Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 - GBA

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Viewed: 2D Side-on, Scrolling Genre:
Arcade origin:No
Developer: Nintendo Soft. Co.: Nintendo
Publishers: Nintendo (GB/US)
Released: 17 Oct 2003 (GB)
22 Sept 2003 (US)
Ratings: PEGI 3+, ESRB Everyone
Accessories: e-Reader
Connectivity: Link Cable


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Nintendo’s stellar portfolio, despite carrying the weight of Donkey Kong and Zelda, owes itself almost entirely to a short, fat plumber by the name of Mario. He started his virtual days way back in 1981 as Donkey Kong’s arch-enemy before embarking on a solo career in the famed Super Mario Brothers series. In this instance, we look at Super Mario Brothers 3, re-released for GBA as the fourth instalment of the Mario Advance series.

When Bowser (King Koopa) and his seven children wreak havoc on the Mario universe, turning its native kings into wildlife, the moustachioed Italian plumber embarks on a third adventure to put an end to his enemy’s antics once again.

Originally developed under the watchful eye of gaming god Shigeru Miyamoto, Super Mario 3 builds on the success and gameplay of the Super Mario Brothers original and not the US-developed Super Mario Brothers 2. A thoroughbred platform game, Mario possesses all of the basic abilities of a typical 80’s platform outing, whereby he can run, jump, swim and stomp on enemies. Power ups such as Fire Flowers and 1UP Mushrooms make a welcome return, but Nintendo has further increased its efforts by giving him the ability to fly, throw hammers, and even transform into a statue. Super Mario 3 is, in many gamers eyes, the best Mario game Nintendo has ever created, even today.

It was also the first in the series to incorporate a game map for each world. Within the eight hub-like worlds are anywhere between six and ten individual levels where most of the game is played, and all are designed so that progress must be made in a predetermined order. But these maps are also host to several rewarding mini-games such as Pairs. Games are skillful, and often reward players with items that are useful in the main game. At the end of each world, an airship awaits, carrying one of Bowser's children. Finish the airship level and defeat the boss, and you can move onto the next world.

Game Boy Advance owners will also have the pleasure of the original Mario Bros game, included in Mario Advance 4, as well as several all-new levels, unlockable via Nintendo’s e-Reader. Super Mario 3, even after all this time, remains one of the greatest platform games of all time. We love it - you will too.


Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 - GBA Artwork

Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 - GBA Artwork

Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 - GBA Artwork

Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 - GBA Artwork