Review by Sheriff

"Can a game get worse? No, but it can get boring."

I have somewhat mixed feelings toward Super Mario Advance. Although it's still very fun to play through the original Mario Bros. 2, and the multiplayer is extremely fun, I feel more could of been added. Of course, Nintendo DID add things to this game, which is something many are now believing to be false. I'll get to the new things in just a second.

Perhaps I'll gives you a brief background on this game first. This was originally Super Mario Bros. 2 for the NES. Mario Bros. 2 was an altered version of a game called Doki Doki Panic. Super Mario Bros. 2 was originally the Lost Levels, and played out like Mario Bros. 1. Nintendo felt the game was too difficult, so they changed it and released in the states as Super Mario USA. And so a decade or so later Nintendo decides they'll rerelease Mario Bros. 2 for Game Boy Advance with new features and call it Super Mario Advance. And so that's how this game came to be born. I know you don't care about all that, but that's too bad. So, the review.

It's hard to give this game a rating for it's story, as it was made in an age when story didn't really matter (or something...) but I'll rate it for what little it has. Basically, you're fighting across these strange lands to ultimately fight the last boss and find out why you were fighting across those strange lands in the first place. And that's about it.

The graphics are basically the same as the original. Notice I said basically. That's because Nintendo added some new things to the graphics, like some enemies have gotten larger, and new backgrounds have been added. Otherwise, the graphics remain pretty true to their original state. The multiplayer graphics are much like Super Mario Bros. 1 (but slightly spruced up) . So, while not very innovative, the graphics are still solid.

The controls are very basic and easy to get used to. The A is used to jump, the B button allows you to run and pick up and throw objects. The D-pad is used to move. If you can't pick these up right away, then you're either slow, or not very experienced in gaming. Control, like the graphics, remain rather unchanged but are still fine.

Gameplay is the major reason I gave this game a 7, and as such I'll talk a bit about it. The gameplay, as you expect, is rather similar to the original Mario Bros. 2. I suppose that's the problem- more could of been added. The new features are things such as larger enemies as I mentioned in graphics, there is a new multiplayer mode that is really fun, and lastly you can find five special Yoshi coins and two Yoshi eggs during the regular game (which you get nothing for collecting, by the way). These are fine, but it's really not enough. New secrets, modes, characters, enemies, ANYTHING would have been great.

The regular game is still, of course, a great game, but I would think many people have played it already. But as for those who haven't, heres a basic overview of the game. You play as either Mario, Luigi, Peach, or Toad, each with their different strengths and weaknesses. For example, Toad is a really fast runner, but he can barely jump. You attack enemies by pulling objects out of the ground and throwing them at enemies. You can also pull out potions, which create doors that lead you to a sort of ''subspace'' where you can collect coins and mushrooms. There are various other bonuses in the game such as star power, but I'm not going to ruin the damn game for you. The original gameplay is great, and for the younger generation, this is a chance to catch up on one of the best games of the NES.

The multiplayer is quite possibly the best part of this game. It is the battle mode of Super Mario Bros. 3. You have the option of playing alone or with friends, trying to get rid of each other. Yeah, it's rather simple, but it's still a helluva a lot of fun. Just try a four player battle if you don't believe me. The multiplayer was, by far, the best addition to this game. Still, even the battle mode isn't new, so it doesn't raise the overall score that much.

The music for this game remains the same, and I guess that's a good thing, but Nintendo made some horrible mistakes with the sound. They have created these agonizingly stupid and annoying voices for each character. They all aren't terrible, but some of them, like Toad and Birdo, made me shudder. Thankfully, there's always the option of the turning the volume down, but the fact that I would want to do that brings the score down quite a bit.

And lastly replayability. Since you're basically replaying the game anyway, you might not want to play single player again. However, I think you'll find the multiplayer to be very fun, and well worth playing several times.

Final scores...

STORY 8/10: You must remember that this is a Mario Bros. games for the NES, but still, could of been a bit more..
GRAPHICS 8/10: Better than the original, but those weren't that great to begin with.
CONTROL 10/10: Very simple and easy to get used to.
GAMEPLAY 6/10: The same great gameplay from the original, but still, more needed to be added to make it a fresh experience.
MUSIC/SOUND 7/10: The catchy original music is ruined by horrible voice acting.
REPLAYABILITY 9/10: The multiplayer will have you coming back for more.

OVERALL 7/10: I don't mind remade games, but but new features need to be added to keep it good.

Buy/Rent?: Depends. If you've never played the original, go out and buy this now. On the other hand, if you have played it before, you might wanna just rent to play the multiplayer.

Super Mario Advance is a game hurt by not enough new features. While this might seem like a minor complaint, just playing through the same game over again can get very tiresome. It's quite obvious that Nintendo put this together for some more cash, but still...I would expect more, especially from Nintendo, perhaps the best game developer in the world. It's up to you whether you want to relive this game or not.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 06/28/01, Updated 06/28/01

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