Ah, Super Mario Bros 3! We’ve always claimed classic games are unaffected by the passing of time and the development of technology. It’s like the film Jaws – timeless despite modern CGI effects. It’s the same with games, and Super Mario Bros. 3 one heck of an example.
It’s an 8 bit NES game released in 1988 in Nippon (1991 in Europe) which is just so gosh darned lovely and brilliant to play. It simply makes one happy sitting here thinking about it. There’s so much to enthuse about, such as how Mario can slide down a hill on his arse straight into a bunch of enemies. Wonderbar! Then Mario, the crazed maniac, can FLY when he gets a feather power up.
Super Mario Bros 3
Our editor Mr. Wapojif has a long history with the Mario series. As a wee kid of around 5, sitting captivated by this bizarre thing, he found himself guiding Mario through incredibly imaginative levels with seemingly endless hidden items to find and areas to explore.
That was Super Mario Bros, the first game, which came packaged with the equally legendary Duck Hunt (where, rather cold-bloodedly, you shot ducks with a fake gun).
Super Mario Bros Bros. 2 built on the formula in a bizarre way, but Super Mario Bros. 3 really did away with linear gameplay as it felt like you could do anything. The power! Even people who don’t play video games will no doubt know of the game.
You won’t be aware of its lasting impact on the industry, though, as to this day it remains a shining beacon of excellence.
Perfecting the Platformer
The game built on its predecessors in every way imaginable. It’s bigger, better, and more engaging – it’s the perfect NES game, frankly. An enormous title that defied the odds to present NES players with a game the likes of which no one had seen before.
And it totally holds up to this day. There’s something remarkably fresh about the experience – the genius level design, with features like butt sliding into some Goombas – draws you in every time.
But the challenge is impressive, too. Although the opening worlds – with eight in total – are accessible for everyone, by the time you get to World 8 then things really start getting tough. But! Prior to all that, everyone had fun with the new gameplay features, with the liberating option enabling Mario to fly upwards and discover all new areas.
It’s little surprise that Super Mario Bros. 3 has received various remakes and HD upgrades over the years. On the SNES it found its home in Super Mario All Stars. Since then, it’s also made its way to the Wii and Wii U virtual consoles.
But the game is also the centrepiece for Nintendo’s wildly successful NES Classic Mini. Not only that, but with the launch of Nintendo’s online service for the Nintendo Switch, the NES games offered of course featured Super Mario Bros. 3.
The title is just ubiquitous with perfection. Some even argue it’s the best Super Mario game of them all. We don’t quite agree with that, but it’s almost certainly the best game on the Nintendo Entertainment System. The culmination of Nintendo’s growing confidence in its abilities to make world-beating games, spearheaded by creative genius Shigeru Miyamoto.
Speedruns & Level Creation
Super Mario Maker keeps the NES dream alive with the new ability for fans to create Super Mario Bros. 3 levels. We’re hoping the title makes it to the Nintendo Switch, as currently its place on the Wii U restricts it to fewer people.
But there’s also an active speed running community for the game. If you thought you were good at this game, well speed runners have suitably demolished it down to a level where it’s possible to complete the thing in mere minutes.
We did a whole thing on gaming speedruns a while back to explain the process. Gamers really demolish a chosen title down to its basic code level, breaking the game in the process.
It’s actually quite a beautiful thing to behold. And the Super Mario Bros. 3 speedrunning community is one of the most competitive and brilliant of the lot. Quite fitting for a game of this magnitude.