Back when I was a kid with my first videogame console in the form of a Gameboy Colour, I was glued to two different video games. Of these games, one was Pokémon Yellow and the other was a small gem known as Super Mario Bros. Deluxe. The latter game was my first Mario game and paved the way for my love of the series to follow.
Yes, Super Mario Bros. Deluxe was undoubtedly one of my favourite games for many years throughout my childhood. I’m sure you can understand my joy in finding out that the game was being released through the 3DS’ Virtual Console as part of a special Nintendo Network promotion in Europe (the game is set to be released via the eShop in Europe later this month too). Super Mario Bros. Deluxe was a neat little bundle which brought the original Super Mario Bros. NES game to a handheld as well as Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, while adding in a few sweet challenges here and there too.
At this point in time most of us have played the original Super Mario Bros. game in one form or another. We’ve had it bundled in with other titles a fair few times now, as well as being given the game as part of the 3DS’ ambassador program a couple of years ago. The same can roughly be said for Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels which has been released in the west a few times now and, alike Super Mario Bros., can currently be bought on the 3DS’ eShop for a fair price. So, with that in mind, what makes Deluxe worth picking up?
In fairness to it, Super Mario Bros. Deluxe doesn’t improve upon the original Super Mario Bros. game that much. If anything Deluxe makes things more challenging as the camera has been zoomed-in to make up for the lower screen resolution of the Gameboy Colour, meaning a few already tricky jumps are made a little tougher. Between that and the fact I can’t simply hold down the Y button to run as the game has you use the B button to do so, I ensured myself a few silly deaths before finally getting into the swing of things once again. On the plus side Deluxe does give you a map of your progress through the game as well as three different save files, a welcome addition to the game’s portable outing. At least with the ability to save you won’t be booted right back to the beginning of the game if you happen to face a game over screen. That said, with the 3DS’ Virtual Console titles giving you the option to create restore points for your games, perhaps the ability to save that Deluxe gives you is somewhat of a moot point when you have a similar option if you wished to pick up and play the original Super Mario Bros. on your 3DS.
Overall the strength in this game comes from the extras it offers. Once you’ve played through a level it’s then unlocked in Challenge Mode, which sees you trying to collect five Red Coins and a Yoshi egg hidden throughout the level. If that doesn’t interest you then the game also has another challenge mode which will have you face off in a race against Boo, who gets just a little faster and changes colour every time you beat him. It’s a simple idea but definitely one which will have you coming back for more. The original Gameboy Colour game also included a VS mode but sadly the Virtual Console release doesn’t support this.
My playthrough of Super Mario Bros. Deluxe saw me complete both Super Mario Bros. and Lost Levels within a couple of days. Admittedly I was greatly helped by the ability to save and restart from whichever level I’d lost on, something I remember deeply appreciating as a kid too. It isn’t to say the games are easy, because they aren’t, but I’ve played through Super Mario Bros. so many times now that I know each level extremely well and thus newcomers to the game will likely spend a lot longer with the main games than I have. The challenges are really what make the game and always have been. Each challenge is pretty tough and will have you going through it a number of times before you manage to collect all the Red Coins and the Yoshi egg. At this rate I expect the challenges will keep me going a few weeks if not a couple of months.
Super Mario Bros. Deluxe isn’t really worth the five pound price-tag for those of you who’ve already played through Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels on your 3DS. However, if you haven’t had the chance to try out these classics just yet then I highly recommend buying Deluxe. The game is just as much fun as it was when I was growing up and, if nothing else, Challenge Mode is a nice addition which will keep you busy for quite some time. Super Mario Bros. Deluxe definitely still stands as one of my favourite Mario games to date.
With all that said, Super Mario Bros. Deluxe deserves a solid 7.5 out of 10!