NES – #10 – Super Mario Bros.

History:

I can’t imagine anyone who HASN’T played this game. I mean, it’s nearly impossible not to have! I will say that I didn’t play this game as much as say, Super Mario Bros. 3 when I was a child, but it’s really just an NES staple. Admittedly, I don’t think I ever did beat it.

Expectations:

How the hell do you write a pseudo review for Super Mario Bros? That aside, I’m going to give beating this one a real shot. I already know I can make it to 8-1 in my sleep, but I think I’ve only made it inside Bowser’s (King Koopa’s?) castle all of one or two times.


Day 1:

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If using warp pipes is wrong, I don’t want to be right!

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…Except that I missed the second set and would up in World 5. Couldn’t quite make it the castle and got game over.

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You’d think after all the Contra and Ninja Gaiden and Castlevania I’d be able to handle Super Mario with a bit more ease, but no. I forgot how crazy the platforming gets in World 8. Even if you master the precision single tile jumping, timing the piranha plants and avoiding the barrage of Bullet Bills, you still have the crazy RNG of the Hammer Bros! Never mind the bonkers castle waiting for you at the end!

I eventually found my stopping point for the day at 8-3 after nearly an hour of attempts from 8-1. At that point I decided to pass it off to the new guard…

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Make me proud kid…


Day 2:

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I started off my day with a good half hour on World 8 again. I could constantly get to 8-2, but that was about it. Before giving up on the game I decided to do something new. Something crazy. Something I’ve never done with this game in my entire life.

I was going to try to play the game without warps.

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Before today, I could not have told you what 1-3 looked like, and it took all of my power to fight my instincts in 1-2 and not run to the warp pipes.

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I realized that it had been a VERY long time before I’d been inside one of the castle levels in this game, and it was actually pretty cool. I jumped the boss easily enough and axed the bridge, freeing Toad from his burlap prison and it was off to the next stage.

Every level was a new experience, and before I knew it I was back at 4-1, where the warp pipe usually takes me. I ran through it like I always did and again fought the urge to take the warp to 8-1 from 4-2. Instead I carried on through the game. The levels where I’m running, screaming and praying across the bridges while flying fish try to kill me are by far my favorites.

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I thought 6-3 in particular was really cool, as its monochrome color pallet was unique. I’m actually curious to see how this stage was done when it comes time to play Super Mario All-Stars. I’m sure it won’t be anything special, but I’m excited none the less. 6-4 was the first castle, if I’m not mistaken, where the boss starts throwing hammers, so that was something.

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I eventually made it to and past 7-4, and for the first time ever made it to World 8 properly. I felt really good about that! It made the final levels feel like they really meant something, and surely after all that Mario’ing I would have the skills necessary to finally beat this game!

…yeah not so much. After another 30 minutes or so of dying in 8-2 I decided it was time to call it. Sorry Toadstool, but frankly I always like Daisy better anyway…


Conclusion:

Super Mario Bros. This is even worse than trying to write a conclusion for Final Fantasy! It’s a perfectly fine game on it’s own merits, though almost every future iteration has improved upon it. Without it, the video game landscape we know today would be radically different. A lot of people owe a lot to this game, and even today it still makes for a good time.

The gameplay is precise and the jumping is nearly perfect. The level design is, for it’s time, varied and fun. Everything about the game memorable from the goombas and turtles, to the power-ups to the music and sound effects. Having not really played this game for the first time in over a decade I was able to navigate its stages practically on muscle memory.

Still, while its importance can’t possibly be overstated, you can’t argue that given the choice between playing this or something like Super Mario 3, or Super Mario World, or New Super Mario Bros, or Super Mario 64… the former will seldom win. In the end, after all these years, I think the original Super Mario Bros. for the NES is a fine game.

Liked:

– Running through stages is still a blast.
– Music, sounds, monsters and other aspects of this game are timeless.
– Really though, the music. For such an early NES title the music is just so memorable.
– Learning and overcoming the more difficult stages was extremely rewarding.

Disliked:

– World 8 was several steps more difficult in terms of the rest of the game, and it was possibly overkill.
– Hammer Bros…

Super Mario Bros

2 comments on “NES – #10 – Super Mario Bros.

  1. Pingback: Playthrough Analysis – 146 Games | 600 Games

  2. Pingback: Playthrough Analysis – 193 Games | 600 Games

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