The Nerd: Mario, Mario, Mario. There were so many Mario games, it was like an infestation. But what about Luigi? Nobody cared about him. He got shoved to the sideline while his brother enjoyed all the fame. But then came Mario Is Missing!, the first game to star Luigi. He wasn't good enough to make it into the title, but hey, when this came out I thought, that sounds like a great idea. But no, it would only further cement the character into an eternal waste.
Mario Is Missing! (NES)
The Nerd: The first thing that happens, we see Mario get a bag thrown over his head. How does he get inside the bag? Is there a hole in the bottom? Why can't he get out? It begs an explanation. Anyway, it's up to Luigi to save him. He comes out ridin' on Yoshi. Now it's pretty obvious the graphics are ripped right from Super Mario World. And for the 8-bit NES, it looks quite good. But that only gives you the false impression that this game may be decent.
The Nerd: The castle part only serves as a backdrop which takes you to the main game. The main game is walkin' around a boring-ass town talkin' to people who don't even look like they belong in a Mario game, or a Luigi game. They tell ya all about Liberty Island, and that's when it occurs to you... you're playing an educational game.
The Nerd: It's educational?! I don't wanna be educated! I wanna rot my brain! This is Luigi's first game and this is what he gets?!
(Back to the game)
The Nerd: What a piece of shit. The whole concept is that the Koopa Troopas have stolen objects from famous landmarks and you gotta get them back. The Koopa Troopas can't even hurt you. (trying to jump on a Koopa) Oh, come on...! Come on! UGGH!
(He jumps on the Koopa, and a bag of money appears)
The Nerd: You jump on them and collect a money bag. That's it. But it's not a money bag even though it has a fuckin' dollar symbol; instead it's a bag that contains a stolen object. So you gotta find out which famous landmark it belongs to.
The Nerd: You know, what's Luigi doing anyway? Isn't he supposed to be rescuing Mario? Why is he in New York City tryin' to find landmarks?
(shows a picture of King Kong grabbing onto the Empire State Building)
The Nerd: And what do you think that is? Looks like the Empire State Building being gripped by King Kong. Of course, the same ape that was able to climb the building is now big enough to close his hand around it. What's this say? "Koopas seem to have gotten clean away with King Kong"? Are you telling me you're supposed to return King Kong to the Empire State Building? This blows my mind on so many levels.
(shows a picture of King Kong being carried away by Paratroopas)
The Nerd: First of all, how did the Koopas capture King Kong? Second, why is New York City concerned that King Kong was stolen from the Empire State Building? (Shows a still of the famous plane scene from the 1933 "King Kong" movie) Remember when the planes were tryin' to shoot him down? Isn't it pretty clear they want Kong off the building?
The Nerd: Third, if this is supposed to be an educational game teaching us things that belong to New York City, WHY IN THE HOLY MOTHER OF FUCK DID THEY CHOOSE A GIANT APE THAT DOESN'T EVEN EXIST?!
The Nerd: Fourth, the bag. Okay, King Kong is like, 50 feet tall or somethin'? But in this game, they made him out to be, like, 1,500 feet. How big is he exactly? Well, if bigger than the Empire State Building isn't a good enough analogy, then let's just say, A LOT BIGGER THAN THAT FUCKIN' BAG!
(shows a picture of King Kong and Mario)
The Nerd: And fifth, I can't grasp the concept that King Kong is in a Mario game, the same character that was a direct inspiration for Donkey Kong, who also appeared in games with the Mario character. Are we running into some kinda paradox here or what?
The Nerd: There's sort of like a help desk where you're supposed to return the object or the landmark or whatever, but the lady at the window won't talk to you unless you call Yoshi to come and give ya an extra boost. Okay, so are you telling me that the reason that stupid bitch won't talk to you at first is because Luigi is too short to reach the window? For fuck's sake, he can jump higher than the shittin' thing! How stupid do they think we are?! Use Yoshi to reach the help desk. Well, how 'bout use my greasy Italian plumber cock to whack ya across the fuckin' face?!
The Nerd: The control is broken beyond belief, and you'd think, how could they fuck up the control on a Mario game? Well for the most part, it's fine, but sometimes when you go to a new screen it gets stuck for a second. God. Move! MOVE! UGHHH! God! Shitload of fuck!
The Nerd: You know what took me a real long time to figure out? How to go up the road. You have to be standing right on the dotted line. If you're just a few pixels off, nothing happens. (Luigi goes up the road)
Mario Is Missing! (SNES)
The Nerd: In contrast, take a look at the Super Nintendo version. It's pretty much the same game, just with better graphics. But here, when you try to go up the road, all you get is the sound of cars blaring their horns.
The Nerd: Who the hell's honking at me? Are the cars invisible? Well anyway, the spot you're supposed to stand is the complete opposite! It's the sidewalk. (Luigi runs up the sidewalk) I guess they were tryin' to be more realistic with this one. If there's one thing it teaches kids, it's not to walk down the middle of the road.
Mario's Time Machine (NES)
The Nerd: But check it out. Now we're in for some fuck. This is Mario's Time Machine. Judging from the title, you'd think it'd be awesome. Imagine Mario going back in time, kinda like Turtles in Time, I mean, no-no-no. Let's not even compare that. This is another "educational" "game", and I put that in quotes because it's barely educational and barely a game. How can you call it a game when you can't even die?
The Nerd: The idea is to find different objects and return them to their appropriate time period. To find these objects, you walk around a museum, go in a random door, and fight Koopa Troopas in the style of the classic Mario Bros. arcade. Once you kill them all, the object appears. So once you get the object, you take it to the time machine, conveniently built out of pipes, choose the time period, and you're on your way. But once you get here and find out you've chosen the wrong time, guess what? You gotta go back and fight the Koopas again. Man, does this become boring. It's one thing to make a shitty Mario game, but when you make the original Mario Bros. seem shitty, that's quite an accomplishment.
The Nerd: So right off the bat, you have to associate an object with the year and history. If you go to the time period, you find clues amongst clocks and hourglasses. Wouldn't it make more sense if they gave you the clues before you went to the time period, not the other way around? The next thing you have to do is place the object in a specific spot. The object I have is an apple, the clues are talkin' about Isaac Newton, and there's a tree. Didn't Newton come up with his theory of gravity from an apple droppin' from a tree? Makes sense, so I release the apple, I'm told it's the wrong location, and a bird comes and takes the apple away.
The Nerd: So you know what I gotta do now? Go back to the fuckin' Koopas! But I don't even know what I did wrong. Should I have stood on top of the tree, or was I in the wrong time period altogether? You'll never know unless you run all around the game like a fuckin' asshole!
Mario's Time Machine (SNES)
The Nerd: I'd hate to say it, but there's also a Super Nintendo version. I guess we'd better take a quick look. Here, it lets you pick the object right as the game starts. Then the time machine comes down. But unlike the NES version where you had different dates to choose from, here, you have to pick a location, then manually put in the year, and BC or AD. So there's only so many possible combinations you can get right.
The Nerd: If it's a time and place that's not in the game, you won't find out until first you go surfing. Yeah. This takes the place of the whole Koopa section, but it's even more redundant. What ya have to do here is collect ten mushrooms and then go in a whirlpool. But the mushrooms are so small, and you can barely tell them apart from these other things that look like sea urchins. And the sea urchins take your mushrooms away. And worse, there's a fuckin' time limit! If the time runs out, you gotta do it again. And how ironic is that that there's a time limit to go back in TIME? Then you get to the time period, check out some clues, answer some questions, and more clues, and questions, and... Ugh, fuck. Just trust me. It's not too exciting.
The Nerd: You know what? Educate me. Please educate me. Because, I'm goin' through sensory deprivation! I'm so fuckin' bored I'd rather go back to school than play this shit! I'm aware that there's lots of other Mario educational games, many of which were for PC.
The Nerd: But these two on the NES and Super NES lead you to believe that they may be good. They're on the same platform which brought us all the great Mario classics, they feature the same graphics as Super Mario World, and the titles don't even sound educational. They could've been called Mario's Geography and Mario's History Lesson. But educational or not, these games are horrible abominations of space and time that give insult to the very fabric of nature itself! In other words... they suck.