As one of the most re-released NES games, Super Mario Bros. has appeared through the Virtual Console across Wii, Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, as part of the Classic NES series on Game Boy Advance, and as an upgrade within Super Mario All-Stars on the SNES and Wii. This time, however, we’re looking at the Game Boy Color iteration of the game.
This game, on the surface, looks just like its NES counterpart, but there are numerous differences. Unlike the other re-releases, Super Mario Bros. Deluxe adds numerous features to make the game a complete package.
First off, we have the actual Super Mario Bros. game. This game looks and plays exactly like the NES counterpart, but with a difference. To account for the change in resolution from 256×240 to 160×144, the game is zoomed in, rather than shrinking the game to fit the screen. This does affect gameplay, with players being unable to see the distance of many of the game’s tricky jumps. This naturally increases the difficulty a little and can lead to some frustrating deaths if you’re new to the game. Unlike the NES original, there is also an overworld map, as well as the ability to save at any point in the game which does help the fact that the game is designed for a portable console.
However, the original Super Mario Bros. is not the only aspect of this game, there are several more features included. When you complete a level in the main Super Mario Bros. game, you can play it again in Challenge Mode. In this mode, you have five red coins to find around the level, hunt a very well-hidden Yoshi egg, and beat a target score. When you have achieved each of the goals for a level, you will receive a medal.
Next, is a special mode called You VS. Boo, seeing you race through a variety of courses against one of the Mushroom Kingdom’s ghostly apparitions. These courses are altered versions of the standard levels you have played through in the main game and include various obstacles such as switches that need to be hit. As you complete each course, you will unlock a faster Boo in that course, intensifying the level of challenge.
Finally, there’s the mode “Super Mario Bros. for Super Players”. This mode is essentially Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels. It contains Worlds 1-8 of that game for you to play through, although these levels are not included in the Challenge Mode. Various parts of The Lost Levels were removed from the game such as the wind, which resulted in several levels having to be redone to allow for jumps to be made possible. In addition to that, it’s worth noting that World 9 and Worlds A-D are not available within the game.
Unfortunately, all multiplayer and Game Boy Printer features are not accessible within this version of the game due to hardware limitations. This is especially sad in regards to the multiplayer, which was a good challenge and ran akin to the You VS. Boo levels.
In addition to playable modes, there’s also an Album mode. As you play through the game and achieve various things, you will unlock a special picture to commemorate it. For example, defeating a Cheep Cheep gets a picture, as does getting the fireworks at the end of a level and defeating the false Bowsers with Fire Mario. This adds further incentive to replay the levels to unlock all the available images, but due to one requiring multiplayer, it will be forever incomplete.
Super Mario Bros. Deluxe is rather true to its name. It provides not only one but two NES games, as well as other modes that will keep you coming back to improve your score and complete the challenges. While the smaller resolution of the Game Boy Color can affect the gameplay in a negative way, as well as the glaring lack of its multiplayer feature on the 3DS, it still arguably remains the definitive version of the NES classic.
Version Tested: Nintendo 3DS
Review copy provided by Nintendo