Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES) Review

By Adam Riley 01.03.2006

Review for Super Mario Bros. 3 on NES

There are many legendary games on the market, but the Super Mario series is one that springs to the minds of most seasoned gamers. Nintendo has relied on the Italian plumber a lot over the years, but Super Mario Bros 3 remains one of the most outstanding examples of the two-dimensional platform genre. How does it hold up to today's standards, though?

As usual the evil, nefarious Bowser has kidnapped the hapless Princess Toadstool, patron of the Mushroom Kingdom and is holding her hostage in his dark domain. Therefore, it is up to the heroic Mario (and Luigi in two-player mode) to save the day and defeat the big brute once more. Can the team overcome all obstacles and save the day, or will the King of the Koopa clan be victorious?

The Mario series progressed extremely rapidly over the lifespan of the Nintendo Entertainment System. Whilst the original Super Mario was clean-cut, smart and head-and-shoulders above the rest of the first generation NES pack, it hardly holds a candle to the later releases on the 8-bit platform. Super Mario Bros 2 USA notched up the standard slightly, but the final Mario blew the socks off anything else on the Sega Master System's competitor. With larger sprites, brighter, more varied colours and barely any slow-down, Nintendo had managed to craft a title that pushed the NES beyond the limits many thought it could reach.

Screenshot for Super Mario Bros. 3 on NES

You start of running from left-to-right, but this time you could go to the left and retrace your steps on the current level you are playing. This proves to be very helpful when compared to the restrictive original SMB as if you slide past a vital '?' item block, you can simply about-turn and nab whatever it is you require. Running is activated by holding down 'B' and to jump is a simple tap of 'A'. If you run for long enough a meter fills up and you can jump much higher than before for a short time. Around each level you must face enemies such as Goombas (small, slow walking mushrooms with eyes), Koopa Troopas (turtles that hide in their shell when first hit, then can be kicked away) or Cheep-Cheeps (flying fish).

Mixed into the normal play levels, are little bonus stages where you must stop images, matching three-of-a-kind if possible to reap a reward. The same idea is brought in at the end of each stage where you must jump at a box with flashing images on it. Get three of the same image on three stages in a row and you get extra lives. Then there are free item shops, which prove a nice extra, especially when you reach the boss stages as you will need all the ammunition you can get! Clever, tough, interesting, engaging, and many other positive descriptive words can be used to talk about Super Mario Bros 3.

Screenshot for Super Mario Bros. 3 on NES

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 10 out of 10

Masterpiece - Platinum Award

Rated 10 out of 10

Super Mario Bros 3 is still considered by many people to be the peak of the Mario series, ever superseding Super Mario World and 64, and in all honesty it stands shoulder-to-shoulder with those newer generation titles with ease. If any game has stood the test of time, it has to be this Nintendo classic. Buy it now, in any form you can find it...






2D Platformer



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  10/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (22 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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