If anyone, and I mean anyone, were to ask me what is the greatest video game of all time, I would tell them Super Mario Brothers 3.
If you haven’t played the game, I would seriously recommend you look for it. I must have spent easily over 500 hours of my life playing this with my best friend. Hours upon hours, exploring every level. Discovering every 1-up. Marveling at the level designs. Fighting it out in the Mario Bros mini game.
Super Mario Brothers 3’s been out since 1990 (in the U.S.). As such, doing a review of the game would be absolutely pointless. You’ve probably already played it, seen it played, watched a video of it, or something and have an opinion of it already. So I won’t bother trying to review it. Rather, I want to explain to you why I love this game so much.
Video games have always been a form of escapism for me. I would argue it’s the same with everyone else, but that argument’s for another day. Another time. I figure when we all hold a game in our hands, for one moment in time… we can imagine ourselves getting lost in that game. It has to be something that would free our imaginations. It isn’t just some stupid button mashing, but something which allows us to be something larger than life. Something different than our daily lives. Maybe we do it to escape stress and blow off steam. Maybe we do it because we’re bored as hell. Maybe we’re just looking for something to do.
I like to think we all have a video game that’s special to us. There’s just something about it that connects with us in some meaningful way. It resonates with us. That game is your game. Super Mario Brothers 3 is my game. I would say it is at the center of my gamer heart… it’s what made me love video games.
Why did Super Mario Brothers 3 make me love video games? What was it that captured my imagination? I credit Nintendo understanding how to make great games. Nintendo games are not like any other video games out there. They aren’t there to be pretty or to provide mind-blowing stories. Nintendo games are designed to be played and enjoyed, nothing else.
The game played very simply. Mario and Luigi had to go through eight distinct worlds filled with many different worlds… each presenting their own unique challenge. The player had to navigate through these challenges using the items they had at their disposal as well as their skill. There was nothing there to detract from the gaming experience. All there was for me was the challenge of playing it.
Check out this video. It shows a playthrough of the first world.
I couldn’t help but smile when I watched it. Every world the player took Mario through was so unique, yet so much fun. I even forgot how much I loved the midi files and sound effects to go with it. It’s charming. I probably just repeated myself… sorry. But as I said, there’s just something special about Super Mario Brothers 3.
Truthfully? Between only you and me? I miss games like Super Mario Brothers 3. Games that are fun for the sake of fun. Games that presented challenges to be overcome. Games that aren’t bogged down in stories or convoluted endings or endless DLCs or microtransactions or overly sexualized women or mindlessly repetitive or ungodly levels of violence or death or the horrors of everyday life. I miss fun.
Maybe your game is different from my game.
But you know what? That’s cool. I’m just going to sit back and watch the ending sequence for my game. Sit back and remember why it is I love gaming. Remember where my gamer heart is….
(note: all images owned by Nintendo)