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!
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.