Although much has been said about the fever of Wii mania, nothing drives home Nintendo’s timeless popularity like a Super Mario launch party. And I’m here to tell you: the Super Mario Galaxy launch party was Mario-rific!
While many people might expect a younger demographic waiting in line for Super Mario Galaxy, I was pretty surprised about the type of people standing in line. In addition to families, a lot of men and women who were kids at heart filled the line, a few of whom were even dressed up and donned in full Italian plumber wardrobes. There were also a lot of Metroid tattoos and Zelda T-shirts, and everyone wore a wristband given to them by Nintendo employees to indicate their place in line.
And I’ve never seen so many Nintendo DS systems in one place before. Everyone I saw had a fully charged DS ready to kill time. Everyone.
Not that anyone could actually hear the games they were playing; the on-site music was so loud that it was easily audible two blocks away. The DJ just fed into it, too, letting everybody know how cool Mario was and how close it was to midnight, when Mario Galaxy would officially go on sale. The line was pretty long, and part of the road was closed off for Mario’s (and our) safety. Safety was the last thing on people’s mind, though, with the wild entertainment and Super Mario Galaxy demos available well before launch.
Among those wild activities were a Velcro Wall and a Bungee Run for kids, and Nintendo even offered copies of Super Mario Galaxy for the high scorers. The kids stuck around for a while, but the low temperature in New York City had the parents hitting the line solo waiting to buy the game for the holidays. But I bet the wait will be unbearable.
The first guy in line had been camping there since 8am that morning, and he even had a sign letting everyone know he was first in line when the Wii launched. Meanwhile, I had arrived at 9:00, and there were already 323 people in front of me. There was no way the Nintendo World store could hold all the Mario maniacs, so when the doors finally opened, Nintendo only let in about 20 people at a time.
All in all, the Super Mario Galaxy launch event was pretty cool, and I was surprised with the kids’ ability to stay awake out of pure love for Mario. It seems as though the children are getting a new kind of role model. But then again, who wouldn’t want to look up to a mushroom-loving plumber?
— John Dempsey