Review by JGuarneri

Reviewed: 08/12/01 | Updated: 08/12/01

Two classic games in a great bundle for the GBA launch!

Nintendo always comes out with great re-releases of its classic games that retain their classic gameplay with new additions. And with Nintendo's new next-gen handheld comes a re-issue of two of their most fun and original games: Super Mario Bros. 2 and the original Mario Bros., and this game is easily one of the best in the GBA launch lineup.

Graphics: 9/10

Super Mario Advance shows major graphical improvements over the two original games, the most significant being the addition of great looking scrolling backgrounds in Super Mario 2, and new backgrounds for Mario Bros. The characters and enemies have also received major improvements over the originals, though I preferred how some of the enemies looked in the old games.

Sound: 8/10

The biggest fallback of Super Mario Advance is sound. The sound on the whole is good, as the new voices, music remixes, and sound effects are crisp, the character voices get annoying after a while, and I liked the old music better. It would have been cool if Nintendo had offered an ''original music mode'' or something, but the sound in this game is fine.

Control: 9/10

Control in Mario Advance is pretty good. Being able to use the R button to run can be handy if you picked up a vegetable without holding down the B button to run,and it helps that you can use the L button to scroll the camera up or down, since you will sometimes need to know what's above or below you ahead of time. If you had any problems with the controls of the original games, however, you'll still find the same minor problems here, but nothing major.

Gameplay: 9/10

If this game had a straight-up conversion of Super Mario Bros. 2 like Mario Bros. DX was of Super Mario Bros., I would easily give this game a 10 in this category. Unfortunately, None of the changes made to the game really enhance the gameplay, and, while they don't really hurt it, I still liked the way the original Super Mario 2 played more. Hearts are no longer earned by beating 8 enemies; you can get hearts by beating enemies with a koopa shell, by plucking them from the ground, by killing two enemies in a row, and in a few other ways. There are now a few new areas and giant enemies, which would have been my favorite addition if they didn't give you a heart every time you threw one. Also, koopa shells bounce off walls now, which increases the chances that you'll be hit by one. There is now a score record in the game, which adds a bit to the fun as you'll try to get higher scores throughout the game. The original Mario Bros. is also in this game, and can provide a bit of old-school fun. The best new feature, in my opinion, is the battery save function, which helps with any of the old Mario games. Fortunately, most of the original game's structure and secrets remain intact, and the game is still a blast to play. There is single- or multi-pak linkup play for up to four people, where you can battle in the original Mario Bros. After you beat the main game, players can tackle the Yoshi Challenge in which you go through all the stages collecting Yoshi Eggs. All in all, this is a fun game that no GBA owner should miss.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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