Retro Review: SUPER MARIO BROS.

Retro Review: SUPER MARIO BROS.

Retro Review: SUPER MARIO BROS.

Christmas has gone and we all got that NES Classic Edition we all wanted!  Oh wait, there were no NES Classic Editions in stock for us to get.  Nintendo’s console stocking issues aside, the NES Classic Edition plays host to one of gaming’s most important games: Super Mario Bros.  Released on October 18, 1985 Super Mario Bros. has been a cornerstone in gaming ever since.  Having seen multiple re-releases and ports over the last 30 years can Super Mario Bros. still be as good as back in 1985?

Background

The Mushroom Kingdom has been invaded by Bowser and his army of Koopas.  The only person capable of reversing the damaged caused is Princess Toadstool.  Yup, Princess Toadstool; back then she didn’t even have the name Peach yet.  Unfortunately, she been kidnapped by Bowser.  Hearing of the trouble in the Mushroom Kingdom, Mario sets out to save Princess Toadstool from the clutches of Bowser and his minions.

Gameplay

Super Mario Bros. introduces us to its world with WORLD 1-1, a level designed to introduce players to all the game mechanics needed to beat the game.  Right off the bat you encounter a Goomba and learn the major weakness of the Koopa Army, a quick jump on the head.  Super Mario Bros. has some of the best controls of any game ever made which really makes this game timeless.  As the game progresses you find items to help in your journey: a super mushroom to increase your size and allow you to take an extra hit, a fire flower that will let you shoot fireballs at enemies, and a star that will grant invincibility and an insta-kill on Bowsers minions.  Throughout the game, you will also encounter 1-UP mushrooms and numerous coins and question bricks that can contain any of the items in the game.  For you secret hunters out there, Super Mario Bros. has numerous hidden items and paths for you to find to aide in your quest to save the princess.

Sound

Da da, da, da da da, DA! Is there a more recognized theme in all of gaming?  Yes, the music in Super Mario Bros. is fantastic but can become quite repetitive after prolonged playing since there are only four main songs used for ground, underground, water, and castle.  Repetition aside, each song is fantastic at conveying what you are doing on screen.  Like the music many of the sound effects in Mario have become iconic.  The sound of collecting an item or shrinking when you grab a super mushroom or take a hit, the sound of stomping on an enemy and of course the star power theme.  Every piece of audio in Super Mario Bros. just works.

Graphics

While it doesn’t have anywhere near the level of detail as later games in the Mario series, Super Mario Bros. still has a certain charm.  Mario and enemies are detailed enough to understand what they are, backgrounds are simple and clean, and everything is mostly blocky.  

Conclusion

Super Mario Bros. is 8-bit gaming!  Whether you grew up with Super Mario Bros., found it later in life, or have yet to even try it there is a great deal of joy to be had in playing through this retro masterpiece.  When we are finally able to get our hands on the NES Classic Edition remember to throw on some Super Mario Bros.!

TL:DR It’s Mario!

Buying Guide

Alright, I convinced you, huh?  How can you play this game?!  Super Mario Bros. has been released on numerous systems.

Choosing which version is best for you:

NES (~$8-20) – The original masterpiece in its original form.  Available in three different versions.

SNES (~$25) – A graphically remade version of the NES classic bringing it up to 16-bit standards was included in the SNES compilation Super Mario All Stars.

Game Boy Color (~$10) – A port of the original version with a smaller viewable area and extra features.  

Game Boy Advance (~$20) – A port of the original NES version.

GameCube (~$20) – Animal Crossing contains an unlockable version of Super Mario Bros. as well as 18 other NES classics.

WII/Wii U ($5-20) – A emulated port of the NES version is available on the virtual console as well as a port of Super Mario All Stars being available on WII.  

3DS (~$5-6)– A emulated port of the NES and GBC version is available on the virtual console.

NES Classic Edition ($60) – A emulated port of the original NES game and 29 other NES games are included with the NES Classic Edition.

My favorite way to play Super Mario Bros. is on the original NES followed by the 3DS virtual console of the NES version.  I would probably really enjoy playing it on an NES Classic Edition as well, but you know, you can’t find any anywhere.  Yes, I will go on about that for quite a while.  Anyway, regardless of how you decide to play you will be met with a fantastic game.

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