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Super Mario Advance (GBA)
It's Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad…sound familiar? It should. This remake of the NES classic Super Mario Brothers 2 doesn't break any new ground, but it's still a good title to pick up for the GBA...
By - Craig "Talon" Wessel


Super Mario Advance was one of the release titles for the GBA, but that doesn't mean that it's an all-new Mario adventure. It's actually a fairly faithful remake of the NES classic Super Mario Brothers 2. However, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't pick it up.

Story

Mario dreams about a strange land called Subcon that is under the thumb of the evil overlord Wart. When Mario wakes up, he and his friends --Luigi, Peach, and Toad -- head to the park where they find a magical doorway that they fall through, leading them to Subcon, the land Mario dreamt about. To get back home, they have to defeat Wart.

Gameplay


In Super Mario Advance, you can choose to play as any of the four characters in the game at any time. Each of them has different abilities: Mario is the best overall, Luigi can jump much farther, Peach can float farther distances, and Toad is the speedster of the bunch. You'll get the chance to use them all, because certain levels and situations call for each of their abilities. Aside from this nifty feature, the gameplay is typical side-scrolling platform action, following the tried-and-true theme of "X amount of levels, boss, repeat" until the final showdown with Wart.

You can choose a different character for each level, so it's easy to try them all on a certain situation. In fact, the game is made to be played that way, and you won't likely complete it if you stick with one character throughout. It's all about teamwork. Some of the puzzles in the game are very challenging, and they do get harder as the game progresses. Levels are more vertical in nature, so you'll have to climb a lot and do some back tracking to find everything.

The game also includes a repackaged GBA version of Mario Brothers. All you do here is knock over enemies to reach the next stage. Hook up with 3 other players via link cables, and it gets more interesting. Everyone can control a different character at the same time, which is a blast.

Technical


The controls in the game are fine, and the game's graphics are excellent. Sound, as in most GBA titles, is excellent. In fact, that's one of the better parts of the game -- the characters now talk a lot more than in the old Super Mario Brothers game, and there are many more sounds. Characters are much more detailed due to the GBA platform's power, and everything is more vibrant than in previous Mario titles.

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