Nintendo Reviews Rating:
Age 6+
Posted: August 4th, 2004
Another much anticipated classic returns to the Game Boy Advance. Super
Mario Bros. 3 was hailed as the best NES Mario game, but is it the best Mario
Advance game?
Sound

I expected some minor updates to the music, but I didn't feel as if there was much updates compared to Super Mario
Advance 2 (Super Mario World). It's still nice to hear the old music again, and it sounds great with headphones. I like the
extra new music added, but not as much or as good as Super Mario World. At least the music for the original Mario Bros.
arcade game is updated. That makes the arcade feel a little better than previously. The Mario voices are used from Super
Mario World, so there's not much new there. The voices are just as good as any when it comes to adding more variety.
The quality of sound is great. Appropriate sounds even echo when in tunnels, and so does Mario's voice. I do think that
some things sound obnoxious due to the fact that some sounds are loud. I also feel that the changes make the sounds, for
the most part, more tolerable than before. That makes the sound of this game score pretty decent overall.
Control

The control style is a little different than what I am used to. I mean it's not that different from Super Mario World, but
there are some changes, and most are not so good. Because this was made before Super Mario World was (back in 1980's I
mean), the game has some upsets when it comes to camera. You can't use L to look ahead. This feature made Super
Mario world much easier. The Game Boy Advance's 'wide screen' (no pun intended) usually makes up for that. The game
feels much more slippery than before. I feel like Mario is sliding too much, and this is due to the P symbol in the bottom
left corner of the screen. This acts like a running meter, so running and jumping have to be near perfect. It's not as hard
as you might think, but the physics don't always seem correct.
Super Mario World featured two characters. Well, you can still play as Luigi, but unlike Super Mario World, Luigi isn't
any different than Mario other than the color, voice and the flutter jump. Don't get confused-when I say flutter jump, it's
only for display, really. The flutter jump doesn't hold Luigi in the air any longer than Mario can without fluttering. This
would have been much cooler.
There are some neat features, like the rumble with Game Boy Player. Playing on a GCN controller isn't that easy, though.
Most people will want to stick to their GBA, unless they want to hide their GCN, and show their friends the original Super
Mario Bros. 3. I guess that wouldn't work, because the friend would still notice the GCN controller, and the new graphics.
Oh, and the new graphics doesn't hurt the control. Mario Bros. arcade controls just the same as other Mario Advance
games, but the control on that is better than the main game of Super Mario Bros. 3. So as you can tell, I'm a little
disappointed with the control, but fans of the original won't find any problems.
Graphics

The graphics are excellent, just like Super Mario World, but these are even better
than the original game! The graphics are very clear, and everything seems to be so
dazzling on the GBA! Details are outlined, and the developers really haven't missed
a thing! If there's one disappointment, it's that it's not as good as Super Mario
World, simply because these look a little more cartoonish. I didn't really notice
that much when I played, and undoubtedly think that if this was an NES game, it
would be the best looking out there. The original doesn't look this good, but that's
just another incentive to buy this. Super Mario All Stars had similar graphics, but I
still think the graphics are a little improved even from that SNES version. The
'wide screen' makes them look even better. You cannot go wrong here!
Replay

The replay value is staggering, but maybe not as much so as in Super Mario World. There is no second character, so levels
are only played by Mario. If you want to alternate between a friend, you best choose Mario and Luigi. You can only play
one level at a time, and one world at a time. This means you cannot go back to other worlds until you beat the game. This
can get rather frustrating when you are stuck at a level with no power ups. This means that you cannot go back and get
more. You could be stuck for a long time.
There are around 90 levels, but there really is no incentive to play them again. There are no dragon coins or secret exits.
Consider that you cannot play them until you beat the game. That will make somebody feel bad about playing beforehand.
Seriously, getting stuck on a level is hard, but without power ups, it's harder. This is part of the difficulty, and now you
cannot save and continue; this feature in Super Mario World, meant you could just reset the game if you died with a good
power up. I think this way is more fair, but also making the difficulty harder.
Now here's the good stuff. There's multiplayer with up to four friends, and if they have other Mario Advance games
(chances are that they do), you can not only battle, but also play the classic mode where you cooperate to beat levels.
There's also Game Boy Player rumble compatibility. This really adds an extra 'next-generation' feel to the game. Just like
GCN games, they programmed lots of things that would make the controller rumble, and that's really neat. There's also a
replay mode. That's right, you can save a replay of the level you just played. This is a very cool feature that allows
playback of your best (or worst) runs. You can only save two per file, but it's better than none. Playback of saved replays
also includes rumble support on the Game Boy Player.
The best part of the game is e-reader support. It allows you to transfer a power-up, demo movie or even a brand new level.
The power-up are pretty lame, unless you need one, and want to take the time to use it. The demo movies are like replays,
but they are replays that may show a fast time of a level, or even reveal to you a secret. The level cards, though, are
simply astounding. They pack the entire level inside the card, and it is then permanently onto a separate file for level
cards. This separate file allows for up to 40 new levels to be saved and played. The best part is the fact that there are four
super coins! These act like dragon coins and really add to the replay. There are not many who will have access to an
e-reader, another GBA, or who can get their hands on these level cards, but it can provide future levels, and if Nintendo
ever releases any more, it could just go on and we could have new levels all the time. That would make replay near
endless. However, like I said, most won't have access to it, so the score is not perfect, but this game will last a while with
the already 90+ levels in the main game, not to mention the arcade.
Design

The design is great, but not quite excellent. This is a true Mario classic, and is overall a great game. There are plenty of
enemies, some new ones (This is Boo's first appearance), and some old ones, but always blended together well to create a
mix of difficulty in the levels. Every platform, enemy, and item are placed with thought and are sometimes creative. You'll
find yourself wondering if there are any secret places, and then stumble upon a warp pipe that actually leads somewhere.
The levels are as varied as Super Mario World, with some interesting ones, like one with all orange pipes. There are eight
worlds, that range in type, usually be elements, like desert, ice, water, etc. There's even a world where you can be small,
or big (later re-adapted in Super Mario 64). The inspiration this game has aroused in developers is big.
Now when I say this game is not quite excellent is because it's not a humongous breakthrough. Super Mario Bros. was a
breakthrough. The third is still second best to that; much better than Super Mario Bros. 2. The GBA additions are great,
and equal those of Super Mario World. There may not be a second character, but the e-reader support makes up for that.
I still think that the design isn't as addicting as Super Mario World, but overall, this game will serve as a source of pure
Mario fun any day.
Scores
Sound

8.7
Control

8.4
Graphics

8.9
Replay

9.8
Design

9.1
9.0
Final Words

So, I've really beat on this game when I compare it to Super Mario World, but that is because Super Mario World is my
favorite game ever! Super Mario Bros. 3 does a great job keeping up with the Mario Advance series, and will probably be
the last one. This final game in the series really ties things up because we have all been waiting for a GBA rendition of
this NES classic. I really couldn't get into the NES game because of no save file, but now you can play for a long time, and
on three different files. Be sure to get this game for your collection!