Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (1996)

Playing the Canon

The “genre mash-up” label is usually not a harbinger of artistic integrity. At their most transparent and desperate (think Cowboys and Aliens or Pride & Prejudice and Zombies), these crossovers reek of the worst commercial instincts, peddling a glib, digestible conceit over story and passion. They’re the sort of high-concept, pitch-friendly ideas that sound clever in passing but less so with every future mention, the shining allure of the “it’s like [blank] meets [blank]!” tagline – of familiar things made semi-new – slowly collapsing in on its own hollowness. In video games, no genre has suffered more indecencies at the hands of this Frankenstein-like graft treatment than the role-playing game. Nearly every other type of game has had the basic hallmarks of the RPG sutured onto it like a disproportionate fifth limb, as if skill leveling and weapon modification alone could transform any kart racer or hallway shoot-’em-up into…

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2 Comments

  1. Thanks for re-blogging!

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