Thursday, 24 April 2014

Super Mario Brothers 3

Looks a lot better than the first 2 games did.

Go back (not to Jail, you may pass Go) and recall a time when games were new and fresh and exciting. That the latest game in a series didn't just introduce a single new gimmick like riding in a car, or throwing in bigger areas with more guns. Back when a sequel meant something worthwhile like a complete revamp of a game, adding in many MANY new features, spruced up graphics and a much bigger and more appealing adventure than the previous instalments of the games had produced. Now think of Super Mario Brothers 3.

Sadly the "Dogshit filled kebab" did not live up to this claim

Having reviewed game 1 and 2 (Doki Doki Panic re-skin version) it's about time I look at what could possibly be the BEST game on the Nintendo Entertainment System. So first of all, what's new and what's the same. Well, we still have Mario and Luigi doing what they normally do which involves jumping up and hitting blocks of "?" to gain coins and powerups. You still get bonus lives every 100 coins and you still can kick shells after jumping on them. There are also levels, 8 worlds and that's about where the similarities stop from the original game. Oh and Mario is still spelt the same but I'm running out of things to say here.

Every 80,000 points, you can find this little bonus. Match the cards to gain the item.

What's new? Roughly everything. It's still a platformer, you still move left and right, you still try to get to the end of the level and you still have bosses to kill at the end of each world. One of the biggest and foremost changes are that there's a world map. You can see each level on the map and routes to take to get to those levels, you can skip some levels or elect to do them all. You can see where bosses are and where item houses are for bonus items that can be used at the start of a level, giving you that item's effects before you begin the level.

This game does throw lives at you like it's going out of fashion.

Your items now range from mushrooms and flowers (larger and firepower respectively) to a leaf (giving flight and a tail to smack things) frog suit (for swimming) Cloud (to skip a level) hammer suit (turns you into a hammer brother) Tanooki suit (let's you change into a statue while able to fly like the leaf permits) stars (the old invincibility trick again) a hammer to smash blocks that can open access shortcuts or bonus places in the world map, whistles to warp across worlds, anchors to stop the boss flying across the land and a P-Wing which gives you unlimited flight (until hit).

Or have him castrated and toilet trained.

The sheer size and scope of the items themselves, is enough to make one wonder how it all fits into the game. Each world has between 4 and 11 levels that need to be navigated (or avoided) skipped and tackled as you navigate each level from start to Boss where upon you fight the boss in their flying airship (of wood and cannons) and then jump on them a few times. Within such levels you may encounter a whole host of different level types. Some will be standard levels with no height change, some might race up into the clouds if you can fly, some might be auto scrolling levels, some can be underwater levels (AND Auto scroll for bonus shit-kickies) and some are mazes of pipes and warps and doors where your biggest enemy is simply finding an exit before the time runs down and kills you.

Later levels really begin to throw the challenges at you.

The controls are much more precise than previous iterations of the series. You'll run, jump and smash blocks with surprising ease and accuracy very shortly after playing the game and making those "pixel perfect" leaps are much easier in this game than in the earlier ones. The use of the powerups is performed suitably well save for the idea that really it would have been nice to have had 3 buttons, one jump, one run, one "item/power" use but instead it falls onto the run button. However this ties in better with the flight mechanics as one needs prolonged running in order to build up the speed to launch oneself into the air with the grace and majesty of a turd covered brick with its arms out.

Big difference #1, a world map. It does give you some size and scope of the world.

Some of the earlier levels however feel really short in comparison to the earlier games. While some of the later levels can feel like overly long slogs through an unending onslaught of adversity and increasing difficulty where there's so much going on and so many potential routes that you'll want to try and visit them all but there's not enough time in the level in which to do that. While some of the powerups are so rare and infrequent that many players can go through the game repeatedly and NEVER see them (such as the hammer brothers suit, which for many a year was refuted as being a myth by many during the days before the internet was available as the World Wide Web).

Yay.... An ice world... Everyone loves those...

Though if you've seen the film "The Wizard" (California!) you'll already know about one of the warp whistles found in possibly the most unlikely and randomly hidden of places. But I'm not here to rip apart what was ostentatiously a film for the release of the game, it's shit and that's all I'm going to say on the matter regardless of comments and feedback. Back to the game.

It's not a series of Space Invaders shots, it's meant to be coins.

Each world brings a new theme and with it, new (usually) enemies. The variety and differences are quire stark for specific enemies. Going from the Goombas to the Angry Sun and Fire Snake to Bob-Ombs and beyond. Some enemies are simple sprite swaps and variations of other enemies while there's those that rarely and infrequently appear (Goombas in green boots on just ONE level in the entire game) and different sprite sets for every single boss, it's a lot for a game to have and this game does very well with it, especially compared to the original.

Line the face up and get bonus lives! Or balls it up like I have.

There's little here to criticise about the game save for it perhaps being TOO much new in too short a span of games. But that's a ridiculous comment and a poor one at that, just a comment for the sake of a comment that's barely relevant. It's a large, impressive and enormous expanse of a game that takes many players by surprise with the sheer scale and scope of the game, especially when compared to various games made later and made on more capable systems.

Sadly, this one doesn't want to be walked to the Slime Dungeon...

Accompanied by a very memorable soundtrack, clear and crisp effects that go almost perfectly hand-in-hand with this game, Super Mario Brothers 3 is one of THE games that everyone should play at least once in their lives. Take a look at a good platformer that's been done well and executed nearly flawlessly back when a game needed to be good to draw people in rather than being tagged with enough money to qualify for "Triple A" status.

One plumber vs. One Tank Platoon... Sounds rather fair.

And now to wear a turtle shell and lob hammers at people. My record was three windows, a car and an old lady before I was handcuffed, I hope to beat this record.