Game Review

Mania Grade: A+

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  • Platform: Game Boy Advance
  • ESRB: Everyone
  • Genre: Side-Scroller
  • Players: 1
  • Online: No
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Suggested Retail: $29.99
  • Graphics: A
  • Sound: A
  • Gameplay: A+
  • Replay: A+
  • Fun Factor: A+
  • Reviewer's Wild Card: A+


One of the greatest games of all time comes to the GBA

By James Stevenson     October 15, 2003

It's pretty amazing that this is the fourth time that Nintendo will have re-released one of its old Mario games, along with MARIO BROS. and passed it off to you, the gamer, for forty bucks. From that sentence alone, you might seem to think that I'm warning you away from this game because it's a rehash. While the game might be old it's still one of the best games ever made, and it's worthy of your money and time on the Game Boy Advance.

I still remember getting my hands on SUPER MARIO 3 for the first time. I was completely absorbed by the game for weeks months even. To this date it remains one of the most beautifully crafted works ever released. Shigeru Miyamoto and crew made a masterpiece.

It had been a while since I had played this game, and before playing through it again, I probably would have listed SUPER MARIO WORLD as my favorite Mario game. After replaying MARIO 3, I'm not so sure.

The eight worlds of MARIO 3 have so many little things that make it great. A ton of levels that are each short, difficult, and introduce different concepts. I suppose I never noticed all of the original ideas in the game when I first played it years ago but it's amazing how many there are.

As you play through the game you'll be using continue after continue levels are damn frustrating. It's the same harder-than-hell game you played 13 years ago. However it does have a fresh coat of paint. A few new additions like some cinematics are most excellent. In addition the game features some pretty cool E-READER support.

The way the E-READER support works is this: By having a Game Boy Advance with MARIO 3 in it, along with a link cable to a Game Boy Advance with an E-READER (which works well for those of us with Game Boy Advance SPs and our original GBAs). You then can scan cards in the E-READER to get additions to the game.

The most helpful of these additions are item cards. Just scan it and you'll get that item as many times as you scan the card (yay for Hammer Bros. suits!). While those cards might be useful the coolest part are the level cards. Scanning these unlocks new levels in the game some entirely BRAND NEW. This is the closest we've gotten to a new 2d Mario game.

The graphics look great, and are definitely up to snuff on the Game Boy Advance. The sound is just as good as it was before and there are some new voice samples of Mario, just like the other MARIO ADVANCE games.

I really want a new Mario game. The new cards are excellent, but it's not a new game. It's time for Miyamoto to finally build a new 2d game, charge 50 bucks for it, we'll pay.


Regardless of my demands for a new game, MARIO 3 is one of the greatest games of all time. It's a definite purchase for a GBA owner.


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