Cat Mario! (Syobon Action?)

Nov24 Everyone loves Mario!  You do, don’t you?  You know Mario, the little Italian plumber from a series of games from Nintendo that goes back to the ancient Donkey Kong, and still 20-30 years later we’re still enjoying him.  You know, Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros, Super Mario World, and on and on.  Spin-offs of spin-offs, tv shows, and what have you, he’s become almost as recognized as Mickey Mouse the world over, and maybe even surpassed (I can’t remember but I might have read an article where he surpassed Mickey as the most famous fictional character), but I digress… There’s been a ton of fan games and rip offs.  Now let’s talk a little bit about cats.  Okay so they’re not as exciting.  But a lot of us love cats, take the characters in John Wizard Game’s Dawn’s Light for instance, or Cat Ladies.  So it makes some sense that someone, somewhere would create a game that has both CAT and MARIO elements.  It’s by some Japanese person, whom I don’t even know the name of because I can’t read Japanese.  This only makes sense though because Nintendo is a Japanese company.  What makes this game unique though (aside from the fact that you play a cat in what looks like a rip off of Super Mario Bros)?  You’re about to find out…

CatMarioSS01 Okay so it seems innocent enough.  You’re this little cat guy, and instead of Goombas there are little round cloud looking things with umm… teeth and umm…  Yeah so… Basically they kill you if you touch them.  Unless you jump on their head.  Classic Mario game play.  Now here’s the interesting part.  This is recreating the level layout of the first SMB level.  You start out there’s that first block (I don’t remember what is in it in the real game), so you try to hit it from underneath to give up some of it’s goodies, only what, you just pushed it up.  You try again and again and soon it’s out of reach.  Okay so that’s not usual.  So you go to the next area, there are 5 blocks on the bottom, 1 on top in the center.  Two of the bottom blocks are question mark ones meaning you can bump them to get goodies.  The other three are just bricks, like the normal.  Now if you’ve ever played the original SMB that top block gives you a star of invincibility.  But look out, here’s another baddie popping out of that! 

CatMarioSS02 So you squished him or let him go, next is a pipe.  Now Mario could stand on pipes as long as there weren’t those fireball spitting plants.  So you try to jump on it.  Guess what happens.  A walrus looking thing pops up from the pipe and kills you!  In fact it comes up so fast you probably can’t get past it.  So after losing numerous lives, you decide that there’s got to be a “fast” key, like using the b button on the original Nintendo controller (i think it was b).  In any case you press it, but go really really fast.  Fast enough to get past the pipe.  Now when you jump on heads in fast mode, it doesn’t do anything to the baddies.  Okay so now you’re past the pipe.  So no what?  There’s another baddie and another pipe.  Only this time you jump on it, and attempt to go down.  Do you think there will be coins down there? aaannnhh (sorry I don’t know how to spell the sort of buzzer sound, buzzz?) Wrong, what happens is the pipe rockets into the sky and you lose another life.  Are you starting to see a trend here?  Yes Cat Mario is full of death, just when you think you’re going to do something that you did in the original game, this game twists that thing on it’s ear.

CatMarioSS03 Okay so that was rather lengthy and annoying, but it had to be said.  I figure now I should tell you about the controls.  Fairly easy, arrow keys to move, up-arrow to jump, and space to run.  That was easy.  There is some music, of which I can’t recognize, but I do recognize the little musical cue when you die, as it’s from the original Super Mario Bros.  The graphics can barely pass for graphics.  It’s like the guy did it in MS Paint, you know the old one for windows 3.1 ;-)  The animations barely pass for animations really.  But that’s all in the spirit of this little oddity of a game.

CatMarioSS04 It’s pretty interesting for those who have played the old game.  Maybe not so for anyone else, since it works off of the player’s knowledge of the old game.  From what I understand though, no one has been able to beat it yet, in fact it’s been described as diabolical.  You should give it a try.  It may be fun, it may not be.  It plays in a browser, using Java.  If you see a white applet window, just reload the page (at least that’s what I’ve had to do previously).

CatMarioSS05 Name: Syobon Action (Not sure if this is the right spelling or name) aka Cat Mario

Developer: Some Japanese guy I don’t know the name because I can’t read Japanese

Price: Free (thank goodness!)

Where you can play it: Right HERE!

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