Nintendo Wii Virtual Console Reviews: Super Mario Bros. Review

Super Mario Bros. was released in 1985 for the NES. It is actually a sequel to the lesser known (and not nearly as good) Mario Bros. While there were a lot of platformers on the NES back in the 1980s, this is the one that nearly everyone remembers. And, of course you can download it on your Wii, Nintendo would be crazy not to release it!

Story (3 out of 5)

The definitive story of the 1980s was one of kidnapped princess and the unlikely heroes who must rescue them. In this case the princess is Princess Toadstool (she’s not named Peach yet, thank God!) and the hero is Mario, a plumber. Unlikely hero indeed! Mario was also known to clear out New York’s monster infested sewers with the help of his brother (Mario Bros.) and kidnap great apes (Donkey Kong Jr.). The kidnapper, in this case, is King Koopa (before he was Bowser).

Mario has to traverse 8 worlds and storm 8 castles just to find the missing princess. Who knew Koopa had so much real estate?

Gameplay (4 out of 5)

This is pretty standard platformer fair (by now!). Mario must reach the end of each level on a time limit. In order to do this, he has to collect power ups in the form of mushrooms to make him bigger and flowers to give him fire power (why a flower?). He must also jump over obstacles and defeat a number of enemies by either jumping on them or shooting them with fire balls.

Each world is set up in a pretty standard 5 levels per world sort of way. Most worlds have an above ground level, a below ground level, a water level and an air level. Finally, Mario reaches the castle level and once he gets to the end he has to defeat King Koopa to save the princess (who is only in the last castle, sorry for the spoiler). There is no jumping on him though (those spikes probably hurt!). Instead he must shoot him with fire or make him fall into the lava.

Unlike later Mario games, Super Mario Bros. is not nearly as forgiving. If you get touched by an enemy even when you have fire power, you will revert back to little Mario, there is no in-between.

Graphics and Sound (3 out of 5)

The graphics are pretty standard for an NES game in 1985. Everything is a little pixilated, but not so badly that you can’t tell what it is. While they are nothing special, they do bring back memories of childhood.

Sound wise, Mario is pretty awesome. This might be nostalgia talking, but who doesn’t know the Super Mario Bros. music? If you hum it in a crowded room, I’m sure plenty of people would know exactly what you were singing. So, while being popular doesn’t make it good, it doesn’t hurt in this case.

Fun (4 out of 5)

While not as deep or layered at later Mario games (Super Mario World and Super Mario Bros. 3, for example), Super Mario Bros. still has it. It is really short though, and after you beat it once it will be on hard mode unless you delete the saved data manually. But this isn’t a bad thing. Just play it again and see if you can beat it the second time, without warping!

All in all, it is still a solid game, although a bit thinner than my childhood wanted it to be.

Overall (4 out of 5)

You really can’t go wrong with Super Mario Bros. I’ve played it more times than I can remember and I’ll play it a lot more. It’s a classic and rightly so. If you don’t own a copy of it, get your 500 Wii points ready!