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Mario Bros.

Mario Bros.

Mario Bros.

Mario Bros. is a platform arcade game published and developed by Nintendo in 1983. It was developed by Shigeru Miyamoto. It has been commonly featured as a minigame in the Super Mario Advance series and other games. Mario Bros. has been re-released for the Wii's, Nintendo 3DS's and Wii U's Virtual Console service in Japan, North America, Europe and Australia.

In this game, Mario is portrayed as an Italian-American plumber who, along with his younger brother Luigi, has to defeat creatures that have been coming from the sewers below New York. The gameplay focuses on Mario's extermination of pests in the sewers by flipping them on their backs and kicking them away. The original versions of Mario Bros., the arcade version and the Family Computer/Nintendo Entertainment System version, were received positively.

Mario Bros. Gameplay

Mario Bros. features two plumbers, Mario and Luigi, having to investigate the sewers of New York after strange creatures have been appearing down there. The objective of the game is to defeat all of the enemies in each phase. The mechanics of Mario Bros. involve only running and jumping. Unlike future Mario games, players cannot jump on enemies and squash them, unless they were already turned on their back. Each phase is a series of platforms with pipes at each corner of the screen, along with an object called a "POW" block in the center. Both sides of every phase feature a mechanism that allows the player to go off-screen to the left and appear on the right and vice versa.

The player gains points by defeating multiple enemies consecutively and can participate in a bonus round to gain more points. Enemies are defeated by kicking them over once they have been flipped on their back. This is accomplished by hitting the platform the enemy is on directly beneath them. If the player allows too much time to pass after doing this, the enemy will flip itself back over, changing in color and increasing speed. Each phase has a certain number of enemies, with the final enemy immediately changing color and increasing its speed.

There are four enemies: the Shellcreeper, which simply walks around; the Sidestepper, which requires two hits to flip over; the Fighter Fly, which moves by jumping and can only be flipped when it is touching a platform; and the Slipice, which turns platforms into slippery ice. Instead of flipping over, the Slipice dies immediately.

The "POW" block, flips all enemies touching a platform or the floor when a player hits it from below. It can be used three times before it disappears. In the Super Mario Bros. 3 in-game Player-Versus-Player version of this minigame, the pow block has three uses. In this version, each of the three uses causes the opponent to lose a card and all the enemies to be flipped over. Another feature in this small remake is that the pipes are straight, occasionally spitting out large fireballs at the two plumbers. Coins appear whenever enemies are defeated and may be collected for bonus points.

As the game progresses, elements are added to increase the difficulty. Fireballs either bounce around the screen or travel directly from one side to the other, and icicles form under the platforms and fall loose. Bonus rounds give the players a chance to score extra points by collecting coins without having to deal with enemies; the "POW" block regenerates itself on each of these screens.

Reception
Mario Bros. was only modestly successful in the arcades in Japan. The arcade cabinets have since become mildly rare. To date in Japan, the NES version of Mario Bros. has sold more than 1.63 million copies, and the Famicom Mini re-release of the NES version has sold more than 90,000 copies. Despite being released during the North American video game crash of 1983, the arcade game, as well as the industry, were not affected. Video game author Dave Ellis considers it one of the more memorable classic games.

Opinions on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) version of Mario Bros. have been mostly mixed, but does receive positive reviews from gamers. However, in a review of the Virtual Console game, GameSpot criticized the NES version for being a poor port of the arcade version. The Virtual Console version in particular was heavily criticized. GameSpot criticized it, saying that not only is it a port of an inferior version, but it retains all of the technical flaws found in this version. It also criticizes the Mario Bros. ports in general, saying that this is just one of many ports that have been made of it throughout Nintendo's history.IGN complimented the Virtual Console version's gameplay, even though it was critical of Nintendo's decision to release an "inferior" NES port on the Virtual Console. IGN also agreed on the issue of the number of ports. They said that since most people have Mario Bros. on one of the Super Mario Advance games, this version is not worth 500 Wii Points. The Nintendo e-Reader version of Mario Bros. was slightly more well received by IGN, who praised the gameplay, but criticized it for lack of multiplayer and for not being worth the purchase because of the Super Mario Advance versions.

The Super Mario Advance releases and Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga all featured the same version of Mario Bros.. The mode was first included in Super Mario Advance, and was praised for its simplicity and entertainment value. IGN called this mode fun in its review of Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2, but complained that it would have been nice if the developers had come up with a new game to replace it. Their review of Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3 criticizes it more so than in the review of Super Mario Advance 2, because Nintendo chose to remove several mini-games found in the Super NES version of that game and replace them with an identical version of the Mario Bros. game found in previous versions. GameSpot's review of Super Mario Bros. 3: Super Mario Advance 4 calls it a throwaway feature that could have simply been gutted. Other reviewers were not as negative on the feature's use in later Super Mario Advance games. Despite its use being criticized in most Super Mario Advance games, a GameSpy review called the version found in Super Mario Advance 2 a blast to play in multi-player because it only requires at least two Game Boy Advances, one copy of the game, and a link cable.


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