Super Mario Bros. (VC) Review

First released in 1985, the game that raised the gaming industry from the ashes like the mythical phoenix is now available for the Virtual Console. Super Mario Bros. broadened the world’s perception of what makes a video game, and also expanded the gaming world itself. SMB is the original platformer, and became the basic model for future games to follow. Simply stated, it is one of the best and most important games of all time, and maintains its fun factor even after growing to legal drinking age.

Super Mario Bros. featured a Super Original Storyline when it hit store shelves in the mid 80s. A couple of Italian plumbers find themselves on a quest to rescue the princess of the Mushroom Kingdom from the clutches of an evil turtle/dinosaur/dragon…thing. To reach her, they must make their way through eight "worlds," avoiding great chasms, fighting off Bowser’s minions, and conquering a fortress at the end of each one. With each world comes bitter disappointment for the brothers, though, because they always seem to think the princess will be there, only to be told, "Thank you, but our princess is in another castle." Bummer.

Like other Virtual Console releases, the data remains unchanged, so the game is identical to its NES counterpart — warp zones and minus world included. Goomba and koopa troopa sprites even flicker sometimes as they come into view, and the music is as awesome as ever, in all its 8-bit glory. Jumping control is still perfect, allowing the gamer to catch various levels of air, relative to the intensity of their A button depression. The Wii remote responds just like the good ol’ black and grey rectangle that is the original NES controller. The only problem is that it feels a bit too small in bigger hands — the d-pad, buttons, and remote itself are all miniature versions of what is found on the NES. It takes a little getting used to, but it still functions very well.

Now just in case you are one of the three people who are NOT familiar with SMB‘s gameplay, the game scrolls left-to-right as Mario (or Luigi) progresses through the level. There is no turning back, as the level will not scroll the other way if you missed something, so get it all on the first pass. What to get? Power-Ups! The super mushroom makes Mario grow bigger, jump higher, break blocks, and endure more damage; the fire flower makes him throw bouncing fireballs and the star makes him invincible for a brief period of time. The point is to run and jump your way to the end of each of the game’s 32 levels (unless you warp), while stomping on less-than-aggressive enemies’ heads, or blasting them with fireballs. It is great fun, for sure.

As primitive as it may seem, the core gameplay of Super Mario Bros. transcends the ages, and never fails to provide a truly enjoyable time. Whether you are interested in a nostalgic romp through the Mushroom Kingdom, or you have yet to experience this classic, Super Mario Bros. is an excellent choice for your Virtual Console. Now we just need Super Mario 2, 3 and World to round out the collection.


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Myspace
  • Google Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Stumnleupon
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Technorati
Author: Eddie Inzauto View all posts by
Eddie has been writing about games on the interwebz for over ten years. You can find him Editor-in-Chiefing around these parts, or talking nonsense on Twitter @eddieinzauto.

Leave A Response

You must be logged in to post a comment.