Retro Video Game Review: Super Mario Bros 3

June 24, 2014


This week, since my brother and I have been playing a whole lot of our NES (Nintendo Entertainment System, for those unfamiliar with the acronym), I decided to write a retro video game review for one of the games. Since we played a lot of Super Mario Bros. 3, I thought I was most qualified (I am not affiliated with this site’s level of unqualifiedness) to review it.

The game is made by a small company called Nintendo. They have made other games, like Pokemon and Metroid, but none of those games have taken off. Even though they made it almost 25 years ago, it is still fun to play.

The controls aren’t too hard to understand. The D-pad moves Mario left and right. Pressing down lets Mario duck. A lets Mario jump, and B, along with holding it to run, lets Mario use your item’s power (i.e. spinning the tail in the Tanooki Suit, throwing a fireball with the Fire Flower, etc.). There are a couple of other techniques that can be used with these techniques, such as sprint ducking (running as Mario and getting into spaces designed for Small Mario), but, in most cases, those techniques are not required.

For the most part, there are no real glitches. There is one castle later in the game that can be used to farm lives, but that’s about it.

The game starts out pretty easy. The first two levels or so are mostly there to let people figure out the controls. After the first few levels, though, the game gets decently challenging.

Towards the end of the game, however, it gets very challenging. World 8 has some great, new ideas, but that’s where the difficulty of the game spikes. I found myself dying time and time again. However, the game did a good job here. Instead of thinking “This is impossible,” I thought “I shouldn’t have jumped there.” It made human mistakes seem like the cause of the difficulty.

Even though the last world is challenging, I found it to be somewhat fun. My brother and I would take turns doing the level, and we would point stuff out to each other that we hadn’t considered. It made for a great multiplayer experience.

Speaking about multiplayer, it could be seen as great or awful. I personally loved it, because it meant we could take turns playing the levels and not be fighting over the controller. However, the few times both characters are on the screen, there’s not a whole lot to do. It’s a slightly competitive versus mode, basically designed to skip a player’s turn.

For a game made almost 25 years ago, it’s packed full of content. For example, I found a secret path recently that I would’ve never thought about going on.  It seemed like a waste of a hammer, but it led me to a warp zone and a stage I had never seen.

So, in all, I really enjoyed this game. If you have a NES (or Famicom, if you’re from Japan), it’s worth it to pull it out and play for a few hours.

Your thoughts?

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