This should be an essential game for your Gameboy, but more appreciated by those who played it during their childhood, like me. It poses some fantastic challenges and very cleverly worked enemy placements, so that when you go to jump somewhere, their will always be something in your way! Such little challenges appear in and out, but the real sense of achievement is at World 8-1, the last world.
For those who suggest you cannot save/continue, they obviously haven't been playing long enough to remember 2 old cheats :)
On the title screen, hold down 'B' and press Start. Bob's your Uncle, it magically starts off from the beginning of the last world you were in! (ie 4-1, 6-1)
If you don't want to use this, use the Warp Cheat - on World 1-2, at the end of the level, jump onto the platforms that move downwards, and instead of jumping off towards the pipe, jump at the very top of the screen, on top of the layer of bricks underneath the score board. Just run all the way to the right, Bob's your Uncle again... its the warp area!
Their is also the 'Minus Area' which I actually haven't tried yet on this version. Basically, it was originally a glitch in the game that took you to a completely new underwater level called World -1. To try it, on World 1-2 again (and as Super of Fire Mario) go to the pipe at the end of the level. Jump on top of the pipe. At the end of it, hit the block that is directly above the end of it to destroy it. Now the tricky part..... Walk right to the edge of the pipe. Crouch down. And try to with the pad jump upwards, but at the same time move Mario to the right of the screen, aiming for the area of bricks above the pipe furthest to the right (where the pipe intercepts the wall). What you're trying to do is get mario to squeeze in between the wall magically! You'll know if you've done it right because Mario floats across the wall into the Warp Area. Go down the pipe in the new area, you have World -1.
on 11 September 2012
Arguable the single most important videogame in history, SUPER MARIO BROTHERS, along with the Nintendo Entertainment System (hereafter referred to as the NES) singlehandedly resurrected the video game industry after the historic crash of 1983-1984. Rather than reviewing the game itself, which has been done many times, I think many people may find the history how of this revolutionary title came to the videogame industry's rescue very interesting; I know I do. I draw much of this information from various websites, one very good one in particular; unfortunately, I can't really plug them due to Amazon's policies. Email me if you want the websites.
By 1983, the gaming industry, in existence for a mere twelve years, had risen to an astonishing 3.2 billion dollar industry. Atari spearheaded the industry, which introduced its first console in 1977 (Atari Video Computer System), and since had grown to hold two thirds of the entire market. However, in 1984 all this would end with a thunderous crash. This concise overview will show you the history of the home consol crash and how SUPER MARIO BROTHERS came to the rescue.
In 1976, Warner Communications bought Atari for $28 million from the company's founder, Nolan Bushnell. Over the next two years, Atari, suffering major production problems and Bushnell's bizarre management, lost Warner millions. Bushnell and Warner's CEO fought, and in 1978 Bushnell was forced to leave. Warner totally revamped the working style, and in 1979-1980, produced twelve new titles. However, Atari was still dragging down Warner's stock. Struggling to gain the market share, Atari made the smartest move they possible could have; in 1980, they began licensing arcade games, the first being SPACE INVADERS. Over the next two years, Atari overtook the market, bringing in over half of Warner's overall profits.
However, very significant problems would totally destroy the infant industry. In 1981, Atari released PAC MAN on the VCS, and, because it was such a huge arcade hit, quickly became a bestseller. Unfortunately, the quality was very low. This was a major blow to the company's image, with fans and critics alike extremely disappointed.
Another major stumble was one of video games' most infamous games, ET. Warner bought the rights from Spielberg for twenty one million dollars. Atari, expecting the game to be as big a hit as the movie, which was the highest grossing film at that point, purportedly made more ET cartridges than there were consoles themselves. ET proved to be a huge flop, nearly breaking Atari.
By 1983, Atari was in serious trouble. Suing Activision (which was disgruntled Atari employees who broke off and formed their own company) and Imagic, the two leading third party developers, Atari tried to gain control over its software catalogue. Atari lost the suits. Third party developers began popping up overnight, and the industry becomes saturated with very low-quality products. (One of the most controversial is CUSTER'S REVENGE by Mystique, where the goal is to rape a Native American woman while avoiding being shot by arrows.) The third-party developers went bankrupt; these cartridges were heavily discounted, and the major companies couldn't compete. Another factor is the home computer market, that was just starting to come alive in 1984. With an increasing amount of computer games and low prices, people started buying these over the consoles.
All these factors lead to the crash of 1984. In 1983 alone, Atari lost $356 million ($1 million daily). Warner sold Atari to Jack Tramiel, former head of Commodore. The video game industry died, with no major American corporation coming anywhere near it. Enter Nintendo.
A little history here will be highly illuminating as well. What many people don't realise is Nintendo is a very old company, founded in 1889 (yes, you read that right) as a playing card company. It became Japan's largest playing card company, and was very successful. In the 1960s, they moved away from the cards and got into the game and toy markets. (A very interesting sidenote: during that same decade, Nintendo's president opened up a `special hotel' rented `by the hour.' Supposedly, the married president was one of the hotel's top customers). In the 1970s and early 1980s, the company scored significant points with big arcade hits and the Game and Watch product line. In 1983, Nintendo released the Famicom (Family Computer). It was a massive hit in Japan. In 1983, Nintendo went to Atari because they wanted to release the Famicon to the American market. Do to complications I won't go into, the deal fail through. In 1984 they were looking to broaden their market share.
1985, Nintendo announced the release of the Nintendo Entertainment System. They release SUPER MARIO BROTHERS in Japan, scoring a huge hit. In 1986, the NES comes full throttle into the American market, quickly becoming the biggest selling console ever, largely because of this title. The NES owes much of its success to SUPER MARIO BROTHERS. Coming prepacked with the console, there are an estimated 40 million copies of SMB in existence, making it the highest selling video game ever.
Unparalleled, SMB blew open the doors to the videogaming world. With rich palettes of colour, eight four level worlds, spot-on play control, and expert level design, SMB was a much longer game than most of Atari's products and was a game unlike any other at that time. SMB also had the benefit of being very simple to grasp; run, jump, and fire. It was also the first side-sroller as we know it, though Atari's PITFALL set up the concept. Also, it's one of the best. Without SMB, NES wouldn't have been nearly as big a hit.
In the end, Nintendo came at the industry's key moment. With a powerful new console and a very well-designed game, Nintendo resurrected video gaming. With its phenomenal success of the NES and this game, the video game industry once again took off, becoming one of the world's most significant economical contributors.
And we very largely have this game to thank for it.
on 10 January 2005
Dear oh dear. What an anti-climax the NES Classics series have been. Nothing exactly wrong with the games themselves (Nintendo games are THE BEST, I don't care what anyone says!) but the re-issue of these games is doomed to faliure as long as they're saddled with a £15 price tag.
Take Super Mario Bros. Great game, I will agree, but badly implemented here. The main problem: No game saving. Now, I know that people will say that this adds to the challenge and that you couldn't save the original game. But this is meant to be a PORTABLE version. Would there have been anything wrong with a system where you can save at any point, but only load the game back in once (like in some other Nintendo games)? Unless you're going on a lengthy journey (and somebody else is driving!), you're unlikely to have time to play through this. Sitting and playing it at home is an option...provided you haven't got a home version of it already (it's available on numerous multi-game systems and is even included as a freebie within Animal Crossing!). As I say, not being able to save on handheld games is bad.
There is also a distinct lack of extras too. Now, before you all get upset with me for criticising what is in effect a 20 year old game for having no extras, take into consideration the Game Boy Color version that was released a few years back. A GBC, as we know, is nowhere near as powerful as a GBA, and yet the game was stuffed with extras, like a 2 player link up mode, a red coin challenge, a calendar, a gallery of unlockable pictures.....even the entire version of the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2 (only ever released over here as 'The Lost Levels' on the Mario All-Stars pack for SNES). In comparison, this makes this recent release look bad. Ok, so none of those features were in the original NES version, but that was only because of technical limitations of the time. And time has moved on. I am not knocking the actual game 'Super Mario Bros.' itself, I want to stress that. It's still an all time classic. But there is no reason at all why an un-enhanced original version of the game couldn't have co-existed on the cart alongside some extra features. No excuse, when £15 is being charged.
And that is my other biggest problem. For only a few pounds more (£10 at most), you could have one of the 'Mario Advance' series, all of which offer a lot more longevity in gameplay, come packaged with a version of the original Mario Bros. game, and, crucially, allow you to save your progress, so that you don't lose everything at the end of your bus/train/car journey.
Nintendo could have done really well selling the NES Classics games for £5-£10 each, instead they've gone for a ridiculous price tag which isn't even competitive with their other own releases that offer better value. As well as Super Mario Bros. being vastly outshone by it's GBC counterpart, they're now trying to con us into buying NES Classics Metroid, which is actually an unlockable extra in their older release, Metroid Zero Mission. So that works out at £15 for an old NES game, or £25 (or less if you buy it second hand) for a great new game with the NES version free.....you decide.
The final nail in the coffin for the NES Classics series, is not having the original Japanese artwork on the boxes, which makes them not even collectible. A real shame.
So there you go. NES Classics Super Mario Bros. = 5/5 (for the game), 1/5 for value.