Let us imagine that its
the late eighties and we have just hired on a team of developers, artists, and designers
to come up with a really kick-ass console game, something we need to come to market along
side our newest piece of hardware. Lets call it a sequel and then, why dont we
market the hell out of it. Welcome to the machine, in particular the new Game Boy Advance
and the Nintendo launch title Super Mario Advance.
Now, Nintendo has always, and I
mean always, graced us with a new Mario game at the launch of any of their systems,
which makes it questionable as to why Nintendo decided to give us a pre-existing title.
Granted, they packaged the cart with two games: Super Mario Bros. 2 and Mario
Bros. (comes in nice when you go into multiplayer mode). The plus side here is at
least they took the shiner of the bunch. I would have cried if they adapted Super Mario
Bros. 3 to the GBA platform. But, really, it would have been decent of Nintendo if
they would have given us a new Mario. Lets hope they were spending all of their
resources on the GameCube, which will be able to uplink to the GBA, giving you the ability
to play some of your GBA titles on the television.
If youre unable to remember the original line-up, the game consists of a
quartet of characters, each with their own voices added in: Mario, Luigi, Princess, and,
my personal favorite, Toad. Each character has their strengths, and weaknesses, but it
comes down to simple reasoning that some will by nature suck most of the time. Sure,
Princess has can float an X amount of seconds, but her strength is sub par compared to the
others. Luigi, that foot-spinning brother, can jump a helluva long distance, but the
nature of this ability brings to pass many plunges into the depths of waterfalls or
chasms. So, it comes down to two: Mario and Toad. Mario has well-rounded attributes of
speed, strength, and jumping. Toad posesses, well, kick-ass strength. Face it. You need to
have as many coins at the end of the scenes to build up your characters lives, and
with Toad this makes it a possibility: he can usually pull up plant after plant, ringing
in those coins without a pause in his stride.
Balls of flying flame, bubbles, eggs, etc. are objects you will be expected to
dodge, grab, or jump over through the seven levels. The game follows the same plotline as
before. Dreamland has been taken hostage and enslaved by an evil Frog, who also has the
addition of voice-acting. No King Koopa here.
Sure, there are things I miss in this Mario adventure that you have in others,
namely the ability to shoot fireballs, but SMA is decent title to launch with.
Nintendo really didnt change much from the original NES version of the game, maybe
just some sprite additions to take advantage of some of the GBAs hardware, making
the game a bit more flashier than it was before. Theres enough here to keep the
old-timers like myself still entertained with this refreshed title, but theres a
part of me that still aches for a new edition to the family.
There are no additional levels. Each is the same as it appeared on the NES,
just a bit more graphically pleasing. The levels remain challenging, but not so much as to
keep you locked down to one particular level. Oh, and of course there are the warps we all
love to speed through to the end. Only the problem here is that youll skip right
through some of the loveliest visuals Ive seen on the GBA.
If you loved the original, this game will certainly ring true with you on the
GBA. And hell, its prettier and offers a multiplayer mode off of a single cartridge
with the original Mario Bros. This is certainly one of the better launch titles for
the GBA I have played. Just one thing bothers me: when will I see a new Mario adventure
for this system? If anything the game is entertaining and well worth the, cough, 30