Best of ND 2010: My Forty-Two Minutes with Super Mario Bros. 3

One of the young’ns on Nintendojo’s staff tries to roll like the old folks did. Owned.

By Adam Sorice. Posted 12/29/2010 16:00 7 Comments     ShareThis

Racoon Mario and Koopa Shell masthead

Best of Nintendojo 2010 Award Badge
This story was selected as one of our best from 2010. It was originally published on September 27, 2010 during Issue 17: Virtually Yours.

Writing for Nintendojo is a great experience, unquestionably. Not only have I had the opportunity to meet a group of incredibly talented, witty and like-minded people when I joined the staff, but I’ve also gotten to write stuff. And anyone who has read some of my seemingly infinite articles will understand my enjoyment in writing.

But the position isn’t all sunshine, rainbow and kittens. There are some minor downsides to the job, such as deadlines. It’s safe to say that I’ve lost a fair few hours of sleep due to fast-approaching submission dates and my own atrocious time management skills. But that I can deal with; I don’t look like I sleep anyway. No, my main issue is how the other members of staff can make me feel so young sometimes.

It’s not a complaint you’re likely to hear often and it’s not one that emerges all that often in my everyday life, but writing for Nintendojo does, now and again, make me feel like I’m about 8 years old and completely clueless about all things video games.

Because apparently some important stuff happened before I was born. Like something called the “SNES” and even stuff before that. Well, with this being Virtual Console week and everything, I decided to try out a true, original, non-updated version from the first age of video games: Super Mario Bros. 3. Mainly because half the staff did that kind of silent scream when I told them I hadn’t ever played it.

Being a kid of the 21st century– okay, a kid of the ’90s– I decided to live blog my exciting play through of one of Mario’s greatest adventures. Let’s just say things didn’t go quite as well as I’d hoped.

15.23 –And so we begin. Why is there no opening music at the beginning?

15.24 – Ah the world map, catchy music. And the trees are wiggling in time? Of course. World 1-1, here I come.

15.26 – Racoon Mario! What’s up with the flashing border on the right hand edge? Were all games like that in yesteryear?

15.27 – Misjudged a Goomba. Bye, Racoon Mario.

15.27 (again) – Dead.

15.28 – The mushrooms like zipping off in any direction, don’t they?

15.29 – I got a card! (What?)

15.30 – World 1-2. Ah, that familiar music.

15.31 – May have lost my grip on the ground after a dash and fell into a ravine. Why are there so many ravines in old school Mario?

15.33 – Got to be Racoon Mario for a fair old while there. Encountered musical note boxes and got a Star Card. What the hell do they do?

15.34 – Pressing the 1 button makes Mario do a little spin on the spot. Does this hold merit or just make him look whimsical?

15.35 – Every coin equates to $1. I thought you didn’t get dollar coins?

15.37 – Game Over… Oops.

15.38 – Wait, I’ve got to start from 1-1 again? This could be a long day…

15.40 – Bothered to read the e-manual and figured out what the Cards do. Cards are stupid.

15.41 – Has it ever occurred to you that Mario looks like a cat dressed up as a plumber in this game? Because he actually does.

15.43 – Super Star!! *Dashes*

15.44 – Died from the same flying Goomba in 1-3 again. Oh joy.

15.45 – Sprinted through the stage as mini Mario and died. Only got one life left again…

15.46 – Collided with my own shell. Oh, look: it’s World 1-1. Again.

15.47 – The one thing I will say is that the item-pick-up gameplay mechanic seems impressive. But search me if I can figure out how to use it.

15.49 – It’s a real shame that my attempts to film this didn’t work. You could have all enjoyed me playing Super Mario Bros. 3 incredibly badly.

15.53 – Finally beat World 1-3. I bet 1-4 will be nice and easy to get over that difficulty curve from before.

15.54 – I was wrong.

15.55 – I liked the aerial platform levels in New Super Mario Bros. But in this game? Meh. And the constantly panning camera with the green-flashing right-hand edge is going to induce an epileptic fit soon.

15.58 – Hello, World 1-1!

15.59 – Games were definitely better value for money in the old days. I’ve been playing the same ten minutes of programming for the past half an hour.

16.00 – And cheaper to produce too, I imagine. The amount of value they’ve gotten out of the “You just died” melody while I’ve been playing is in itself astounding.

16.02 – Okay, this is starting to get old, really fast. The few pleasures left to me are running very fast into stuff and the tame giddiness I feel whenever an enemy walks off screen and disappears from existence.

16.04 – Maybe Mario likes it down in the bottomless pits? Did you ever think about that, Nintendo? Huh?

16.05 – And dead. Shutting off the console before I smash the console now. I’m officially sticking to the ’90s.

7 Responses to “Best of ND 2010: My Forty-Two Minutes with Super Mario Bros. 3”

  • 30 points
    CryojenX says...

    Ah, there’s nothing like a good old school challenge. It’s rare these days to find games that appeal to all ages, and yet also don’t hold your hand all the time.

  • 1567 points
    penduin says...

    Sad, but… I can’t be too hard on this little whippersnapper.

    We children of the 80s (or super-late 70s…) were very well-trained by the time SMB3 came around. We had Mario 1 and 2 under our belts, as well as the first few Castlevania and MegaMan adventures. Pity Earth never got invaded by robots who could be defeated by 8-bit platforming skills; Nintendo raised a huge army of us world-saving heroes!

    …Oh, and our quaint old round-cornered tube TVs cut off the edges of the screen, allowing parts of the framebuffer to be cleverly abused by programmers for extra memory and smooth scrolling effects. :^)

    • 697 points
      Adam Sorice says...

      I wondered why there was a big green bar on the right hand side, it was rather disruptive to any immersion in the game. Mainly because I just kept staring at it instead of Mario :P

      Video games have come a long way, that’s for sure.

  • 276 points
    Nicolas Vestre says...

    This was my favorite game to rent when I was 5. Every time I was sick, I’d ask my mom really nicely if I could please rent “Mario 3.” It didn’t always work, but when it did, fun was had. :)

    If I remember correctly, I had an archaic TV.

  • 678 points
    amishpyrate says...

    I still practice this game all the time, you know in case i ever have to do battle with the retarded kid from the Wizard

    • 702 points
      Matthew Tidman says...

      You mean Lucas? I know he thought his power glove was “so bad,” but that’s no reason to call him “retarded.” If by some stretch of the imagination you mean Jimmy, he’s autistic. It’s different.

  • 276 points
    Nicolas Vestre says...

    Sometimes I just get the urge to play this game. But once I start, I don’t want to stop until I’ve finished. :)

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