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Game Profile
Game Boy
GENRE: Platformer
PLAYERS:   1-2
October 21, 2003

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More in this Series
 Written by Jeff Milligan  on May 30, 2003

First Impressions: Oh Tanooki, how I love you.

Everyone's favorite plumber is making yet another appearance on the Game Boy Advance. Already seeing ports of Super Mario Bros. 1, 2, and Super Mario World, the GBA has seen some of Mario's best adventures. However, it's been missing one key classic. Selling over 15 million copies world wide, Super Mario Bros. 3 for the NES is the best selling game of all time, and it's finally being re-created for the Game Boy Advance in the form of Super Mario Advance 4. A portable Mario 3, can it get any better than that?

Besides being the best selling game of all time, Super Mario Bros. 3 may also be the best video game of all time, period. If you haven't played it (I seriously doubt there's a single video game player out there who hasn't played it yet, but anyway), let me fill you in on what makes it such an amazing video game. The story goes a little something like this: Bowser and his trouble-making kids have turned the once calm land into chaos by turning all of the local Kings into animals. It's up to none other that Mario and Luigi to find a way to return the Kings to their normal forms, and it's not going to be easy. Players will have to guide Mario through 8 huge worlds in their quest to take down Bowser and his demented children.

Besides the intriguing storyline, Mario Bros. 3 also has some of the best power-ups featured in any game to date. Mario will be able to receive mushrooms to make himself bigger, stars which make him invincible for a short period of time, leafs which give him the ability to fly, and even whistles that will warp you to nearby worlds. Mario can also gain 3 different suits, which will also give him different abilities. The frog suit enables Mario to swim faster, the hammer bros. suit allows Mario to throw hammers, and the tanooki suit turns Mario into a lovable raccoon. The tanooki suit also allows Mario to become a stone statue, which is impossible for enemies to penetrate, and grants Mario the ability to fly.

Besides all the great power-ups and story, Super Mario Bros. 3 also packs a good challenge. As you progress through the 8 different worlds, the challenge gets tougher and tougher. Each world ends with one of Bowser's kin as a boss. Not only do you have to defeat 8 different Bowesers, but you'll also have to defeat their airship, which is filled with difficult enemies, and lots of cannon fire. You'll also notice that each world has a different theme. For example, world 2 has a desert theme, world 3 has a water theme, and world 6 has an ice theme. This too plays a role in the difficulty factor, as running on ice and jumping over giant plants can be tricky.

Besides having the full blown version of Mario Bros. 3, the Game Boy Advance version will also have a few new features. If you own an E-Reader, special cards can be purchased and scanned, which can open up new levels (!!!) and game features. Super Mario Advance 4 can also be linked up with any of the other Mario Advance games for multiplayer madness. Doing so enables 2 players to compete in the original Mario Bros. game. Other minor updates include new sound effects, and the ability to throw objects at enemies.

Final Thoughts
Usually I'd go into detail about how this title is shaping up, and give some more opinions on it, but seriously, it's Mario Bros. 3 on the Game Boy Advance with new features and capabilities; do I need to say anything more? Super Mario Advance 4 hits store shelves on September 22, so be sure not to miss it.

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