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GameBoy Advance Reviews: Super Mario Advance 4 (Super Mario Bros 3)


Super Mario Advance 4 (Super Mario Bros 3) Screenshots


The Final Say!

Super Mario Advance 4 (Super Mario Bros 3)  - reviewed by Andrew B
Review Date: November 2003
Review Score: 9.5/10 
Distributed By: Nintendo

MARIO! *key music*

Those crazy jumping brothers are finally back on the GameBoy Advance and Nintendo once again proves that they are truly the king of arcade games in this addictive title of jumps, power ups and of course saving the world. As with all Mario Brother games, the plot is simplistic but emerging and the mischievous Bowser with his seven Koopa Kids have stolen seven wands from various countries in Mushroom world. Bowser has been using these wands to turn the Kings of these lands into animals to not only disturb the natural harmony of the world but also for his perverse pleasure. Fortunately for the people of Mushroom world, Mario and Luigi have come to save the day and have vowed to retrieve these magic wands so that they can return the Kings to power and defeat Bowser and his insidious minions.

The gameplay of Super Mario Advance 4 (Super Mario Bros 3) is almost identical to its previous incarnation and it's basically an arcade game where you must jump, collect power ups, defeat enemies and engage with the citizens of Mushroom world in order to complete this title. The game is massive and contains over 8 different countries with a total of 90 unique levels that ensures that this game will be played for hours and hours. The developers have done a brilliant job at keeping the game original and varied as Mario and Luigi explore various worlds from sand blown deserts to lush green forests. In Super Mario Advance 4, the gamer basically walks around the country on a map screen and there are usually around 10 places that they can visit. Once you enter one of these areas, the game quickly switches to a side scrolling view where you must engage in the level. You can also save anywhere in the game so you are not locked into looking for save points.

The control system of Super Mario Advance 4 is extremely simple to pick and you basically use the control pad to control your character, whereas the A button is used to jump, dodge obstacles and of course defeat enemies by jumping on their heads. There is a lot more to this game than just jumping and hopping around as there are a variety of items that must be collected in the game to assist you on your adventure. These items are called power ups and give Mario or Luigi special powers, for instance, the super leaf gives your character the ability to fly, whereas the hammer bros suits allows you to throw deadly hammers at your foes. There are also mushroom houses located throughout the lands that contain mini-games within their dwellings that give you various bonuses such as speciality items and even free lives.

Graphically, Super Mario Advance 4 looks like a treat on the GameBoy Advance SP and contains sharp clear graphics with a variety of bright colours that adorn the levels. The characters themselves are extremely well animated and although they have a few frames of animation, Nintendo have done a great job at animating their movements. The game also contains some great cutscenes that use the in-game engine to help assist with the storyline of the title. Another bonus feature of the game is that the scrolling of the title is extremely smooth and match that with some special effects and Super Mario Advance 4 is a fresh and lush looking game.

The Super Mario saga always had great music and the latest game on the GBA is no exception and contains some extremely happy and addictive music that I'm sure many gamers will be humming unconsciously. Nintendo have also made use of the GBA's capabilities to do voices and there are quite a few Mario catch phrases in the game that can only bring a smile to your face. There are of course the usual stock standard sound effects such as enemies getting plonked on the head and of course Mario dying... but we all know that no one dies in a Mario game for long.

Super Mario Advance 4 is a brilliant game that I've lost many hours playing and I look forward to many more. Apart from the catchy tunes, addictive gameplay and colourful graphics, the game also supports the new Nintendo e-reader that allows gamers to get access to various special feature features in the game such as new power ups and even bonus levels. Those that don't own an e-reader can still access these new areas, provided that you are successful in the mini-games. I highly recommend Super Mario Advance 4 (Super Mario Bros 3) to all gamers of all ages because this is the most fun you will have all year! Highly Recommended!

- Andrew B

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