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Remember When Mario Got Battered By A Piano? Share Your MAR10 Day Memories, Win A Huge Prize

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Remember When Mario Got Battered By A Piano? Share Your MAR10 Day Memories, Win A Huge Prize

March 10 is MAR10 Day - as in, Mario Day (see what they did there); as in, a day where we mark the existence of Nintendo's moustachioed mascot, whether he be Super or otherwise, in any given game. It's a day where we can pause for a second to consider: hey, when did we first encounter this running, jumping, baddies-splatting, fireball-chucking, mushroom-gobbling, racoon-tail-swishing, princess-rescuing, Toad-friendly plumber (carpenter, doctor, tennis umpire), anyway? For some of us, we'll have only recently met him. For others (hi), it was like, forever ago.

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Below you'll find our first (Super) Mario memories - and also, as a bonus, our favourite Mario games, to this day. But there's more! On Instagram and Twitter right now, we have an amazing MAR10 Day giveaway, thanks to our pals at Nintendo. We've a Super Mario-themed, red-and-blue Nintendo Switch to give away; a copy of Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury (our 9/10 review, here); loads of Super Mario LEGO, including this amazing NES set; and some plushies. All you need to do is share your memories with us, to be in with a chance of winning. Click to Twitter and/or Instagram to enter - and good luck! (GDPR note: the winner's details will be shared with Nintendo UK.)

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Our First Mario Games

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Showing my age here, but my first Mario game was 1985's Super Mario Bros. on the NES - specifically, the version of the game that was on a later-released two-for-one cartridge with the light-gun-compatible Duck Hunt. That cartridge, which was included with the NES, came out in Europe in 1988 - which puts me at eight years old. I didn't play it at home - we didn't have a Nintendo of our own until the SNES - but a couple of school friends had it, so it was at their houses, on weekends, where I first encountered Super Mario. Not gonna lie, I wasn't that impressed - but at the time, there was a clear SEGA vs Nintendo divide in the playground, and more of us were into the Master System (which had come out the year before, in the UK) than the NES. Looking back, yeah, Super Mario Bros. was a rather better game than Alex Kidd in Miracle World. Mike Diver

I was really young when I played Super Mario Bros. 3 on an old NES my uncle gave me, and maybe that's why it was so exciting to play? Look, Mario games are universally adored, but I often get bored with simple platformers, and this has been the way for me since I can remember. Still, SMB3 is the one game in this genre I can always play, so it clearly worked its way deep into my brain's folds. Maybe it's the mix of level design and gameplay mechanics? You can be hurling fireballs over green hills one minute, and swimming in a literal frog suit through threat-infested waves the next, and this variety of action keeps Super Mario Bros. 3 fresh no matter how long or repeatedly you play it. If that's not the mark of a great Mario game, I don't know what is. No wonder I remember playing it for the first time so vividly. James Daly

Mario Kart Wii / Credit: Nintendo
Mario Kart Wii / Credit: Nintendo
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Mario Kart Wii was my first ever Mario game, and looking at the simplistic box art, I wasn't especially sold on the concept. It's Mario, but racing instead of platforming. To this day, I have never been so wrong about being right. Wielding the Wii Wheel like a seamless extension of my body, the game consumed my waking hours. I had to be the best. I had to unlock all of the characters. I had to discover every shortcut and trick to every single track. A pitiful 'A' rank simply wouldn't do. My Mario Kart Wii license, glittering with gold stamps in each square, was one of my greatest achievements and eventually I knew it was time to test my mettle against online players. My first race used the inimitable Rainbow Road, and a Mii named "David Cameron" cut me off at every opportunity I had. Incensed, I was forced to settle for fourth place. Imogen Donovan

Thinking about my first Mario game takes me right back down memory lane, all the way back to 1999's Super Mario Bros. Deluxe. As I inserted the cartridge into the Game Boy Color I was blissfully unaware of how much of a household name Mario was at the time, and subsequently became. They say you never forget your first time loading into World 1-1, and that's definitely true here. Stomping those first Goombas without hesitation welcomed me to the Mushroom Kingdom and gave me an idea as to what Nintendo had in store for me. What followed was sleepless nights and endless hours of Mario madness, taking the Game Boy Color with me literally anywhere I went. Super Mario Bros. Deluxe is still to this day one of the few games that had me so hooked that the game cartridge didn't leave my Game Boy Color until completion. Phil Boon

Super Mario Odyssey / Credit: Nintendo
Super Mario Odyssey / Credit: Nintendo
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Our Favourite Mario Games

Am I going to get shouted at if I say, Super Mario Odyssey? Hopefully not. I know Galaxy and its sequel, and Super Mario 64, are sure to rank highly with a lot of readers - but Mario's Switch debut proper of late 2017 was such a delight. So creative, so colourful, and such a fantastic love letter to the Super Mario series' past. And so confident to introduce incredible mechanics in one stage, and then just move on from them immediately, in the next. Every world, every one of its destinations, feels exceptionally unique. It's not the Mario game I've put the most time into - without a doubt, that's Mario Kart 8 and its Deluxe expansion - but just the thought of Odyssey puts a smile on my face. Also, that whole song-and-dance festival sequence in New Donk City? Come on... that's an all-timer. Mike Diver

Mario games only get better with age. Sure, there are exceptions to this, but it's generally fair to say each title improves upon the last. Naturally, this makes Super Mario Odyssey the best Mario Game there is, as it's the most recent. It combines the addictive level-based gameplay approach of more conventional Mario platformers with a miniature sandbox design. The result is a game made up of individual worlds which all feel seamless and exciting. You can go where you like whenever you like (within reason), finding key items and secrets absolutely everywhere. Add to this some smooth-as-silk controls and a crowd-pleasing return to the Mushroom Kingdom, and you've got a Mario game beyond compare. James Daly

New Super Mario Bros. / Credit: Nintendo
New Super Mario Bros. / Credit: Nintendo

As for my favourite Mario game, it has to be New Super Mario Bros. on the DS. The 2006 platformer unexpectedly brought me back to a world I'd first fallen in love with years earlier. I say unexpectedly, as I had no intention of picking it up - however, thanks to the newly released DS Lite, it caught my attention. With stores offering trade-in deals to upgrade, it was an offer too hot to miss, and to top it off I also got a copy of New Super Mario Bros. thrown in too! The game came with a fresh look which instantly captured my attention and had me hooked from the start. Although at the time it didn't feel like the hardest Mario game in the world, it still remained faithful to the franchise and is one of my favourite Mario games, if not my very favourite, to this day. Phil Boon

Well, it's got to be Mario Kart Wii, no doubt about it. Careening round corners with the Wii Wheel felt ever so cool, and I reckoned that if I spent the morning playing the game and then got behind the wheel of a car, I'd be a natural. Blending tracks from earlier entries in the series with shiny new outings into Bowser's Castle and outer space, the soundtrack would float out of the open windows on our street on a sunny day. Mario Kart Wii was really accessible as a new fan and for family members who wanted to know what all of the fuss was about. Unlocking characters and vehicles was always a surprise, and the grind to get Rosalina... truly, that tested our skill like no other challenge. The moment we'd achieved a star rating in every single Mirror Cup, I think we all started screaming. Imogen Donovan

Want even more Super Mario in your life? Don't forget about our pretty awesome Mario giveaway. We've a Mario-themed Switch, a copy of Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury, a LEGO NES set and much more to give away - so head to Twitter or Instagram to enter.

Featured Image Credit: Nintendo

Topics: Super Mario, Nintendo Switch, Opinion, Mario Kart

Mike Diver
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