Super Mario Bros. 3
Sequels upon sequels upon sequels in games are very common and usually the sequels will improve upon its predecessors. Be that as it may, the core principles of the games remain nearly identical. Sports games get new titles every year and with a few changes along the way. It’s basically just tweaked graphics and an updated roster. Maybe some changes in the user interface as well, but that’s about it. FPS (especially from older generation consoles) for the most part were also prone to this. Even this franchise is probably the most guilty of them all and I’m not going to hide from that fact. I mean how many times can Princess Toadstool get kidnapped? But it works…
So most of us have already heard of these brothers named Mario and Luigi… Right? Of course you have. Princess Toadstool gets kidnapped by Bowser again and they gotta go rescue her… again. We get all that. But the way in which we are challenged, amazed, stupefied, and basically dared to do so is nothing short of gaming history. One of the most beautiful and genius concepts I loved about Super Mario Bros. 3 is that the levels would change so drastically in accordance to its theme. I still remember Giant World (World 4) being such a “trip” and later on wondered if this was Shigeru Miyamoto’s nod to Alice in Wonderland (one of my all-time favorite books.) I also was very annoyed by Water World (Level 3) and Ice World (Level 6.)
But here are some things that make the game freaking EPIC:
You now had an INVENTORY! You could store items and power-ups for later use for any level or enemy you needed it for and it could hold A LOT OF STUFF.
Then there were all those suits and power-ups. Already by this time, Mario and Luigi were so passed the Invincibility Star, Mushroom, and Fire Flower. Don’t get me wrong, they were in this game and certainly served their purpose but being able to fly (even by way of raccoon ears and a tail which makes absolutely no sense) was amazing. The sky was no longer the limit anymore. Literally. Then there was the Frog Suit, which helped you swim effortlessly and was only available in World 3, but we all hoarded that thing and challenged our skills by wearing that thing on an airship when we had to face one of Bowser’s seven annoying children. Then there was the Hammer Brother Suit, the Tanooki Suit, which was basically raccoon pajamas that enabled you to fly and momentarily turn into a statue so that enemies couldn’t harm you, and more.
And who can forget The Warp Whistles? There were only three but rumors dominated my Nintendo Power issues for months speculating and hinting that there could be more. This was all before the Internet, of course. But there were only three. Another unique feature about this game was that it was featured in what was likely the most blatant (and probably most expensive for it’s time) video game advertising. And it was all from this movie called “The Wizard.”
So dust off your old NES console and pop in this bad boy because immediately you’ll experience a symphony to the senses when all the memories of this amazing game come flooding back.