Super Altair Bros. …??

After spending a few weeks playing religiously through both Assassin’s Creed and Assassin’s Creed II I have come to the conclusion that it’s just Super Mario reborn and reimagined.

The platform genre has permeated gaming since the early days and has become a much loved staple of the medium. Super Mario Bros. obviously will take the kudos for revolutionising the genre and providing some of the greatest gaming experiences we’ve ever had. Sonic also deserves an honourable mention for providing a different twist.

In the last decade or so though, the genre has undergone something of a mutation, there are still 2D and 3D platformers out there (See Banjo Kazooie, Jak & Daxter, Ratchet & Clank, LittleBigPlanet etc), these fall nicely into the traditional mould.¬† Games such as Assassin’s Creed though are essentially the same thing but with more attention placed on exploration and revolution. If you break AC down into it’s composite elements and put them side-by-side with our favourite plumber you’ll see stark similarities:

Running and jumping over gaps,

Collecting items,

Working through a level to meet the final boss (Bowser/Assassination)

Scoring system (Points/Villa in AC2)

Obtaining character upgrades (Fire Flower’s/Swords, blade upgrades)

Etc etc…

And the coincidence that Mario and Ezio are both Italian! (That was slightly clutching at straws but even so!)

Platform games have now developed and evolved into fully-realised worlds where the characters have more fluidity and variation of movement, more of a discernable narrative and a generally deeper world in which to explore. Though the core I feel, still firmly rests in the Mushroom Kingdom.

As a point to ponder, just consider a world in which Mario didn’t exist…

The ramifications would be immense and the knock-on effect it would have not only on the platform genre, but also on gaming in general is an interesting thought.

Mario, for all his spin-off’s and missteps is arguably the ‘father’ of modern gaming, without him the gaming landscape we know today would be very, very, very different.

Salute Mario!


About this entry