Super Mario Bros. 3

Super Mario Bros. 3

released on Oct 23, 1988

Super Mario Bros. 3

released on Oct 23, 1988

Super Mario Bros. 3, the third entry in the Super Mario Bros. series and Super Mario franchise, sees Mario or Luigi navigate a nonlinear world map containing platforming levels and optional minigames and challenges. The game features more diverse movement options and new items alongside more complex level designs and boss battles.


Also in series

Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
Super Mario World
Super Mario World
Super Mario Land
Super Mario Land
Super Mario Bros. Special
Super Mario Bros. Special
Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels
Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels

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Reviews View More

Really fun game still, but relatively limited and easy.

This revolutionised Mario games and platformer games in general, this game is an incredible step up from Super Mario Bros 1 and 2.

Super Mario Bros 3 is the swan song of the 8-bit era, and what a way to go out. The game squeezes every little bit of graphical detail and style out of the soon to be antiquated NES. The level themes are so wonderful and spark so much awe that Nintendo has been reusing them for decades now. I love how the game is a play, it’s such a unique flair to add to the story. The addition of the world map is a welcome add, it makes the whole adventure feel more real and grand than the previous outings. The power ups are mostly great, the new Tanooki leaf is the real stand out but the hammer suit and frog suit are really cool. Unfortunately they’re so cool the poor old fire flower seems boring in comparison. Mario feels amazing in this game, he’s responsive and his jumps have a greater level of control than in previous outings.

However.

This game is not without flaws. The puzzle oriented levels in Mario games never do it for me, and here they are more cryptic than ever. This was also the game that introduced the dreaded autoscroll level. While some of these levels are good the airship levels are dreadful, repetitive slogs that I got sick of after world four. The bosses, like every 2D Mario game, are underwhelming. If I ever have to fight Boom Boom again I will lose my mind. The difficulty is also extremely inconsistent, some levels are brutal life munching challenges followed by breezy fun.

But these problems are don’t really matter in the long term. To me, this is the culmination of a decade of innovation, a triumphant conclusion to an era fraught with trouble, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

FInished on the NSO

Nowadays Mario 3 is considered the bread and butter of platformers: a classic title that it's eezy and fun to play.

What I really appreciated to this title though is how much it evolved the Mario formula esteblished by SMB and makes the best out of it, regardless of the limitations of the NES hardware.
It takes what I felt was the janky movement of SMB1 and makes it a refined improvement, perfect for more precise positioning and also for just jump through the levels without hesitations, while I find that the original SMB1 movement only hined if you just sprinted through the worlds.

The addition of the leaf suit can be considered a bit of a broken powerup, considering you can just fly through the levels, but considering the time you have to "charge" the sprint, I feel like it's not that easy to just fly across the obstacles. Not to mention that, as the second big powerup next to the fire flower, it is both a creative concept and a cool realization. Frog suit is weird but it has an interesting gimmick, and I like the hammer suit. I feel the fire flower is kinda not fun considering that shooting fireballs breaks the momentum of your run, but it is still a cool tool to have.

The level design, something that I felt was a bit unispired in the original SMB (with a lot of worlds just blending together) now is more distinct and offers a lot of cool ideas that are still unique to this 2D mario game: later titles like New SMB never brought back those nice concepts like the Pipe World with movement similar to the Arcade Mario Bros, or the world where everything is gigantic. Even the Dark world, where Bowser had literal tanks was never been reconsidered for modern 2D mario titles.

The enemies implemented are all really solid: you got some classics from the OG SMB but now the way they are positioned into the levels and the way they can sometimes just be traps for the player makes the obstacles courses more endearing. The Sun, Munchers, Boos and Stretchers, Lotuses, the little flames with legs, or the jumping desert blocks.... most of them appear just once or twice during the whole game, but the way they are implemented makes the specific level even more memorable.

The presentation is also really solid and I think the way the game introduces the concept of a map, the addition of fortresses, kings, specific bosses in the form of koopalings and the whole "theatre aesthetic is what was able to give mario its own identity as a Videogame universe."... also Peach feels like a more competent character and you can already see glimpses of Bowser's threatening but charming personality

I will say no all of the levels hut, there are a couple of stinkers like the infamous World 6-5 or some of the later Castles, but overall the levels have a lot of unique qualities to them.

SO yeah, I really like SMB3, not just as a fun simple platformer but also as a proper evolution to the formula that SMB1 introduced

honestly the goat 2D mario yall need to stop playin and admit that

GooeyScale: 90/100