This week sees the release of The Lost Worlds of Power, Volume 0 as a Groupees exclusive. It contains a total of five stories, unique to this collection, and each with its own illustration. For that reason, this week will be given over to spotlighting one of the featured authors every day. Today, R J Burgess, author of “Mario is Missing!”
Overall, I have fond memories of it. It was funny and informative, packed full of content and with just the right ratio of images to text to keep my eight-year-old self entertained on many a long car journey.
It wasn’t without its flaws, however.
Take their review for Mario is Missing! Whatever schmuck reviewed that game ended up giving it a score of 92% out of 100. 92%!
That was only 1% less than the score they’d given to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. It was 2% more than they’d given to SimCity and F-Zero, and they were two of my favourite games on the SNES.
The reviewer called it fun and educational. He said it was unlike anything else on the console. It’s Mario, he said, and we all know you can’t go wrong with Mario, right?
I was instantly sold.
So I saved up for it. I squirreled away my pocket money for half a year in order to buy a copy. I still own it to this day…
And I don’t think it would surprise anyone when I say that it was one of the most disappointing experiences of my entire life. I played it once, completed it in just a couple of hours, and never touched it again.
I learned two very valuable lessons that day. First, that not everything with the word “Mario” in the title is made of gold. And second, that opinions are like assholes — everyone has one, no one really cares what yours looks like, and trying to use a 100-point scale to define one is a retarded thing to do. Anyone who buys a game based solely on its review score deserves the sort of soul-crushing disappointment that my eight-year-old self went through.
Anyway, as soon as the Lost Worlds of Power contest was announced, I knew that this was one ghost from my past I was going to have a lot of fun exorcising. I had some serious bones to pick with this game and its quote-unquote “story.” I’ve always enjoyed over-analysing things and there were a lot of, shall we say, “character motivations” that I didn’t feel were clear in the original plot of the game.
Hopefully, these things will make a bit more sense now that I’m finished with them.
I hope you have as much fun reading this story as I did writing it. If you fancy checking out some more of my stories afterwards, feel free to visit my blog.
–R J Burgess