Occasionally there's frustration at the slow roll-out of Virtual Console games, sometimes with good reason, but there are also occasions where Nintendo goes the extra mile and does far more than simply spruce up a ROM. In the case of Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3, which is now on the Wii U Virtual Console in North America (and Japan), Nintendo has included some enjoyable extras.
As was confirmed before its arrival in North America this week, this version of the game has special e-Reader levels included, all of which are playable right from the start by accessing them in the file select area. In the original Game Boy Advance days these levels could only be unlocked by scanning the relevant cards with the e-Reader, a fiddly, expensive but ultimately cool process. There were also cards that unlocked special item buffs and demonstration videos of levels, though those aren't included in the VC release.
A lot of the level card content is there, though, including levels that weren't even distributed outside of Japan back in the day. For those that didn't collect and import all the cards at the time that means this download provides the first legitimate opportunity to play some of the levels; they're stages that are - in some cases - quite imaginative, too, remixing and messing around with the core game's conventions.
Over on Reddit a user called Phil_Bond has listed the 38 levels included in the e-Reader section. Intriguingly the original version of the game apparently didn't even support data for that many e-Reader levels, so that's another area that Nintendo's tweaked. The levels in bold never came to North America as cards in the past, so they're new content to all but the most eager importers.
STAR CARDS (remakes of Super Mario Bros 1 stages):
- 01 Classic World 1-1
- 02 Classic World 1-2
- 03 Classic World 1-3
- 04 Classic World 1-4
- 05 Classic World 2-2
MUSHROOM CARDS (original stages not found anywhere else, often featuring game mechanics not native to SMB3)
- 01 Wild Ride in the Sky
- 02 Slidin' the Slopes
- 03 Vegetable Volley
- 04 Doors o' Plenty
- 05 Bombarded by Bob-Ombs
- 06 Magical Note Blocks
- 07 The ol' Switcheroo
- 08 Piped Full of Plants
- 09 Swinging Bars of Doom
- 10 Para Beetle Challenge
- 11 A Musical Trek
- 12 Armored Airship
- 13 Ice Dungeon
- 14 A Sky-High Adventure
- 15 Sea to Sky
- 16 It's a Shoe-In
- 17 Slip Slidin' Away
- 18 Ice Cubed
- 19 Puzzling Pipe Maze
- 20 A Towering Tour
- 21 Castle Dash
- 22 Rich with Ropes
- 23 Vexing Doors
- 24 Caped Escape
- 25 Ground Work
- 26 An Aqueous Adventure
- 27 Bowser's Last Stand
- 28 Koopaling Confusion
- 29 Bowser's Airship 1
- 30 Bowser's Airship 2
PR CARDS (more original stages, originally distributed exclusively through special events, or in special editions of the game)
- PR Airship's Revenge
- PR No Time to Dawdle
- PR Treacherous Halls
That's a lot of extra levels, which certainly makes this download a little more tempting.
We're working on a review, in any case, but if you're in North America and have picked this up (or are planning to) let us know what you think of the e-Reader content.
Downloaded this last night and I am so glad to finally be able to play all the e-Reader levels!!!
Hmm...don't know if I should pick this up or not. I have the NES version on the 3DS, the All Stars version on Wii, and the GBA cart, so this'll be just for the e-Reader levels. Is it worth the $8?
Seems like a good moment to revisit super mario bros 3 id say. Shame it isn't on 3DS vc.
Pretty awesome that Nintendo went the extra mile here. I'll be sticking with my portable GBA copy and official cards (including power-ups that can be used freely in any level; feathers ftw!), but this is great for everyone else.
It is definitely worth it for the new levels, I mean, $8.00 is not asking THAT much and you also get what is (in my opinion) arguably the best version of Mario Bros. 3.
NA VC console content gets a lot of hate, but I'd much prefer to have this than what's been released here in Europe recently.
Ok, it might be worth double-dipping in SMB3 even though I already own the NES version on the Wii U.
I complain about Nintendo's treatment of the virtual console, but I am very impressed. They have stepped up their game lately.
I definitely plan to pick this up; the e-reader levels look like fun! (Double-dipping too, as I already have the original on 3DS.)
Yeah they could do a lot better like regularly giving us at least 2 or 3 releases a week, especially if the one game is a different version of one that is already available, and maybe get the Turbo Grafx and Genesis games that Japan has on theirs. But giving us extras we missed out on like this and then giving us games like Earthbound Origins and VS Excitebike is awesome.
Looks fun but... since Mario Maker has come out, I have not really felt the need to touch another Mario game... Maybe I'll find people who recreated the levels in Mario Maker. ha ha
Nintendo, do this more often please.
Definitely will get this game. My favorite version of SMB3 with even more content? Awesome.
Wii U. This is a handheld game and its rightful place is on the 3ds.
The gamepad is not a console for playing games on, it is a controller that should enhance Wii U HD gameplay.
Is there any word on a European release. Never had the pleasure to play the e-levels
Amazing, can't wait to pick this up.
These e reader levels are so much fun.
It's a shame that this verson of SMB3 doesn't have an editor.
The e reader exclusive stuff are already programmed in the game.... I just imagine what kind of levels I could do with this game <3
Definitely want this, but probably going to wait and see if there's a sale on it.
@Yoshi For $3 more than SMB3 for NES on Virtual Console, you get:
@allav866 I appreciate the response, but did you ignore what I said originally? I know what is in the game, and I have all three versions of it as well.
@Caryslan I played it last night, is light years ahead of the NES version, literally everything is better!
@Yoshi No Yoshi. It's not worth it. The game is a classic but it's 38 levels of more of the same ( as the saying goes ). In my opinion, your money should go towards a fresher experience. Something new to you. Maybe support a small developer with your cash. Or a Nintendo game that you might of missed out on. Just my thoughts.
@Yoshi Sorry, kinda tired, and got carried away.
As for if it's worth it, I think so. In addition to just playing the levels, you can collect all the A Coins and eCoins, and play through each one as Mario AND Luigi if you're a completionist.
Come on, Europe!
@AyeHaley I heartily second that!
Nowadays kids think SMM is hip and with it, but back in day being hip meant collecting some useless cardboard and scanning them with a goofy device to join the elite upper crust of Mario fans. In a way, SMM is a regression because it allows the entire common populace to enjoy mechanics appropriate only for the most deserving Nintendo fans.
At least we still have Chargin' Chuck, you buncha moochers.
I have a SMB3 NES cart, and All-Stars on the SNES, but I'm gonna have to download this for the new levels. One of the best games ever made.
I actually imported the e-Reader and some of the Mario cards from the US. Imagine my dismay when I discovered that the European version of the game had the e-reader mode disabled! Despite having the cards, the reader and a link cable I couldn't play any of these levels. Will certainly be picking up the Wii U release when it comes out in Europe!
It may be a lot to ask, but here's hoping Nintendo offers the remaining e-Reader content (additional special items/demo videos) as DLC. It should be at least conceivable, since the card was essentially additional code being read by the ROM. I'd be willing to pay for it.
I think what excites me most about the Virtual Console is that it can act as a sort of museum for Nintendo's history and can let you explore some of its more obscure products. Games like Vs. Excitebike, Summer Carnival '92: Recca, and the fully localized Mother are perfect examples of this. Unfortunately, it's just as often that content gets removed for the sake of expediency (like the recent lack of ghost data on Mario Kart 64). I'd love to see Nintendo release some Satellaview games or Famicom 3D system games on the 3DS though I know the chances of that are slim. But this release, at least, is a step in the right direction. I'll definitely be supporting it.
So many great memories with this game. Never played the e reader levels so this is awesome!
Obviously the big news is the levels that were only released in Japan, but I see 'Airship's Revenge' there too - a Wal-Mart exclusive that I'm guessing a lot of people missed out on. I know I did.
Looks like I'll have to download this. Should easily be the best version of the game.
@LegendOfPokemon How come? I haven't seen it released on the 3DS....
Bring it on Europe,don't let this be our Zero Mission.
@Lizuka Coro Coro Castle was renamed to Treacherous Halls.
The only one I never got a chance to play was the second-to-last level, No Time to Dawdle. From what I've read, there was a very limited supply of those cards in Japan and they were meant to be kept by retailers who would scan the level into a customer's game. Nobody ever got the chance to decode the card since those who knew how to never got their hands on one.
Dammit and I was hoping they give us the cape too.
@OorWullie I don't think you guys have gotten the other Mario Advance games either. It's really pathetic that neither NoA nor NoE can keep parity.
I complain a lot about Nintendo's handling of the VC but this is a great job. Only fair that I buy it as soon as it comes to Europe
So we can't use the cape in this game because the power up e reader cards aren't included? That's lame.
Wow, this sounds like a really nice addition! I never played the Mario Advance titles, but if the e-reader levels are really that imaginative and play around with the conventions, this alone would be reason to buy it.
So you don't actually use the eReader rom to scan the e-Reader cards? Well that takes the fun out of it. Imagine using the Game Pad as the e-Reader to virtually swipe the cards to send the data to the Super Mario Bros. 3 on the main TV.
Still, a nice extra to include. Shame Nintendo didn't bother doing this with F-ZERO GP Legend.
Makes me wish we got one last Mario advance game that was similar to those E reader levels. To mix and match elements from basically the entire Allstars series plus World was just amazing. I'd like the next Mario maker (or even an update) that allowed something like that. A "all Mario" mode with stuff from every game.
Wow, never thought the day would come the e-reader levels were officially released.
Done and done. Downloaded and playing now...
Great idea. I had the leaf eReader card that came with my SMA4 game but never got to use it as I didn't have the eReader accessory. I got into GBA kind of late (2004) and by them they had clearanced out all the eReader stuff. It's expensive collector crap on eBay now, not worth the price of admission really.
I'm impressed that Nintendo was able to dig up and provide these extra levels properly. The e-Reader was basically like a precursor technology to Amiibos, and shares many of the same woes from today's perspective of DLC and DRM. We didn't deride the e-Reader at the time too much, though, because there was a technological barrier to providing that content otherwise. I would say the pitfalls of e-Reader access still apply today, especially for Amiibo.
The e-Reader rightfully belongs in a museum, and so do the physical DLC policies that go with it. The lessons of e-Reader teach us what the fate of Amiibo will be in the future. Nintendo made the right choice to finally use this chance to bring these levels back into a full version of SMB3 Advance. Too bad it's not being made available for 3DS.
Double dipped. It was worth it to get rid of that stupid bar to the left of the screen alone.
38 new levels is actually pretty substantial. That's more than the original SMB had in it.
@maceng I have the original SMB3 when it released on 3DS and Wii U a couple years ago, not the remake. Sorry for the misunderstanding!
So cool Nintendo added these.
If this comes to Europe I'll be all over it!
I was totally displeased with e-reader on GBA. In concept, it seemed awesome, but they literally never released all the cards for the e-reader mode, and scanning the 10-up card over and over was too tempting, especially when I could beat the game anyway.
Tap here to load 50 comments
Leave A Comment
Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...