Review by Unleashed Vortex

Reviewed: 09/05/06

Makes me want to put my head through the ceiling.

Like almost all of the “classic” NES titles, Mario Bros fails to live up to the standards that it set itself. Along with many other horrible NES games like Ice Climber, Donkey Kong and Namco’s Dig Dug, it has received a cult following, re-appearing on various GBA rehashes and even way back on the SNES on Super Mario All Stars. This horribly bland game is so excruciatingly dull, repetitive and flawed that it’s actually quite worrying how Nintendo see this as a “classic” game.

However, despite being a horrible game, it still has valuable historical merit. Not only did it see the “Jump-Man” being finally given his proper title of Mario, it also saw the debut of his brother, Luigi. It was a momentous moment in gaming history but, it’s also quite an odd one. Who would’ve thought that the debut of two would-be icons was so rusty and morose? Thankfully, they were later dragged out of the mud and released some of the most popular platform games ever.

But, this is no time for admiration!

Mario Bros. drops you in a room filled with platforms and four pipes. As a small selection of enemies come out of the pipes from the top of the screen, your job is to run up and hit the enemies from underneath so they topple over. Then, while they wriggle in confusion, you can run up and kick them off the screen. Certain enemies require two hits while some have the ability to jump over you, so you’ll have to be reasonably clever and time your hits well. If you’re struggling, you can use the POW block to create tremors throughout the screen. This helpful item will knock all of the enemies on the screen upside down, giving you a sweet advantage over most of the bad guys.

This may sound like fun retro-arcade action but it’s drained down by numerous flaws. Firstly, the obvious upset is the extremely repetitive nature of the gameplay. I’m sad to say that the previous paragraph summed up everything that you can do in the game. All of the levels are simply harder variations of the one the preceded it. Every level requires the same action and the same thinking. However, fundamental flaws also emerge as you play. Mario and Luigi will skid all over the place and have an amazing habit to jump straight up in the air. Even when you hold the D-pad left or right! These annoying flaws make controlling the Mario Bros. a far bigger chore that what it should be. It transforms a repetitive game into an unbearable one. Have fun slipping all over the place and hopelessly trying to jump onto rather tame ledges!

Mario Bros. is horrible. I really don’t see what’s so entertaining about it. It is repetitive, clunky and endless (like all of these “classic” Nintendo games.) Why would anyone want to play something that adapts a boring method of play, focuses entirely on this method and throws in horrible controls and collision detection? It baffles me to thank that anyone would find this game even remotely enjoyable. Another NES classic? Surely not.

Rating:   1.5 - Bad

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