformer, and maybe even top game of all time to many gamers. It was the most simple, striking and fun platformer to come out in it's time, and to me, still is. This isn't about how great that particular game was, but more of the point of how different it looked from it's successor, Super mario brothers 2. If you looked at any part of either image, then compared it, you'd have to be pretty blind not to know one from the other. The art, scale, and character design are both absolutely their own, and it's a logical jump. I know most of you are thinking, super mario 2 wasn't originally a mario game though, valid point. Because of that, super mario 3 reaffirms how different Nintendo's approach was for each game.
This just shows you how fast and inventive Nintendo was, Smb3 looks so unique in it's own, and then compared to any mario game before it, seems like a whole new game, which obviously was the point. So what happened? Mario used to incite wonder and fun when I thought about and played it. Now it just depresses me how safe Nintendo is with the particular franchise.
These three games above are the only modern mario platformers, and aside from the resolution changes, can you see distinct differences in terms of art, character design and level design? Hell, it even looks like they all play the same from a still image, and they do. That mash up of photos from new super mario games wasn't done by me, but instead the gaming site Destructoid, so I am not alone in thinking how stale Mario has become. When will we get tired of it? Do you guys like the same old 'new' super mario brothers enough to buy it 4 times in 5 years? I personally think all of Nintendo is starting to sell nostalgia, and I think it's gross and absolutely the opposite of what they used to be. What do you guys think?