Power Up Review: Super Mario Bros' Fire Flower

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How hot is the classic power-up?

Got that fire flower, spit that fire power.

Unlike the defensive capabilities of the mushroom, or the platforming safety of a cape/tail, this item is all about offense. 

I love the fire flower, it is the haven for platform jumpers living on the edge. I have had some great times with other items, but the fire flower has always been there when I needed it most. Platform after platform, goomba after goomba, the fire flower has allowed me to put the kibosh on near any enemy trying to step to this. Once Super Mario World arrived, that fire power created a wealth of coins as enemies burnt before my very eyes. 

Though I hold the fire flower in high regard, the fact remains, its heyday has come to an end ever since the costume wearing innovation of SMB3. Despite being overshadowed by many amazing power ups throughout Mario, the noble fire flower continues to have a place in most Mario adventures, and remains a stalwart ally on the offensive end. Even if you fall like a brick rather than float gently onto the next ledge.

A reliable effort, and job well done.

B+

Power Up Review: Super Mario's Mushrooms

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How does the size inducing mushroom really measure up?

The Super Mushroom*, one of gaming’s greatest icons. Unfortunately, this classic middleman to the good power-ups has been cast down into the pits of disgrace.

The Super Mushroom came onto the scene back in the original Super Mario Bros back in ‘85. Back when that game was kicking my ass, the Super Mushroom was a dear friend, helping me stave off death for just a few moments more. 

For all you kids who can regain health just by standing behind a crate, you have no idea how valuable being able to take one extra hit used to be. 

Unfortunately, the humble mushroom is no longer the powerhouse it once was. Once SMB3 came onto the scene, there became frequent ways to bypass the mushroom. Just blow by that thing and get some real guns like the frog suit! Yoshi in SMW, and eventually the full health meter of Super Mario 64 rendered the mushroom a minor courtesy rather than a life-saving tool. 

The Super Mushroom has found a second life in the Mario Kart series, but even then, the mushroom is rarely the item one would hope to see in a heated race.

In today’s power-up mad Mushroom Kingdom, I give the countries' titular Super Mushroom a...

D

Due to the newfound lack of usefulness, but the ongoing life the humble mushroom has found in the Mario Kart series along with the 'shrooms' memorable image keep it from being a total failure.

*It was originally called the Magic Mushroom in the NES guide.