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Preview: Japanese Gamers Get Their Free Super Mario Bros. Deluxe Download

Posted by Kerry Brunskill

Can't grumble at free, right?

European gamers have to wait a few weeks longer yet, but lucky Japanese 3DS owners should have already received their free download codes for this fondly-remembered port of a gaming legend.

First impressions of Super Mario Deluxe aren't, however, particularly good – the VS. game mode and print options simply don’t work. This is to be expected of course; Nintendo isn’t known for doing much to its Virtual Console releases other than making sure they’re available for sale, but it would have been nice to “print” those lovely gallery images onto SD card or share them on Miiverse; it’s hard to shake the feeling that if Sega and M2 had handled this port — like those 3D Classic downloads — we’d all be enjoying wireless multiplayer Mario at this point.

Being a Game Boy Color port brings an unavoidable problem of its own too – the smaller screen resolution of Nintendo's older handheld means your field of vision is greatly reduced, and for those of us who don’t have each level seared onto our minds (or those of us who have simply forgotten, the game is almost thirty years old at this point) there are a fair few blind leaps of faith and enemies that appear to drop from the sky — gamers playing the NES original would be able to see the ground below or platforms above without any issues.

This was completely acceptable at the time – we had proper portable Mario! With extras! The Game Boy Color simply couldn’t do any better, and we didn’t expect it to. But that was a long time ago - Nintendo handhelds now come with autostereoscopic 3D screens and NES emulation is just a WiFi connection and £4.50 / €4.99 / $4.99 away, so this kind of issue just isn’t something we expect to deal with in our ports these days.

It’s not all doom and gloom though - ultimately it’s still a good port of one of the most important games of all time, and the extras — including additional challenges — are still a lot of fun and add replayability to a well-worn classic. The problem is that a NES-perfect port of Super Mario Bros. is already available on the 3DS, and Nintendo’s reluctance to do more with its own Virtual Console games means that a lot of the things that really made this iteration stand out as unique are either inaccessible or feel a little neutered.

Does that matter to you? Do you think Nintendo need to make sure there's some support for these older features or are you grateful just for the chance to experience these older classics? Let us known in the comments section below.

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User Comments (89)

lckulczak

#1

lckulczak said:

I'm happy with the Super Mario Bros. version I have now on my 3DS, but I would still like to see this offer in the U.S.

SanderEvers

#3

SanderEvers said:

It's free, so say thank you. And play it if you like it.

If you don't like it, don't play it.

CrazyOtto

#4

CrazyOtto said:

I have the original Game Boy Color cartridge for SMB Deluxe and I have the original NES Super Mario Bros on my 3DS so I don't need this but I wish NA had at least gotten a different game for a gift.

JJtheTexan

#5

JJtheTexan said:

Why the @*(# isn't North America included in this offer? At least put the game for sale on the eShop if we can't get it for free, Nintendo... yeesh

andreoni79

#6

andreoni79 said:

@SanderEvers
Nintendo has a hard time. I'd prefer they spend their time and money in something useful. This is supposed to be promotional material, and if you promote yourself in this way...

LeasTwanteD

#7

LeasTwanteD said:

I became interested in this when i learnt it's not just a port but has some nice extras. But like with all the other GameBoy games that are missing their multiplayer options i wouldn't have downloaded it for its full price.
Enabling wireless multiplayer for these games would be what they really deserve.

Anyway, i don't mind it being in its original ratio and since i get it for free i will play it for sure.

Melkaticox

#9

Melkaticox said:

I played this game yesterday and...damn, it's bad. Like, really bad. Mario's jump is imprecise and slippery, not to mention you can only see like half of what you could see in the NES version...
At least it's free?

tripunktoj

#11

tripunktoj said:

Well, at least you in Europe and Japan got this promotion, while America gets nothing. But I agree Sega and M2 would do it much better and it shouldn't be that difficult to implement the print option as Miiverse stamps, which is a great idea.

bofis

#13

bofis said:

Would rather have a 1:1 NES port on VC or even a 3D Stereoscopic version by M2 ;-)

AlexSora89

#14

AlexSora89 said:

Whatever. To me, limiting availability to the inferior version of either this or that game is still a dumb move, as glad as I can be to get (as I will) the SMB rerelease (although I was already waiting for the december update anyway).

What I mean is, way can't Nintendo just discount a possible VC re-release of "Kirby: Nightmare In Dreamland" (for example) for players who already purchased "3D Classics: Kirby's Adventure"?

sleepinglion

#15

sleepinglion said:

More good news for Japan.
I'm sure Europe will be getting some cool promotions, too.
Here in America... well... sigh.

jakysnakydx

#16

jakysnakydx said:

Super Mario DX was a fantastic game! I remember hunting for red coins and yoshi coins/eggs very fondly, however just like Super Mario All Stars or even the Kirby anniversary edition, there are things Nintendo can do to improve on the formula. Look at Luigi Bros, the bonus unlockable in New Super Luigi U. You can't even exit the game without shutting down the software because NIntendo was too lazy to include a quit game function. For the previous two examples, a little updating goes a long way, even if in just functionality.

Cinaclov

#17

Cinaclov said:

I probably wouldn't pay for it, mostly for the reasons stated (but also because I'm not that fussed about platformers of any kind and I already have Shantae to scratch that itch if need be) but considering it's free just for registering to the Nintendo Network I'm hardly going to complain. The amount of free games Nintendo (well, NOE at least) has been giving away the last few months is quite cool.

AlexSora89

#19

AlexSora89 said:

@sleepinglion:
Um... and tell me, have you enjoyed WarioWare Twisted and Drill Dozer?
I bet you didn't have to wait four more months to play Super Smash Bros. Brawl, or years to play Super Mario RPG or EarthBound, right?

MF_MaxiMillion

#20

MF_MaxiMillion said:

Good thing we all live in Japan, right?

Owait. Nope, I'm pretty sure I don't have Pokémon back on my eShop either.

Tsuchinoko

#21

Tsuchinoko said:

Just wondering if anyone actually tried to find out or deduce why NoA didnt offer this promotion. Im a japanese resident so i already got mine. Its decent enough, and yeah for the content works just fine as a promotion rather than 2 a retail sale, but with japan getting it much earlier it seems like japan was offering it first, NoE jumped on board, but for some reason NoA (which unfortunately for Canadians includes them) decided not to? Strange.

Anyway its nice Nintendo gives away free stuff sometimes. I actually kinda like this game. Its the first ive played so i can't compare to the gbc original.

3Daniel

#22

3Daniel said:

By far my fav vers of SMB and if it comes to US ill def get even tho i have ambassador smb for nes on my 3ds. The smaller field of view never bothered me, the ability to scroll the screen gave an adventure/slower pace to the game. And this is by far my favorite speed run version of the game if you just charge straight ahead thru all levels blindly jumping at points.

Bass_X0

#23

Bass_X0 said:

First impressions of Super Mario Deluxe aren't, however, particularly good – the VS. game mode and print options simply don’t work.

Well, I never had anyone else to play with nor did I ever have a GB Printer. And I still had a great time with it on Game Boy Color. Glad they're releasing this.

Highwinter

#24

Highwinter said:

@sleepinglion Like all of those free Virtual Console games you guys can get on Club Nintendo? And the constant updates you get to the catalogue?

Europe hardly gets any of this stuff, yet whenever we do get thrown a bone, it seems the US fans complain about how we always get everything, which simply isn't true.

Gobelee

#25

Gobelee said:

I had this game when I was a lad. Me and my buddy had a good time racing the Boo's. I really hope they release this as a free download in North America.

Gobelee

#27

Gobelee said:

@Highwinter As a North American I hope for a free download, but I completely understand what you are saying haha. Europe is finally getting treated after years of neglect. But please understand that us North Americans are a selfish, greedy lot. M'wa ha ha haaaaaa.

AlexSora89

#28

AlexSora89 said:

@Highwinter:
Exactly. When it comes to gaming, Europe is almost constantly at the wrong end of the middle finger (provided there's a right end to begin with).
And let's not get started on the gap between the American PlayStation Store (an alternate hardware example, I know) and the European one!

andreoni79

#29

andreoni79 said:

And I'm sure you Americans loved the VC "weekly promotions" about Zelda, Mega Man and other series... Europe? Nothing. :(

khululy

#30

khululy said:

I got the NES version for this on my ambassador program which is obviously the better way for your nostalgia rush but it's free and you can't beat a free game even if it's a redundant port of an old classic.
Just see it as a little time capsule that shows off how amazing the GBC was cuz it could 'handle' an NES port!

ikki5

#31

ikki5 said:

@Highwinter

Europe has a better selection for the free VC games than what NA has really. You guys can get FREE Wii points cards which make the entire library of VC available to you. So you get free games that are shown on the NA club Nintendo and more (at least on the Wii) I honestly do not understand why people from Europe are so blinded to this fact

And I don't know what constant updates on the catalog you are talking about. Prior to January (more two weeks ago), There was next to nothing ever added to the Club Nintendo... stuff didn't even get restocked. For example, there was a point when there was only 8 rewards which you could choose from.

Bass_X0

#34

Bass_X0 said:

To me, limiting availability to the inferior version of either this or that game is still a dumb move,

I'm sure it will come to Virtual Console as a regular release at some point for those who didn't qualify for the free download.

Linkstrikesback

#35

Linkstrikesback said:

@ikki5
Yeah.
We can get free wii points. At the low low price of 4000 stars, i.e. 16 full wii u games/20 full 3ds games, you can get 1000 wii points, i.e. enough for a single N64 game, and they only apply to wii vc or wiiware games. Nothing on 3ds.

Whereas you can get 70 or so coins if you do all the extra things per game, and the downloads cost 150-200 coins, i.e. somewhere between 2 and 3 games.

It's not even close to equal.

Highwinter

#36

Highwinter said:

@ikki5 Bearing in mind that those are Wii point cards. Not 3DS or Wii U ones, only the Wii. And before the Wii U launch there were almost always out of stock. Not to mention how horribly expensive they are.

Angelic_Lapras_King

#37

Angelic_Lapras_King said:

Its free, so you can't complain you got ripped off. Still, if they added Download Play to NES games, why not GB too? Can't be too different to emulate.

Also, isnt SMB DX a temporary freebie? I don't think its planned for purchase is it?

Goginho

#38

Goginho said:

I wish there was some support for the older features. I mean, the capabilites are there. As for Super Mario Deluxe, I'm excited to finally be able to add that to my library. I do wish Nintendo would release the ever-so-definitive Super Mario Allstars games on the 3DS, so we can enjoy the superior versions of those great classics on the go. They are definitely a needed addition to my collection.

SonataAndante

#39

SonataAndante said:

Are people really trying to measure the advantages and disadvantages NA and EU get? Again? Here's a thought: when one side complains they're missing out on something, the other side shouldn't go "Oh we've had it worse before!" That's just stupid, because regardless of past occurrences NEITHER side likes to be left out of something cool or be months behind the rest of the world. NOBODY likes that. I'd say BOTH sides have a right to be a but bummed out when they're behind or left out (and when something awesome is Japan only we ALL have something to complain about don't we).

That said, I wouldn't say no to SMB Deluxe for free, it's a great little GBC game considering the extra content. I'd bring up the fact that it has the Lost Levels in it too (albeit slightly altered here and there), but the Famicom original is on the 3DS VC too. On a side note, I'm kind of surprised they didn't release SMB1 and LL with their All-Stars graphical and sound upgrades on the GBA. I guess they figured SMB DX was enough?

idork99

#40

idork99 said:

This game was a huge deal in '98/'99 as it was the first portable edition of an all time classic with extras!

Fifteen years later, there are better portable editions of this game that doesn't make the sacrifice for screen space.

SMB Deluxe: you will be remembered as the first portable Mario Bros. But that's about it : /

AltDotNerd

#41

AltDotNerd said:

Super Mario Bros Deluxe? Oh, that's nice...
...while we're STILL WAITING FOR SUPER MARIO BROS 3!

Shugo

#42

Shugo said:

People actually dislike SMBDX? Other than the screen area it's pretty much the definitive version of SMB; it has so many great extras and bug fixes. Not to mention almost the entirety of Lost Levels. And I do not consider the All-Stars version the definitive or even better; until they fix the brick breaking physics bug that version had it's nearly unplayable to me. Romhackers fixed it years ago, and yet Nintendo released All-Stars on Wii with the huge bug still intact. I remember when Nintendo would remake their old games with improvements and new features rather than rerelease literal exact copies with gimped features. Whatever happened to those days?

But hey, it's free. I really can't see how you can complain about that. And if it's like Donkey Kong Original Edition or the Ambassador games, we likely won't see it available on eShop for a long, long time. You may think that Nintendo wouldn't hold back major games like this from the general service indefinitely, but we still don't have even better games on the eShop that lucky Ambassadors have had for ages now.

I'm just mad that I forgot to verify the email on my Japanese Nintendo Network account before the cutoff date. Now I can't get this. :( Here's hoping it comes to the US so I can get it on my other 3DS.

tigermask

#43

tigermask said:

There's a lot of moaning about how America haven't had similar offers but have you seen the European Club Nintendo gifts recently? It's mostly vouchers and cases for Wii/DSi, where as NOA get free games all the time!

iamnotpatrick

#44

iamnotpatrick said:

In response to comment #9:

You are most likely noticing input lag from your TV. Emulation on the virtual console DOES NOT resolve input lag issues.

I thought this game got a 9/10 review from Nintendolife already?

datamonkey

#45

datamonkey said:

"Nintendo isn’t known for doing much to its Virtual Console releases other than making sure they’re available for sale"

That's debatable!

Where are most of the N64 titles? Many tens of SNES games not available and zero GC games on Wii U VC? (Or 3DS for that matter)

iamnotpatrick

#46

iamnotpatrick said:

i think it's a pretty good version of the game, personally. The extras are fun and provide a reason to play the game again if you already played it on NES. You can hold left or right on the directional pad to look left or right, partially circumventing the smaller screen size. Plus you can unlock the Lost Levels!

SuperMarioBros3

#48

SuperMarioBros3 said:

This is another reason why N.o.A. is losing money (in spite of the fact that this is free), and man, am I glad they are. Karma's a b!tch, ain't it, Nintendo?!

MeWario

#49

MeWario said:

What's with the negativity? This is one of the greatest Gameboy games of all time and it reseaved universal praise when it came out all those years ago. Can't wait to get my download code! One of the best games I've ever owned.

TrueWiiMaster

#50

TrueWiiMaster said:

@AlexSora89
"I bet you didn't have to wait four more months to play Super Smash Bros. Brawl, or years to play Super Mario RPG or EarthBound, right?"
Actually, due to the rarity of the game, many did wait years to play Earthbound. We also had to wait a year to play Xenoblade, and never would have gotten Last Story or Pandora's Tower if not for Xseed. We've yet to get any Inazuma 11 games at all. Oh, and that awesome SNES Wii remote from Club Nintendo. Europe and America both get things the other doesn't, and both want what the other gets.

marc_max

#51

marc_max said:

I hope the infrared is emulated and we can trade records. It was so fun in the original game!

TruenoGT

#52

TruenoGT said:

No versus mode? Darn, this was one of my favorite parts of the original. The printing function was awesome as well...

FJOJR

#53

FJOJR said:

This game is the best version of Super Mario Bros. save for the reduced view due to screen size. The Lost Levels are also included in it so this is actually 2 games in one. However the multiplayer mode is gone due to Nintendo's inability to tailor older releases for the 21st century. Lack of Printer function is understandable though Miiverse may prove a way to revive the feature in a way.

Barbiegurl777

#54

Barbiegurl777 said:

Both EU & Japan get this game... :'( When exactly does US/North America get this game?

If we don't get it in the 3ds e-shop then screw it. Normally I like tracking down older GBC games in particular in cardridge form to play on my GBA SP but Super Mario Bros Deluxe - GBC is a first party game made by Nintendo plus EU & japan have this game in the e-shop already for free! :(

I'd really like to play this game because I never got to play it when it got released originally on the GBC years ago. Oh well. :(

It's released in the 3ds e-shop then fine if not oh well. :(

Still have plenty of other 3ds games to work on this is just very irritating/frustating...

Happy Gaming! (^_^)

Gridatttack

#55

Gridatttack said:

SMBDX sucks anyway. It doesnt include the complete lost levels package.
Perhaps the best thing is the you vs boo.

ColdingLight

#56

ColdingLight said:

Ohh this is freakin BS. EU gets it first and now Japan? 'Sigh' It's starting to suck being a gamer in NA... Lately EU gets everything first... -_-

CrazyOtto

#60

CrazyOtto said:

Oddly, I just noticed that Super Mario Bros. Deluxe wasn't released in Japan originally.

unrandomsam

#61

unrandomsam said:

@sleepinglion America gets much better promotions. i.e 50% off lots of stuff that most people would buy anyway eventually (Those Megaman / Mario weeks etc) loads of free games instead of useless garbage from Club Nintendo. All those Atlus at 50% deals. All the games are in 60fps for Wii/Wii U VC. The cost of this game is the amount that would be saved on 2 discounted VC games. (Of which the US has had loads of decent ones).

Bakajin

#63

Bakajin said:

@Shugo What was the glitch with the brick-breaking physics in All-Stars? I got rid of my cart for that years ago (don't judge me; I'm not proud) but I don't remember anything being off with the bricks.

Shugo

#64

Shugo said:

@Bakajin In the NES SMB/SMB2(J), when you hit a brick block from below and broke it, you would ricochet back downward just like you would if you hit any other block. In the All-Stars versions of both games, breaking a brick block would pull you upward a slight bit into the space where the block once was.

It doesn't sound like much on paper, but the in-game difference is huge. In the original, ricocheting off of a block meant you kept all your running momentum and could continue running forward. The All-Stars version completely destroys all running momentum you had up until you smashed the block, which is really awful if you're just trying to quickly run through an area. Not to mention it made breaking multiple brick blocks in a row (perhaps searching for a hidden item) a pain since getting slowly pulled upward slowed down the process a lot.

A romhacker found that it was a really tiny error fixed by changing a single value. I won't link to the patch, but it's out there. I just wish Nintendo would've done the same when they rereleased the Anniversary Edition. It's really hard to pick that version over the original NES version whenever I feel like playing SMB/SMB2.

UnseatingKDawg

#67

UnseatingKDawg said:

Well... there's another Virtual Console game that North America won't see. That's practically a guarantee right there.

Tsuchinoko

#69

Tsuchinoko said:

@SonataAndante and us in japan can join in the same argument cant we? Loads of indie and third party games never leave western territories, and theres e-shop games like vvvvvv that im still waiting for. How about the recent trend where even first party games like the recent Zelda get released in japan last? The point is we all feel left out sometimes.

Neko_Chan

#70

Neko_Chan said:

I will contact Nintendo about the offer. Hopefully they'll have an excuse not for us to get SMB Deluxe.

SonataAndante

#71

SonataAndante said:

@Tsuchinoko Certainly, as you say we all have valid complaints. I think sometimes we sort of pass over Japan when thinking about being left out though. We don't really hear very often about what you folks don't get on time or at all. Instead we're shown all the things Japan gets and we don't get. As you might have noticed it's mostly just people going on about EU and NA, but you're very much correct. We all miss out on something here and there, and nobody likes it.

AkDeath

#72

AkDeath said:

Has anyone here played the e-reader levels for SMB3 (Super Mario Advance 4) for GBA? They are awesome and very challenging.

I have been hoping that they'd release those on the Virtual console for a long time now but I'm not getting my hopes up.

unrandomsam

#73

unrandomsam said:

@Tsuchinoko Its not that comparable because the western indie and 3rd party stuff is ported to basically everything. The Japan only stuff is generally only on one platform and of far higher quality. (If the region lock existed nobody outside Japan would have got to play Bangoi-O-Spirits).

Dragon Quest VII is the only JRPG worth bothering about so naturally it is the one that almost certainly will not be released.

Tsuchinoko

#74

Tsuchinoko said:

@SonataAndante there are some odd examples as well. Advance Wars days of ruin was never released in japan, even though it was japanese developed. Of course theres the really famous example of Star Tropics. Did PAL regions get that for the VC?

Tsuchinoko

#75

Tsuchinoko said:

@MrSRArter i just looked it up on the Japanese Wikipedia page. It said that this game was available in Japan, but a year after other regions. It was not available in stores, but only as a Nintendo Power promotion. Some of those copies did show up in used game stores and in Internet auctions later on though.

@unrandomsam huh? That doest make any sense. If Japanese rpgs are of higher quality then how is Dragon Quest VII the only one worth bothering about?

Tsuchinoko

#76

Tsuchinoko said:

@Gridatttack wait wait! I know i just triple posted, but this game DOES include Super Mario Bros 2 AKA lost levels. I just got to world 6 in original mode and there was a luigi icon on the main screen. I thought it would allow me to play as luigi but i was brought to the "for super players" screen. Its SuperMario Bros 2 AKA lost levels. It is in this game.
EDIT, the version of Super Mario Bros 2 AKA lost levels in this game is without the extra hidden levels, but other than that its all there.

unrandomsam

#78

unrandomsam said:

@Tsuchinoko Dragon Quest VII is from when Square Enix could still make them properly. (Or chose to - now they choose to deliberately waste peoples time to try and get them to pay to win).

Kirk

#81

Kirk said:

Once again Nintendo shows little real passion for doing more than the absolute least it possibly can do on these retro/VC titles. As seems to be the general case with most aspects of it's business, products and services these days imo.

This is just way below par as far as I'm concerned and these days basically everyone else is doing much better and doing much more when it comes to bringing old games and stuff like this to these modern systems and digital services. Sega with it's 3D range of old retro games for example, as mentioned in the article, does a far far better job on the whole than anything Nintendo has done with it's own first party retro games in general.

Are people STILL unsure as to why so many people just aren't as excited and passionate about Nintendo on the whole as they used to be back in it's NES and SNES, even N64, glory days...?

It's just one more thing to add to a long long list of many where "Nintendo" simply isn't good enough any more.

At this point only the most stubbornly loyal FANS can fail to see that Nintendo isn't quite the image of near all-round perfection, when it comes to the level of polish and quality it puts into every single aspect of it's products and services, as it once used to be. It just never seems to go that extra mile any more.

"Nintendo" USED to stand for the absolute best imo.

ReigningSemtex

#82

ReigningSemtex said:

I'm just happy to get a free game Nintendo has been great for me so far this year with little rewards for being a ninty customer I can't complain

Tsuchinoko

#83

Tsuchinoko said:

@Kirk wow thats a lot of negative for you. Why do you still stick around?

@unransomsam for some reason the x button is used to go back to the save state button, and the y button is used to scroll, so in game its just a and b

Kirk

#84

Kirk said:

@Tsuchinoko

Various reasons.

Just because I'm acutely aware of all of Nintendo's recent issues it doesn't mean I don't give a sh*t any more.

I raise these issues because I'd like things to get better.

andreoni79

#85

andreoni79 said:

@Kirk I totally agree. As loyal to Nintendo since the 90s, I deserve the right to laugh at their VC policy. Years ago we had free Ocarina of Time with GCN Wind Waker, NES games inside Animal Crossing... I'm still sure they are not releasing N64 and NGC games because, according to the actual price policy, they should ask € 15 and € 20 or even more and they just don't have the guts to do that.

adamical

#86

adamical said:

SMB Deluxe is far more than a mere port of the original. I had it on GBC, and it had quite an extraordinary amount of new content. I never had a problem with the smaller screen resolution. If I recall correctly, it also featured a modified version of the Lost Levels. Honestly, this is an amazing game, even without the multiplayer, which I never got to play anyway because I didn't have two copies of the game and a game link cable.

Gridatttack

#87

Gridatttack said:

@Tsuchinoko I know :P
This is why i added the complete word on my post :P

Also they just butchered it down: same boring graphics as SMB1, IIRC, no wind hazard in some levels and of course no world 9 &A-D.
What just pains me is, that the game does include some unused unfinished world C and D levels and there's an unused object in the game which has the graphics of the ground tiles of SMB2 on the famicon.
Heck, I dare to say that even the lame SMAS port is better :/

Scapetti

#88

Scapetti said:

The Vs. mode is clearly shown in the trailer... can someone confirm it's out? :S That seems quite odd to me since they've been putting download play in their NES games recently

unrandomsam

#89

unrandomsam said:

The GBC can be better than the NES. (Crystalis and Dragon Quest III are good examples where the GBC version is loads better than the NES one). Let down by the resolution though. (Obviously the Turbo Express or Nomad were always way better).

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