Show Some Love

Posted on May 18th 2012 at 08:42:58 AM by (Crabmaster2000)
Posted under Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros 2, Super Mario Bros 3, NES, Nintendo

Most gamers that have been around for any amount of time have experienced Super Mario Bros in some fashion. I'm no exception and grew up with Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros 2 and Super Mario Bros 3 as staples in my gaming education. All three are regularly named for their high quality, impact on the industry and most importantly for being fun.

Over the years my gaming tastes have waxed and waned, constantly evolving as I experience (or re-experience) more titles, reflect on past adventures and struggle to overlook my nostalgic feelings. The Mario brothers are often at the fore front of such conflict. With all three of these games being so important to my gaming career (I like to pretend I get paid) did one stand above the others? If so, which one?

Like I said above my gaming tastes have changed over the years and my preference for the Super Mario Bros trilogy on the NES has been dramatically affected in that time. Indulge me for a moment while I reflect on each title when it reigned supreme over its brethren.

After experiencing each game fairly thoroughly for many hours in my youth it was quite obvious to me that Super Mario Bros 3 was clearly the best game of the 3. It had most of what the previous two titles had and expanded it greatly with things like World Maps, cached item inventory, cool new powers and most importantly the ability to jump around in an oversized boot. Mario could seemingly do it all. And for many years thatís all I needed to know.

But after a while it didnít seem like enough. What if I wanted a little quirkiness in my platforming? What if I was sick of stomping Goombas and Koopa Troopas? What if I just wanted to pick up my dress and fly? I donít remember exactly when it happened, but it was sometime in my late teens that Super Mario Bros 2 became the obvious victor in the unspoken Mushroom Kingdom wars. Sure it had some limitations compared to the 3rd title, but who doesnít love those crazy feet Luigi displays when leaping from platform to platform, or tossing a POW block in a room full of Shy Guys? Those kinds of oddities were fun beyond what Super Mario Bros 3 had to offer. So for nearly a decade Super Mario Bros 2 spent more hours in my toaster.

Fast forward to the last several years and my gaming habits have changed drastically. I've been able to play more NES games than I dreamed I ever would as a kid. Still the 3 Super Mario Bros games sit high atop the dismembered corpses of their rivals as I dig through the vast library. And once again I find my tastes maturing (or possibly regressing). I crave the simplicity of Super Mario Bros over the quirkiness and more robust offerings of its sequels. Just give me Mushrooms, Flowers and Stars. I donít want anything more. Does it matter that every boss is basically the same? Heck no! In fact I think I like it that way. Not enough variety in the levels? Hogwash! There are just enough different types to slate my platforming appetite.

So over the last couple decades there have been slightly different pixelated heroes near to my heart, but they've always been wearing a red cap. Turns out the one I feel the closest to is from his first outing on the NES. For the foreseeable future this is the one I will call the "best".

So whatís your Mario?

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No mention of the real Super Mario Bros. 2? It certainly amps the original formula to the extreme.

It's funny but I am reading and typing this as I sit at my yard sale and I have SMB/Duck Hunt set up in a NES for sale. I was just playing it a moment ago, and it still top notch even by todays standard. For me personally though, I have to give the nod to SMB 3 if we are sticking to the NES versions.
I don't know if it's the "best" (as the many polls and YouTube videos seem to always list SMB3 as the greatest game ever made for the system), but I'm with you on picking the original SMB as my favorite.  I think there are several factors that make me feel this way:

1.  Nostalgia - If you were around when the NES was first released, the game you probably played first was SMB.  Games at that time were so "expensive" (still $40-$60 as they are today, with a lower cost of living) and for many of us, this game was the only one we had to play until our next birthday or Christmas rolled around.  As a result, we logged a lot of hours on it and it has become dear to many of us.  We had so much time on our hands with this game, that we discovered things like "turtle tapping," little fire Mario, and the Minus World.

2. Graphics - Imagine if you will (some of you won't have to), the gigantic leap from Atari 2600/5200, Coleco, INT, etc. graphics to the 16-bit NES.  It was mind-blowing.  Even though graphics for newer systems have gotten substantially better over time, I can think of no other instance where it was so drastic.  SMB was the game that first opened our eyes to this new technology and became aesthetically iconic.

3.  Hype - Though the release of the NES was very hyped, I think of no other game for the system at the time that was more hyped than SMB3.  Nintendo Power (which many of us subscribed to, and was at the height of it's reign during the release of SMB3) greatly generated hype for this game, and let's not forget it's presence in the movie "The Wizard."  SMB3 ranks just behind SMB and Duck Hunt, which were included with the heavy majority of all systems sold, in total sales; it is the highest selling, single released game for the NES.  While I think that SMB3 is a great game, I think that over the years, the hype has faded considerably for many who grew up during it's release.

4. SMB2 - Though a fun game, if we had to pick, most of us would probably rank this one last in the series.  Upon release, many gamers were extremely disappointed due to the heavy departure of gameplay from the beloved original.  The release of SMB3, and a return to a more similar platform of the original, truly increased the hype and love for SMB3.

I would never criticize anyone picking either of the other two games as their favorite, but I feel that as a "seasoned" (it's hard to say old) gamer, I have such a bond with the original SMB that the pick is a no brainer for me.  All three are great games, but if I had to pick one to take with me to a desert island, with an electrical outlet, it would be the original. 
@Duke.Togo: No mention of the "real" SMB2 because honestly who the heck played it until Super Mario All-Stars came about?

@singlebanana: I try not to let nostagia cloud my thoughts, even with a game that definitely tries to. There i just something about the simplicity that draws me to the first SMB that seems to get lost in the later 2 for me.
Oh, that real Super Mario Bros. 2 gave me nightmares for years! Although it's my favorite, along with Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World. Good times. Nostalgic times!
I'm going to say that SMB3 is my favorite.  I enjoy all the NES SMB titles, but 3 is just that little bit better for me.
@Crabmaster2000: The entire nation of Japan.
Another thing that i like about SMB: the Minus World Smiley
The one and only real original:  Donkey Kong.
@Duke.Togo: Those guys dont count Tongue
I'm going with SMB3.  It is tough for me between the first and third though. I'll never forgetting running for dear life having that angry sun chasing Mario down.  Good times. I think I'll play it tonight. Thanks.
@a_hub10: Yeah I have fond memories of the panic that set in when the sun would dive down at you.

My favorite levels in any of the NES Mario games though have to be the bridge levels in SMB (like 2-3) where the fish jump out of the bottom of the screen at you. Its so much fun to barrel through those levels at top speed trying to avoid them and not fall to your death at the same time.
I'm a bit too young to truly be a SMB child, but I did have All-Stars as a kid. I had so much fun playing through 3 that it still remains my favorite.

I did play some SMB 2j but that was mostly torture and quickly grew to frustration. SMB 1 steadily grew more challenging, as did number 3.

I always through Mario Doki Panic was fairly easy, but so much fun to play if you don't take it seriously and look down on it because you now know that it is not really a Mario game. I loved it as a kid and I still love it.
I actually never played any of them. I stopped playing Mario games with Donkey Kong.

Yeah, right! What next, you gonna tell us you never watched any of the Star Wars movies, either? Tongue

As for me: If we're sticking with the NES, I gotta go with Super Mario3.

I remember a few times back in the day when it was getting late and I had to hit the hay. I'd pause the game, turn the TV off, and leave the console running all night, just so I could try to complete it the next day. I never had that kinda dedication for the first Super Mario Bros. Then again, I was usually able to run through the first SMB much more quickly than the third...
@Crabmaster2000: My favorite level to run through top speed in the original was 4-1. Never stopping and just barely making it over those Pirana Plants is still the best rush I get from that game.

SMB3 For me as well. So much on my early gaming experience and childhood in general was blown away by it. Although I do have many, many fond memories of the first one that ensures that it will never fully drop off my playlist.
@Silent Scythe: 4-1 is freakin awesome! Next to the flying fish levels its definitely a favorite of mine too!
Just as singlebannana mentioned, SMB was like a dream come true. I remember playing zaxxon,frogger, and a few others on my Commodore 64 it was fun and will always have a place in my heart. But when i went to K-mart with my mom and i saw the display set up for SMB I was blown away and had to have it. I remember wanting to sit and play for hours. There was always a ton of kids standing around waiting to play. When i got it for christmas that year it was the best thing ever! I logged a lot of hours on both SMB and SMB3. I would say SMB for Nostalgia and SMB3 would be my pick as best Mario game for the NES.
my mario is my profile pic Smiley
@gamer2112:ok Donkey Kong was Jump Man, mario wasn't named until later
Simple answer for me.  The first SMB just because it was the first video game I'd ever played. Smiley
@Slowman: Wow, first game ever? That is pretty big. I'm pretty sure mine was Combat.
When I was in elementary school, my mom picked me (and my brother) up from school early so we could rent a copy of Super Mario Bros. 3 (it was new, so all the copies would disappear shortly after school let out). It was a complete surprise, and came to me like baby's first Christmas. Leaving school early? To play video games? A new Mario game? The fact that my mom was "breaking the rules" for/with us, and that our older two brothers (who attended a different school) wouldn't get a chance at the game until much later made the experience all the more memorable.

SMB2 remains special for being one of the first (if not the actual first) games to let me choose a female avatar. Peach was actually the preferred character for my brothers, too, given the float ability.
I would have to pick SMB over 2 & 3. SMB was the first NES game that I had a chance to play, and like Singlebanana said, many of us only had one or two games. At the time the NES launched, my friend down the street had a copy of SMB and we played the hell out of it. I would rank SMB 2 last as well.

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