Review by ice beam

"Wasn't the best selling game of all time for nothing!"

The video game industry was on the road to ruin. Atari had killed it with the release of E.T. All video games were slowly disappearing from the world and many people began to claim that the fad of video games were in the "game over" stage. Then along came a small card company called Nintendo and a brilliant mind named Shigeru Miyamoto. He created a simple game called Super Mario Bros. The game became a huge hit and revitalized the gaming industry. Now Mario and Nintendo were as popular as Mickey Mouse and Disney. Nintendo had the whole gaming world in it's grasp.

Now that I'm done with the little history lesson. Super Mario Bros. was released in 1985 and became a huge hit. Excellent controls and great gameplay made this a must have game. Sadly, it is beginning to show its age in this modern year of 2007. It just doesn't have the impact it use to (to me at least). Don't get me wrong, it is still a fun game and a great way to kill time. A few years, later Super Mario Bros. 2 was released. It wasn't received as well as the original. Partly because that it wasn't a Mario game to begin with. To find out more information, read some of the Super Mario Bros. 2 reviews.

An interesting fact to know is that Super Mario Bros. 3 is the best selling cartridge game of all time. Maybe the best selling game of all time, beating even the most popular games nowadays (yes, that means YOU, Halo, FF7, etc.) It didn't become it for nothing though. What contributed to this was that it had the same excellent controls as it's predecessors and even better and enhanced gameplay.

The graphics are a definite improvement though. Mario is no longer the huge lumps of pixels he was in previous games. Everything is now solid and colored in. It looks pretty good for the NES. The sound and music isn't great though. There were a few interesting themes, (like the original cave music) but Mario music has never stuck in my head before (except the music to the first level in the original).

The controls are next to flawless. I've had very little problems with the controls. It works very well for the NES controller. It basically works as the original did. The exception is that you need to hold the B button down (don't quote me on this) in order to run. Otherwise, excellent controls.

Now that I'm done with the more generic parts of the review, it is time to focus on what made Mario Bros. 3 so great. It took Super Mario Bros. formula and added many new enhancements to make this.

For example, the world was something never before seen in any platforming game. You could actually (GASP!) move around the world! Each world holds a path to the final castle, and you can take multiple paths throughout the level. The worlds contain levels (of course), item houses, mini-game areas, and even Hammer Brothers (which act as the mini-bosses of this game)! Pipes would lead you to other parts of the world to advance further. The game has different paths to take in case you don't like a certain level. Forts block your way to the castle, filled with dangerous traps and a servant koopa.

Remember how in the original Mario you had a mushroom, flower, star and that was it? Well, that is all in the past because you have a ton of new powerups. The most obvious is the raccoon suit. Who could forget the first time they ran and started flying through the sky only to find a pipe leading to a secret area with a 1-UP? I do, and it was an exciting experience. But there is more than just the raccoon suit. The classic mushroom, flower, and star combo have been brought back. Many many new powerups have been created here simply for your entertainment. The takooni suit at first looks like a cheap imitation of the raccoon suit, but soon you will realize that you can turn invincible with it! In world 3, getting the frog suit helps you swim faster and better in the water, not to mention it is fun to watch him crawl like a frog. Have you ever wanted to be a Hammer Brother? Well now is your chance with the Hammer Bros. suit, my absolute favorite item in the game. With it, you can toss hammers just like they can. The only downside is that it is lost when you get hit and you can only find it in one world. The cloud let you bypass levels that you find extremely tough (I've used it a lot), while the hammer lets you access secret area's that you couldn't ever reach before. Then there is the famous whistle, which can warp you to later worlds in the game. It also looks and sounds just like the whistle from the original Zelda.

Many of the levels in this game are short, some are too short. But don't think this an extremely short game though. This game boasts 80 and more levels. The level design is some of the best I've seen in any game. Each level boasts something new for the player to experience. Using items let the players find all the secrets in the level. Each level gives a new experience to the gamer. The level design is close to perfect but their is still one thing that irks me, though, the ship levels. Don't get me wrong, these are great levels, but they just get so boring. The levels scroll by themselves (something I'm not to fond of in 2-D platformers). The ships just go by so slow, and it is different from the fast exciting pace that the other levels are based around. Lets also add the fact that flamethrowers and cannon balls are shooting everywhere. Plus a slow moving screen and little powerups doesn't help either. I'll be honest, the koopa kids as bosses are terrible. Basically, all seven of them do the same thing except they might have a move the others don't. I much more enjoyed fighting the Hammer brothers, the servant koopas, and Bowser.

Many people nowadays might get upset with the lack of save. I, personally, have no problem with it. The levels don't take very long to beat and whistles are hidden throughout the levels to make it easier to complete the game. Besides, many NES games didn't have a save feature (the only exception are the two Zeldas).

I always come back to this game when I grow tired of the platformers today. While I do enjoy them (and many for the SNES for that matter), it annoys me that the levels have so many secrets to them that the levels aren't as fun to play. SMB3 doesn't have all the fancy secrets and extras that the other games have, so this game is a nice breath of fresh air from the platformers nowadays.

If there was a flaw about Super Mario Bros. 3, it would be that the game can be too easy. You are given many items and 1-UPs at a time. You can hold over thirty items for future use and 1-UPs tend to be found for frequent than in previous games. Some of the enemies pose little to no challenge at all. In fact, I just remembered that I can beat the Hammer Bros. is less than five seconds. Definitely the easiest of the four 2-D Marios.

But the lack of difficulty is outshadowed by how much fun it is. It is seriously one of the funnest games ever. It didn't become the best selling game ever for nothing! It shows that you don't need high tech graphics or great sound in order to make a game. Perhaps the gaming industry can learn from this game.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 03/28/07


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