NES Review: Super Mario Bros. 3
Review by: SolarGamer (solargamer@sm128c.com)

Game Info

 System: NES
 ESRB: N/A
 Genre: Platform
 # of Players: 1-2
 Size: 3 Megabits
 Developer: Nintendo
 Publisher: Nintendo

 Game Save: Yes

 Release Date:
 US: Jun 26, 1990

Screenshots:

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Final Score:
10.0/10

Very few games offer unconditional fun the way Super Mario Bros. 3 does. Very few games offer replay value the same way as SMB3. Very few games capture someone's mind, the way SMB3 does. In this classic game, one feels as if he were in the Mushroom Kingdom battling the evil minions of Koopa. This was the way Mario was always meant to be seen. It has the classic plot of any Mario game, yet it stands in a class all its own. Maybe it was the way it pushed the NES capabilities to the max. Or maybe it was the unique gameplay that no one had seen before. Whatever it is that makes SMB3 so great, one can truly appreciate this one of a kind.....Mario game.

This may be the most popular Mario game of the times because it was marketed by a genious. Millions of people got to witness this game before anyone else did in the movie "The Wizard". That alone would drive anyone crazy if you saw a game in a Movie that you had never seen before. One could tell before it was ever even released that this would be huge. With Mario looking the best he had ever looked, who could resist that chubby face. As I had stated previously (SMB review), the world had fallen in love with an overweight plumber, and with the Super Mario 3 Adventure under way.....the world could never resist the charm of a Mario again.

Save the Princess.......No? Well not quite yet. It seems the evil King Koopa has returned with a vengance! This time he has successfully taken over the ENTIRE Mushroom world! To make matters worse, he sent his evil kids to rule these lands. It turns out that the Koopa clan have stolen these "magic septars" and turned the kings of the seven Mushroom worlds into animals of their own world! If this isn't bad enough....the Koopa kids arm themselves with DOOM Ships! Who will save the Mushroom Kingdom? None other than....the Super Mario Bros! The Marios have never been in such a challenge as they battle their way to one big showdown with the Koopa King. When the Marios make their way to World 7....instead of being greeted by the Princess they are shocked to see that the Princess has been captured by Bowser! The Brothers have to make their way through the firey world of World 8 in order to rescue Princess Toadstool before it is too late. The Marios of course succeed......but! (to be continued in SMW review).

So what about this game that makes it so big? It is filled with eight enormous lands.....You start your journey off at the semi peaceful Grass Land.....The next stop is Desert Land....it is full of sand ;-). The next Land you must conquer is Water Land.....it has water in it. Another Huge land is Giant Land....everything is big. Your next journey is something cold, Ice Land (not the country)....it has ice in this land. Another high journey is Sky World.....you are in the sky. Your second to the last land, is Pipe Maze.....There are pipes in this land. Your final destination is....KOOPA KINGDOM! You fight King Koopa here.

So who exactly are the rulers of these lands?? This game has the most bogus characters yet, with an all star cast staring....Mario (our hero), Luigi (our assistant hero), Toad (he helps with his minigames and item shop), Toadstool (she helps you out by rewarding you with items at the end of each level, until World 7 when she is captured), Iggy (Koopa Kid), Lemmy (Koopa Kid), Morton Jr. (Koopa Kid), Roy (Koopa Kid), Ludwing Von (Koopa Kid), Larry (Koopa Kid), Wendy O (Koopa Kid), and King Bowser Koopa (our evil villian of this game). Of course there are kings, goombas, bomb-oms, and others that all share the spotlight in this game.

Another good point in this game is the good use of items. Mario still has his Mushroom that makes him grow big....but it also includes some new impressive items as well. Probably the most well known of them all, is the Leaf that transforms you into "Raccoon Mario". With this item, Mario takes his first flight by wagging his raccoon tale. Another item that returns is the Star, that makes Mario invincible for awhile. Yet another return item is the Fire Flower, that transforms Mario into "Fire Mario" and gives him the power to shoot fire balls. Frog Suit Mario = good swimming power. Raccoon Suit Mario = power to turn self into statue and can also fly. Power Wing Mario = Mario with the ability to fly non stop on that one level. The last, but not least, item is...."Hammer Head Mario" which gives him the ability to throw hammers. With these items Mario is given more power...and it also starts the craze for Mario Flights in the future games.

But, with all of these items....how could the system handle the graphics? It handled it as the best known graphics of the system, that's how! If you compared all the previous games....you would be shocked to know they were on the same system. Adding a more "cartoonish" feel to the game...it was like you could finally control a cartoon with style. I would have to say, however, the Koopa King was most impressive with his detail and movements. That is all I can really say, these graphics don't even compete with SM64.

Of course, a game cannot be all graphics and no gameplay. But that is why SMB3 is so great. Not only does it have good graphics, it has a unique style of gameplay. It has your jump and shoot buttons, except everything seems to flow more naturally than most games. You could run and jump freely and more at ease which made jumping over to that next platform easier. The most astonishing thing about the gameplay is....the way Mario flies. You start to run as fast as you can untill your power meter is full...when that happens you press the B button repeatedly and before you know it...you are flying! It may sound simple but if you really think about it, it was done quite well.

Combining the original Mario theme, with a brand new one is risky...but with SMB3 it could no doubt pull it off. With classic catchy and even original themes to each level, it is a shame they never made a soundtrack. Again, this is pretty much all I can say about the sound and music....except they were crystal clear and very ear pleasing.

This may not be a shock to you, but this is my all time favorite Mario game and overall favorite game of all time. That is pretty big if you ask me, not many games can please me the way SMB3 does. When you mix in characteristics you may like in one game and combine graphics, with gameplay, with music, with plot, with heart...you are destined to have a great game. In this third chapter in the Mario Saga, it adds a finished feeling to you, when it is completed. It also sets us up for another game...

-- SolarGamer (solargamer@sm128c.com)

Bottom Line: A classic pretty much sums this game up in one word. "We're sorry, but our Princess is in another castle......Just Kidding."