Review by ShadowAspect

Reviewed: 10/02/07

Going back to your roots....Mario is here to play.

Before there was any use of the word “Super” or any numbers or other byline titles added on to the final name….there was the original “Mario Bros”. This game was actually a spin-off from the Donkey Kong series (which went on its own tangent to make further games) and would be the first time that Luigi would be introduced into the now legendary series.

Most don’t realize it but many fundamental changes were made in this game that would define all future games associated with the heroes. Originally an arcade title, Mario Bros has seen numerous remakes on various different computers and consoles. Now, the Wii has an emulation (of the NES version, more on that later) out on this classic retro title and so today I present my review….

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Story (n/a)

One of the key changes that happened to Mario way back when was that he changed from being a carpenter to being a plumber. Of course, as we know now, he remained that way to this very day (as well as being everything else such as Hero of the realm, Soccer Star, and Brawling thug amongst other things).

As such, Mario and his brother (Luigi’s Debut) begin with a humble task of clearing out the piping system (perhaps the Mushroom Kingdom’s sewers? Who knows….) of unwanted guests. Obviously, as this was a simple arcade game, there’s not much more story beyond that. As such, no rating will be assigned to this aspect and it will not factor into the final score.

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Graphics (5/10)

Another key point to bring up (and this will be brought up numerous other times throughout this article) is that as mentioned before this is the NES version…..which differs from its original Arcade version. In the case of graphics, the NES version was of a lower quality with pixilation and muted colors from the original Arcade type. Additionally, there used to be an animation when you knocked a turtle upside down and didn’t kick it in time that it would jump out of it’s shell (and be in underwear) and kick it’s old shell off the platform and put on a newer (usually faster and a different color) shell before taking off again. That didn’t make it to the NES version and thus will not be in this version as well.

The reason for these changes are obvious…..the NES, while a great console, was not up to the same level of ability as a straight out motherboard dedicated to one game. This lack of dedication as well as the fact that it was cheaper to make and thus didn’t have as much of the high end materials as an arcade machine of the time, is the sole reasoning as to why the NES had a version with the graphics toned down (as well as other issues later discussed).

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Sound (6/10)

Sound in this game is very minimal but it’s not annoying in any stretch of the imagination. As far as the difference between the Arcade and NES versions the only differences comes from the fact that the NES doesn’t have cutscenes thus you don’t hear the monster theme songs when they are introduced. Outside of that it’s about the same.

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Gameplay (8/10)

Mario Bros. was meant for multi-player. Having two guys go at it taking out monsters and helping (or hindering) each other is a lot of fun. Single player is still good but over time it starts to get stale.

In either case, the basic premise is to hit underneath the target in question, knock them over (or outright kill in some minor exceptions) and then jump up to their level and kick them off the board……basically it’s that pattern coupled in with some bonus rounds collecting coins. Simple concept, yet simple fun.

The only disappointing thing to note is that the NES version takes out the icicles that occur way later in the game. It’s not clear why they would do such a move but thankfully it doesn’t make the game any easier or harder so it’s more then likely not going to be noticed except by retro buffs.

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Mario and Co. have come a long way since this game. Still, it’s always good to go “back home” as some may say. If you can afford the cost (at the standard 400 wii points it’s a good buy) and especially if you can get someone else to play with you, then you owe it to yourself to give this game a whirl. It

Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Product Release: Mario Bros. (US, 11/19/06)

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