Game of the Month January, 2003:
Super Mario Bros. 3

System: NES Developer: Nintendo
Super Mario Bros. 3 is the game that changed how I look at video games and instilled in my mind that I'd be a true-to-the-heart gamer from the moment I first played it on until the rest of my life. I had grown up on Atari 2600 games, and although I still enjoy some of those classics to this day, the system wasn't enough to hold my interest forever. Atari released other systems, like the 5200 and 7800, but the only real difference was the graphics. I didn't think the NES was any different. That was until I played Super Mario Bros. 2 at a cousin's house, then I realized how different the games were, and I had to get one. I wanted SMB2, but when I bought my NES, the store didn't have that game in. They did, however, have Super Mario Bros. 3, so I got that instead. I've never once regretted it.


B.Brother#1: Remote control! B.Brother#2: Beer! SMB3 took the basic style of gameplay from SMB1 and upgraded it into numerous worlds with varying level designs. Many of the worlds are straightforward action sequences, but they all harbor many secrets, hidden items, and other oddities for the curious and daring adventurer to discover. Some levels are like mazes, in which you must find your way through before the timer runs out. Other levels use automatic scrolling to push your skills. I think this may have been the first sidescrolling platformer I know of to have a level with a diagonal auto-scroll, which is one of my favorite parts of the game. Each world, out of 8, is divided into multiple levels, and all are based on a specific theme, such as ice, pipes, water, and my favorite, the Giant Land, where many blocks and enemies are four times their normal size! Each world also contains at least one (but usually several) fortresses. These are among the toughest stages, with obstacles like falling spiked ceilings, ghosts that chase you when you look away from them, fire pits and flying fireballs, mashing stone thwomps, and a tough Boom-Boom Koopa boss at the end. The boss of each world is one of Koopa's children (the Koopalings), who are residing in the cabin of a flying airship. These airships also make for some tough obstacle courses.

There is so much to see and do in SMB3 that any review really can't cover it all. The graphics of the game are quite good. They retain the simple look of the SMB series, but there are many more different kinds of enemies and backgrounds in this game then in any previous Mario game. The music is okay (though probably not my favorite aspect of the game), and a special chip was even used to create more realistic drum sounds. Another fun aspect of SMB3 are the special power-ups, such as the Super Leaf that gives Mario temporary flight by spinning a Raccoon tail, and a Hammer Bros. suit that lets you toss hammers like pro! The play control is good, though it took me a bit to get used to it because Mario is so agile when he jumps.

And there they stood...face-to-face...knowing that one of them would have to go.

SMB3 is a game that has something for everybody. Although the NES version is good and comes highly recommended, the SNES version on Super Mario All-Stars is great, too. I just hope that if this game ever comes to Game Boy Advance that they not only do a faithful port, but add in some of the "lost levels" that can only be accessed in the original with a Game Genie.

Super Mario Bros. 3 Links

  • My Super Mario Bros. 3 Review - A complete review of this fantastic game.


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