Of the three Super Mario Bros. games released for the Nintendo Entertainment System, this 1988 release must surely rate as the best.
The successor to the 1983 arcade game Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. was released in Japan and North America in 1985, although it wasn’t released in Europe until 1987.
It is considered by many gamers to be one of the greatest video games of all time, and I wouldn’t dispute that assessment.
1986 saw the release of the original The Legend of Zelda on the NES, although it wasn’t on cartridge – it was on floppy disk. Specifically: for the Nintendo Famicom Disk System (FDS).
A cartridge version, with battery backup-up saves, was released in North America in 1987.
As important, historical video games go, The Legend of Zelda is probably up there with the most important of them. From humble 8-bit beginnings; a clunky interface; badly-translated (or at least badly written in English) text; a green, pixelly Link; obscure puzzles and tricky, archaic gameplay did a great franchise arise… Everyone’s heard of the Zelda games, and it all started with this, way back in 1986.
Of course, legendary Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto was heavily involved in the making of this game, although he wasn’t really legendary at the time. That came later. After the game came out… [shrugs]
One interesting thing about The Legend of Zelda, that I didn’t know until recently, is that it has a “New Game Plus” type mode, called “Second Quest”, which you activate after completing the game for the first time. Playing Second Quest offers new dungeon locations/layouts, different item placements, and stronger enemies. This kind of detail is not as insignificant as it may seem, as it may have been the first ever video game to do this – a feature that is now common in many games, but back then was unheard of.
Tip: you can activate Second Quest mode by starting a new file with the name “ZELDA”. 🙂
Mario games may be looked down upon by some gamers as “for kids”, but this game proves otherwise.
Super Mario World (1990) may look and sound like a kid’s game on the surface, but – underneath the hood – the gameplay is for pros… Some of the later levels are infuriatingly difficult, but hugely satisfying to beat. Of course: the early levels are a cakewalk. The difficulty curve in this game is just about perfect – easing you into the challenge gradually.
Graphically and sonically the SNES was made for games like this, with smooth-scrolling backgrounds and lots of sprites on screen at the same time. Super Mario World is a crisp and colourful visual treat from start to finish and has lost little of its appeal over the years. The gameplay too is timeless classic Nintendo.
Arguably the best Mario game of all time. And great to re-play any time.