Super Mario Bros.

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Super Mario Bros was one of the first games I ever laid my eyes on. It brings back a lot of joyful memories from the time I used to play together with my father and my older sister. Especially when I had to blow the cartridge to get the silly NES to work! Super Mario Bros is a pearl from its time.

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Console: NES
Release: 1985
Developer: Nintendo
Genre: Platformer

Story
The story in this game is quite simple. You play as the heroic plumber Mario and his brother Luigi ( when second player is active). Bowser has kidnapped Princess Peach from the Mushroom Kingdom and it is your job to save her! Sounds easy doesn’t it? Well guess what, Bowser’s loyal servants will do their best to stop you. So get your mushrooms ready, you are in for an adventure, guarantied with pipes!

Gameplay
This game offers eight worlds. Each world has four stages. The last stage in each world has a castle where you are lucky to find the Princess… oh wait..you find a toad saying: “Thank you Mario, but the Princess is in another castle”. If I was Mario, I would have gone home and look elsewhere for a date, lol.

So you have to traverse from each world stomping Goomba’s and Koopa’s and what not. The game design is simply brilliant for its time. Mario starts out as a tiny little Italian plumber, so if he gets one hit, he is dead. His primary offense is to jump on the enemies’ head. So stomp the Goomba and jump on the Koopa and use their shell as a projectile! Sweet! Scattered across each level you will find boxes with question marks, they are either filled with coins or power ups. And this is where the beauty starts.

Power ups help you along the way. Grab a mushroom to grow bigger. Now you can survive two hits, but it doesn’t stop here. You will get another cool upgrade ! The fire flower. This will transform Mario into a pyromancer. His suit will change from red to white and he can shoot fireballs with his hands. His enemies will get a pleasant time burning to crisp! It doesn’t stop here; grab a power star to become invincible for a short time. Warning: This doesn’t protect you if you decide to jump into an endless pit..

As mentioned above, the Koopa shell can be used to kill other enemies, but be careful! If the shell bounces back at you, you will get hurt. The physics engine is rather amazing for its time!
If you manage to grab a green mushroom or get a total of 100 coins, you are awarded with a 1-UP giving you an extra live (which is much needed). To make things even more interesting: each level has lots of coloured pipes. Some of these pipes you can go into (as a real plumber!), by pressing the down button. This will take you to a hidden room in the level. Keep your eyes open for hidden secrets across each level, they are truly worth it!

No level is the same, it can all differ from open fields to dark caves and from deep oceans to scary castles. The variety is great. There are even day time and night time stages. The gameplay is simple but fun! If you reach the end of a level you will have to jump on a flag pole. Get the right combination of the end time to be awarded a cool firework display! Warning at the upper right side of the screen you probably have noticed a timer right? If you are to slow the time will run out and then you die.

Music
I love the music in Super Mario Bros. Especially the water level music. There is a lot of diversity and the music doesn’t get boring. It fits very well with the overall atmosphere. The sounds in this game has become nostalgic on themselves as there are lots of references today back to the Mario series. Everything from a “pling” to the noise of eating a mushroom, to obtaining a mushroom or a 1 UP.

Graphics
For its time, the graphics were very good, if not great. Each level has its own cool design and theme with different scenery and there are enough different enemy models, so the game won’t get boring. For its time it was true eye candy and for the nostalgic lover it is still fantastic.

The good and the bad

Good:
A simple game to pick up
Fantastic music
a lot of variety in each level
Simple gameplay keeps the game fun but challenging

The bad:
Sorry Mario, but your Princess is in another castle….

Conclusion
Super Mario Bros is a pearl for its time with fantastic gameplay and music and the ability to play with another player kept this game fun! I love how you can use the Koopa shell to brake blocks or to kill your enemies (if not yourself). The powerups sure come in handy and there are enough hidden goodies to keep you busy. I have nothing bad to say about this game, since it was one of the games I grew up with. Nintendo have crafted a masterpiece which has been ported to all their consoles and many have been trying to recreate it as well.

If you have never played Super Mario Bros, well than you are truly missing something in your life!

Game on.

The Game Mistress

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