Posted by: seanmalstrom | August 21, 2014

Email: Super Mario Brothers 3 in 2014

Hey Malstrom,

One of my friends decided a Mario 3 full playthrough (no P-Wings, no Whistles, no Clouds, beat every level, fight ever Hammer Bro) was in order and a few of us decided to join him with our own playthroughs.

I owned all three NES Mario games when I was a kid, but they were way too hard for 4 year old me. With Mario 3, I’d get a few levels into World 3 if I was lucky and that was it. I want to say that I did know about at least one of the Warp Whistles but I don’t remember how many of them. Anyways, I didn’t end up having a lot of nostalgia for these games (that went to Mario World and DKC later on which were closer to my skill level), barely ever replayed them, so this might as well be a brand new playthrough.

I played it over the course of a night, beating the game and every level on the Wii VC with sideways Wiimote. I had an awesome time with it.  I noticed that the levels were a lot shorter than modern platformers, but more jam-packed with obstacles and enemies. If you could’ve recorded my internal dialogue while playing, it would’ve been a long list of expletives because of how many close calls and near-deaths I slipped out of. Many moments of “you’ve gotta be f***’ed” and “ohgodohgodohgodohgod” while trying not to die near the end of the level or against a boss as small Mario. Felt like a badass when I finally beat it. I kept dying to the bottom floor Bowser but for some reason I first-shot’ed the top floor Bowser that had the smaller hole in the floor.

There were a few things I didn’t like. I like moving at a fast pace in platformers, so the Tanooki Suit and Raccoon Tail felt like it was artificially limiting my movement because I don’t want to fly into the air and not see where I’m gonna land. Most of the game is a steady difficulty progression, but World 3 felt like huge difficulty spike, I nearly game over’ed on it whereas the rest of the worlds were a steady pace. I finally did Game Over on World 8 and hated having to replay levels I’d beaten previously (hardware limitations I don’t miss). I felt the controls were a touch slippery compared to modern Mario (could’ve been the emulation) but nothing I didn’t adjust to after a few hours.

Also for those specific game limitations, I lost a Hammer Bros suit without ever trying it because I didn’t know the map items overwrote each other, and ended up with a lot of useless P-Wings and Clouds near the end when I could’ve used something else instead. Oh well, something to remember for next time

All in all, game holds up amazingly well, two sore thumbs way up


SMB 3 deserves to be played on the original hardware. Out of every video I’ve ever played, the game that benefits the most from original hardware is SMB 3. That is for consoles. Arcade games obviously play best on the actual arcade cabinets. But owning actual arcade cabinets still isn’t much of an option for people.

I don’t think World 3 is too hard but World 4 is too easy. Giant World is just too much fun. I love that stage in World 3 where the Big Bertha jumps and eats you up whole. Damn. All the worlds are interesting. Can’t fault anything. World 7, Pipe World, always seems to me to be the most mysterious.

I always imagine World 8 to be just two stages (which are completely dead and lifeless indicating Bowser’s parasitical presence) with the stages being Bowser’s Army, Bowser’s Navy, Bowser’s Special Forces, Bowser’s Air Force. The air force is definitely the fastest moving stage I’ve ever seen. It is quite a challenge to beat it as little Mario!

I can’t remember the last time I got a Game Over in Super Mario Brothers 3. It must have been in 1991.

My problem with playing NES games on NES hardware is that I am too good. I feel zen-like with the original hardware. I keep beating the games too fast! I keep thinking NES games are easy because of my arcade experience. Arcade games ported to consoles were made easier intentionally such as Gyruss. Rygar is certainly different on the NES than the arcade as is Contra. Contra is still challenging but never feels cheap somehow.

One awesome thing in SMB 3 is the multiplayer. I’ve spent all day just doing battle mode hahahaha.



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