Mario Bros.
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Mario Bros. is the first game that featured Luigi, and was the first game to feature Mario and Luigi as plumbers. I have liked Mario Bros. for quite a long time. I don’t remember if I first played it before or after Super Mario Bros. but I’ve always enjoyed it’s charm.

This game is not nearly as accessible as the Super Mario Bros. games, as it is definitely meant for the arcade crowd. There is no ending to the game, and no story. It’s purely a game where the objective is to get the highest score possible.

I don’t usually like games like these, with the exceptions of puzzle games. But this game is a lot of fun. It also is neat to see the Mario universe I know and love really start to form.

The game is a platform games where creatures come out of pipes, and Mario has to knock them over to get rid of them. The difference here is that instead of bopping them on their heads, Mario knocks them over from underneath by bopping the blocks the baddies are standing on (something that Mario could also do in Super Mario Bros., although it wasn’t Mario’s main way of getting rid of enemies).

The koopa troopas make their first appearance here, as do the spinies. Even more important, this is the first appearance of Mario’s brother Luigi (hence the Bros. in the title :)). In the first two appearances of Luigi, he’s just like Mario but with different clothing. It isn’t until Super Mario Bros. 2 that he gets an appearance different from his brother. Luigi’s personality was formed here, but not in the game. I remember seeing ads for the home versions of Mario Bros. with Luigi being scared and calling out for his big brother to help him. This is a character trait that is still present in Luigi today, especially in the Mario & Luigi RPG series.

Although I grew up with the arcade and NES versions of Mario Bros., I much prefer the Gameboy Advance remake. The original had no music except a beginning tune at each level, but the remake has music all throughout. It also has improved graphics, and animated backgrounds, giving the game a look very similar to the remakes of the Super Mario Bros. games in Super Mario All-Stars for the SNES.

I’ll still find myself playing Mario Bros. on my Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga cartridge from time to time. Like the maze games Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man, it’s a great way to spend a few minutes and not have them feel like they’ve been wasted. :)

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