The StarSoldier


Artist touch: This art gets right to the point and it shows off Mario's most exciting new ability here. It's overly simple but it works. Cover art rating: 6/10

(Nintendo, February 1990)

Month it won: May 2006

Special note: Super Mario 3 is still one of the best selling video games of all time with over 18 million units sold worldwide.

Introduction and Story:

My special look back at the Nintendo Entertainment System is almost over and in my fifth edition of the NES Stud Series here I wanted to find a game that actually did the impossible and lived up to the huge hype that preceded it. Super Mario Bros was one of the biggest video games of all time but Nintendo sure had a hard time following up with a sequel. First they released a lame Japan-only sequel (a.k.a. The Lost Levels in Super Mario All Stars) that was basically the original game with a higher jumping Luigi and Mushrooms that kill you. BORING! Since that game sucked Nintendo took a Arabian themed game called Doki Doki Panic and just put Mario characters and released it over here as Super Mario Brothers 2. Sure, the game was still pretty good but it didn't really play like the last SMB at all. Fortunately, Nintendo finally got their act together in the third installment of this mega popular series because almost everything humanly possible is improved in this massive and very fun Super Mario Brothers 3 here.

In Mario 3 it's your job as Mario or his 'supporting role' brother Luigi to rescue 7 different and unique kingdoms that are being taking over by the 7 rotten Koppa kids of the original King Bowser from the first game. After you're done all saving all the kingdoms it's then time to go after their big bad dad the evil Bowser himself. The story still doesn't explain why two Italian plumbers are in this fantasy world but I never did buy a game for it's Oscar winning story line, eh? Who watches the Oscars and their crappy nominated flicks anyway? I rather play a great video game any day and you better believe it's good.

Controls and Game Play: Video review!
Like the first Super Mario on the NES, this is a easy to learn 2D action platformer where you can only control either Mario and Luigi so Toad and the sexy Princess Peach are not longer playable like in the last game. Fortunately, part 3 here is loaded with tons of power ups and different power suits both new and old to help forget all about SMB2. Like in the original Super Mario your heroes start out small and it only takes one hit to end one of their lives but they can still become twice as big with the aid of a Magic Mushroom. If you can manage to stay in your giant form then they also have the chance to find other cool items like the Power Flower so you shoot fire balls for example. Having the old power ups return to the series is fine but part 3 also gives you all new goodies and techniques that really add a lot of depth to the game play. The new Leaf power up for example can give the brothers a Raccoon Tail that enables them to use a melee attack, float, or even fly. Other items include a cool looking hammer bros suit (so you finally throw hammers like those annoying enemies too), the Frog suit (great for underwater), a giant boot (this lets you jump on stuff you normally couldn't) and many more that will make you wet your pants.

The game also has a new map perspective so you have the option of picking your level, trying one of many new mini games, or using one of you reserve power ups if you like. These new worlds are not only filled with secrets the Mario franchise is known for, but there are tons new enemies and dangers to worry about as well. Don't expect a cakewalk especially if you are new to these Mario games. If all that wasn't enough SMB3 even makes a great two player game. Although you have to take turns during the main game, any one of you can engage a fight with the other player with a original Mario Bros.-like Battle game so you could steal your friends hard earned cards. It's the perfect time to a total A-hole but remember you're cards are fair game and you could lose a turn as well if you're not careful plus your friend can do this to you too, eh?
Graphics and Sounds:

Mario has to admit he has a card problem.
Mario 3 even pimps itself out with a whole new look. All the characters in the game have a stylist cartoon esthetic to them and the backgrounds really push the colour palette for the old NES here. Not only are the 8 worlds here different in their own unique way but the game is even filled with a bunch of cool new imaginative stages like flying pirate ships and the freaky giant world has to be seen to be believed.

Mario 3 also comes packed with a good selection of music tracks which includes remixes of popular favourites (like a rap version of the underground SMB stages) and several new bouncy ones too. Also impressive here is the new and improved sound effects like the various drum beats.
The Bottomline:  

At our store down town my bosses are always looking for this game because it always seems to sell while most other NES games hardly move at all. It's no wonder since SMB3 not only brings back the perfect balance challenge and great control we all know and love but the game is fully loaded with 70 plus levels, cool power ups, and excellent presentation. The game is also very family friendly so don't be afraid to pick this up for the kids but don't worry all you older gamers because most adults will still get a kick out of constant action here too. The only thing missing in SMB3 here is a save option like the Super Nintendo version has in the All Stars Collection. The original is still easily one of the top games of 1990 and it even one of the best game's in the long running series. If you are lucky enough own a NES (or at least one that works) you have to own the incredible and highly addictive Super Mario Bros. 3!

I had some leaf before myself and I thought I could fly too.
*500 points on the Nintendo Wii

overall rating: 99/100
Find Super Mario 3 on eBay here!

For 1 or 2 players
graphics: 9/10
sound: 9/10
gameplay: 10/10
replay: 9/10

(Ryan Genno) 2006

See the other Games of the Month