Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3
Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 is the Game Boy Advance remake of the 1988 NES game Super Mario Bros. 3, and is the fourth and final entry in the Super Mario Advance series of games on the GBA. It boasts similar graphics and sound to the Super Mario All-Stars version, and made use of the e-Reader. Also, like the Super Mario Advance games that came before it, it features an identical remake of Mario Bros.
A few e-cards came included with new copies of the game, while two sets (referred to as series) of cards were released and sold alongside the game. By scanning special cards into the e-Reader, players were able to upload items, videos, and most importantly, new levels into the game. One notable item was the Cape Feather from Super Mario World, which allowed Mario to transform into Caped Mario. There were also two Switch cards that the player could activate (and deactivate) the effects of by scanning them; the Orange Switch and the Blue Green Switch. Scanning these switches triggered small functions in the game. The e-Reader feature is still available in the European version, but disabled by default and inaccessible. It is fully translated, possibly because the e-Reader was planned to be released in Europe. It can be "unlocked" by having a corrupted save file.
The game was re-released on the Wii U's Virtual Console service in Japan on December 29, 2015, and later in North America on January 21, 2016, in Europe on March 10, 2016, and in Australia on March 11, 2016. This release also includes all of the e-Reader levels in all versions, including the levels that were previously only released in Japan.
This game has rumble support if played on a Game Boy Player.
The story, from the instruction booklet:
List of changes
There are many changes between the original and All-Stars versions of Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario Advance 4.
Several items and enemies have been changed for the remake:
Additionally, several gameplay changes to items and enemies match their functions in Super Mario World:
The controls have been slightly altered to match the GBA's capabilities:
Level design changes
Entire structures in some levels are altered to fit on the GBA's smaller screen, such as shortened rooms, lower ceilings, higher lava pits, and slightly different stairs.
Many of the changes to levels have made the gameplay easier for the player to complete.
Some levels also received changes to the placements of items and/or coins.
The sprites have a slightly brighter color, but it is not as noticeable as in the other Super Mario Advance games. The invincibility palettes are even brighter, making Mario/Luigi colored like they were in Super Mario Advance. This can be reverted by using a Warp Pipe, taking damage, powering-up, or exiting/clearing the course. If the game is played on a Game Boy Player, however, the palettes revert to those of the All-Stars version.
Beyond being brightened, a few of the game's sprites were slightly redesigned to fit the GBA's capabilities:
Some effects were added to the sprites for extra detail:
The world maps have been edited, mostly due to the lack of borders on the map screen. Most maps scroll vertically, due to the GBA's resolution, and some of the maps have been updated.
Many levels are given more fitting backgrounds, like the All-Stars version. However, most level backgrounds (except for underground levels, airships, and fortresses) lack horizontal parallax scrolling, although this did appear in a pre-release trailer shown at E3 (vertical parallax scrolling can still be seen as Mario flies upward).
Some of the game menus have been changed to compensate for a smaller screen and different button controls.
Some of the letters look slightly different:
After Mario/Luigi defeats Bowser, he automatically turns into Super Mario/Luigi regardless of whatever power-up he is using, to fit with the ending cutscene. Additionally, defeating Bowser now automatically triggers the ending cutscene rather than have the player trigger it manually, possibly to prevent Mario/Luigi from potentially falling into the void left behind in the ground after Bowser's defeat, and therefore losing a life.
Some levels have had their dialogue updated or fixed.
The dialogue in the Kings' castles were slightly changed:
The post-world letters have had their wordings redone:
Mario and Luigi have voice acting performed by Charles Martinet. Other added voice clips include Peach's cries for help in Bowser's Castle, cackling Boos, and Toad's yelp in the intro and castle cutscenes. Along with this, several new sound effects have been added.
For a complete listing of the cards themselves, see here. The list of features added to Super Mario Advance 4 by the cards is as follows:
Features and enemies from past titles
Super Mario Advance 4 was developed by Nintendo EAD, with Hiroyuki Kimura as its director and Takashi Tezuka as the producer. The new graphics were designed by Emi Tomita, and the new music tracks were composed by Taiju Suzuki. Very few of the original game's staff were involved in the production of this remake; even Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto goes uncredited here, when he had previously produced Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2 with Tezuka as his supervisor.
Pre-release and unused content
The game's logo looked different than it did in the E3 trailer. Gray switches were also found in the game's data and also includes pressed versions of these switches. Compressed Super Mario World graphics were found in game data, these include an animation frame for the Koopa Clown Car, three frames of a Koopa Troopa walking, and two frames of a Goomba from Super Mario World walking.
Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 has received very positive reviews, and has been considered one of the best Game Boy Advance games ever made. It is the third highest-rated GBA game on Metacritic, with an aggregate score of 94 based on 25 reviews, and also that site's fourth highest-rated game in the Mario series, behind only Super Mario Galaxy, Super Mario Galaxy 2, and Super Mario Odyssey.
Both Pocket Gamer and Play Magazine gave the game perfect scores. The former called the game "Mario hop-'n'-bop action at its finest", while the latter lauded the challenge in the gameplay, the quick save feature, and the e-Reader functionality. Meanwhile, Electronic Gaming Monthly praised Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 for its controls, stages, and visuals, stating that it looked good for an "old, trippy 2D game", and Yahoo! Games stated that the game surpassed both the original NES/Famicom version and the Super Mario All-Stars release.
The game was commercially successful in North America, with sales in excess of 2.88 million copies. By the end of 2006, it had sold more copies in that region than any other Game Boy Advance game.
Names in other languages