President of Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aimé appeared in all of his awkward glory on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon last week, ostensibly to debut the new IOS-only (for now) Super Mario Game, Super Mario Run. You can watch the whole segment here if you like. It looks like a fun game, even though I’ll have to wait for the Android version before I can play it myself. But there were two great surprises during the segment. The first was Reggie brought out the upcoming Nintendo Switch console and let Jimmy play the new Legend of Zelda game on it. The other (and better) surprise was the creator of Mario & Zelda himself, Shigero Miyamoto, was a surprise guest in the audience:
Miyamoto-san is so happy to be here!
But the best surprise was yet to come: Shigeru Miyamoto himself sat in with The Roots and they all played the Super Mario Bros. overworld theme song together! It was something to behold—you can behold it right here!
Sometimes good things happen. Isn’t that right, Miyamoto-san?
Link of the Month: Don Hertzfeldt’s BitterFilms.com
Does the name Don Hertzfeldt sound familiar to you? It probably should. By the time he was 23 he’d already been nominated for an Academy Award and been included in the top 100 most influential animators of all time, and at 33 (just a couple of years ago) he’d won a lifetime achievement award. His deceptively simple stick-figure-animation films are shockingly funny and disturbing and profound. And they’re only available through him personally. I urge you to watch as many of them as you can (or can stomach).
DVD & Game of the Month: Super Mario 3D Land
This 3D Mario game eschews the more open-world, mission-based gameplay of previous 3D Mario games like Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Galaxy. Instead, it takes a simple pose: what if you took the straight-ahead, level-based gameplay of New Super Mario Bros., but made it 3D? The result is a fascinating and very fun.
TV Show of the Month: Stephen Fry in America
In 2008 Stephen Fry took a tiny, black, British taxi and drove it through all 48 lower states (then flew to Alaska and Hawaii). It is a very charming, witty, dry, and lovely travelogue in six hour-long episodes from the perspective of a very charming, witty, dry, and lovely British gentleman. True, some states get a bit of a short shrift (Ohio and Idaho come instantly to mind), and Florida doesn’t come out so well. But Mr. Fry stops in some delightfully unexpected places as well. In the end it seems a delightful but somehow all too brief visit from our darling neighbor from across the pond.