Sunday, May 30, 2010
NES #2 Super Mario Bros. 3
Mario 3 stands as a land mark of my gaming history due to it being the first NES game I ever owned or played. I was a little late getting into gaming, but will never forget one Christmas morning unwrapping the Nintendo Entertainment System that came with a copy of Super Mario Bros. 3. So I started with 3, then played 1, and finally managed to play 2 later down the line. All three are classics and amazing NES games, but 3 will always be special to me as that first game I ever owned.
The story of Mario 3 is nearly the same as every installment of the series, and will most likely continue to do so. The Princess has been captured, and it is up to our favorite mustachioed plumber to rescue her from the clutches of the evil Koopa King himself, Bowser. However in 3 Mario doesn't just have to deal with Bowser, but his children as well. The Koopa Kids act as the final bosses for each world, seven in total with Bowser himself waiting at the end of the eighth.
Game play follows Mario as he scrolls sideways through the stage, jumping on platforms and enemies and occasionally sliding down pipes into hidden areas. Power ups have always been a staple of the franchise starting with the Fire-ball Mario from game 1. The Fire Flower returns, and is joined by the Super Leaf which grants Mario a raccoon eared cap and tail that allows him to fly short distances and slow his falls. The tail can also be used in a spinning attack to strike blocks and certain enemies. A Frog Suit helps Mario navigate through water levels much easier, and the hard to come by Hammer Suit puts Mario in the duds of a Hammer Bros. giving him the ability to chuck hammers at bad guys.
Aspects of Mario 3 have continued to influence later installments in the series over the years all the way to the present. The overworld map with each stage placed upon the path with branching trails has been used in a number of Mario games including the recently released Super Mario Galaxy 2.
My most fond memories of Mario 3 involve the use of the Game Genie. For those of you who may not know what a Game Genie is, it was a device you attached your NES cart onto before inserting it into the system. It allowed you to hack the game and enable cheat codes. Yes, it was cheating, but who cares if you're having fun? I was just a kid who wanted to mess around with Mario and make him do even more crazy things. The best cheat to use was known as the "Sky Walker" code that allowed Mario to infinitely jump through the air. Most stages could be completely bypassed by flying over the entire stage from start to finish. Sure it was cheap, but as a kid I enjoyed playing with the Game Genie. I have sense moved on from using cheating devices on my games as I grew up and developed more skill as a gamer.
Super Mario Bros. 3 is not the last time Mario will make it onto one of my lists, but for the NES he ranks at number two. Second place isn't to bad, but what could possibly claim the top spot as my all time favorite NES game? Keep a look out cause it's coming soon!