One of the life lessons I have always tried to instill in my kids is to not grow up too fast. I always have told them to just enjoy being a kid, and not worry about the grown-up things in life that we as adults have to stress over. Sure, it is important to ready them as they get closer to adulthood to be prepared and equipped to go out into the real world, but they should always try to hold and cherish their childhood for as long as possible. Before you know it, you're paying bills, being responsible and wishing you were a kid again.
I always wish someone had stressed that to me as a kid, as sometimes I feel like I grew up too fast, whether it be to life circumstances beyond my control or simply my personality. If someone had sat me down and warned me of the dangers of growing up too quick, I would like to think I would have listened and maybe slowed down a bit. But most likely, I would have shrugged them off just as my kids seem to do with me.
Why am I bringing all this up, you ask? Well, this is my week where I explore the alternate lifestyles and careers of Mario over the years, which is the perfect time to go back and reflect on when Mario had little to no responsibilities as a character at all. Back when Mario was Baby Mario, and while he had some grown-up things to take care of, like a rescue mission, he was still a chubby little Mario wearing nothing but his trademark hat, and of course, a diaper. We first were introduced to him in Yoshi's Island, but for the sake of thinking a little outside of the box, I decided to play Yoshi's Island DS.
Talk about role reversal. Where people were familiar with Yoshi in Super Mario World as a partner-like character, but more of a vehicle/weapon if anything, in this series we see Yoshi as the protagonist of the game. Yoshi, while being the main character, is regarded as the bodyguard and rescuer of Mario. Mario isn't using him in the sense that we are familiar with. This becomes Yoshi's quest, and Baby Mario is simply going along for the ride.
In fact, there are other babies in the game as well, like Baby Peach, Baby Donkey Kong, Baby Wario and of course Baby Bowser, and each one gives Yoshi a unique ability when he is carrying them that the other babies don't provide. Essentially, Yoshi uses Mario, which has to be the easiest gig Mario has ever had.
This game is ridiculously fun, plain and simple. I had to bust out my old DSi just for this game, as my 3DS is now in the hands in my girlfriend, who is "borrowing" it in order to feed her newly discovered addiction to Animal Crossing: New Leaf, which I may or may not be responsible for starting in the first place. At the very least, I am an enabler, and I admit that. Regardless, my DSi worked just fine. Maybe I need to look into getting a second 3DS, for emergency situations, just in case? Better yet, a 2DS!
Anyway, this is spiraling out of control. Baby Mario is the easiest gig he has ever been given by Nintendo, and I hope he appreciated his time in the couple of Yoshi games where he really didn't have to do anything other than be a kid, and just go with it. Unfortunately, he probably took it for granted, not knowing what the universe had in store for him later on in life.
Just like every other kid in the history of childhoods.