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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 October 2014
Well really the saying "Third time's the charm" is used for when success is achieved on the third attempt after the first two have proven to be fruitless. But in the case of Super Mario Bros. 3 on the NES, it's more like "Hit for six off the third straight ball." SMB1 offered high doses the platform genius with its mix of elegant platform negotiating and iconic head nodding 8-bit music...with the occasional bit of Goomba stomping. SMB2 offered a tasty replayable dream of character swapping, beanstalk climbing and Bob-omb throwing. As for SMB3? Well there are two key words for this game's success: Variety and Flexibility. More on those later.

In SMB3 King Bowser is looking to make another attempt rule over the Mushroom Kingdom with a sharp-clawed iron fist, and he's got a checklist. Brat-like koopa kids? Check. Very loosely bolted airships? Check. Kings transformed into helpless animals? Check. Kidnapping a ditzy looking blonde in pink threads? Full house. Unfortunately for Bowser, the player him/herself has a checklist of their own, and it only contains one item. Unleash two plumbers to save the day? Check.

SMB3 consists of a laaaarrrrge number of levels stretched across eight worlds. The worlds all have varying themes, such as World 3 being a sea world with lots of water and swimming segments, while World 7 is a pipe world consisting of more pipes than a plumber's dream. Each world is laid out in the form of a map -a first for the SMB series- with levels scattered around the place. One by one you walk up to these levels, select them, and then proceed to stroll on by its many challenges: moving platforms, pipe travelling, enemies the butt-ugly side of David Gest; all before collecting cards at the end which eventually convert into extra lives. The end of most of the worlds see you hijacking cannon-riddled airships and defeating the Koopa kids before finally retrieving the magic wands that are required transform the kings from animals back into their old selves.

Now remember those key words from earlier? Variety and Flexibility? Word of warning: I may be using those words a fair bit in this review, but I do think they do the job best in saying everything that is right about SMB3. Breaking up these levels from time to time is some small but fun extras, like some mushroom huts where you have the chance to pick up a new item, and some slide matching games for extra lives. It adds to the variety of SMB3 and greatly increases the replayability of the game, especially the curiosity factor when it comes to those other two chests in the mushroom huts.

The left to right scrolling level layouts (and at times vice versa) are very much similar to that of SMB1 but with a bit more polish. As well as sporting more detailed graphics, it also sports more variation in level structures; pipes, pits, how many different enemies you come across, as well as different coloured backgrounds, like a bright blue or a sunset orange. Don't get me wrong, the levels in SMB1 were fun to play through, but there wasn't too much in the way of differing background and foreground structure and at times it could feel like you were playing through the same level two or three times in the same playthrough, especially in the latter stages of the game. Not so in SMB3. Every level feels different and throws up its own challenges and secrets, the latter of which I'll let you discover for yourself.

The best thing about the levels is that you don't have to play them all if you don't want to. The word? Yep! Flexibility. Some areas of worlds allow you to tackle one level or the other in order to progress to the next part of the map, and some areas you can just disregard altogether. A good example is in World 6. After you've completed level 4 you have a choice of two routes: either taking on Level 5 or 6. Level 5 is trickier with a puzzle like element to it, but if you are brave enough to tackle it and then successfully complete it, you'll gain access to another mushroom hut. "The greater the risk, the greater the reward" you could say. But you know what? To me every single level is pure fun, and I'm happy enough to sit down and tackle them all in one sitting...Yes, I can be THAT extreme at times!

The large number of enemies you face also adds to the variety. The familiar Goombas and Koopa Troopas returned from SMB1, while the Bomb-ombs made their way over from the "different" land of SMB2. They returned to join a series of new enemies (from the perspective of the late 80's that is) such as Boomerang Bros. whose preferred weapon of choice is an Australian throwing stick; and the ghostly Boos that haunt many of the game's castles. Fortunately Mario's battle options come in the form of the traditional fire flower and starman pick- ups...and more.

Yes, more variety is added thanks to some additional power-ups. One of which is the feather, which with a bit of a run up gives you access to the skies for short periods of time. Highly useful for getting over tough segments in levels and scouting out secrets...that's the only hint I'm giving you. The other power-ups come in the form of costumes. One of my favourites is the frog suit. This suit allows you to glide through deep waters with ease, although it can be a handful on dry land. Nonetheless, it's a cool costume.

There are a lot of items to pick up, so you'll be thankful for the inventory box that you can access from the world maps. Just press B to access it, then A to select the item you want. It's possible to hold around twenty items at any given time, so after a bit of play you'll find yourself with some flexibility on you in terms of plans of attack. Very handy indeed.

SMB3 is a joy for every solo games player out there. However if you don't fancy going at it alone and you've got a second NES controller at hand (or for 3DS users just press Y whilst holding down the L and R shoulder buttons), you can select the 2-Player game where Mario and Luigi can take it in turns to tackle the levels like overzealous rugby players. This game is not exactly strenuous, but taking in turns is still convenient for giving your thumbs a bit of a break after levels, so you could say that is a good thing.

Having gone off to visit an Arabian vibe in SMB2, Super Mario Bros 3 feels a like a return to the routes of SMB1, with the points scoring and the mushroom/fire flower collecting and all. However at the same time this third outing added so much more to the platform mix that it pretty much has its own identity in the SMB series. Overall it's brilliant, and I can say with confidence that this is my favourite Mario game ever; one that you need to play ASAP if you haven't already done so.

One more thing before I go. Can you collect 50 coins and complete Level 1 of World 1 in less than 2 minutes? I bet you can!

Final Score: 10/10
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 24 June 2013
Has to be the best game ever! If you have never played it, you need to! Not as good on SNES, but great on this platform. Every Mario fanshould have at least one go at this on this console.
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on 8 January 2015
Amazing quality, came with Nintendo game sleeve which I wasn't expecting which made it even more amazing. Quite fast delivery too considering order was placed over Christmas & New Year. Thank you so much
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on 16 December 2013
Awesome game and the cartrige was in great condition and clean a great product. The game is clean aswell thanks!
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on 24 August 2014
Great Game and great service. Thank You.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 October 2012
About the Virtual Console Release of Super Mario Bros. 3:

Before we get to the review proper, fortunately with the advent of the Wii's Virtual Console, for a mere five bucks you can have this piece of gaming history. No hunting around for an old Nintendo, or going with a portable release (which isn't the 8-bit original). Another great thing about the VC release is that if any time you are done with the game, you can simply go back to the Wii menu and suspend the game at whatever point you left it, and return at any time. Don't have time to beat World 4 but you don't want to lose your progress? Just return to the Wii menu and it will automatically suspend! For all the old NES games that's a great feature but especially for SMB3, whose only possible flaw is there is no save system.

So, why be inconvienced when you want your SMB3 fix? Instead, simply get 500 Wii points, download to a Wii Channel, and wa-la, SMB3 in all its origianl 8-bit Glory! What are you waiting for? Buy it!

It's easily one of the best purchases available on the Virtual Console, and the younger generations will have a chance to play this title as well since the old hardware (NES and physical cartridges) are long gone from the market as new items available for purchase. If you have a Wii and want some old school gaming, this is a no brainer purchase.

While you're at it, you may as well pick up the other three NES Super Mario titles (including the previously unreleased 8-bit version of THE LOST LEVELS!). Now if Nintendo would get with Hudson and remake the true lost levels, SUPER MARIO BROS: SPECIAL and maybe even release VS. SUPER MARIO BROS (the arcade version, which has numerous differences from the original SUPER MARIO BROS. title and includes levels from THE LOST LEVELS), ALL NIGHT NIPPON BROS, and others!
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The Review Proper
SUPER MARIO BROTHERS 3, one of the most famous games Nintendo has ever produced, came out toward in the middle of the NES console's life cycle, and brought renewed life to the aging console. Like the original Super Mario Brothers, SMB3 became one of the biggest selling games ever. SMB3 also brought a lot of new innovations to the Mario series, many of which can still be found today. SMB3 regularly charts both player and critic polls as being among the best video games ever released.

Released in October 3, 1988 in Japan, SMB3 became one the Famicon's biggest sellers. America had to wait for over a year from when Japan got it. Originally released in some Nintendo arcade machines before it even hit stores, the buzz soon spread about the game. This buzz was helped by the ninety minute commercial known as THE WIZARD (some people insist that it is a movie proper, but it's little more than a Nintendo advertisement) in which the climax of the movie - er, commercial - is the unveiling of SMB3, as well as revealing the secret location to the one of the warp whistles. America finally got its hands on the game in released February 12, 1990.

The game went on to sell approx. eighteen million copies, and when you include the reissues and rereleases with SUPER MARIO ALL STARS and SUPER MARIO ADVANCED, this figure swells to over thirty three million copies. And what makes SMB3 such a successful, highly regarded title? Read on.

For the second* officially released sequel to the biggest selling game of all time, Nintendo didn't pull any stops when it came to crafting this game. Returning to the familiar environments and gameplay of the original title, rather than the radical reinvention of SUPER MARIO BROTHERS 2, Nintendo greatly widened Mario's moves and gamestyle. The Fire-flower and starman return. Nintendo introduces Mario's famous raccoon suit, which enables Mario to fly briefly, and greatly opens up what is possible in level design. New suits and powerups also include the Tanooki suit, which enables Mario to become a stone statue, a Frog suit for swimming, and Hammer Brothers suit, which enables Mario to shoot hammers.

One of the biggest innovations was the inclusion of an overall game map, where Mario would move between levels. Nintendo also used the concept (in a much different setting with a much different effect) in ZELDA II: THE ADVENTURE OF LINK, though in that title the overworld was much more important and you had a lot more freedom. Here, the map served as a level grid in which to progress through the eight worlds. SMB3 returns to the eight world format of the original game, rather than the seven world format of SMB2.

The level design itself is where SMB3 truly shines. First off, Nintendo returned to the original game for its basic game mechanics but [induing] ensuring Mario has a whole new bag of tricks to beat the nasty Bowser and his koopa kids. While staying true to the overall atmosphere and play of the original title, Nintendo, over the course of eight worlds, features platforming levels that ingeniously use the game's new suits and powerups to fully integrate the player into the game's world. Each of the eight levels is themed. The first world is grass lands. The second world is desert (much like the second and sixth world in SMB2). The third is the water levels. Where the castle is on the overworld map for World 3 is roughly a map of Japan and Tokyo. The fourth world is the land of giants. The fifth is the Skylands. The sixth is frozen tundra, all ice. The seventh is Pipeland, and the eight is Bowser's world, featuring lava, tricky airships, and challenging levels.

SMB3 also introduces the seven children of King Kooper (whose the mother???), each of which rule one of the worlds and which at the end of each world you must fight in an airship. Other innovations include minigame, new enemies (many of which would feature prominently in later titles), and the aforementioned suits.

A good portion of NES games are notorious for being extremely difficult. Some titles are damn near impossible (BATTLE TOADS, NINJA GAIDEN III), and others are filled with cheap shots and just unforgiving, unreasonable difficulty (the original MEGA MAN). In fact, the original sequel to SUPER MARIO BROTHERS (known everywhere but Japan as THE LOST LEVELS) went unreleased in its original format stateside or in Europe for twenty one years due to difficulty and too similar to the original game.
Fortunately, SMB3 has a very intuitive difficulty level. As each world progresses, so does the difficulty of the levels, which culminates in the last world of Bowser, which does have some hard patches. Overall, however, SMB3 has a medium range of difficulty, and while there are some tricky parts here and there, the game is not really that difficult and most players will be able to beat it given enough time. Not giving too much away, SMB3 also jokingly refers to the original title after you beat Bowser, with the first words out of Princess Toadstool's mouth is "Thank you Mario, but our princess is in another castle . . . just kidding." Strangely enough, they cut this joke in the SUPER MARIO ADVANCED reissue.

Overall, SMB3 stands as one of the gaming industry's most outstanding achievements, and is one of the corner stones of the Mario Series. As much as I love SUPER MARIO BROTHERS 2, SMB3 really felt like the true sequel to the original game, and Mario went out with a blaze of glory on the original NES with this title. One of the greatest games ever.

*Though this is the second sequel to be released and that the general public knew about, this was actually the fourth officially licensed sequel to SUPER MARIO BROTHERS. The first, developed by Hudson Soft with Nintendo's permission, was a game called SUPER MARIO BROTHERS SPECIAL, which appeared on the obscure NEC PC-8801 in Japan only. This is the truly forgotten Mario game, the real lost levels if you will. Due to technical limitations, it does not scroll and the hit detection is rather off. Nintendo had nothing to do with its development. The second sequel is SUPER MARIO BROTHERS 2, released in 1986. This title was released only in Japan. The game was just like SUPER MARIO BROTHERS, but much harder. Howard Lincoln of HOWARD AND NESTOR fame (anyone who had Nintendo Power back in the 1980s knows what I am talking about) hated the title, so they took a Japanese game called Doki Doki Panic, changed some sprites, and in 1988 released the American version of SUPER MARIO BROTHERS 2.
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on 4 August 2015
Arrived in time , good chose!
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on 2 October 2014
The best Mario game on NES
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 August 2013
A classic game that seriously reinvented what a Mario title could be. The NES era gameplay design as aged badly here and there (especially with regards to the difficultly curve) but ultimately, this is a top Mario game, and an important experience for anyone interested in gaming history.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 January 2013
Bought this as a gift for my girlfriend as she loved this as a kid and I still have my old NES. It is still as good as I remember!

The game was delivered and in condition exactly as described, no complaints here.
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