Super Mario Bros. 3

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Super Mario Bros. 3

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Unless you are new to gaming you would know the name Mario is to games like James Bond is to movies. You can’t live without playing a Mario game once and I am going to tell you why. As an older game we reviewed it on the NES.  During 1991 the best Mario game was released on the NES console in Europe, an incredible three years after its release in Japan. The third in the series, it was thought that there was no way that Mario could get any better than the original SMB after the disappointment of Mario 2. The critics were wrong and gaming history was made. Without Mario, the Nintendo rival of Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog, there would be no Nintendo console on the market now he was so important.   In Mario 3 you play the hero himself and in multiplayer his brother Luigi during their side scrolling missions to save seven kings who rule the neighbouring kingdoms of your own Mushroom Kingdom. As before, Bowser the ultimate villain is behind it all but this time he has his children the Koopaling’s doing his dirty work. At least in the beginning before he shows his true plan to kidnap Princess Toadstool. This means once again Mario has to go after her and this time he’s serious!  The game play is so simple it’s crazy compared to modern games. There are the standard directional controls and 2 buttons. That’s it. Mario 3 is one of those addictive games that once you play you can’t put it down. Compared to how fast Sonic the Hedgehog’s games are, Mario is something that takes a long time to complete with his slow moving speed and the amount of thought that needs to be put on the timing of jumping so you hit the enemy on the head and not the side which would kill you.  Mario 3 gives you some great campaign options that allow you to play the game in a non-linear fashion. Before each mission in the different game play areas, you see a map of the kingdom you are currently working through. This map gives you the ability to pick which missions you do next or in some cases skip them altogether by taking a different path. Each kingdom has a very different look and very different missions. Some kingdoms can have aquatic elements and others you have to face lava.  The graphics were so modern for 1988 and it still looks great now all these years later with its fantastic vibrant colours compared to lots of side scrolling games. The sound is always enjoyable even after long periods of play with impressive mood music.  Apart from what has already been mentioned like the map screen there is also the inclusion of new power-ups that turn you into variations of Mario and new enemies are also included. The Mario power-ups turn Mario from his ordinary hero self into a wrench wielding plumber with animal characteristics with the racoon upgrade that allows him to fly and other great variations.  Even if you have played it through before its worth revisiting. The true highlight of the game has to be the multiplayer option for the campaign allowing one player to be Mario and one Luigi. The multiplayer options also include minigames that are good for a few minutes distraction. Overall Mario 3 is a classic game that has stood the test of time and is ready for a comeback tour.

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