June 11th, 2009


Paul's All-Time Top 5 Videogames - #5


Well, let's get right into this thing, shall we?

#5. Super Mario Bros. 3

I believe I can flyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.

Mario's been around for quite some time now. And he's had his share of games, none of them ever really involving much plumbing, save for hopping down a tube. Still, we love that fat Italian man, and follow him from level to level, world to world, galaxy to galaxy. His best adventure though? Hands down, Super Mario Bros. 3.

While Super Mario Bros. 2 took a drastic right turn in terms of gameplay, level design, and what-have-you, the third entry for Mario Mario (remember, it's both his first name and last name) took things back to basics. There's a world map, which allows for a lot of cheating and skipping forward, but the main staples are there. As well as new ones, like secret suits (Tanooki, anyone?) and power-ups (mmm magic whistles). You could play with a friend, too, giving Luigi his moment to shine.

All the cool kids took to the sky when they could.

At the end of every world map, you'd enter a castle to find its ruler turned into an animal. Then it was off to a flying battleship for some of the most frustratingly rewarding bullet dodges. Seriously, The Matrix would be jealous. Nowadays, death is eliminated from mainstream games (Fable 2, Jak and Daxter, and so on), making decisions quite trivial. Not the case here. You best judge your jumps correctly or whether or not you should use a star power-up to zoom ahead or if you think you can totally outswim those jellyfish (you can't). Because you will die, and you will squeeze the controller and shout to the gods to stop it already, but then you'll learn the right timing and how to jump just the right way and suddenly you're aglow with power and might.

Quick. Where's the hidden music note box?!

While originally released for the NES back in 1990, the game was also included in the Super NES cartridge Super Mario All-Stars in 1993 with updated graphics and sound. Not like it needed it. Super Mario Bros. 3 is a pure gem, fun every time you play it, and with the option of skipping entire worlds and levels, the path is never the same. Toss in some fun with friends and mini-games like matching faces and memory and you've got one of the most enjoyable and accessible games ever made. Sure, there's no story, but there's never been and that's not a big concern here. It's all about the jumping, the bouncing, the push onwards, the "just one more level" mentality, the music, and the memories.