Super Mario Bros. may be over-praised... perhaps, but certainly not OVER-RATED.
Super Mario Bros. for the original Nintendo is a classic for sure and it indeed deserves every last bit of respect it gets. This was the game that firmly put Nintendo on the map and no one can truly deny this. It was indeed an incredible plat-former at that particular time, but I personally think there were probably one or two I liked better with Wonder Boy and Pitfall (arcade version) coming to mind. However, as much as I still love and respect the hell out of this game and what it did for gaming. I will admit that it is over-praised and people’s nostalgia has clouded their judgment. I do not believe it is the single best game ever made or even the best of its type. I don’t even think it’s that close to being the best on the NES, nor do I think it single-handedly saved gaming or turned Coke into Pepsi; but it’s definitely a game all hardcore gamers should give a try too.
The story is the same story being told up to this day. King Koopa aka Bowser or whatever he calls himself kidnaps Princess Toadstool or Peach, and it’s up to Mario to save her by traversing through 8 worlds in the Mushroom Kingdom until he ends up at the final castle where she’s being held. Since I’m not one of these Super Mario Bros. experts attempting to break a new time record. I will say that this is still a challenging and fun plat-former with some very tight jumps leading from one area to the next. There are still some stages that give me goose bumps when I enter them like world 6-3 for example and the entire 8th world. I just finished re-playing this game without taking a single Warp Zone and my palms were quite sweaty before the end.
For those who may be unfamiliar with this game, Mario gets around by running and jumping from one point to another, and he can land on some enemies to defeat them by stomping them. He further gets around with the Starman invincibility, mushrooms to increase his size, and finally the Fire Plant to shoot fireballs from his hands.
The game becomes more difficult as more enemies are introduced with at least one not being able to be stepped on at all, or another whom is difficult to step on. One is even fireproof to your fireballs, so this game does throw a bit at the guy. Not to mention some of those trickier jumps that can seem impossible.
The game has some nice stage designs and even water worlds that contains their own characters unique to it. The castles are well done too and they only happen to get harder with at least two actually being mazes. The visuals were great for their time with world 6-3 standing out more then the others, and then the third world has a night time setting. So there is a bit of visual variety going on here, plus the many different enemies with their own unique looks.
Unfortunately Super Mario Bros. does suffer from quite a bit of rehashing. There are stages that do repeat with small variations making them difficult, plus it really is the same old boss for the most part waiting at every castle. It seems as if the idea tank began to run dry. Simple and derivative bosses is something that has plagued the Mario franchise literally forever.
Without taking under consideration this game’s classic and influential status, Super Mario Bros. is still one hell of a plat-former and it really was among the best in its day. It’s still a load of fun even now. I highly recommend at least giving this one a look. It’s more than likely never going to wow players in this day and age, but it’s going to defeat a lot of them whom decide to come into it expecting a cakewalk.
The Good: Still a pretty challenging plat-former, some nice and creative stage designs
The Bad: Quite a bit of rehashing