Dave Turcotte On March - 10 - 2010

I know what you’re thinking and no, this isn’t Super Mario Bros. the NES classic. This is simply Mario Bros. which hit the arcades in 1983. The game was also ported to the NES, which is what we’ll be looking at today.

Mario Bros. is a simple arcade style game in which you play as Mario, a plumber, who has to deal with a pest problem within the sewers below New York. Mario is joined by his newly debuting brother, Luigi. Player 1 takes control of Mario while Player 2 controls Luigi.

Mario Bros. 1 300x205 Mario Bros.   NES Review

Play as Mario or Luigi and help get rid of the pests that infest the sewers.

The controls of the game are rather simple. You move your character with the d-pad and jump with the A button. While the controls themselves are simple, controlling the character himself is not quite as simple. Mario and Luigi have rather slippery controls when it comes to their movement. It takes a bit of playing to really get used to how the two move around. The slipperiness of the controls is nothing that will make you turn the game off in a fit of rage, but it does have a bit of a learning curve.

Mario Bros. 6 300x207 Mario Bros.   NES Review

Hit enemies from below to knock them on their back. If you don't hit them while they're down they'll get back up and become more aggressive.

There are various pests in the game to deal with, but the primary three are turtles, crabs, and flies. You can’t run into them head on or else you’ll simply kill yourself. What you need to do is hit them from underneath to knock them on their back. Turtles and flies take one hit to knock them down, but crabs take two. When you knock an enemy down, you then have to run into it to defeat it, however if you take too long, the enemy will change color and become faster and slightly more difficult to deal with. When you only have one pest left to deal with, it will also change colors and become faster and more aggressive.

Mario Bros. 5 300x206 Mario Bros.   NES Review

When there is only one enemy left, it also changes colors and becomes slightly more troublesome.

After every few levels, you will get to play a bonus stage in which you have to collect all the coins on screen before the time expires. If you can collect all the coins, you will be rewarded with an extra life. Of course the first time around it will be rather simple, however the game will increase the difficulty of these bonus stages the further into the game you get. The second time around they’ll cover the platforms in ice, making the game even slipperier than it already is. After that, they’ll simply make the platforms invisible, meaning you need to learn where each opening is and what kind of jumps you need to make in order to collect the coins. It should also be noted that you can earn extra lives by obtaining a certain amount of points.

Mario Bros. 2 300x203 Mario Bros.   NES Review

Collect the coins within the time limit and earn an extra life.

Of course, much like any early arcade game, the difficulty increases the further into the game you get. The pests increase in number and speed as well as other various traps get introduced all to make your game that much more pain inducing. Some of these traps include fireballs as well as bits of ice that freeze platforms. Luckily, even though you have to deal with these nuisances, you’re not necessarily helpless. At the bottom of the screen you have a block called a POW block. When you hit it, it knocks all the enemies back once. This is great for turtles and flies because they only take one hit to knock down, however crabs will still be standing. You can hit the POW block up to 3 times before it goes away. Unfortunately, the POW block does not come back or give back the number of uses as you progress through each level, so you need to use it sparingly.

Mario Bros. 3 300x204 Mario Bros.   NES Review

Hit POW blocks to knock those pests down. You only get three uses of it though, so use it wisely.

Be careful of various traps while playing. Fireballs and ice covered platforms can really be annoying.

Graphically speaking, for an early NES game, it looks good. Mario and Luigi are easily recognizable, the pests are easy to distinguish, and it looks fine. Not a lot of real detail as far as what’s going on in the background or anything of that nature, but you can’t really blame the game for that simply due to when it was created. The soundtrack to this game isn’t very large. You have the song that plays during the title and a little tune that plays to introduce each stage, but no overall song during actual game-play.

All in all, it’s a solid little game for an early arcade port on the NES. Yeah, the controls are slightly slippery, but it’s not slippery to the point of rage. It’s a fun game that’s designed for short bursts of fun. Of course, since the game is based purely on points that adds an immense replay value just to try and beat your own score, let alone when you have friends to play with you. You can purchase this version of the game off of the Wii Virtual Console, but chances are you may have played other versions of this game through the Super Mario Advanced titles on the GBA as well through other means, such as the bonus 2 player game in Super Mario Bros. 3. I’m going to give this game a 4 star rating. It’s an arcade classic ported on the NES, what more could you possibly ask?



Categories: Feature, Retro Reviews
  • https://?u=TheFinalHighlander David Mcmurdo

    Awesome review and perfect spelling and grammar too!
    I’m a poet and I didn’t even know it ¬_¬

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