Today USA was finally introduced to the latest Super Mario Bros game. On such a day it makes one want to reflect on the seires, where it came from and look back over its great moments
Super Mario Bros 1, Special, Lost Levels,VS and All Night Nippon, Deluxe
The first game in the series and to this day it is still hailed as one of the greatest platformers of all time. The game concept was, save a princess from a giant angry fire breathing hammer tossing turtle by going through the worlds, each world has 4 levels, The first stage is usually the above ground normally a flat landscape. The second stage then usually is underground or underwater, the third stage is a dash for the castle and in the 4th stage you face off against bowser or one of his incarnations. You have a fire ball and invicibility stars to work with in this game along with your head stomp to beat enemies. Beware of poisonous mushrooms in 2.
Overall this was a good game, and the diversity of levels found in the various versions of the game were impressive. This game perfectly encompasses everything that makes a good platformer
Deluxe was a remix of the first 2 games for the game boy color. Sadly however they made some terrible choices with modifying jump physics that people who played the original game alot would find appalling and took wind out and luigi's unique set of moves in super mario bros 2, wind, and worlds 9-D.
Doki Doki Panic, Super Mario Bros 2, Super Mario Advance
Often commented on as a the black sheep of the Super Mario Series, this game was rereleased at one point as Super Mario USA, The story is very different from the other games because it is in fact built on an engine never intended to support a Mario game. I often wonder when I look at pirates games called Super Mario X (x = some random number) which are all basicly the original game with slight sprite changes if this is a pirates way of poking fun at nintendo. In this game mario has no powerup except mushrooms, he has hit points and he fights by throwing vegetables.
Super Mario Bros 3, Super Mario Advance 4
The reason for this wiki and arguably (though I've never heard a good argument to the contrary ;) ) the greatest plat-former ever made. This game featured an advanced map screen for its time, bonus games, 2 player bonus games, hidden secrets everywhere, and quite an extensive list of powerups for its day and age.
Where Super Mario Advance 4 came out, much like Super Mario Advance 3 added extras to super mario world 2 in the way of levels, nintendo made a way to add new content to super mario advance 4 using the e-reader cards. Sadly Nintendo got greedy and arguably careless and decided to abandon the e-reader peripheral around the time this game came out leaving little of the content to reach the US shores (2 switch cards and 12 level cards, and the feather card) It also appeared at one point that nintendo had a secret goal of including a super mario bros game based on the mario advance 4 engine in the game based on the fact that the saves allowed 4 up to 32 level cards to be saved (there were 32 levels in the first quest of super mario bros). Ultimately there was quite a bit of unique content in the way of switches, a boomerang item, and 25 levels which never made it to the US legitmately. Hopefully using the Virtual Console Nintendo will one day realize that people would in fact pay money for a game like Super Mario Advance 4 and that the levels, switches and extra items would be down-loadable content quite a few people would buy.
Super Mario Allstars
What could make the classic 8 bit collection of NES Super Mario Bros better? How about an enhanced version of the game with better graphics and music? Well thats exactly what Super Mario Allstars was when it was released. The gameplay was not altered the only change was the number of lives was uped in the first 2 games from 3 lives to 5 and you could save which world you were on (which level you were on in super mario bros the lost levels). Later it was even rereleased with super mario world dumped onto the cartridge (5 super mario bros games on one cartridge!) to sweated the deal.
Super Mario Bros 4: Super Mario World/Super Mario Advance 2
The flagship game for the Super Nintendo, Super Mario World is in fact the main reason I wanted an SNES as a child. This game still holds up in fun factor and is probably the longest, most complicated games to completley finish. Nintendo didn't even see a reason to add levels to this game when they rereleased it as Super Mario Advance 2: Super Mario World, instead they chose to water down the difficulty in some ways and adding the luigi as a character basing him on his lost levels counterpart with a super jump and poor control. What makes this game so fun though is there is just so much new content, new enemies, the ability to ride a dinosaur. Even thought the powerup system is a step back from super mario bros 3, the game makes up for it in so many ways. I'd say it is the best Super Mario Bros game, next to Super Mario Bros 3 of course.
The extreme popularity of this game resulted in a spin off series Super Mario World 2/Advance 3 : Yoshis' Island and yoshi's Island ds which took some elements from world and even doki doki panic. It even almost had a spin off on the CDI known as Super Mario's Wacki Worlds, the game also heavily inspired Mario is Missing, Tetris Attack and Yoshi's Touch and Go.
New Super Mario Bros
Originally intended only as a demo for the DS capabilities, New Super Mario Bros got more then a little positive feedback... in fact it was enough to turn this into one of the most anticpated DS at the time. New Super Mario Bros had a feel like classic Super Mario Bros, while moving forward in some ways. It borrowed heavily from Super Mario Bros 3 for the map screen, but added elements from super mario world such as secret paths, alternate exits. The flag system maintained the system used in the very first game! Sadly the multiplayer element never made it into the final product. Alot of people also complained the game was too short. That being said most of the levels were about as long as the levels in super mario bros 3. The biggest complaint I've heard though was the game was just too linear for people who were expecting the next Super Mario World.
New Super Mario Bros Wii
I have yet to play this game but I am psyched about it. From what I've read the koopalings are back, the game supports a co-op mode (the closest thing I've heard of to that in a platformer up to now was sonic and tails in sonic 2 and 3). The powerups look interesting, sadly the blue shell is gone, the raccoon leaf isn't back, nor is the tanuki or the hammer suit. The ice flower and penguin suits sound interesting. The propeller suit doesn't sound as good as the racoon leaf, tanuki suit or cape. The megamushroom from the last game is gone too but the mini mushroom remains. I can partially see why the mega mushroom is gone considering it's impact on the level but the blue shell? I'm confused as to why they took it out. The yoshi ridding finally returns! This looks the most awesome