In recent months, we’ve learned a lot about Nintendo’s partnership with Universal Studios, which will result in themed attractions in the latter’s amusement parks. This week, both companies held an event to publicize Nintendo’s presence at Universal Studios Japan, which featured a live-action take on Super Mario Run.
Super Mario Run is a fun time-waster, but it seems that it doesn’t translate particularly well to the real world. Video footage from the event makes the whole scene look incredibly awkward, as a performer in a Mario costume makes a valiant attempt to recreate the app’s side-scrolling gameplay.
A mock castle background set against a gray, gloomy sky doesn’t provide the best backdrop for the action, but things only get worse once Mario takes to the stage. The character runs in place on a treadmill with themed imagery scrolling in the background — a neat way to represent the core gameplay of the app, but ultimately an idea that doesn’t quite work in practice.
Mario doesn’t squash Goombas or grab coins, instead just jumping in the vicinity of them. This works alright when the sound effects line up, but once the timing gets out of sync toward the end of the performance, things start to look a little amateurish.
Of course, there’s still plenty of reason for Nintendo fans to be excited about the prospect of new attractions at Universal Studios resorts. However, it’s amazing to see that an event backed by companies as prominent as Universal and Nintendo would ever look this cheap and chintzy.
All that being said, hats off to the performer who took on the undesirable task of playing Mario. Sure, things didn’t go to plan — but running and jumping around in that costume can’t have been much fun, and at least they didn’t trip and make things really embarrassing.
Super Mario Run is available now for mobile devices.