Today, Nintendo's iconic plumber stars in two big RPG series—Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi. But longtime fans will remember that Mario's first experiments with role-playing came through a wonderful collaboration with Squaresoft called Super Mario RPG.
There was a time when mines and minecarts dominated video games. If a platformer or RPG didn't have a mine stage or a mine-themed dungeon, it wasn't a game. We felt like mines—where actual mining was eschewed in favor of racing around on minecarts—were the most natural things in the world, just as common as forests.
I'll admit it: I've never played Super Mario RPG. But when I heard its music played in that amazing medley FreddeGredde did earlier this week, I thought "Wow, that is a great melody!"
In today's design-minded edition of Speak Up on Kotaku, commenter DrZaius looks at design elements of ten gaming classics (well, nine and Madworld) that could help spice up some of today's titles.