Oh, Super Mario Bros. 3. How I longed to get my hands on this game as a child… I remember my first encounter with this title. I was at an arcade machine in a Japanese shopping mall and immediately became re-obsessed (Is that even a word?). It was Mario as I’d never seen him before. This time instead of just stomping turtles and mushrooms, Mario could fly! He could throw hammers, swim like a frog, it was glorious for a young child like me. But alas, I did not get to spend the time I wanted with the machine before being torn away by my parents. The travesty!
A few months later, the game was officially unveiled to the western audience thanks two a 2 hour long Nintendo commercial – err… motion picture – called The Wizard. When the game was unveiled in that movie, there was an audible gasp heard across the theater. It sent kids into a fever pitch. Of course, I had encountered the game in the wilds of Japan, but I cannot described how excited I was to know I would finally get my hands on this game at home.
Mario 3 was the game to have at the time. It represented Nintendo at their finest. Everything that was loved and cherished by Mario fans was cranked up a notch with this this title. Exotic locales, strange and quirky power ups. The new overhead map system, complete with secret areas was an innovative and welcome touch. It was, and still is, a magical title.
This time, Bowser and his children had turned the various rulers of the Mushroom World into animals and stolen the throne from under them. It is up to Mario to defeat them and transform the mushroom royalty back into their proper form!
Playing through this game again as part of the Mario 25th Anniversary collection reminded what a classic title this was. This cartridge is a fine example of the what the original NES was capable of. Its hard to say this, because the first two entries in the series are classics in their own right, but if you had to choose one of the original 8-bit Mario titles as best representative of the original trilogy, I’d have to give this one the honor.
Difficulty: Medium– Probably the most difficult of the original trilogy (not counting Lost Levels). Some of those floating ship levels can be a real pain. But nothing too difficult without a little practice.
Story: Same old basic plot, but with a few new twists. But hey, it’s Mario.
Originality: While it’s obvious to see the progression of the series, there’s enough original ideas here to really make the game shine on it’s own. The mini games, map system, and diverse levels really make this game a breath of fresh air for the series.
Soundtrack: More fun, silly tunes! A classic soundtrack. Nothing else to say.
Fun: This is a great buddy game. The two player system makes for a lot of fun more so than in SMB 1. The color level design and quirky enemies add a lot of fun to this game.
Graphics: This is pretty much the original 8 bit Nintendo at it’s best. Nothing was on par with this at the time it was released.
Playcontrol : By this stage in it’s development, Nintendo had perfected the control scheme. On the original hardware, it’s a nearly flawless execution. The Virtual Console versions suffers many of the same issues that often come up with VC games. You’re playing on a control not originally designed for the game. There are some minor quirks, but nothing too bad.
Overall rating (out of four stars): 4 Stars – If somehow you’ve missed this title. You owe it to yourself to check it out. This is classic Mario at it’s prime.
Available today on: Wii, Virtual Console
Other Reviews In This Series:
SMB – SMB Lost Levels – SMB 2 – SMB 3 – SM World – SM World 2- SM Land – SM Land 2 – SM Land 3 – Mario 64 – Mario Sunshine – New SMB – Galaxy – Galaxy 2 – New SMB Wii – Mario 3D Land – New SMB 2 – New SMB U – SMB 3D World
Paper Mario – Thousand Year Door – Super Paper Mario – Sticker Star
Luigi’s Mansion – Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon – Super Princess Peach