Review by King Broccoli
"Very nice indeed...."
First up there was the absolute classic Super Mario Bros., it was a game that delighted NES owners here and NES owners there, it delighted pretty much everyone! The next game to pop out of course was Super Mario Bros. 2! It strayed off the path from everything normal and sane, giving the gamer a far more abstract look at all things Mario, despite all the quirkiness it was still a lot of fun. It would have been pretty silly to have just stopped there, so naturally Super Mario. Bros. 3 got a release, and it could very well be the best of the three! It's just like a prettier, bigger and funner version of the original, and it capped off one of the finest trilogies seen anywhere.
The gameplay is classic material, pure and simple, it really doesn't get much better than this when you're talking about this genre of gaming. The controlling of Mario isn't as nice as it was in the original (the amount of control you have over him there is breathtaking) and you can often find yourself jumping a little bit too far or slipping over edges at times, but with practice comes skill and you'll have a heck of a time once you've got it all under control. Once mastered, the controls can give you an awesome amount of freedom in the way you control your little Mario, he sure is an agile and robust little man and you lucky people get to control him! Many hours of running and jumping await you, go on and experience them!
There are eight worlds for you to work your way through in this game, in each one you have a number of levels and some other assorted things, all of which you have to negate to reach the final level of each world. You've got things like games, in which you might have to randomly pick a chest or line up three sections of a picture to make a FULL PICTURE. They provide a nice form of light entertainment away from the rigors of saving the royal family over and over again. You might also run into some hammer brothers on your way around the map, taking them out is the only way to get past them, and they're not going to go down without a fight! The last level of each world is on board a hovering ship, Bullet Bill and cannonballs will be trying to kill you as you try to make your way towards the next turtle you have to beat up.
The designs of the levels are just fantastic, you'll come across levels of all differents shapes and sizes, every one of them appears to be different from the others. Some of them will just have you running a gauntlet of bad dudes, whilst others might get a bit of the ''moving screen'' syndrome making it a rather stupid move to just stand around. There's ground levels, air levels (mistiming a jump is a stupid thing to do here) and water levels with all sorts of fish hurling their bodies at you in a desperate attempt to take you out. There's a lot of enemies with a lot of different abilities, you have to watch out for attacks coming at you from all sides, you'll get absolutely creamed if you don't!
Of course no Mario game would be complete without a range of power-ups to make Mario stronger, he needs a few weapons to be able to fight back, and what he's been given is very cool. There's the mushroom that makes him a bit bigger and able to withstand hits, and from there you've got two things that they might give to you! The first one is the ubiquitous flower, which lets you shoot fireballs at all the badies out there, and the second is a far more interesting leaf. This leaf will give Mario the use of an efficient little tail, he can use it to wallop enemies, but it's best use is giving Mario the ability to fly, should he take a long enough run-up! That's right, Mario can now explore the empty skies should he suddenly get the urge to do so, ''lucky him'' I hear you all saying!
If you can't be bother playing through all of those levels, you might be able to procure yourself a flute. This acts a warp-zone and lets you transport to a level much further down the track, it's very useful for the slack people out there! There's a few other objects out there to help Mario, you'll need to use all of them to get to the end of the game, happy hunting everyone! At the end of every level there also happens to be a bit of a card, if you finish three levels and get a collection of three cards, you'll get a certain number of lives depending on what cards they are, woohoo!
The two-player game is a lot of fun to do, rather than go on your separate ways you get to attack the same map, this makes everything a lot easier. Heated verbal batles can break out as to who gets to play the fun games, and these can quite easily be taken into the game itself. Just press the button on your teammates symbol and you'll be taken to the old arcade style mario games, battle it out to see who has the next go. Cards and stuff can also be stolen in this section, it's a nice place to try and steal the last card you might need to get a life or two!
Overall, the gameplay has a lot of variety and a lot of depth to it. The levels are designed so well, you won't mind playing through the earlier ones to get to the trickier levels later on. There's a lot of extras in this game apart from the bog-standard levels, and it makes the game more interesting than it might have been, every time you play through it! It's an incredibly good game to play through, there seem to be little to no flaws throughout the entire thing, it's just a game that will give you a lot of fun every time you turn it on. Some levels are a bit annoying and you won't want to play them, but you should be able to skip most of them one way or another.
The visuals of this game are very clear, very colourful and are vibrant in a rather large way. The world of Mario and his brother is obviously a very happy one, everything is just so bright and jolly, sometimes all the joyous graphics can make a person sick! Mario himself has a fair bit of detail packed into his little frame, you can make out things such as his cute little moustache and his big grinning mouth. He's wearing his red over-sized overalls as always and they also look pretty good, Luigi is pretty much the same just with green apparel and a slight change here and there. The enemies they go up against are a varied bunch with all sorts of different graphical outlooks, you've got yourself the simple little goombas or ghosts right up to the big mean turtles that always seem to be scowling at you. They're had a good amount of imagination put into them, some of the designs being very outlandish and highly original. Their movements are all pretty cool, proving to be comical at times but always easy to understand, Mario looks so cute when he runs! The overall quality of the design of the characters is very good, they stick out nicely from the backgrounds, have very lovely colours and are generally a pleasure to view.
There are very few games out there with more variety in its scenes than this one, you'll be whisked back and forth from desert levels to snow levels maybe even to a whole world where everything (except the hero of course) is enlarged to a rather large size. There's good amounts of details all over the place, with things like clouds and a beaming sun way out in the background, things like pyramids or just coloured blocks are a bit closer up and of course a lot of objects are always in the foreground. The worlds aren't overly immersive, but they certainly are pretty. Some of them can get on the garish side of things, but for the most part the colours have been done nicely, some of the levels are even coloured in darkly and have a nice and dank look about them! There's a few good visual effects to be seen throughout the game, most of them are just things like fireballs, but there is some good use of lighting and movement in the scenes, a small amount of eye candy here to keep those of you that really need it happy!
Overall, the graphics are some of the nicest you can see on your NES. They're everything that the visuals of a Mario game should be, colourful and generally filled with happiness. There are very few faults to be found with the graphics here, they're a pleasure to view and it should be an immensely long time before a person ever gets sick of watching them. The graphics set the Mario scene very nicely, just glancing at the designs of everything without seeing the plumber, you can tell instantly who's starring in this game, good on them!
The sound also has the cheerful outlook that a Mario title always seems to shove down the collective throats of its players. The background music is made up of all the typical tunes, you'll hear those familiar chirpy tunes in all of the more fluorescent levels, those themes that will stick themselves firmly in the back of your mind and play continuously throughout the day. The music ALWAYS accompanies it's graphical counterpart perfectly, the drearier levels getting the songs that are generally a lot deeper and gloomier. It all works pretty well creating moods and emotions, and you certainly won't get sick of listening to them in a big hurry. Despite the limitations of the NES, the soundtrack for this game is one of the most memorable out there, listening to it when playing is a must, if you turn it down you're committing a very big sin!
There's a very nice collection of sound effects to be found in this game, there's not an overly large amount of them but they've been used to perfection. Most of the movements made by Mario or his foes will have an accompanying sound effect, and they fit their certain action very well. The timing is always perfect, and of course they sound very nice. The sounds meld nicely with the background music, creating a very effective and fun to listen to audio section. Overall, the sound is very nice indeed, it goes well with the graphics and sounds very nice on its own. The sound effects are great, the background music is even better, it just doesn't need to get any better than that. You won't go to the effort of turning it down, the thought won't even enter your mind at any stage, it's such a fun game to watch AND listen to!
There is a very big lifespan, you'll be playing this game for months on end before you finally get a little bit tired of it. A game can last a fairly long amount of time, it's a pretty expansive world that Mario has to run around, and you won't mind starting again once a game ends on you. The replay value is very large, you'll want to play the game over and over until you finally finish the whole thing, and that sure isn't happening in a hurry! There's so much to see and do in this game, you won't want to stop playing no matter what's going on around you. Is your house burning down? Then you'll be looking for a couple of extension cords to continue your playing outside! I think that pretty much sums it up, just don't forget to go outside sometimes!
The game is a lot of fun, everything that the game offers up, the games and everything around them, just exudes fun. You'll probably be giggling like a girl the whole time you play this, you'll be enjoying yourself that much. There are very few areas here that will frustrate you, even the much harder levels won't infuriate the player too much, if Mario gets the crud beaten out of him again, you'll just laugh it off and plan to meet the offending baddie for lunch the next day. Everything in the game just seems to be so happy, and it makes you just over the moon as well, this game is fun to the extreme.
This game has a very nice challenge, you get a very nice initiation to the game from the first few levels, and then it gets progressively harder. The rate that it gets more difficult is almost spot on, you won't be thrown in the deep end through the whole game. The levels closer to the end of the game can tend to be very hard, and only the most experienced Mario players really have a hope of finishing them, the more you play the game the further you'll get through every time. That's the way it should be and that's the way it is, another home-run for Super Mario Bros. 3! It just doesn't seem to be doing anything wrong...
THE FINAL PARAGRAPH
Super Mario Bros. 3 is one of the finest games on the NES and the SNES, it has so many good things going for it without all those nasty negatives spoiling it. It managed to surpass the high standards of its predecessors and offer up some of the coolest gameplay you can experience on one of those funny old systems. You'd have to have been kept in the dark for an awful long time to have never experienced this game before, and if you haven't you should drop anything you're doing for the next week or so and just spend your whole time on this game. Despite its age it still warrants extensive play times to this very day, everyone should own this game and play it regularly. In fact, you shouldn't even be reading about it right now, push that power button on your computer and go play it!
- Asbsolutely heavenly gameplay
- Great lifespan, challenge and fun factor!
- The two player mode is still one of the best going around
NOT SO GOOD POINTS
- The last levels are a bit hard, they're mean to me
- People have actually missed out on playing this game
- That stupid game has made it hard to finish this list!
GRAPHICS - 9/10
SOUND - 10/10
GAMEPLAY - 9/10
LIFESPAN - 10/10
FUN FACTOR - 9/10
CHALLENGE - 10/10
OVERALL - 10/10
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 12/02/00, Updated 09/10/01
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