Super Mario Advance

a game by Nintendo

Platform: GBA

Genre: Action


It seems like a long time since I've played a new Mario game. Even the eminent release of the Game Cube doesn't offer much hope, with only the promise of Luigi in a starring role. So, does Super Mario Advance, a combination of Super Mario Bros. 2 and the original Mario Bros., satiate the appetite for a new Mario? Not really. Is it still a lot of fun, when you're on the run? Read and find out.

Gameplay, Controls, Interface

Almost everyone has played the two classics that make up Super Mario Advance, so I've decided to cover only what's new. The re-mix of Super Mario Bros. 2 includes a few larger enemies, and some larger turnips. They've also added a little basket that allows you to choose a bomb, heart, or star, and some jars that present new challenges, and chances for more points. Unfortunately, all these changes are very unimportant to the flow, or difficulty, of the game. The best addition to this version is the five large Ace Coins that are meticulously placed around each stage. I say meticulously, because their placement makes their retrieval challenging, but enjoyable. To really prove that you are a Super Mario Bros. 2 master, you have to retrieve the coins from each level, with a star on the level screen denoting your accomplishment on each stage. The original Mario Bros. has some new backgrounds and'


...a new multiplayer mode that allows you to connect up to four Game Boy Advance systems together. I would have tried the multiplayer mode, but introvert that I am, I don't know anyone else who has a Game Boy Advance. A nice feature of the multiplayer mode is that you can play a version with multiple Game Boys, but only one cartridge. That is much less cost prohibitive than having a cartridge for each Game Boy, but apparently you will have to wait longer for the game to load. How much fun playing the original Mario Bros. with three friends would be, after a couple hours, is debatable, but still it was a nice addition.


Super Mario Advance's graphics have the most in common with the Super Nintendo re-release of the classics. This isn't a bad thing, as the graphics are large and colorful. There are also a few new special effects, like when you toss enemies and they spin off the screen. With all the characters on screen, multiple scrolling backgrounds, and some groovy special effects, Super Mario Advance is a good showcase for the power of the Game Boy Advance. But, it still isn't anything really new.


The most startling thing you will notice the first time you play a new Super Mario Bros. 2 game is the voices of each of the four characters you can play. Mario, Luigi, the Princess, and Toad each have unique, and fitting, voices. Although the comments are repetitive, they are humorous and don't seem to get annoying. Let me make an exception to that last comment. MOST of the voices aren't annoying. My favorite character, Toad, has a voice that lies halfway between cute and grating, and frequently steps over the line.

Bottom Line

Super Mario Advance, apart from its moniker, offers very little that's advanced. Mainly a rehash of Super Mario Bros. 2 with the original Mario Bros. thrown in for good measure, Super Mario Advance succeeds only because you can take this one on the road with you. It's not that Super Mario Advance isn't fun, but I think I would have been a little more forgiving if Nintendo could have made a new Mario game, or at least added the even better Super Mario Bros. 3.

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