Available on: NES, Virtual Console
Just mere weeks after North America had finally got its hands on its own version of Super Mario Bros. 2, Japanese gamers were already all over Super Mario Bros. 3, which was released a year later in the States, and a year after that, in Europe. The global phenomenon the first international sequel to the 1985 multi-million seller created was kept alive by these gaps between releases, and today, no-one seems to have forgotten that phenomenon - it still lives. Super Mario Bros. 3 took the NES to its very limits and placed the Mario standards onto a track they would never swerve from again. It might not be the very best Mario game, but might well be the most important one.
Through land, sea and air... and an incredible sewage system
The Mushroom Kingdom is in shambles. Bowser has retaliated, gathered up his dark armies and defiled the seven regions of the kingdom by stealing the regents' magic wands and turning the world leaders into simple animals. To further exclamate his dark rule, he has granted his children, the seven Koopalings, possession of these magic wands, and kidnapped Princess Toadstool once again. Sounds like another task for everyone's favourite plumbers.
|Good heavens! The king's been replaced by|
that mutt from Duck Hunt!
|The world maps looked amazing back in the day.|
So, let's talk about the other locations on the map. Minigames are represented by the mushroom huts, a large stationary spade icon and a moving one with the letter N on it - whatever it means, I have no idea. In the mushroom huts, some of which are hidden and require certain criteria to be met in certain stages, you are given 1-3 choices of which treasure chest to open. Whatever you find in there, you get to keep it. That's right, you have the privilege of an item menu for reserved items, which you can use any time on the world map. If you're having some trouble with some random stage, you can up the ante by using any item in your inventory. More about that in a jiffy. The stationary spade icon stands for a game of slots. Your goal is to line up a picture of a mushroom, Starman or Fire Flower. Each of these three figures represents a certain amount of lives. Mushroom is worth two, Fire Flower three and Starman five extra lives. This rule is also valid for the cards you get in the end of each stage - for example, if you finish three consecutive stages and acquire three consecutive Starman cards, you'll earn five extra lives. The game is very generous with 1-Ups, and it should be, because it gets extremely tough towards the end. The spade with the N on it represents a memory quiz, in which you're supposed to flip cards and find as many pairs as you can before and if you fail. You'll always gain the item depicted in the correct pairing of cards. You're given two chances in this one.
The Hammer Brothers pacing back and forth on the map are sort of minibosses. The purpose of these simple fights is to defeat the Hammer Bros. to gain an item for your inventory. Usually it's a rare, extremely useful item, that's why even some of the brothers are well hidden. The enemy forts also have their own miniboss, a spiked turtle named Bam-Bam, who kind of reminds me of Bowser/King Koopa from the first game - the changes between the many battles against him are minimal. Each time you reach a region's castle and see its monarch in a less flattering shape, you're taken to an automatically side-scrolling stage which is set on an airship. After dealing with the many dangers up there, you'll meet the real boss of the region, one of Bowser's Koopalings. Their methods of offense don't change a lot, but each one of them looks unique and has certain abilities which possibly make the fights tougher. After collecting the magic wand from your defeated foe, you're taken back to the castle, thanked by the regent and his shroomy servant, and given a letter in which Princess Toadstool grants you a pointless tip on gameplay and a rare item. Uh... think it's time to talk about the items already?
|The Goomba's Shoe ain't exactly a dancing|
shoe, but it is useful.
Difficulty level’s the same as ever. Since every retro gamer out there knows the game inside out, they can do this the easy way or the hard way - really, really hard way - and absolutely feel better after trying the latter method and finally succeeding. No save feature in the original version; kind of baffling since the game is very lengthy, but on the other hand, it's very generous with extra lives.
Super Mario Bros. 3 was an ultimate, definitive change in the series, and still an entertaining, absolutely remarkable platformer, after all these years. Although it has been surpassed by a few games in the franchise, it stands as arguably the best overall game on the Nintendo Entertainment System.
Graphics : 9.2
Sound : 8.9
Playability : 9.0
Challenge : 9.2
Overall : 9.2
Nintendo Power ranks Super Mario Bros. 3 #6 on their list of the Top 200 Nintendo Games of All Time.
In 1989, several months prior to the North American release, gameplay footage was used as teaser material in an American feature film named The Wizard. The movie is a family friendly adaptation of The Who’s Tommy, co-produced by Nintendo.
Super Mario Bros. 3 has been remade a few times for later-generation Nintendo systems. The first remake was released as part of Super Mario All-Stars for the SNES in 1993. The second remake was the fourth Super Mario Advance title on the Game Boy Advance; it was released in 2003.
The game spawned its very own animated TV series called The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, upon the official birth of a cultural phenomenon dubbed the Mario Mania.
All versions of the game include a remade version of the original Mario Bros. arcade game as a minigame, playable in multiplayer mode only.
This is the first game in which the primary antagonist of the series is called Bowser. Previously he was known as King Koopa.
Bowser's Koopalings are named after the design team in the Japanese version of the game. In other versions, they're named after famous musicians and TV personalities: Ludwig von Beethoven, Roy Orbison, Lemmy Kilmister, Wendy O. Williams, Iggy Pop, Larry King and Morton Downey Jr.
One of the few Mario games to feature Princess Toadstool as a brunette instead of a blonde. Her hair colour was changed in the remade versions to match her usual portrayal.