SUPER MARIO ADVANCE
It all started one evening when Mario had a strange dream. Well that's how it all started back in 1988 atleast, or should
I say a few years earlier when the characters in Super Mario Bros 2 wasn't Mario, Luigi, Toad and the Princess, but instead
featured two guys wearing huge turbans, one also had a beard, a girl in harem's clothing and another girl looking like
a member of the Klu Klux Klan, she turned later turned into Luigi, nuff said. I think I forgot to mention that the
game originally wasn't called Super Mario Bros 2 either, but actually Dream Shop Doki Doki Panic and was only released
for a Disk Drive add-on, made for the old Famicom System, better known as the Nintendo Entertainment System in the US.
Nintendo in Japan, NCL, had already made and released Super Mario Bros 2 for the same disk system as Doki Doki Panic released for. But when America was about to get their SMB2 game, Nintendo of America felt that the Japanese SMB2 was too similar to the first game released, and they felt that gamers wanted something different for this 2nd installment of Super Mario Bros. Not forgetting that the japanese SMB2 probably was too hard to american Nintendo gamers anyway. I guess someone at NOA must have seen or played Doki Doki Panic and liked it, so they decided to convert it to SMB2, later known and released in Japan as Super Mario Bros USA. The game was originally made and released by Fuji, but they had to give up most of the rights for the game when they wanted to release it for Nintendo's Famicom Disk System add-on, so it wasn't hard at all for Nintendo to get the game on their hands.
The story was changed from two kids being kidnapped by a huge purple hand, which actually belongs to Wart the badguy boss in this adventure, to Mario having a picnic and ending up in a strange land called Subcon.
Super Mario Advance is actually Super Mario Bros 2 (USA) with a few minor additions, such as Triclyde boss in world 6-3 being changed into an Robot Birdo and some enemies being twice as large as the normal ones, wait that sounds to me like one of the worlds in Super Mario Bros 3, why they decided to make some of the enemies double size'd I have no idea. However it includes a feature the original surely lacked, which saving the game at any point (stage), something the old Doki Doki Panic also had since it was a disk based game, but cartridge saves wasn't common around 1988 when Super Mario Bros 2 was released in America.
The game has received a small make over, such as a new titlescreen where the 4 characters walk around and ends up pulling up a vegetable each which then turns into the logo. Once you press start you're presented with a selection screen where you're able to select between two games, Super Mario Advance isn't just Super Mario Bros 2, it also includes the first Mario Bros game ever to hit a Nintendo videogame console, the arcade game Mario Bros, now known as Mario Bros Classic, so Super Mario Advance is actually a 2 in 1 game pak, I'll get back to Mario Bros later.
After choosing Super Mario USA, as SMB3 is known as in Japan, you get to another menu which is the save states, a total of 3 are available. Now instead of having the 4 characters standing in line waiting to be chosen, Super Mario Advance has a "stage" with all 4 characters and each are presented, with power, speed and jumping abilities, in a spotlight when the D-pad is used. I don't know why but I always end up choosing Princess Toadstool, but Toad is pretty cool too.
Now instead of dropping onto some blocks like the original, you now drop onto some clouds which actually look like they're forming a staircase, going down you're met by one of the new features, a giantic Shyguy. Once you're through the door, which by the way is moved a bit from it's usual place aswell, everything looks familiar again, aaah world 1-1.
I had actually expected a sequel to Super Mario Bros 2, meaning brand new levels, and was quite dissapointed when I discovered that it was noting more than the old game. However SMB2 being my favourite game ever, and looking at the impressive colors and music the Gameboy Advance presents, I was in for a treat of impressive and nostalgic gameplay. It took a little bit before I discovered two other new features in the game, it's now counting score and each level has 5 huge coins spread, which has to be found to get an extra life, a little bit of Super Wario World?.
However this new version is too easy I believe, it is far too easy to get new hearts when you've lost some, I mean there's hearts waiting to be picked up all over the place, you ofcourse only have 4 heart containers at most, but the giant shuguy's give you new hearts as well as "killed" bombs now releases a heart aswell. Even another feature is that the characters are speaking, like when you get to fight a Birdo it tell you that "this is as far as you go", the 4 characters also talks through the game, actually saying the same crap over and over, the Princess doesn't annoy me as much as Toad though, who sounds like a sick chicked when he screams "Bwaaaak! Thank you!" or whatever it is he says, and almost makes you want kill him instead of the Shyguy's. Or how about Luigi's "Lovely!" or "Just what I needed!" grr, shut up! just shut up!
I actually did something cool in the game tho, I managed to get a star very late in the level and got to the boss and killed him while having the power from the star, I've never been able to go that in the original, heh. Eventhough I had expected something new I still enjoyed the game a lot, I think I've said it before but I'm a huge fan of Doki Doki Panic/Super Mario Bros 2 and can never get tired of playing it.
Should you get tired of playing you could always take a game of Mario Bros Classic, the old but still very cool arcade game. I've managed to get a 476210 points in the game, so feel free to beat that one, hehe.
All in all Super Mario Advance is a pretty nice launch title, although not much new can be found here for the experienced gamer, or anyone who remembers Super Mario Bros 2, or Mario Bros for that matter. But SMB2 was one of the best NES games ever, in my oppinion atleast, and I loved to see it in an upgraded graphic version wich looks even better than the old SNES Super Mario All-Stars version.