Super Mario Bros. 35 First Impressions

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Mario Mayhem... 

This snuck up real fast. Was not expecting Super Mario Bros. 35 to be out already, but we are in March — I mean, October 2020. Super Mario Bros. 35 is a pipedream title turned reality, placing the all time classic within the mordernised Battle Royale bubble. Super Mario Bros. was the first video game that enamoured me like none before it. I became a Super Mario fanatic, and could no stop spreading the good word about our new “Lord and Saviour”. My fandom knew no bounds as I would essentially live blog about my progress on a daily basis to my classmates for show-and-tell in Primary School. Super Mario Bros. will forever stand the test of time for being everything that has inspired an entire generation, and profoundly impact a new wave of gamers.

The fact that we are celebrating Super Mario Bros.’ 35th Anniversary with the retro title re-released in this unique manner, boasts its bountiful legacy, highlighting a legendary status that continues to grow for the “Big N”. I could never imagine sitting down here today, and playing thirty-five opponents simultaneously in the 8-bit platformer. It’s like the Fred Savage classic “The Wizard”, if you recall that film at all; the movie that essentially marketed the release of Super Mario Bros. 3 and The Power Glove… “It’s so bad”. With the success of Tetris 99, it was a no brainer for the company to modify Super Mario Bros.’ source code, rebuilding its internals from the ground up and applying a strategic format in defeating enemies, collecting coins, and clearing levels in an expeditious manner all before time runs out.

I won’t lie, there was some hesitation upon seeing the game for the first time. It’s uncommon to see a 2D side-scroller transformed into a phenomenally astonishing battle royale, granted the title is well established within the “golden era” market. It’s refreshing to see Super Mario Bros. given new life without simply porting, emulating, or “remixing” levels ala NES Remix. The battle for supremacy now lies in your hands as you traverse through a flurry of randomised levels from the original NES release. If you’re familiar with most of its level layout, you shouldn’t struggle too much. However, key features that are introduced to challenge players that may think they can easily speedrun the entire game. That however, is not the goal in Super Mario Bros. 35. Rather it takes its approach much like a Battle Royale title, with the last man standing.

35-Player Battle is as the mode suggests. Pitting you against a coral case of 35 ambitious opponents, grasping at straws to eliminate 34 rivals in this manic myriad of malicious Mario mayhem. The mode will match you up with players in similar ranking. Your rank will display at the boot screen with your custom icon representing your profile. Upon beginning from the classic level 1-1, players are given 35 seconds to contend with while defeating baddies to replenish the depleting ticker. If the timer runs out, it’s game over for the respective round. Defeating enemies will launch their ghost into a dedicated or randomised opponent’s slot, imposing an unfamiliar obstacle for experienced Super Mario Bros. players. A great example was playing level 1-2, I was met with a shadow Bowser at the beginning of the level that had been sent my way from a targeted opponent.

Super Mario Bros. 35 may be my new addiction. The rapid race for dominance and clout within the Mario community begins here.

Special Battle are timed exclusive events constructed to add features and conditions in hopes of testing players experience and dexterity. Rules such as starting with 20 coins in their bank, extra time, or beginning each level with the Power Star. As a timed exclusive, each event will expire within five days however, the majority of its gameplay style mirror’s the 35-Player Battle Royale with the additional perks added. I must admit though, I did find the added features to be a mix of helpful or hinderance. There were moments of glee as I was awarded the Power Star for simply spinning the handy roulette cycle, and landing luckily on the invincibility item three times in a row, but I found the feature to predominantly choose the Power Mushroom 80% of the time, especially in circumstances where it was redundant.

Course Practice gives players the chance to acquaint themselves with the battle royale’s game-style, randomising each level much like its intended format, albeit omitting all opponents. The aforementioned roulette wheel pays homage to Mario Kart’s Question Mark block, where the player will be randomly handed a certain element to their advantage. In Super Mario Bros. 35’s case, you must collect 20 coins to unlock this feature. Once you have collected said amount, you may spin the wheel and hope for the best. Traditional items are more or less to be expected, however the rare “POW” block will eliminate all enemies within the surrounding area. Stats are kept for prosperity, allowing players to view their Total Play Time, Courses Played, Their highest ranking, lifetime coins collected, certain enemies defeated, and a graph of their Ranking and Knock outs.

I’m in love. Super Mario Bros. 35 may be my new addiction. The rapid race for dominance and clout within the Mario community begins here. The all-time great becomes one of the most competitive titles of 2020. I never thought we would discuss Super Mario Bros. in such a competitive spirit, but tensions are high, and prestige is palpable. While it remains baffling that Nintendo are considering this as a limited time release, the title is marketable and could easily be sold to fans at a reasonable cost. However it’s free now, so be sure to download your copy today and experience one of the zaniest, yet unique celebratory releases to ever come out of the esteemed Japanese development studio.

Super Mario Bros. 35 is Now Available via Nintendo eShop for Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite.

Super Mario Bros. 35 - Nintendo

Super Mario Bros. 35 is an online competitive 2D platformer with battle royale elements, much in the style of Tetris 99. It is developed by Arika and published by Nintendo and was released exclusively on Nintendo Switch, as part of its Nintendo Switch Online service, on October 1, 2020.

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