Review by GodOfWarFanatic
"A solid, enhanced version of SMB 2. And the not-so good Mario Bros."
Now we all know that this is not the real Super Mario Bros. 2, seeing as Nintendo thought the real sequel was too similar to the original Super Mario Bros, so it didn't get released in America. Now any gamer who hasn't been living in a cave should know this, so I'm not gonna bother to explain it. Now I will be reviewing both SMB 2 and Mario Bros. Starting with SMB 2.
Super Mario Bros. 2 Review:
Well the original "Super Mario Bros. 2" on the NES undoubtedly sucked. If I were to review it, I'd give it a 3 or 4. There weren't many hearts, so health was scarce, and it was way too hard. All though it was pretty innovative, it didn't do much for me. So many years later, Nintendo decided to release a port of it for the gameboy advance. Now a lot of ports barely upgrade, if at all. Not in this case. In this case, SMB 2 practically got upgraded in every way. Better graphics, more enemies, funner gameplay, and more hearts! I wouldn't say I love this game, but as for a gameboy game, I'd recommend it. It has a lot of levels, all jam-packed with enemies. Also, all of the shortcuts in the original are featured here.
The basic gameplay is a side-scrolling platform. Now what made it different from the original Super Mario Bros., besides the enemies, was the way of defeating your enemies. Instead of jumping on your enemy to kill, or defeat them, you pick up vegetables and other objects such as POW blocks, other enemies, and giant turtle shells. Also you could play as not just Mario, but also Luigi, Peach, and Toad. All with their own special abilities, which are speed (Self-Explanatory), jumping (How high and far they can jump), and strength/power (How fast they pick up items). Mario is the average guy. Very surprising... Luigi can jump the farthest and highest, but his speed and strength is less than Mario's. Peach is below average in every category, except she can glide for like three seconds. Toad is the strongest and fastest, but has the weakest jump.
This game, as each Super Mario Bros. game, is fun when you do speed-runs and know all the short-cuts. Many people say Toad is the most useless character, but to get the fastest time possible, you need him. But speed-run or not, he's still my main character.
In the many levels, each have their own stylelized enviroments. Like deserts and other stuff. All of which are designed wonderfully. Many of the levels have major difficulty differences which may be a turn-off to some players, but I don't really complain. There are bosses spread throughout the game. Most of them are dinosaurs? named Birdo, you encounter them like at least 15 times. There is also a mouse that throws bombs, a three-headed dragon/or snake maybe, and a couple others. But the point is, Birdo is the main (Not in terms of the final) boss in the game. So this game features great gameplay with intuitive boss battles.
The graphics are beautiful and surprising for a GBA game. Everything is nice and colorful, details are awesome. Just great graphics for a handheld. All the different themes are distinguished in an excellent, and colorful, way. Nothing really to complain about. However, there are better looking GBA games out there.
The in-game effects are definitely upgraded from the original Super Mario Bros. 2, in a good way. There is less repetition with it. And the background music is, well, you've guessed it! Mario sounds.
The controls are nearly perfected. The running, then jumping combination works surprisingly well and there is absolutely no stiffness with the controls. And with the new way of killing enemies, you're probaly wondering how you pick them up. Well, if you stand of the petite patch of grass or an enemy, just hold B for a short time. Remember, the stronger the character, the quicker the process goes. The running and jumping is exactly like the NES.
The one thing stopping the controls from getting a perfect score is the absence of the shoulder buttons. Like in Super Mario World, you could look a little ahead of you to see what obstacles are coming up, but not in this. All though it wouldn't really matter, it's still a nice feature.
Super Mario Bros. 2 final rating: 8/10
It's does everything that everybody wants in a port. To upgrade almost any thing that could've been better and to add more things to enhance gameplay and Super Mario Advance has done just that. It's worth checking playing, even if you didn't like the original Super Mario Bros. 2...as I did. There are also other things to add replay value that I haven't explained, like collecting these Yoshi Eggs, or something.
Mario Bros Review:
Now onto the original Mario Bros. It was the first game to feature both Mario and Luigi in the same game. Well it was Luigi's debut and the game that gave Jumperman his proper name, Mario. It was a hit in the arcades then got ported over to the NES. Neither version of the game appealed to me, I thought it was the most repetitive thing I've ever seen. But it just had something to it that made it a charm, and I'll explain that in this review.
So you're a plumber and you have to clean out, I guess it's sewers, in the most unrealistic way. There are platforms to walk on, 3 on each side, and 4 pipes. Enemies, and not a whole big variety of them, come out of the top pipes and what you have to do is go to the platform underneath them, jump on the said above enemy, they'll fall upside-side, you run up to them, then boot their ass off the screen. That's it. That's all you do in this game. Most enemies take one "hit" to make them go upside-down, but the crabs take two. After the first hit, they get a bit faster.
Now the last enemy of each stage is a bit faster than the fast, making it obvious that this guy is the last one to beat. Crabs are the easiest to notice because they go from the casual red, to blue. As you progress, each stage get's harder obviously. Mainly by throwing more enemies at one time in there. But it keeps the same, repetitive concept. Also, to make it harder, in later levels, they throw in these icicles. And if you don't kill them in the time given, they will "explode" and turn the whole platform that they were on into ice, making moving on the said platform harder since you slide. And in later stages of the game, platforms are already "iced" by default.
There isn't much to say about gameplay. Except that it's incredibly repetitive and boring.
Just like the Super Mario Bros. 2 port, this has also upgrade it's graphical capabilities. The backgrounds aren't as limited and the enemies are more detailed. Also the I mentioned before, the stages become "iced" which is a nice effect. The backgrounds, however, are the main focus in this updated port.
They take a bit to get used to. Originally, if I reviewed Mario Bros. after just playing a couple levels, I'd give the controls a horrible score. But they are actually easy and responsive once you get the hang of it.
This port hosts the new addition of background music Mario Bros.! And like all Mario games, the music goes perfectly with the environment of the level that you're playing in. It's the not best, but nothing really bad to say about it.
Now I mentioned before that this game was repetitive, but it had this charm. What I meant by that is this game is mindlessly addictive, which is its charm. You just want to increase your high score. And I guess since it's the same throughout, it just makes it that much more addicting.
Mario Bros. Final Rating: 6/10
The gameplay is dull, repetitive, and boring. But it's so addictive that I have to give it at least an average score.
Final Rating: 7/10
Super Mario Advanced has ported two games that I never liked, and made them both enjoyable. Super Mario Bros. 2 is really the main focus in this game, but for some extra fun and a good time-waster, Mario Bros. is a good game to play.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 06/17/08
Game Release: Super Mario Advance (US, 06/10/01)
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