Reader Review: Super Mario Bros.

Reader Review: Super Mario Bros.

Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Jon does, as he butt stomps Nintendo’s latest retro throwback.

Yes, that’s right, we’re now publishing reader reviews here on Kotaku. This is your chance to deliver sensible game purchasing advice to the rest of the Kotaku community.

And thanks to the very kind chaps at Madman Entertainment, purveyor of all kinds of cool, indie and esoteric film, the best reader review we publish each month will win a prize pack containing ten of the latest Madman DVD releases.

This review was submitted by Jon Phillips. If you’ve played Super Mario Bros., or just want to ask Jon more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Super Mario Bros. (Wii/Virtual Console)

Nintendo have decided to edge in on the current retro-revival that Capcom have been riding the wave of, and are showing that they too can play the retro game, by re-imagining their game New Super Mario Bros. Wii as an old school 8-bit game.


The Simplicity: Run to the right hand side of the screen and jump over holes and onto enemies. No convoluted control schemes and hour long tutorials.

Retro Styling: Seriously this game looks like it was dragged straight through a rip in time and space from the ’80s. They even went so far as to release it on the Virtual Console rather than WiiWare just to add to the retro feel.

Music: Super catchy. I can see this being remembered for a long time to come. Doo doo do de doo be doo…

Secrets: I found several secret rooms and even a “Warp Zone” that allowed me to bypass whole sections of the game. I wish more games these days had this sense of fun.

Price: You can download it for the super low price of 500 points; that’s like $7. Talk about a bargain, especially when compared to the 1000 point ($15) Mega Man games.


Retro Styling: While I also loved it, I also found it to be a hindrance at times. I’ve certainly seen other games from the retro-revival that look better than this. It’s almost as though Nintendo weren’t quite familiar with how they are supposed to do this. And in the end it ends up looking like something that would have been released at the start of a console’s life.

Repetitiveness: Come on, the same enemies endlessly recycled through the whole game? I understand that they are going for the old school look but a couple more enemies wouldn’t break the game. And don’t even get me started on the fact that they kept re-using the same boss over and over.

No Online: This game would be the best thing since sliced bread if they had just implemented some online functions… you know some leader boards, downloadable content… something!

Overall it’s a very simple game with lots of hidden depth to it, but I don’t think that Nintendo have quite managed to grasp the 80’s feel in the same way that Capcom did with Mega Man 9 and 10. However being as cheap as it is, it’s definitely worth a look if you’re into this whole retro-revival thing that’s going on. I’m expecting much better from them next time, which shouldn’t be too far away as I’ve heard rumours on the net that they are working on a retro sequel already, and the graphics are quite a step up. Not quite sure what all the vegetables in the screens are about though. Certainly a series to keep an eye on.

Reviewed by: Jon Phillips

You can have your Reader Review published on Kotaku. Send your review to us at the usual address. Make sure it’s written in the same format as above and in under 500 words – yes, we’ve upped the word limit. We’ll publish the best ones we get and the best of the month will win a Madman DVD prize pack.


  • Good review but I have got to ask something.

    In terms of secrets, why exactly do you find being able to skip entire parts of a level appealing? You mentioned the repetitiveness before of how this game recycles the same enemies and bosses but if that’s the case and you bypass lots of areas, what exactly is there left to play?

    • Yes, you make a valid point. But being able to skip whole sections of the game do come in hand since Nintendo decided to revive the most annoying thing of the games from the 80’s… no save points! So if I should happen to die, or turn the game off then I can get back to roughly where I was. Sure I don’t end up with as many points… but when you don’t have any online leader boards it hardly seems worth the effort to go for that elusive high score.

      • Those were the days mate, no save points.

        I remember constantly replaying the same early levels of games like Sonic just to get to those difficult end game bosses.

        Point taken though on your part.

  • Congratulations, Mr Phillips, you have just managed to parody super mario brothers, retro revivals and nintendo.
    But I agree, the lack of online support really lets the NES down.

  • Ok it took me until I read the comments to ‘get’ it!

    I wanted to screen down the internet it was ripped out of the 80s. I wanted to yell I at you that I still awoke to the theme music zooming though me head. I wanted too …

    Well played Sir.

      • Yeah, I have to agree with you there Andrew… how about a couple of minigames to break up the constant platforming.
        Because I mean come on, they missed a real opportunity there as they could have put in a pipe minigame like Bioshock’s hacking game, which would fit quite nicely with the fact that the main character is a plumber.

        …which is another thing that’s been getting on my nerves… for a guy who claims to be a plumber he never seems to do much in the way of his job description. Sure he goes down into the odd pipe, but when was the last time you saw him unclog a drain?

  • WTF!
    This isn’t a retro throwback, this is an old school game, it’s just a port not a new game like megaman 9 or 10.

    Google the Nintendo Entertainment System then go and rethink your review Jon!

    Also it’s the other way around, they didn’t reimagine NSMBW for Super Mario Bros they reimagined SMB for NSMBW.

    Seriously Wildgoose, is this just posted for lulz? 😛

    If it is…………nice burn! 😀

      • Oh dear, indeed.

        I lol’d though.

        It’s interesting to see a Reader Review covering something old-school, rather than just the most recent offerings. Do Ocarina of Time next 😛

    • Are you sure? I did try to research it quite thoroughly before I started so that I wasn’t going to use any incorrect terms that would make me seem like a noob.

      Unfortunately I couldn’t do quite as much research as I would have liked. You see I don’t get much access to the internet at the moment as I’m currently in hospital to undergo some quite major surgery, as I was born with a serious oral defect in which my tongue was formed between the inner and outer walls of my cheek.

      As for Ocarina of Time… I’ve heard briefly of that… it just looks like a cheap and nasty version of the rather sublime PS3 game 3D Dot Heroes. And those jaggy (though I’m sure “ironic” graphics? Urgh… it looks like something the 90’s threw-up.

  • nawwwww, you got my hopes up for a second. I thought they had actually ported the levels from New Super Mario Bros into the old game engine… THAT would have been epic.

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