Super Mario Bros.
Review by Shivan Reincarnated
"This was only the beginning"
If there is one game I think of when I hear the phrase classic gaming, Super Mario Bros. is usually the first name that comes to mind. Mario was around before that, but this was the first true Mario game. This game being true in the sense that it was actually fun and it marked the direction gaming was heading. A lot gets owed to Super Mario Bros. for this. Unfortunately for Super Mario Bros., it got trumped by Super Mario Bros. 3 in pretty much every way possible. Still, this doesn't take away from Super Mario Bros. contributions to the gaming industry as we know it.
Super Mario Bros. started gaming's most known storyline. Mario and Luigi are plumber brothers that go on a mission to rescue Princess Peach toadstool who has been kidnapped by Bowser, a diabolical turtle monster. The storyline here is one to be commended as is the most classical gaming storyline. Period. If such a story were introduced today, where Grand Theft Auto and Halo rule gaming, it would probably be laughed at. Fortunately, this wasn't the case back then and the storyline was accepted and still is accepted by many people, even people who aren't gamers, today.
The game play is certainly old-school in this game. This game goes by a "dot level system." Basically, whenever you beat a level, you'll be placed on another dot on the current world you are in. No, you cannot backtrack sadly. There are about four levels in a world plus a boss and about 8 worlds in all. Not as much as future Mario games hold but a solid start nonetheless. Now for the actual game play. You jump over pits and enemies all to get to the end of the level. You will start as Mario (Or Luigi if you are doing multi-player) and if you get hurt, you'll turn into a smaller Mario. You see, Mario can get hit twice actually, as long as he was powered up by means of the mushroom. There are also a few other items Mario can get such as the fire flower which can shoot fireballs. You can get these items by hitting certain blocks that appear. Sometimes you'll get other items such as a 1-Up Mushroom. The game is straightforward but there is a lot of secret stuff to this game. Coins are an important aspect of this game because if you collect 100, you will gain a life. This type of idea is one that expands beyond the Mario universe. The Donkey Kong Country games, for example, require you to collect 100 bananas to gain a life. This type of thing has been killed off in many modern day games besides it isn't realistic enough. It's kind of sad but to cheer up you can always look back on Super Mario Bros.
The graphics were good when the game was first placed on the market. But as seen through Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Mario Bros. 3, we know this game could have done better. Still, programmers were not familiar with the NES at the time so you can't fault them. It took more practice with the NES to get a better feel for it. This applies to all systems so you can't fault SMB for it. The soundtrack shows classic Mario at its finest. A good portion of classic Mario sounds and whistles comes right here. From the sound of getting a coin to hitting a block for an item, Super Mario Bros. is the foundation for many classic Mario tunes. The game also isn't a cakewalk. A lot of games were difficult for the NES when you think about it. Funny how such a value almost seems lost now. I do like my games to be challenging (although not excessively challenging) and I feel that Super Mario Bros. has a sufficient difficulty level. The replay value to this game is perfect. You will play this game through many times. The older classic games seem to have better replay value than the newer games of this generation for some reason. But honestly, replay value is an important aspect and this game is a prime example of great replay value. There is never an inappropriate time to pick up Super Mario Bros. and start playing it.
Game Play: 8/10 (SMB3 proved that this game could have done a bit more)
Replay Value: 5/5
Overall: 46/50 = 92% = A
What more needs to be said. Super Mario Bros. has managed to capture all of our hearts. If this game weren't around, gaming would be much different today and I feel safe in saying that it wouldn't be for the better. You can never go wrong with going old-school. Looking at what Super Mario Bros. has been pinned against, I'd say it does a damn good job at aging. No, it is past it's prime, I will not deny that but it is still a game that anyone can play. Super Mario Bros. influenced more than just Mario - it influenced gaming itself.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 12/05/06
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