Listening To: The Super Mario Bros. Theme Song

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Two weeks ago, I talked about the classic “A” theme from Tetris. I really enjoyed searching the web for modern and quirky renditions of classic gaming tunes, and so today I bring you all the unforgettable, the classic and the unbelievably catchy song you all know as the Super Mario Bros. theme song. Easily one of the most well known themes in the history of games, Nintendo’s timeless classic is the embodiment of early gaming. I’m sure many still remember playing their hours away on the NES, essentially growing up with the theme.

So with that, let’s go back to when it all began. Released in 1985, the theme was officially known as “Ground Theme” and was played on the over world of the Mushroom Kingdom. Described as a tune with a calypso rhythm, Koji Kondo is the one responsible for creating one of the world’s most addictive hits.

Now for the next one, I know that I said modern remakes of the tune… but I couldn’t pass this up. Played on an instrument known as the “Shou”, it dates as far back as 1100 BC and is an extraordinary (and highly amusing) instrument. Props to the lady for being able to play such an ancient instrument with such skill and humour.

This one is pretty metal and an excellent example of just how awesome science is. Played by tesla coils, this Mario theme is electrifying to say the least. This pretty much made the nerd inside me squeal, so sit back and enjoy the power of science. Also shout out to Nikola Tesla for making this possible.

Nobody ever said that Mario wasn’t classy. I got to hand it to this violinist – he manages to play a few themes and sound effects from the game as someone plays it behind him quite well. He has the sounds down pat, so give it a try, jeeves.

We’ll end this list with a medley of themes from the original game. The ground theme is at the beginning and it soon covers other memorable tunes, my personal favourite being the Underwater theme. These guys do it well: it’s funny, quirky and really skilfully done. Check it out!

And that’s the end! Another five different versions of a classical gaming theme, one that’s sure to be in the memories of any gamer. See if you can find any other versions, and not only with this theme, but with any of the tunes that have a place in your heart. Happy hunting!

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Playing: Mario Kart Wii (Wii)

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Ah, Mario Kart Wii. Otherwise known as “the great destroyer of friendships”, this loveable classic holds many memories with our family and friends. And while we’d all like to forget the negative experiences (i.e. Getting hit with a blue shell) and remember the positive ones (i.e. Hitting someone with your blue shell), this Nintendo release of the Mario Kart franchise has a special place in all our hearts. While it has been a few years since its release, the upcoming release of Mario Kart 8 has me wanting to replay it once more.

There’s no real story for the Kart series, unless you count the ones created when playing with others. But just for the record, I strongly believe it’s ludicrous that anyone would even consider allowing Bowser and co. attend the races (what with all the kidnapping and the like), but hey, it doesn’t really matter. I’m sure we all still loved passing big old Bow’ right before passing the finish line.

MKWii is not only one of my favourite party games, but also one of the few racing games I tolerate. I’ve never been a fan of racing games, or most sporting-type games for that matter, but with memorable characters and hours worth of fun, how could you possibly hate it? Good or bad – no matter how you are with racing games, players cannot deny the fun in competing with each other and the sheer joy in unleashing the arsenal of traps at their disposal. How quickly do the eyes of the player coming first drain when they realise a red – or even better, a blue shell – is coming straight at them? Apparently very slow if you’re the one who sent it.

It’s without saying that Mario Kart Wii is a fresh new take on the Kart series whilst still providing the same formula that players love and enjoy. Its variety of characters, vehicles (which include motorbikes!) and mix of both nostalgic and brand-new tracks makes it an all out winner as a racing game and a staple for any Wii owner. The added multiplayer option, as well as the range of game types gives this game a worthy level of replay value, as well as making it perfect for a get together with players of all skill types. In all its cartoony, loveable glory – this game does not disappoint.

The visuals of it are just what you would expect of Nintendo’s Wii- the game is a treasure trove of polished tracks and picturesque characters that create an visually exciting world. Even the game’s vehicle are up to its visual standards, as are the traps that are obtainable and the effects that accompany them. Aside from that, any one who’s ever played a single game before sure could recognise the distinct sounds from playing. From the character cries to the sounds of wheels drifting, and from the crash of a blue shell to the three beeps before a race, Mario Kart Wii is ripe with cute sound effects that fit perfectly in its setting. Even better though, but also overlooked, is the soundtrack of the game. The music of the game just makes it for me, and I do admit I’m a sucker for great compositions. Racing tracks are equipped with wonderful tunes that make it all that more enjoyable – even if you don’t realise it.

Personally, I recall the tantrums, arguments and mind numbing screams that were part of playing this game. But even more so than that are the good times playing this along my friends. The first time I held the Wii Wheel is actually very memorable and while I no longer own my original one, I still think back to the first few rounds I played with it. Mario Kart Wii is sure to be a classic for many players worldwide so if you have it alongside the no longer used games, why not have one more round? See if you can escape that blue shell this time.

Bry Rating: 4.25/5
Recommended? Fun for everyone!
Country of Origin: Japan
Developer: Nintendo EAD Group No. 1

Listening To: The Tetris Theme Song

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Everyone – and I mean everyone – instantly remembers this iconic theme song upon the mere mention of the word Tetris. It was, and still is to this day, one of the world’s most addicting games. Being ported to a huge variety of consoles, any person (and anyone who claims to be a gamer) has at the very least played a round of this never-ending game.

I still remember the onslaught towards the higher levels. How my perfect builds of those blocks were suddenly ruined by a single fumble of the directional pad, and how it just as quickly built into a monstrosity that rose to a Game Over. Today, I heard the absolutely breathtaking rendition of the classic “A” theme. Here it is down below:

(Thanks to 1001-Up for showing me this earlier today)

And with that cover, I took it upon myself to find out any other ways the song we all know and love has been updated, changed or had some flavour  added to it. It first began with the original theme – the theme based on “Korobeiniki” (A Russian folk song) that was introduced in Nintendo’s Gameboy Colour Version.

This next one is something at first I was sure wasn’t real – the tetris theme song being played on a laser harp. You read that right, laser. There’s a good build up to the real thing in this video, and by following it through the right links, you can find yourself seeing it in double the speed (which is scarily similar near game over!).

Now I love a good acapella – and this one is pretty darn good. Just try to focus on a single sound and try to see which face is making it. You’d be surprised how similar it sounds to the real thing!

Finally, this last one is the tetris theme song played on an accordion. I don’t know much about the instrument, or how difficult it may be to play it, but boy do his finger work some magic. Check it out!

And there you have it! Five different version of the “A” theme of Tetris – a song full of memories of a much more simpler time. Got any other nostalgic gaming hits that are always on the back of your mind? Be sure to leave a comment, or better yet, find a newer (and more awesome) version of it and just enjoy. Sometimes its better to turn back the clock.