Jump’n’Drive with the Mercedes-Benz GLA.
30 years old – and still going strong.
Everyone has a different take on turning 30. For many it’s that age when you finally start to be taken seriously as an adult. That’s certainly the case for Mario, who made his debut as the eponymous hero of the Super Mario Bros.™ game for the Nintendo Entertainment System™ (NES) back in 1985. Over the past 30 years, Mario™ has become a global gaming icon, whose popularity spans generations, with fans young and old. For many gamers he’s a constant who has been there since their childhood, and not just in Mario’s traditional platforming genre. The fun racing series Mario Kart™ is among his biggest hits and as he tackles the twists and turns, it’s clear that Mario has something of a penchant for a powerful set of wheels.
Mercedes-Benz in Mario Kart 8.
Hence, Mario and Mercedes is not as unlikely a pairing as it may seem at first glance. In the Mario Kart 8 game (2014, Wii U™) Mario and his friends competed against each other in the usual fantasy karts. However, as part of a free download package players were also able to choose real vehicles for the first time, three Mercedes-Benz models from different eras: the 2014 compact SUV GLA, the legendary 1954 300 SL sports car and the classic 1934 W 25 Silver Arrow race car.
An unusual challenge for the star-branded icons – they may be equipped for all eventualities on the road, but in the real world they seldom find themselves bombarded with Koopa shells or heading along Rainbow Road.
Super Mario Maker – the best bits of the past three decades.
The principle of featuring icons from different eras also applies to the latest release from Nintendo – but this time the other way round. The new game Super Mario Maker™ for the Wii U console allows players to use virtually all elements of the best-known 2D platforming Super Mario games to build their own courses. For this purpose, they can choose an iconic visual style from previous Super Mario games including: Super Mario Bros. (1985), Super Mario Bros. 3 (1990), Super Mario World™ (1991) and New Super Mario Bros.™ U (2012). This creative challenge has been enthusiastically embraced by the Nintendo gaming community around the world.
A special feature of the game is that all courses which are uploaded online can be downloaded free of charge and played by other users. As a result a global community of amateur game designers has sprung up virtually overnight, providing mutual inspiration and encouraging each other to come up with new creative designs.
Super Mario Maker breaks the mould.
The variety of courses and different forms of gameplay that can be created with Super Mario Maker are simply stunning. The conventions of Super Mario games, established over the last 30 years, and even the limits of the platforming genre itself, have been tested and in some cases turned on their head by the community.
A Mario event course from Mercedes-Benz.
Confronted with this wealth of creative opportunity, Mercedes-Benz decided to join in the fun. We wanted to continue the Mario & Mercedes story in an entertaining way, so we developed our own course, positively transforming the classic platforming game into a “jump’n’drive” (which alludes to the nickname “jump’n’run”, an expression coined in Germany for the platforming genre). This became possible thanks to another feature of the game which appeals in particular to long-standing fans of the Japanese games manufacturer: the concept of “costumes”. With costumes, which are only available for the 8-bit graphic style used in Super Mario Bros., Mario can transform himself into various other characters. Most of these costumes are familiar figures from the Nintendo universe. But when Mario enters a Mercedes-Benz dealership, he finds a Mystery Mushroom containing a GLA costume in the garage.
From this moment on, a thrilling drive in the GLA awaits the players. The route takes them out of town into the mountains – where what is known as “autoscroll mode” ensures the appropriate dynamism and encourages the players to put their foot down in the GLA. But beware: Goombas, Koopas and Piranha Plants are out to get Mario, and back in 1985 there was no COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST to help him avoid crashing. The only way out for our intrepid hero is to jump over or on his enemies, both of which work like a charm, even while driving the GLA.
Who will manage to find all of the secrets?
As is to be expected with the Super Mario series, there are a few hidden secrets along the way. For example, you have to search carefully to find the hidden route into the underground garage and gain access to DJ Lakitu’s cool nightclub, which is the talk of the Mushroom Kingdom. It pays to play the course several times so that you can discover everything. By the way: players who successfully complete the Mercedes-Benz Event Course can go on and use the GLA costume when creating their own courses.
We are eager to see what adventures lie in store for Mario and the GLA. Super Mario Maker is available for Wii U. The Mercedes-Benz Event Course can be downloaded for free. Go, GLA!
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