Monday, 12 April 2010

Retro Monday- Super Mario Bros 3 (NES)

Let me paint a picture for you;, its mid 1991, a small boy of 10 years old with dreams of mashing Goomba's into next week is on the cusp of having a major tantrum hissy fit. I had saved up for MONTHS, I couldn't wait to get my hands on this monster of a game. Now normally I would only recieve a new title or 2 for my beloved NES on my birthday or Christmas, maybe swap games at school or rent them from my local videoshop. (£2 for the weekend.) But this game, this was different, it was years in the making a brand new SUPER MARIO game and it was going to be the best thing on the planet. It would be all this and more IF I could have got my hands on it...

Tell an anxious, excitable 11 year old that he's expecting his 'package' on a brilliant monday morning, now tell him that sunday evening that the catalogue mixed up the order and will have to wait until wednesday...AFTER SCHOOL!! F*$k that...
Talk about livid, i cried, I'm not ashamed to admit that. I was so devastated, gutted, I COULDN'T understand why this travesty had occured. My mum consoled me and guaranteed the drop for wednesday. Flash forward to that faithful afternoon, i tore out of school running home as fast as my legs could carry me. If me and charlie would've had a race to the chocolate factory I'd have blown him into next week (after knocking slugworth into the water.) I was home "MUM", "It's on the table" a reply came from upstairs, OH MY GOD in shiny cellophane in my hands IT WAS HERE !!! And so after months of torture what did i do? Did i crack it open and smell the pages of the brand new instructions, did I carefully place it into my NES pressing the power button to see it load up for the first time. NO, before doing all that other stuff I cried again... Yes i know but this WAS THE GAME, I was overjoyed by it all.

The reason I told you all that wiffling story is for one good reason. Super Mario Bros 3 is the best game of all time. Yep, I said it, no other game in my 29 years on this dustball has or will ever invoke those types of feelings in me again. Sure I've been excited about new games in the past and there are some crackers coming up this year but THAT feeling belongs to one title only. This is Retro Monday, and this is Super Mario Bros 3.

The game centers on the two plumbing brothers Mario and Luigi, and their efforts to cross the 8 colorful worlds of the Mushroom kingdom. The evil King Koopa AKA Bowser returns as the series protaganist, having turned the 7 rulers of the kingdom into helpless animals. The heroes must do battle in order to save them. It was built on the same structure of the previous Mario titles but the gameplay introduced brand new power-ups that augmented the characters abilities, and established new conventions that would carry over to ALL future Mario games.

Now we've all seen world maps on Mario titles, Super Mario World, Mario land RPG, New Super Mario Bros DS and Wii but Mario 3 was the first to introduce this classic interface. It also included mushroom houses (shops) on the map for the first time and the means to store an item in your inventory, for later use if you needed it.

Mario 3 also introduced new world's each themed differently (pipe, sand, water etc) which has followed suit with all the other titles. Now the biggest addition to this game were the 'suits' that one could aquire on the battlefield. Hit an oddly colored wooden block and out pops a brown leaf, BOOM Raccoon Mario. You want to fly err.. sure get that P meter flowing and take to the skies. Ahh I love it, I can still here the high pitch whistling of the meter rising up as you gain speed. Next up was the Frogsuit, an awesome idea that gave you total control under water as well as a better jump distance on land (other variations of this include the Penguin suit from NSMB Wii.) The 'Tanooki' suit which gave Mario or Luigi the chance to turn into an invincible statue and lastly the 'Hammer' suit, with the ability to throw hammers and become immune to fire attacks.
All these elements cemented Mario 3 in leaving a legacy for his subsequent titles. Overworld map, the gift of flight ( Mario 64, Mario Galaxy!) the simple action of sliding down a hill, the creation of the koopalings, the very missed Warp Whistle, the chain-chomp, the pirate ships and the music AAhhh the music. It's all here in this MONSTER of a game.

It's not just my favourite title, it received incredibly high praise and critically acclaimed reviews back in '91. By 1993 it had sold 11 million copies across the globe. In 2008 the Guinness Book Of World Records stated it was the best selling video game on the planet to be sold without a console - a total of 18 Million sold. The Wii's Virtual Console release in late 2007 has sold 1.5 Million to date. Facts and figures to prove IT IS the best.

So please if you haven't played it (really?!) go seek it out, beg, borrow, download or steal. Your life will never be the same, well probably the same but you will definately have enjoyed the experiance. Maybe, just maybe, it'll capture you with it's magic like it did with me nearly 19 years ago.

I love you Shigeru Miyamoto.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome game. Awesome final world & boss too.