MARIO BROS. / Nintendo / NES

Yeah, it's the first playable appearance of the Mario brothers, a bit of gaming history, et cetera ... but I can't think of any really compelling reasons to play Mario Bros. anymore, much less throw down some cash for it. The gameplay is pretty stiff and funky, and it's been released as a bonus game in so many other cartridges and compilations that if you're a Nintendo fan you probably have it laying around somewhere anyway ... this first outing for Mario and Luigi has them cleaning out the sewers which are infested with Koopas, Angry Crabs and some other creatures. These critters pour out of pipes at the top of the screen and for the most part walk a straight line to the bottom before returning again to the top to start over; instead of jumping on their heads, you have to attack them in the undercarraige by punching the ground beneath them to flip them over. Once on their backs they can be safely approached and kicked off the screen. The first Koopas take a mere hit to flip but later on, critters just get pissed off the first time or two that you hit them and move faster. Also, if you leave a guy lying on his back too long he likewise gets steamed and turns into a faster meaner version.

Mario is looking a bit slovenly and working off a pasta gut in this one; seems he was still ironing out his jumping skills as they are stiff, you can only jump in the direction you are currently facing and you can't move around at all in mid-air. This pattern of stiff creature killing is broken up only by the occasional bonus stage which is a shameless grab for cash (hmm, this concept seems vaguely familiar for some reason). The game is pretty tedious and the play control is frustrating; it took putting a Super in front of the title to kickstart this series, I guess.

Videos :

* Gameplay Video