I love the Pokemon franchise, have ever since I was a nipper. There’s just something fascinating to me – and clearly to millions of others – about a world filled with insane, wonderful creatures with which I can encounter and interact.

However, I was recently looking through an entire list of Mario enemies (as you do) and it struck me how similar some of them are to the critters on offer in the Pokemon franchise. Not all of them of course, but way more than you might have thought.

It’s no surprise really. Mario is hugely influential, especially in the realm of Japanese game design and so some similarities are to be expected, of course. Still, I couldn’t help but think that finding and revealing these similarities to you would be a pretty entertaining exercise. I know. I find my fun in the weirdest places.

So, I decided to trawl through this list and select the ten classic enemies that prove Mario was first on the block, in terms of pure whacky critter design at least. Of course, the world of Pokemon is it’s own beast entirely, and I’m not arguing that you should play it any less based on my connections to follow. I’m merely making some observations. Drawing some lines. It’s what I do.

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This article was first posted on November 20, 2012