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Mario Vs Sonic: New 2D Chaos

Nineties warriors unite: it’s time for the battle of Sonic and Mario to rage again.


For the first time in forever, new major 2D entries in both franchises will be coming to fans. And to celebrate I propose we do away with the corporate worship of modern gaming fandoms, and beat the shit out of each other in the schoolyard instead.

Because look at how awesome our heroes look in the picture above. Look at the edge, the sheer cool of those guys (except Tails). Man, it’s like traveling back thirty years.

Remember the glory days? When you could proudly wear the Blue Blur on your lunchbox, knowing you were literally too cool for school?

And then look at this.


This is your hero, Nintendo fans. Babar on Halloween. And yet it still somehow manages to capture Mario’s personality than the Chris Pratt version.

I’m kidding – obviously. Please don’t beat up the other children, no matter how much they might deserve it for liking the inferior product.

But there is something about the announcements of Sonic Superstars and Mario Wonder that has me a little giddy. I love the art styles for both, I love the look and feel of both. Hell, I just love both (except Tails).

And the most exciting thing is that we have finally made it full circle. We are playing platformers again, and they are as cool as they were back in the day.

This isn’t a new thing, I should hasten to add. There were some really dodgy platformers in the PS3 era – including Sonic 4. The tech wasn’t quite there. There were some exceptions, obviously, but they often felt clanky, or a little off in some way. And they died a death as a result.

A New Era for Mario Vs Sonic

Then the PS4/Xbox Era hit, and we started to get things like Sonic Mania and Ori. Building on the beauty of games like Rayman Origins – one of those exceptions I was talking about earlier – we ended up with platformers that had strong visuals, and were about more than walking from one side of the screen to the other.

And while Mario hasn’t ever left that space, per se, it never felt like he was a key part of it. The New Super Marios Bros was its own thing for a while there, and then Mario Maker had its place. But it’s been a long time since 2D Mario had a shake-up.

Mario Wonder will hopefully revive that fresh feeling that Mario used to have – that sense of sheer quality that makes Mario 3 one of the greatest games ever made.

Mostly, I’m impressed by what having two new, and hopefully high quality 2D entires in these franchises means for us. A new 2D Sonic twenty years ago would have been laughed at, unless it was a budget game released on a handheld. Mario lives in the 3D world now, and it would’ve been so easy to release something to tie in with the Dreamworks film.

But the gaming industry is grown up enough, and diverse enough, that these titles can exist and thrive. That can only be a good thing.


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blank Mat Growcott has been a long-time member of the gaming press. He's written two books and a web series, and doesn't have nearly enough time to play the games he writes about.

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Twitter: @matgrowcott