Customer Reviews: Super Mario Bros. 3
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on May 9, 2003
Super Mario Bros 2 is my favorite game of the series and the original SMB is a legend. So where does this leave Super Mario Bros 3? This was the last Super Mario game on the old NES and while I might like some of the other games more, this might be the class of the series on the NES. With the strange direction that SMB2 went, this was a trip back to the roots of Mario. This is a true side scrolling game and features many of the same enemies from the original. You still jump, stomp and throw fire to make your way through the game. But there are new features now. First, there is now a world map and you can select which level you want to enter next. Some levels are avoidable, some are not, but you can also do special areas (several mini-games and an area where you get bonus items). You are able to get items throughout the game, and you can use them before levels to be stronger. There are also several different suits that augment your abilities. The most common is the Racoon suit which allows you to kill the enemies by flicking your tail at them, and also giving you the ability to fly for short periods of time. There is also a frog suit (allowing swimming to be easier), a Tanooki suit (much like the raccoon suit, but you can briefly turn to stone to avoid enemies...rare), and I believe there is a Hammer Brothers Suit (but I could be wrong about this memory is a little hazy). This is one of the best games released for the NES and is essential gaming for a Mario fan.
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on October 30, 2001
Super Mario Bros. 3 is the third game in Nintendo's long-running Super Mario series. It was released back in 1990, during the prime of the NES. It was a game that proved that "hi-fi" technology (like the Sega Genesis) wasn't needed to make a game great. Shigeru Miyamoto managed to utilise every inch of the NES hardware to produce what is probably the best-selling video game cartridge of all time. So enchanting and addictive is Super Mario Bros. 3, that in EGM magazine's 100th issue four years ago, it was chosen as the second best video game of all time!
After failing to conquer the Mushroom Kingdom, Bowser has started creating turmoil in the Mushroom World. He has used a flying ship to travel through the seven lands of the world and transform the ruler of each land into an animal by means of a magic wand. So Mario & Luigi have not only to travel to the Dark Land where Bowser lurks, but also to transform the kings back to normal. For the first time ever, the game makes use of a "land map" in which levels are spread out, so that it's easier to follow the progress you make. Each land has it's own unique map complete with action scenes, bonus games which help you by providing items for the road and a fortress at the end. In each fortress reside each of the Koopa kids with the magic wands. Although this was the biggest Mario adventure till Super Mario World was released a year later, it's not necessary to complete each and every level. If you manage to find an elusive flute, you can warp between each land. But only three lands per flute, otherwise it would become cheap.
The visuals were splendid for its day. I only find fault with the underground areas, because they can get a bit tedious and monotonous. The music is memorable. Each land has its own unique theme which beautifully suits the type of land. For example, Desert Land has a trudgy sort of beat, whereas Ice Land has a soothing tune. There's even a "funky" version of the original underground theme. This game has power-ups galore! The mushrooms and fireflower are back along with a leaf power-up (which let's you fly) and special suits. These suits come in very handy during some levels. For example, the frog suit allows better underwater maneuvering (but is clumsy on dry land) and the cute "tanooki" suit enables Mario to turn into a statue for a short time. There are a few more surprises too! Add to this the ability to keep and use items in stock (upto twenty eight, I think!) and you have all you could possibly ask for in that area.
As for the gameplay, what can I say? It's perfect! Mario controls very smoothly, but not too much as to ruin it. Flying is performed by equipping the leaf and running till the bar at the bottom fills up. When it is full a whistle will sound, signifying that its time to take off! This game was meant to be completed in one sitting, so it lacks a save feauture. The game would have been less exciting if it was present. Challenge-wise it offers just the right amount of challenge without making it tough as nails or cheap. Enjoy Dark Land!
For those of you who didn't comprehend what I said above, here is the bottom line: If you still have an NES collecting dust, definitely buy this game. You couldn't possibly regret it. If you have a SNES, then you can enjoy the Super Mario All-Stars version of this game, which has better graphics and sound and a save feature! I prefer Super Mario World to this because it's much more eye-candy, has better sound effects, has a save feature and Yoshi, but that's only a personal opinion. This is my second favourite NES game, (the first being The Legend of Zelda).
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on October 3, 2007
SUPER MARIO BROTHERS 3, one of the most famous games Nintendo has ever produced, came out toward in the middle of the NES console's life cycle, and brought renewed life to the aging console. Like the original Super Mario Brothers, SMB3 became one of the biggest selling games ever. SMB3 also brought a lot of new innovations to the Mario series, many of which can still be found today. SMB3 regularly charts both player and critic polls as being among the best video games ever released.

Released [in at the end of 1988] October 3, 1988 in Japan, SMB3 became one the Famicon's biggest sellers. America had to wait for over a year from when Japan got it. Originally released in some Nintendo arcade machines before it even hit stores, the buzz soon spread about the game. This buzz was helped by the ninety minute commercial known as THE WIZARD (some people insist that it is a movie proper, but it's little more than a Nintendo advertisement) in which the climax of the movie - er, commercial - is the unveiling of SMB3, as well as revealing the secret location to the one of the warp whistles. America finally got its hands on the game in released February 12, 1990.

The game went on to sell approx. eighteen million copies, and when you include the reissues and rereleases with SUPER MARIO ALL STARS and SUPER MARIO ADVANCED, this figure swells to over thirty three million copies. And what makes SMB3 such a successful, highly regarded title? Read on.

For the second* officially released sequel to the biggest selling game of all time, Nintendo didn't pull any stops when it came to crafting this game. Returning to the familiar environments and gameplay of the original title, rather than the radical reinvention of SUPER MARIO BROTHERS 2, Nintendo greatly widened Mario's moves and gamestyle. The Fire-flower and starman return. Nintendo introduces Mario's famous raccoon suit, which enables Mario to fly briefly, and greatly opens up what is possible in level design. New suits and powerups also include the Tanooki suit, which enables Mario to become a stone statue, a Frog suit for swimming, and Hammer Brothers suit, which enables Mario to shoot hammers.

One of the biggest innovations was the inclusion of an overall game map, where Mario would move between levels. Nintendo also used the concept (in a much different setting with a much different effect) in ZELDA II: THE ADVENTURE OF LINK, though in that title the overworld was much more important and you had a lot more freedom. Here, the map served as a level grid in which to progress through the eight worlds. SMB3 returns to the eight world format of the original game, rather than the seven world format of SMB2.

The level design itself is where SMB3 truly shines. First off, Nintendo returned to the original game for its basic game mechanics but [induing] ensuring Mario has a whole new bag of tricks to beat the nasty Bowser and his koopa kids. While staying true to the overall atmosphere and play of the original title, Nintendo, over the course of eight worlds, features platforming levels that ingeniously use the game's new suits and powerups to fully integrate the player into the game's world. Each of the eight levels is themed. The first world is grass lands. The second world is desert (much like the second and sixth world in SMB2). The third is the water levels. Where the castle is on the overworld map for World 3 is roughly a map of Japan and Tokyo. The fourth world is the land of giants. The fifth is the Skylands. The sixth is frozen tundra, all ice. The seventh is Pipeland, and the eight is Bowser's world, featuring lava, tricky airships, and challenging levels.

SMB3 also introduces the seven children of King Kooper (whose the mother???), each of which rule one of the worlds and which at the end of each world you must fight in an airship. Other innovations include minigames, new enemies (many of which would feature prominently in later titles), and the aforementioned suits.

A good portion of NES games are notorious for being extremely difficult. Some titles are damn near impossible (BATTLE TOADS, NINJA GAIDEN III), and others are filled with cheap shots and just unforgiving, unreasonable difficulty (the original MEGA MAN). In fact, the original sequel to SUPER MARIO BROTHERS (known everywhere but Japan as THE LOST LEVELS) went unreleased in its original format stateside or in Europe for twenty one years due to difficulty and too similar to the original game. We only just now got the title via the Virtual Console on the Wii.

Fortunately, SMB3 has a very intuitive difficulty level. As each world progresses, so does the difficulty of the levels, which culminates in the last world of Bowser, which does have some hard patches. Overall, however, SMB3 has a medium range of difficulty, and while there are some tricky parts here and there, the game is not really that difficult and most players will be able to beat it given enough time. Not giving too much away, SMB3 also jokingly refers to the original title after you beat Bowser, with the first words out of Princess Toadstool's mouth is "Thank you Mario, but our princess is in another castle . . . just kidding." Strangely enough, they cut this joke in the SUPER MARIO ADVANCED reissue.

Overall, SMB3 stands as one of the gaming industry's most outstanding achievements, and is one of the corner stones of the Mario Series. As much as I love SUPER MARIO BROTHERS 2, SMB3 really felt like the true sequel to the original game, and Mario went out with a blaze of glory on the original NES with this title. One of the greatest games ever.

*Though this is the second sequel to be released and that the general public knew about, this was actually the fourth officially licensed sequel to SUPER MARIO BROTHERS. The first, developed by Hudson Soft with Nintendo's permission, was a game called SUPER MARIO BROTHERS SPECIAL, which appeared on the obscure NEC PC-8801 in Japan only. This is the truly forgotten Mario game, the real lost levels if you will. Due to technical limitations, it does not scroll and the hit detection is rather off. Nintendo had nothing to do with its development. The second sequel is SUPER MARIO BROTHERS 2, released in 1986. This title was released only in Japan. The game was just like SUPER MARIO BROTHERS, but much harder. Howard Lincoln of HOWARD AND NESTOR fame (anyone who had Nintendo Power back in the 1980s knows what I am talking about) hated the title, so they took a Japanese game called Doki Doki Panic, changed some sprites, and in 1988 released the American version of SUPER MARIO BROTHERS 2.

[This was written separate from the review back in May 2012 about the Mario games' development history. Notably, Miyamoto said that "Super Mario World" began development with a team of sixteen people, and took about three years to make. As "Super Mario World" came out in November 1990, that means Nintendo began production on this game sometime in 1987 - the same year they were working on "Super Mario Bros. 3". On a game forum someone asked why Nintendo did not release "Super Mario Bros. 3" on the SNES, instead of the NES, and was complaining they should have released the game on the more powerful system. This was my answer:]

Let's look at some Mario history, shall we? SMB3 came out in Japan in October 1988. That means it was completed, finished, and ready to be published by that point in time.

If you look at the Japanese publication dates, SMB came out in 1985, Lost Levels came out in 1986, Doki Doki Panic came out in 1987, and SMB3 came out in late 1988. Given the fact the game was finished and released by 1988 I would hardly call that "late in the NES hardware cycle". Actually, the NES had only been out three years when SMB3 hit Japan, although the Famicom came out in late 1983. However all the heavy hitters for the Famicom came out in 1985 and beyond.

Essentially all Nintendo had to do at this point was release it on cart; the code was written and completed. If have a sequel to the biggest game for your console, and the sequel SMB2 is also a massive hit - why wouldn't they release SMB3 which was already completed and published in Japan? They had a massive financial interest in getting this game out.

There are very few differences between the Japanese SMB3 and the western SMB3 (namely if Mario gets hit with a powerup he goes to little Mario rather than Super Mario, ala Mario with a mushroom). There's nothing like the major differences between the Japanese and the Western versions of Zelda II The Adventure of Link.

All four 8-bit NES titles were completed in a three year period, 1985-1988 (and were published in Japan as well, though SMB2, there called SMB USA, came out in 1992).

I've read SMB3 took about two to three years to program, meaning Nintendo began work on it possibly by late 1985 (though that does sound entirely too early) but definitely by early 1987 and possibly even late 1986 given it was released in October 1988 and both Doki Doki and Lost Levels would have been finished (in the case of Doki Doki, it would have been closed to being completed if not already completed).

In comparison today, that would be like saying Nintendo should not have released "New Super Mario Bros. Wii" back in 2009 (three years into the Wii lifecycle) because obviously the Wii U is coming up and they should save it for a new system. The timeframe is the same. And according to your logic, for this generation we definitely SHOULD NOT have gotten Skyward Sword for the Wii, despite the fact it has had a five year development timeframe was began shortly after Twilight Princess came out..

I do find it strange that they had problems with Yoshi (which for the record Miyamoto has said he wanted to put in the original 1985 SMB). After all, Hudson's Adventure Island series, the same company responsible for the abomination that is Super Mario Bros. Special, the first ever sequel to the Mario franchise, were able to get ridable dinasaurs, and the 1993 Capcom title Little Nemo Dream Master had ridable creatures too.Then again, Adventure Island II came out in April 1991, two and a half years after SMB3.

Basically, I said all that to say you should research your Mario history more. When Nintendo began development on SMB3 (late 1986/early 1987) the Super NES was nowhere on the horizon, at least not publically. Even in late 1988 when the game was published, we were still over two years away from the Super Famicom which came out in Japan in November of 1990.

So that's why they didn't develop it for the Super Famicom.
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on January 29, 2012
They don't make them this good anymore. I'm only 14, so I wasn't alive when this came out. When I bought this, I couldn't be more happy! Such an innovative Mario game. Easy at first, but almost impossible in world 8. Fast paced and fun, with many fun and interesting themes. Seriously; desert world, giant world, it's amazing! This game makes history and couldn't ever be better. A must have for Nintendo fans! Superb! I wish I could giver this a higher rating. This is, by far, the best game in the history of video games.


Edit like 4 years later - okay, there are definitely better games, but this is still a classic. Now that I look back at this review, these elements can be found in superior titles. For example, one can see the varied level design and game play in games like Battletoads, which came out a few years later. That being said, this game was quite a trendsetter.
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VINE VOICEon April 14, 2012
Princess Peach has been kidnapped yet again by the evil Bowser in a flying doom ship as he has his seven Kooplings all across 8 lands in the Mushroom kingdom as they spread terror and chaos, turning kings into animals and seeking control of the lands. Mario and his brother Luigi must as always has to save the day.

In 1988 in Japan, Nintendo has created a highly acclaimed sequel to the legendary "Super Mario Brothers" and was one of the biggest selling games in Japan ever. In 1989 when they announced that SM 3 will be coming to the US/Canada in 1990, gamers were excited including myself after reading about it in Nintendo power and i was anticipating for this game as i loved the first 2 despite part 2 not actually being a REAL Mario game as any Mario fan would know, during that year in December of 1989 many kids of the 80s including me when i was 8 saw The Wizard in theaters which was produced by Nintendo and at the climax of that filmed showed the awesome sneak preview footage of this game during the challenge which had every kid drooling for the game. On Feburary of 1990 after 2 months of anticipation the game finally came and it delivered. I remembered getting this for my 9th birthday back in June that year and i was playing it nearly all summer for it became my fave NES game ever and even had the merchandise to eating the food products and watching the toon.

After "Super Mario Brothers 2" which was great but very different from the first game since SMB 2 was the REAL SMB 2 but actually just another game with Mario characters, SMB 3 returned to the classic formula and with new improvements so far. Not only did this game became a best-seller since then but also a game that defined childhoods including mine! this game offered new stuff like power-ups, new moves, new features and 8 rich worlds with many levels to explore. It pushed the limits of 8-bit games at the time as it boosted enough chips to power it, it even introduced the map system with mini-games thrown in. In this game you get a new thing called silly suits ranging from a Raccoon which when you touch the magic leaf you turn into a half raccoon person and can fly which has became famous since then to the Hammer Brothers suit which you can throw hammers at enemies to even hide in the shell.

The graphics and sound are very good but the All-Stars remake and Gameboy Advanced versions are even better despite this game does have it's charms with the chunky pixel 8-bit look and the controls are excellent as well. Despite there is no saving feature, this game is an addictive and masterful game that has stood the test of time and still a beloved game to this day that can still be enjoyed.
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on March 18, 2006
Give me this game over any of todays fancy high tech next gen games. you See, im an old school gamer, even though i have an X-box. The greatest days of my life were spend playing games like this, you see, this was back when games were FUN, and not about fancy ass graphics or realistic sequences. Realisticnes is dumb for a video games! If i want to play basketball, I go out side.If i want to go to war, ill join the army, if I want to jump on turtles, eat mushrooms to get big, run around in a tanookie suit or shoot fire balls, then Ill play videogames.Video games used to be about the fun, now its about realism.Ol school mario 4 life.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon September 1, 2015
░░░░░BEST OF THE NES░░░░░

This is THE game for the Nintendo Entertainment System.

Introduced to us via the torture of The Wizard movie that we all sat through just to get an early glimpse of Super Mario 3, this game changed everything. I mean EVERYTHING.

How could this be played on the same system that gave us pure block renderings of Mario in the original Super Mario Bros.? Those graphics made Minecraft look like the Holodeck on Star Trek. Yet on the same platform, Super Mario 3 comes along and does things that were just incomprehensible.

Mario can fly? Whaaaaaat?
Mario can wear a frog suit and swim? Shut your face!
Mario can get into a big green sock and bounce around? Stop it with this awesomeness! I can't take it!
Mario can throw hammers?!!? ARE YOU KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW?!?!!?

This was the best game ever produced when it came out. Nearly 3 decades later, guess's still the best game ever made. I mean Fallout 3 gave it a run for it's money, but your PipBoy can't make you fly by turning you into a raccoon. Not that raccoons can fly, but that's the magic of Super Mario 3. It's so awesome it doesn't have to make any sense!!!!

Oh, and now you can get it to play as an emulated game on your smartphone. Is that too much awesomeness for you to handle? Well wait until you realize that as an emulated game you can save your progress and pick up where you left off later without having to just hit pause and hope there isn't a power outage while you are at school. This is why smartphones were made people. This reason, right here.
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on October 24, 2008
This game is always going to be a classic. I still play it like I did when I was younger, and it's still fun to this day. Great game all in all.
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on July 25, 2015
I was so excited to purchase this and play it. It was my favorite game when I was a kid and it brought back some great memories. The product works great and is in great condition. It's packed with hours of fun and entertainment, old school style. They just don't make games like this anymore.
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on March 4, 2012
I am sooooo glad my parents kept there NES. This game is so good. I spend hours playing it. The games of my generation suck. This is a real video game. Unlike Call of Duty.
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