Review by ZFS

"Mario gets portable -- picking turnips on the go!"

Super Mario Advance is the first installment out of 3 in the Super Mario Advance series. This time it lets you choose between Mario, Luigi, Princess, and even Toad! This is such a great game that it definitely will be hard to put down. The game itself is very well done graphically and is a major step up from the original Super Mario Brothers. This time you can actually see and tell that the person you're controlling is Mario or Luigi. They actually changed the height, personality, and clothes of the characters so that you can definitely distinguish that the character you're controlling really is that character. The storyline to SMA is nothing short of brilliant and innovative, this time Mario and the gang are in a dream world due to Mario dreaming. The game takes place right after SMB, Mario's rescued the Princess and everyone is happy except a certain villain named Wart who is trying to destroy Mario's dreams and come out into the ''real'' world to try to take over. During his dream he meets up with many new enemies that he has never encountered before like Shy Guys, Pidgit, Snifits, etc.

The storyline to SMA is something else and is yet again innovative. The gameplay is always the major concern of a game and boy does SMA have it. Playing as the different characters you can either jump higher, run faster, pull stuff out of the ground faster, etc. It lets you pick which character is going to be best for that certain world and it will let you use your favorite character out of everyone! Being a Mario game it is a platformer and it lives up to the name because out of the multiple levels in the game many have you jumping and running to jump to a higher or lower platform. Unlike SMB though, this time the characters have different kinds of jumps for example Luigi jumps the highest and tends to float a little in the air, but Peach can jump and float in the air while moving forward. This adds such great things to the gameplay and will allow you to use the different people's jumps to move around. Well now that I've touched base with the game it's time for the review!

The graphics in SMA are truly something spectacular. Unlike the graphics of the previous SMB2 these are very, very well done and are a major upgrade from the last. Before you couldn't tell really the different between Mario and Luigi except one was wearing green and one was wearing red, but now there is a major difference in which you're controlling. Luigi is now taller and can jump higher than Mario, while Mario is shorter but stronger than Luigi is. Even the Peach and Toad sprites are a major upgrade from the last. In the last game Peach looked very smashed together you could say and you really could not tell it was her, but now you can tell that it is Peach because she has the blonde hair, with the pink dress. The level models are really great too; they are lush green ground to a desert area in the night. The game truly looks magnificent on the Nintendo Entertainment System and is one of the best looking games on the system itself! The enemy models look very well done too, there have been a load of new enemies to make an appearance in this game and Nintendo did a spectacular job with their sprites and the level designs themselves. Overall the best things about SMB2's graphics are definitely the major upgrade from the scrambled sprites of SMB2 to the awesome sprites of SMA2.

The gameplay in SMA is just as unique and innovative as SMB2 was. You can now take control of Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, or Toad. This allows you to try different characters throughout the game to try to find which character is best for you. This in itself is a major upgrade from the old SMB and is quite possibly the best new feature. Other than just new characters to choose from are the great effect each of the characters have for example Luigi is the highest jumper, but he isn't very strong, Toad can't jump high but is the strongest out of everybody. They each have their own pros and cons, which make the player, decided who they feel is best for them.

The different aspect of the gameplay though is the many, many different bosses and levels you go through and beat throughout the course of the entire game. The bosses have nothing to do with King Koopa anymore, but focus on the enemies of dreamland and the enemies that Wart has. This will add a new aspect to gameplay as well because while you play you'll realize that all of the bosses must be beat a different way instead of just one way to beat everybody. That's the cool unique thing about SMB2 that adds yet another cool feature to the game. The thing that you'll see most about the game that was added though is the difficulty SMB was pretty hard for its time, and SMB2 is just the same except this time the bosses are much harder, the levels are harder, and the enemies are smarter and more dangerous than last time. All of this adds up the great thing that SMA over SMB2. The challenge is a lot better as well as the overall gameplay. This is the best thing about SMA and is certainly something that I always talk about! =)

The sound and music part of Super Mario Brothers 2 isn't quite as good as the original SMB, but it still lives up to the standards of Mario. The sound and music in this game is different in a sense, instead of the SMB theme and the many different leveled themes. This music in SMA is sort of laid back relaxed, but cheerful music that Mario games have. There is nothing wrong with it aside from the fact it isn't quite as catchy as the original SMB was but it still has that sense of Mario-ish type music and while not as good as SMB the music for SMA is very well done. The sound part of SMA is awesome though the sounds of jumping on a Snifit or pulling a turnip out of the ground are just plain funny to listen to. The many sounds you'll hear throughout the game are really good, too, as is the music. So overall this isn't the best category of the game, but it is sure a good part.

Overall SMA is just as good as SMB2 with added features. It's one great game that everyone should play/pick up because it has great replay value, great graphics, fun and awesome gameplay, and pretty good sound and music.

Final Score: 8.0

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 10/13/02, Updated 05/30/06

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