Review: VS. Super Mario Bros. (Switch) - Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!


Saturday, January 13, 2018

Review: VS. Super Mario Bros. (Switch)

by Danny Bivens

Get your classic Mario fix outside of the 2D segments of Odyssey. 

Hamster’s release of VS. Super Mario Bros will immediately feel familiar to fans of the original Super Mario Bros. Although many gamers know the ins and outs of Super Mario Bros. like the back of their hands, this re-release from the arcade brings several new challenges and changes that make this game fresh. There are fewer warp zones, fewer extra lives, ridiculously long jumps that weren’t there before and just some general changes to some stages. In some cases in the latter part of the game, levels from the original are replaced with levels from Super Mario Bros. 2: The Lost Levels (check your local Wikipedia for more info).

Game modes include the Original Game, Caravan Mode (a five minute score attack mode) and High Score mode where you try to get as many points as you can on one life. One thing to note with both the Caravan and High Score modes is that pause the game and go into the menu screen, you are not able to resume the game from where you were playing. I’m not sure of the exact reason, but it’s probably to prevent people from cheating or perhaps to stay true to the arcade roots. Regardless, these additional modes might not seem like much, but Hamster offers more here than what Nintendo typically does in Virtual Console releases.

The initial video settings in VS. Super Mario Bros don’t do the game favors - it’s a blurry mess. This seems to be intentional, though, as a screen filter is set automatically to on when booting up the game for the first time. There are ten different filters, each of which offer a varying degree of scan lines and brightness settings. However, turning this feature completely off makes the visuals noticeably sharper and crisp.

There are other display and control options available as well. For players that aren’t keen on playing the game in 4:3 mode, they can adjust the display settings to fit their widescreen TVs (and horribly stretch out the game unnaturally at the same time). Players are also able to completely modify the control set up here, too.

Despite the gameplay being great and a bevy of customization, one thing bothered me about the game. The colors seem a bit off. This is particularly noticeable when you see Fire Mario who has a slight yellowish tint. This is of course due to arcade machines being able to display a wider range of colors than the NES ever could but almost everything else seems fine, however that in particular was something that stood out to me.

VS. Super Mario Bros. is a welcome addition to the Switch library. While the Switch may not have classic games directly from Nintendo yet, Hamster did a bang up job bringing this obscure title back into the limelight. Visual nitpick aside, if you’re itching for some classic Mario platforming that offers a little extra, you can’t go wrong here.
Final Score: 8.0

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