Super Mario Advance- Turn down the volume, for the love of pete!

Who’s up for playing a Super Mario game with the sound off?

I can see I’ve got your attention. About 2 years ago, I was at a Video Game store in Buffalo NY with my cousin Jason, and while he and friends were looking around, I was looking at one of those Gameboy Advance displays. The ones that are attached to the counter so you can’t make off with it. The game of choice was the latest Super Mario Game: Super Mario Advance. This included Super Mario Bros. 2 and the original Mario Bros. It dawned on me I didn’t play Mario Bros. yet, but after playing SMA for about 30 minutes, I don’t think I would want to touch the other game with a yardstick.

By now, you must be saying out loud: “Hey John, are you nuts, it’s Mario. He rules.” And yes, fellow players, he does. He’s been around for over 20 years. I realize every time they come out with a new game, they try to find some way to improve on the rotund plumber who you never see with a plunger in his hand anyway. This time, they just succeeded in porting the Super Mario All Stars version of Mario 2 on the small screen, and added a few touches to seperate it from the SNES game. This is where they went wrong.

I never thought I’d want quiet in a video game.

When I first saw a video clip of SMA in action, and I heard Mario speak, I thought that would be a good thing, especially to achieve it on a portable game. Now that I played it, I don’t know what I was thinking when I came up with that idea. I can respect the fact that the over 40 crowd has little or no idea what Super Mario 2 or Mario Bros is all about. Well, I’ll briefly explain. In Super Mario 2, you can play as one of 4 characters. Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Princess Toadstool, AKA Peach. You’ll guide them through the 7 worlds of Sub-Con and defeat Wart, the King of Evil Dreams. You can pick up vegetables from the ground and toss them at your opponents, which do not include the original enemies from the 1st SMB game. I’ll explain why another time. Maybe I’ll throw in the review to the original SMB2 another time.

Now, to move on to the reason for this review in the first place. Mario and friends do not shutup for 5 seconds. If they soiled their drawers, they’d probably say something incredibly annoying, and high pitched. Even the boss characters talk!! Yes, you finally get to hear Birdo talk! Listen here, folks. In the 15 or more years I’ve played this game, I’ve never imagined Birdo talking, nor did I want Birdo to even say something like “Get in my belly!!” Their phrases are horribly done. Birdo says “this is as far as you go”, and when she is defeated, she says “I’ll remember this”. Maybe it sounded funny spoken in Japanese. Not here!

Here, stay put while I go play Mario Bros……

…..Whoa! That’s actually not bad! This might save this review a bit. But then again, I was not playing with a second player. If you also do not know about Mario Bros. you’re just going from platform to platform ridding the sewer pipes of crabs, spinys, and other pests that come out. You actually have 2 POW blocks in this version. I actually like the way they did it, compared to Mario all Stars.

Now that I’ve played both games, it’s time for a rating. Super Mario Advance does give you nice graphics, even though I know they borrowed from All Stars, they did add a few extra animations, changed a few backgrounds here and there, and otherwise spruced it up alright. Here comes the real reason I reviewed this game. The Sound! Music changed a bit. Again, things were added, or enhanced a bit to distinguish it from its more successful SNES game. The voice will get on your nerves. If you pick up a cherry, they talk. A vegetable, they talk. If they get hurt, jump, die, they talk. It gets to you after a while. And each character says different, dumb phrases. As far as I can tell, controlling the characters in both games is not a problem. It’s best to pick the one best suited for each level. If you picked unwisely, and bit the big one, you can select a different character and try your luck again.

It shouldn’t take you long to finish SMB2. Some may want to go through it for fun, and look at every little thing, and compare it to the original. If you’re like me, you’ll stop after a while, cause the likes of Toad, Luigi and the rest are still echoing their silly little voices in your head. All and all, the game overall isn’t the worst I’ve seen. I’m just surprised that they tried to fix something that isn’t broken.

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