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Super Mario Advance

Preview By: Roger Taylor

Developer:   Nintendo
Publisher:   Nintendo
Genre:   Platform
Est. Release:   June 11, 2001
Posted:   3-07-01

Remember Super Mario 2 for the NES? If you don’t remember it, don’t feel bad, as it was a rather forgettable game and easily the worst in the Mario series. That’s because it was not technically a Mario game. A completely different title was released in Japan under the title of Mario 2. No one is quite sure why Nintendo decided not to release that title here, but many have speculated that they felt it was too difficult and challenging for American gamers. Instead, Nintendo took a platformer by the name of Doki Doki Panic, inserted Mario characters into it and released it in the United States under the title Super Mario 2.

Super Mario Advance for the Game Boy Advance is essentially just Super Mario 2 with slightly spruced up graphics.

For those of you who never played Super Mario 2, that means that instead of the usual head-smashing associated with 2D Mario games, you will be engaged in vegetable throwing. Yes, you heard me right. Super Mario Advance’s main gameplay feature is the ability to pull vegetables out of the ground, and throw them at enemies. You can also jump on top of your enemies, grab them and throw them. The other unique element of this game is the multiple selectable characters. Mario, Luigi, Princess and Toad are all playable characters, each with special abilities. Mario is the "all around" character, while Luigi can jump higher than the rest, and Princess can jump farther than the rest, while Toad is the fastest of all.

Since Japanese gamers have never experienced the US ‘version’ of Mario 2, Nintendo feels that this is an acceptable launch title. However, this is terrible news for those of us in the United States who a) have already played this game and b) were hoping for a brand new Mario title before Nintendo pulled this on us.

That’s not to say that Super Mario Advance will be a bad game. The original Super Mario 2, when you let go your expectations of it, was a decent game. This version should be even better, as it uses the enhanced graphics used in the Super Mario All-Stars version of Mario 2 and will feature several new levels.

Perhaps most interesting of all is the new four-player feature which, in my mind, is the sole reason for purchasing this game. You and up to three other friends can battle on levels that are very similar to those used in Mario Brothers (the arcade and Atari game, not to be confused with Super Mario Brothers, the ground-breaking NES title). Best of all, this new multi-player mode only requires the use of one cartridge! Thanks to the GBA and Super Mario Advance, you no longer have to purchase two copies of the same game to play against someone else. Now all of the data is pulled off of one cart.

Super Mario Advance will be released with both the Japanese and North American launches of the GBA.

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