System(s): NES, SNES (Super Mario All-stars)
U.S. Release Date: 1990
Current street price: $1.00 or less
Size: 88 levels
Players: 2 alternating
ESRB Rating: N/A
Note: This story comes straight from the SMB3 instruction book.
The Mushroom Kingdom has been a peaceful place thanks to the brave deeds of
Mario and Luigi. The Mushroom Kingdom forms an entrance to the Mushroom World
where all is not well. Bowser has sent his 7 children to make mischief as they
please in the normally peaceful Mushroom World. They stole the royal magic
wands from each country in the Mushroom World and used them to turn their
kings into animals. Mario and Luigi must recover the royal magic wands from
Bowser's 7 kids and return the kings to their true forms. "Goodbye and good
luck!," said the Princess and Toad as Mario and Luigi set off on their journey
deep into the Mushroom World.
Again Nintendo stuck with the tried and true gameplay that worked since SMB. As always, they also added a few twists. The number one addition to the game is flight, which is facilitated by the racoon leaf. All you need is a good launching pad to build up speed, then you jump and take off. Other new things include a map screen that lets you choose the order you play levels and the ability to store items for when you need them. The game also had a wide variety of suits:
Frog Suit: Makes you swim much faster and jump much higher, but slows down your on-land movement
Tanooki Suit: Gives the flight ability of the Raccoon Leaf, and also lets you turn to a statue to avoid enemies
Hammer Bros. Suit: Lets you throw hammers just like the bros. Also makes you fire resistant.
The game also gave Mario new abilities like the ability to pick up shells and items. This was also the largest Mario game yet by far, with more than 80 levels total.
What's the big deal?
The hype: The existance of The 2nd SMB sequel was well known for at least a year before the game actually came out in the US. This was thanks in large part to The Wizard, a movie featuring the game in a Video Game Championship. Nintendo Power and word from Japan of the game's greatness also helped build it up. This was also one of Nintendo's first big delayed games, held back to make it absolutely perfect. The extra time was worth it, resulting in one of the best games of all time. Only problem was, it was too good. Nintendo couldn't make enough copies to fulfill demand for many months, leading to extremely high prices ($70+) for the hard to find games. Eventually demand died down and Nintendo was able to produce enough games. The result today: Nearly every used game store in the country has dozens of copies of SMB3 lying around at a bargain price.
Notes of interest
One of the first action games with a map screen
Includes the original Mario Bros. as a sub-game
Introduces mini-games for items and extra lives to Mario universe.
Koopa Kids introduced
Introduced flight to Mario
Just basically TONS of new stuff
"Pick a box, it's contents will help you on your way" -Toad
"Hey, nice clothes. How about lending them to me. No dice? What a drag. -Mushroom World Kings (When you have the hammer suit)
At the end of every world, the King of that country is transformed back and thanks you with a letter from Princess Toadstool and an item. When you defeat Bowser in World 8, the princess says "Thank you for saving me, but our princess is in another castle" (causing many a player an unnecessary heart attack after a day-long play session). She then says "Just Kidding. Thank you for playing. Goodbye."
SMBhq is best viewed at 1024 x 768 resolution or higher.