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 09/27/2010 14:00 10 Comments     ShareThis

Racoon Mario and Koopa Shell masthead

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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.

10 Responses to “My Forty-Two Minutes with Super Mario Bros. 3”

  • 1332 points
    Andrew Hsieh says...

    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.


  • 288 points
    JPtheNintendoFan says...

    Wow this article makes me feel old as I remember waiting for SMB3 to come out when I was a kid…You should keep playing it as it’s a great game!

  • 678 points
    amishpyrate says...

    mario 3 will always be my favorite. this game was such a big deal back in they day. I remember the news reporting it was coming out

  • 186 points
    Aaron Roberts says...

    Dude, Adam, you need to learn the Laws of Mushroom Physics. Plus, there’s a 1UP loop in World 1-2 where you can literally get 99 extra lives if you want. Then you don’t have to continue as much. Plus, if you play two player and one of you has a game over, only the stages you’ve beaten reset, the other player’s will stay beaten.

  • 702 points
    Matthew Tidman says...

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

    I thought I was going to die from laughing. Great article!

  • 93 points
    Francisco Naranjo says...

    Really nice read! Be glad you didn’t get the Japanese version of Super Mario Bros. 2. That game is soul-scarring hard.

  • 697 points
    Adam Sorice says...

    Thanks for all the comments guys!

    Aaron that option sounds incredibly tempting, I was demanding the GBA Super Mario Bros. 2 continue system from the moment I died.

  • 276 points
    Nicolas Vestre says...

    The mushrooms have a left or right trajectory depending on which side you hit the block.

    Left side: Mushroom goes to the right

    Right side: Mushroom goes to the left

    A question: In the Japanese release of SMB3, Let’s say you’re Raccoon Mario. You get hit by an enemy. Normally, in the American version, this would revert you back to Super Mario. But in the Japanese version, does getting hit while Raccoon Mario turn you into tiny regular Mario? That would make the game even harder! I wish there was an option to play that way.

    In the intro to SMB3 (North American), Raccoon Mario gets hit by a shell and turns right back into regular Mario. I always though that was really weird when I was little.

  • 258 points
    Joshua A. Johnston says...

    I picked up the game on VC last year with a friend — first time in many years — and I was surprised how difficult it was. Man, have we all gone soft?

  • 87 points
    chrisbg99 says...

    You kids and your weakness.

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