Super Mario Bros. Z (original)
Super Mario Bros. Z (initialized SMBZ) was a crossover Flash web series created by Mark Haynes between 2006 and 2012. It was officially cancelled with the release of the incomplete ninth episode but was rebooted starting 2015 with the first episode releasing nearly ten years after the original debuted.
The story is centered in the Mushroom Kingdom where Sonic and Shadow were survivors of mass genocide in Mobius, their home land, by a humanoid robot called Mecha Sonic. By escaping their universe they met up with Mario and Luigi, later encountering Yoshi in a quest to stop this major threat and its perpetrator.
Why It Rocks
- The Flash animation drastically improved over the course of the episodes.
- It cleverly parodies Dragon Ball Z, from the story to the fight scenes.
- It is faithful to both the Mario franchise and the Sonic franchise.
- The story itself is very deep and perfectly structured.
- The five main characters are given deeper and more likable personalities than their canon counterparts, especially the characters from the Mario franchise.
- The series is famous for its amazingly-chereographed and badass fight scenes and epic moments, such as the heroes fighting the Yoshi Tribe, or invading the doomship, with an epic last battle between Mario in his Hammer Suit and Basilix.
- Clever Mario franchise-related references, such as the moment where Mario is reading a note from Bowser which is animated like Hotel Mario.
- Very emotional scenes, such as Sonic explaining the events of what happened in Mobius and Shadow's flashback to Rouge the Bat dying.
- Shadow finally snapping when he has to put his and Sonic's own mission on hold to help the Mario Bros because of feeling the desperate need to avenge Rouge, then letting Sonic help the Mario Bros while Shadow continues his mission alone is one of the most powerful and saddest moments of the entire series.
- The sprites look great, from the characters to the backgrounds.
- Mecha Sonic makes an excellent, intimidating villain due to his lust for destruction and disregard for innocent lives, proving to be a difficult, deadly obstacle in the path of the heroes, even making the viewers generally feel fear from Mecha Sonic's mere presence.
- Great soundtrack that uses themes from multiple games and anime.
- Earned a short-lived 2015 revival, which was even better in terms of the story and the animation.
- Well-written episodes, especially Here Come The Koopa Bros.
- Though not serving much purpose to the plot, Wario and Waluigi serve as very satisfying comic-reliefs.
- It started a cult of other sprite animations, mostly originating from Newgrounds.
- Shadow can be very unlikable, especially when he refuses to rescue Peach.
- Mario is sometimes out of character, as he is prone to abusing Luigi in this series.
- Following up BQ #2, Luigi has been slightly flanderized to a cowardly punching bag, even more cowardly than how he usually is.
- Some dialogue from the earliest episode had many spelling errors, and some dialogue in general wasn't good, especially Sonic's.
- Due to Mark's depression, Nintendo getting the show's Patreon shut down and lack of motivation to continue the series, this has caused serious problems for the series and the fans.
- The original series is no longer canon.
- The final episode of the original series ended on the unfinished ninth episode, leaving fans with a bigger cliffhanger than Sonic SatAM.
- The reboot has been discontinued due to the Patreon page being shut down.
- Thankfully, as of May of 2021, the second episode of the reboot was released, meaning that the reboot was brought back after so many years which could be a sign that the reboot is still ongoing.
- False advertising: King K. Rool and King Boo are shown in the reboot's opening, but they are nowhere to be seen in the series. Though this could be for the same reason mentioned in BQ#5-3.