The Zero Hour

Reviews, rants and oddities on video game and film culture.

Super Mario Bros Deluxe


Super Mario Bros Deluxe is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s the classic Super Mario Bros. 1985 game, with some extra features. There I’ve just saved you 10 minutes of reading.

Ok, you’re here now, we may as well carry on, especially if you’re one of the 0.5% who has never played Super Mario Bros. Super Mario Bros. is the story of lowly plumber Mario who has to rescue Princess Peach, who through some kind of monarchy based shenanigans is ruler of the Mushroom Kingdom from the evil Bowser and his army of Goombas, Koopas and flying fish. The main game is exactly as it was in 1985, except now there’s added save files and palette swapping to play as Luigi at will whilst you’re thankful for a bunch of features of later Mario games, such as Charles Martinet voice clips whenever you jump (I know it’s a Gameboy colour game, but Pokemon Yellow managed Pikachu voice samples) that are left absent, you do wonder if Nintendo could have put some small little features from the later iterations, such as shell grabbing or more floatier jumping, making the game the ultimate 8-bit Mario experience, but doing so would distract that it is to introduce another generation to the classic Mario game, just like they did in 1995…and 2006…and 2010…how much more money can they make off one game?

However,  of course, it wouldn’t be called Super Mario Bros. Deluxe if it was just the one game. No, Nintendo partially threw the boat out on this one. There’s a challenge mode which involves going through the stages and collecting red coins, a Yoshi egg and obtaining a certain score, which if you fail, you get a disappointed picture of Toad, which doesn’t really make sense, it doesn’t make you want to try harder, maybe if he was being tortued (which admittedly is something Mario fans would want to see after the main game). The challenge mode doesn’t come across as anything special, mind, just an extra that feels more mandatory to complete than fun. There’s a Boo racing game along some new stages as well, which again, feels forced and un-neccesary.

That said, Nintendo decided to shove at least one decent trick up their sleeve. The Lost Levels. That’s right, the originally Japan only sequel to SMB in it’s full 8 bit glory. It’s fun, it’s extremely difficult and is worth the price of the game alone, shame it’s rock hard to unlock. It plays exactly the same as Super Mario Bros. so it’s just as good or (controversial opinion) a bit better. Now, having said that, I fear I’ll have to hide for fear of being murdered by Mario purists.

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