Super Mario Bros. (NES) review
"Mario will linger."
This is a rewrite for a game that has had much written about it.
Itís not because more needs to be stated on the original Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo Entertainment System, but rather that Iíve longed to set the record straight on a game I had previously bashed. My original write-up was critical. In this one I hope to set the record straight. Itís a simple title the likes of which founded a great and ongoing franchise. It spurred its developer to the forefront of a dying industry and energized pop culture to the likes of which no other video game character will ever be more recognizable.
Super Mario Bros. is Nintendo and video games and pixelated life in general. It begins on a simple stage. Run left to right, hop occasionally to score a power-up or offer an attack on a patrolling foe. Grab a size-enlarging mushroom or a fire-flinging enabling fire flower. Collect a star for temporary invisibility. One-hundred coins equals a new life, though the same result can be had by grabbing a differently colored mushroom than the one that grants increased size. Stomp a goomba to earn some points or crunch a Koopa and kick its shell. Watch out for piranha plants! Theyíll wreck Marioís feet but a turtle shell to the stem makes quick work of Ďem.
This is so simple and yet itís a testament to everlasting familiarity. Can you so easily rattle off the basic components that make up any other game? Maybe you can; I, for sure, cannot.
Through eight multi-segmented worlds exist an adventure that tasks Mario to traverse land, sea, and sky. Each final sub-stage is set in an ever more intimidating castle strewn with lava and other platforming perils, a sure-tell sign of its impending completion once massive fireballs start screeching Marioís way.
Who can forget each harrowing encounter with Bowser on a bridge, his flames and hammers offering the final barrier before Mario is able to rescue the princess? Who can remember feeling spurned to find out it wasnít the princess but rather a Toadie? Sheís in another castle, theyíll matter-of-factly tell poor Mario.
And so Mario will quest on, racing the timer but taking time to find secrets. The Minus World; the warp shortcut in Level 1-2; the one in Level 4-2. Itís been ages, yet Iíll never forget them. Just as Iíll never forget the instantly recognizable hymns that play along in the background to Marioís adventure, their unforgettable melodies establishing memories with each simple note.
I donít know why I wrote what I originally did on Super Mario Bros. Itís easy to crap on an old game in an era where games seek higher meaning with all their audiovisual impressiveness. I guess this is just my way of trying to set the record straight for myself at the request of myself. Super Mario Bros. will live on regardless.
Community review by Fiddlesticks (August 10, 2013)
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