RETRO WEEKEND: NES Super Mario Bros. Review

Mamma mia it’sa the first Retro Weekend review and what a better way to kick off this section then to start with the game that revolutionized and paved way for the gaming we all know and love today. Super Mario Bros.

Created by master mind Shigeru Miyamoto, released in 1985 and is a sequel to the arcade hit Mario Bros. which debuted in 1983. Super Mario Bros. is the first in the series released on the Nintendo Entertainment System selling over 40 million copies as of 2003 and was largely responsible for the revival of the gaming industry.

Ungrateful bastard.

Now If you don’t already know this story then you must have been living under a rock for the past 27 years! I bet by the time you get done reading this review you’ll be humming the theme song. So basically you take the role of Mario or Luigi (whoever got stuck as second player) and you go through Mushroom Kingdom fighting off goombas, koopa troopers and other crazy enemies (you probably had nightmares of as a little kid) until you made it to the castle where the evil King Bowser and Princess Peach await! Once defeating Bowser and thinking you’ve rescued Princess Peach you are pleasantly greeted by Toad with the well-known line “Thank you Mario, but our princess is in another castle!” And two middle fingers if anyone hasn’t noticed.

Being a 5-year-old kid and getting his first taste of a video game ever, I would say it pretty much blew my mind and opened up a world my tiny brain could never imagine! I was instantly hooked, I can’t tell you how many hours I spent playing this game with my eyes glued to my 13 inch television while my mother yelled at me to go eat dinner and screaming back “hold on I’m fighting Bowser!” Even till today this game still holds its fun factor that I enjoyed 22 years ago what I believe is lacking in games today. There’s no tutorials annoying you every five seconds on how to play, there’s no regenerating health bars or fancy cinematic cut screens. It’s just simple and sweet 8 bit graphics, point A to point B and sweet ass music! Even the controls are perfect, no hold Z press triangle then forward up down. It’s just simple run, jump and shoot fireballs. 

Super Mario Bros. was more than just a simple run and jump, it was a very difficult! It took me awhile to actually beat the game growing up, were talking years here okay! But as hard as it was, it was always and still is very entertaining with a very high reply value. You could lose a million times and always have the need to keep trying for the goal. It also had its fair share of hidden secrets that kept the game fresh and increased playability. You had hidden warp pipes to advance through the game quicker, hidden vines that would take you to extra coins, blocks that had hidden lives and even the elusive glitch to the minus world!

Mind Blown!

The “Minus World” arguably regarded as the most famous glitch in video game history. Is an unbeatable level in Super Mario Bros.  In level 1-2 there contains a hidden warp zone, with warp pipes that transport the player to Worlds 2, 3, and 4, accessed by running over a wall near the exit. If the player is able to pull off a bug that allows Mario to pass through the wall, then the player can enter the warp zone that transports the player to a stage called “World -1”. This stage’s map is identical to Worlds 2-2 and 7-2, but making it to the end of the stage, the player is then taken back to the start of the level, which you can pretty much say that Mario is screwed until you lose all of your lives and have to start the game all over again. Pretty mind-blowing huh?


We were so good the power wasn’t even turned on!

The game consisted of eight well designed and very challenging worlds ranging from creepy castles and sewer pipes to giant mushroom caps and perilous jumps that will keep you on your toes and your palms sweating like no tomorrow! But along the way you were given power-ups that aided you throughout your journey such as mushrooms to make Mario grow so you can take a hit, fire flowers that gave you the ability to shoot fireballs and invincibility stars that helped you pretty much wreck everything in your path! You can even collect gold coins to enhance your score and if you collected a hundred you gained an extra life, which I used to rub in my brothers face as he waited patiently to play.

So in conclusion, Super Mario Bros. will always be that timeless classic that no matter if you’re young or old you’ll just always remember it. Regardless if it’s the characters, gameplay, or even the great music. There have been countless sequels and remakes throughout the years and every sequel always improved off of the last to always keep the player entertained. The Mario franchise has never failed to amaze and spark that feeling I used to have when I was young. I highly recommend anyone who hasn’t played to go out and grab a copy off Ebay or if you own a Wii to go on the Virtual Console store and download it, you won’t be disappointed! Until then keep blowing those carts (no pun intended) and keep your eyes glued for my next great review. 

 
 For now I leave you all with this!

Source: Mario Wiki

-Alexander Gothelf
Follow me on Twitter @Gothelf_Designs

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