Super Mario Bros. is one of the most influential video games of all time, and has gone on to inspire countless titles over the years. While the vast majority of these subsequent games have tried to capture the magic which made Shigeru Miyamoto's NES classic so popular, Westone Bit founder Ryuichi Nishizawa has revealed that he was driven to create the first Wonder Boy title due to his dislike of Nintendo's seminal platformer.
Speaking in an interview in Sega Mega Drive/Genesis: Collected Works, Nishizawa said:
I think what motivated me was Super Mario Bros. for the Famicom. It was a huge hit in Japan at the time, but I just didn't like it. The game had a very bad control system. Some people say that was its strength, but I still hate it, even to this day. The movements just didn't feel right. To put it simply, the game was frustrating. I wondered why it wasn't more exhilarating, and that spurred me on to make Wonder Boy.
Wonder Boy would go on to star in several sequels both at home and in the arcade, most of which moved away from the straight platforming theme of the original and stepped into action RPG territory. Nishizawa's studio Westone Bit has recently run into financial problems.
Do you think Nishizawa's comments have merit? Even today, it's not uncommon to see newcomers struggle with the controls in retro games like Super Mario Bros., where the character has a unique inertia which needs to be managed in order to succeed. Do you think such controls are what allow for skilful play, and that Nishizawa is mistaken? Share a comment to let us know.