DEKALB, Ill. — Self-professed fan of search-action games, otherwise known as Metroidvanias, Joe Agliato has reportedly begun to see the appeal in more traditional platforming games, which he refers to as Mariosonics.
“It doesn’t have to always be about a sense of exploration,” said Agliato. “Celeste for example shows off what a Mariosonic can be: challenges that truly test your endurance and sense of timing. In that regard you could call Sonic Frontiers a Mariosonic, just… not a very good one. Sure it’s right there in the name, but it’s more about what the label means, not what it says, you know?”
Agliato continued on and stressed that his gaming palette extends further than just Metroidvanias.
“Metroidvanias have a special place in my heart, but I play all kinds of games,” said Agliato. “My favorite Halodoom is Goldeneye, my favorite Chronofantasy is Dragon Quest, and my favorite Harvestcrossing is Stardew Valley. I’m always trying to expand my horizons, try new things, and apply labels to them by mashing up two existing examples that are already popular in the genre. I don’t think it diminishes their individual appeal at all, to be honest.”
Jake Mondragon, Agliato’s longtime friend, chimed in to argue against some of Agliato’s talking points.
“Genres have names for a reason, across all different kinds of media,” replied Mondragon. “Nobody else uses this weird terminology to refer to music, movies, TV, or anything. Oh, what’s your favorite Rollingzeppelin? Your favorite Clockworkshining? Your favorite Simpsonsguy? See? It’s just weird, man.”
At press time, both friends agreed that using the term Soulsborne to refer to any game that has a high level of challenge and a death and rebirth progression loop was highly reductive.