Game Review

Super Mario Bros. 3 Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Darren Calvert

The Mario Bros get even more super

Back in 1990 when this was released in the USA, Mario fever was at an all time high. A few months earlier, there had even been a movie released called ‘The Wizard’ with that kid from the Wonder Years, which was essentially a commercial for this game.

If you never played Super Mario Bros. 3 when it was first released, this will all be new to you (you lucky, lucky person!). What you’ll find is a particularly engrossing game, packed with power-ups, a few mini-games, and some truly devious levels; the variety is impressive. Levels move left, right, up, and down – and on occasion you’ll go behind the scenery to discover hidden secrets. Some levels are straightforward affairs – avoid the koopas, collect some coins, etc. – but others are so complex you can’t fully explore them unless you have the right power-up for the level.

Mario can be equipped with a variety of power-ups. The standard growth mushroom and fire flower are present but you also have access to a raccoon suit, a frog suit and maybe the coolest one, a hammer brothers suit, which allows you to fling hammers and cover yourself in a hard shell. You can also commandeer a big wind-up boot to leap around in. The raccoon suit has a neat feature that can only be exploited if you can build up some speed - acquire take-off speed and you can take to the air in a burst of flight to reach new areas.

For the most part, levels are approached in a linear fashion although you do have some leeway in choosing which stages of each level you want to tackle thanks to the overhead map. Not every stage has to be completed to progress, but sometimes it’s the only way to get the coolest stuff.

Scattered around each overhead map are mushroom houses that contain power-ups that can be stored until you need them. There are also hammer brothers to take out, extra lives bonus games, and a memory game that pops up on occasion.

The usual Mario environments are present and accounted for: ice, fire, water, desert and dungeon. SMB3 also throws a few tricky obstacles in your way in the form of floating battleships, which can have you tearing out your hair if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing. Some of the castles can be mind-boggling too, as it takes a lot of trial and error to work out what to do.


SMB3 cannot come any more highly recommended; it is widely regarded, by many, as the best game on the NES. Some would even say it rivals the magnificent Super Mario World on the SNES, though the jury is out on that one. You owe it to yourself to try both out and decide for yourself. You won’t be sorry!

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User Comments (35)



Nintendork said:

Gosh, I despise this game. It left no lasting impression on me (mostly because I played SMW to death) If you can spare an extra 300 Wii Points, buy SMW instead.



retro_player_22 said:

This game alone is much more challeging and fun that those ports, remakes, and sequels that came after.



Shinnok said:

This game is my favorite Mario title, hands down! You'll all probably want to buy it now.



super-nintendo said:

My number one 2D game of all-time! 10/10

I recently made my top 10 games of all-time list: I put Ocarina Of Time at #1 and Super Mario Bros. 3 at #2, what a game! Thank you Nintendo and Miyamoto for making such an awesome 2D platformer. It's soooo good.




Super Mario Wold and Super Mario Bros 3 deserve a lot of credit; in fact all of the credit and then some. I prefer the former, but SMB3 is an all time great in the videogame world..... end of/period



soniczelda_dude said:

To all those SMB 3 haters, think about it. This game came out first, so if it wasn't for SMB 3, we wouldn't have a game like SMW. Besides, if you consider the greater level of variety and the more active world map (mushroom houses, roaming enemies, etc.) I would say that this game should have come out after SMW! Well, that is aside from the more primitive graphics and the simpler bosses (one area in which SMW has SMB 3 beat).



Knux said:

Best 2D Mario game yet (excpet for Yoshi's Island, if that's really a Mario game). It has tons of power-ups, the level design is perfect, and the game is challenging. An abousolute steal and worth the 500 points.



TKOWL said:

Next to New Super Mario Bros. Wii, this is the best platformer ever



FinalFantisiac said:

The first time I played this game was on my old Game Boy Advance SP; and from some images I've seen, I now know how different the two are, especially in sound quality and effects. A VERY nice game.



sam322 said:

i have used 2 points cards on dsi shop.This time i'll be using it on wii for this and super mario world!



Yoshi_2000 said:

Downloaded this a week ago, and beat it for the first time. Best 500 points I ever spent. But I still have to go with Super mario world as the better purchase



Collision_Cat said:

For such a great game and high profile release, it's a real shame this version doesn't have a save function.



Rarewarefan7495 said:

The greatest 2D platformer of all time bar none. If you haven't played this game, then you aren't a true gamer. This game embodies what games are truly like. Balanced difficulty without ever feeling too easy or too hard, the unique and varied level design, catchy and memorable music, and detailed graphics for the time. This is my 2nd favorite game of all time.



Mr-X9000 said:

while this game is fun, i never got into to it as much as the 1st and 4th ones.



Zeldalover said:

This is my #2 fav of-all time as well. Right behind Zelda: OoT. It is unparalelled in terms of level design and gameplay. I also seem to enjoy the 16-bit SNES 'All-Stars' version a bit more. And I can't get that hammer bro suit out of my head.



BrickRockwell said:

@Nintendork All a matter of perspective. I remember being astounded at all the content in SMB3, and I remember very well when it first came out. But Super Mario World just seemed like a showcase for the SNES graphics and audio, with very little extra. If anything, the adventure is much smaller than that in SMB3, and not nearly as memorable. My opinion? Get both. But if you only get one, make it this game. SMB3 has never been equaled in side-scrolling Mario games.



Bass_X0 said:

And you will, very soon. I'm expecting it to be released in America this week.

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