Who doesn't love a little Super Mario Bros. now and then?
From having been a relatively active gamer in the past (up until the PS2 era, dunno if I just got bored or if other responsibilities interfered), I've always loved sitting down to an entertaining game, whether that game was a console based RPG like the Playstation era Final Fantasy games, or a racing game like Need for Speed, but my favorite game of all time still has to be the original Super Mario Bros. game for the old 8 bit NES console. Recently (read, in the past months) I've felt a hankering to play that old classic, so I began a search for a working NES and the old SMB/Duck Hunt cartridge.
I first tried thrift stores like Deseret Industries and Savers, but the only ones I'd find didn't function upon being tested (cheap motherfrackers, give broken shit to thrift stores!) and looked like they'd been put through hell in a koopa shell.
I tried eBay next. Buying electronics on eBay is a gamble (and not the kind I like to make, where I can't know and play the odds). You shop on eBay for electronics enough and you're bound to eventually buy some piece of shit that had been advertised as "great working condition" or "like new" only to find out later the reason for that seller's 100% feedback score is because he and his buddies built up a bunch of sock puppet accounts and conducted bogus "Buy It Now" sales...but I digress.
Long story short, at the time I was shopping the only NES that seemed to be in any good condition was a refurbished one that some joker wanted sixty bucks for (SIXTY FARKING DOLLARS FOR HELL'S SAKE, I can buy a refurb SNES with two controlelrs and a game or two for that!). There was another viable alternative available on ebay, something called Yobo, that's a top-loading console that accepts USA NES cartridges. They want something like $25 bucks (shipping included) for them; not what I'd exactly call a fantastic deal, but definitely something to keep in mind.
I thought I'd next try emulators downloadable for free to my laptop (can't beat free, after all). Many of the available NES emulators I'd found didn't work well with XP for one reason or another, or I'd have problems with the ROMs working properly.
I finally settled for the ZSNES SNES emulator, and downloaded the Super Mario All Stars ROM. Not exactly the same experience, but hey, you can't argue with free.
I already had a Saitek USB paddle (one of the ones modeled after the Playstation controller) that was about four or five years old that would work nicely. The cool thing about the ZSNES is I can input multiple controller designations, so if I want to switch button patterns to better suit the game I'm playing, I can do so with little hassle.
Anyways, back to Super Mario and Co.
I just love the sublime simplicity of Super Mario Bros. Easy enough to satisfy a breif session of game play, with enough little things to do to keep you ocupied for a longer one; no fancy controlls, just directions, select, start, A, B.
That's not to say that the other Mario games for the NES weren't great, though. Super Mario Bros 2 is like a mild acid trip, and hey, you can pick stuff up and fly in the third installment, but neither can beat the original.
After Super Mario World on the NES, I sort of lost interest in the series; too flashy, too campy, too...too...well, to be honest, I thought they were too childish.
I haven't tried the New Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo D.S., so I'll reserve comment, but from what I hear, it combines the silliness of the newer Mario games with the classic feel of the old ones.
Now you wanna talk about wierd acid-trippyness, lets look at the Super Mario Bros. Movie...
Anyways, I'll leave you all with a funny cartoon I found on the Intertubes...