That fat Italian plumber is still trying to rescue the princess from the dinosaur

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 25 November, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 25 November, 2010, 12:00am

In a magical kingdom far, far away, a giant dinosaur kidnapped a princess and a fat Italian plumber named Mario tried to rescue her. And with that, the world of digital entertainment changed forever in 1985 when Nintendo released the Super Mario Brothers video game.

The video-game industry has since grown into a juggernaut that now rivals the movie industry in terms of earnings. But some things never change - the evil dinosaur is still after the princess and Mario is still playing bodyguard. That's the gist of Nintendo's latest game Super Mario Galaxy 2, which will hit Hong Kong stores on December 4.

This is no ordinary game launch though, as Nintendo is also celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Mario franchise. Nintendo executives from Japan flew to Hong Kong for the launch event at the Hyatt Regency on Tuesday.

Tsutomu Saito, chairman of Nintendo's international business department, said the Hong Kong market was very important - the new game has a version with traditional Chinese subtitles - meaning it is only for the Hong Kong and Taiwan markets.

The Mario franchise is renowned for setting the bar for innovative game play and this edition is no different: each level is set on a sphere - like a mini planet - and users can control Mario and roam in complete 360-degree freedom. 'We've been developing this game for over two years,' Ken Toyoda, general manager, explained.

Nintendo ia also releasing a 25th anniversary Super Mario Collection - a compilation of four classic games. 'We hope these games, which have proven timeless, can reach a new generation of gamers,' Saito said.