Super Mario Bros. 3, the third entry in the Super Mario Bros. series and Super Mario franchise, sees Mario or Luigi navigate a nonlinear world map containing platforming levels and optional minigames and challenges. The game features more diverse movement options and new items alongside more complex level designs and boss battles.
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It's a solid entry in the series, but the big thing I see in this game is its variety compared to SMB1. There's a lot more enemies, a lot more levels, a lot more items, etc.
But variety doesn't automatically make a game better in my book, and I think what SMB3 does well in adding variety to the table, fails to execute most of the ideas in interesting ways. Some ideas are undercooked, for example, the kuribo boot, which is only used in one level, and even some of the enemy placement feels a bit cheep.
The level design feels all over the place in terms of difficulty. I found some of the levels to either be too easy (and short) or way too difficult or tedious. I especially found World 4 to be the 2nd easiest world in the game compared to 2 & 3, and World 7 was easier than World 6.
World 8, especially, has a massive difficulty spike that doesn't feel fair for first time players first experiencing the world. You could make the excuse that it's supposed to be hard 'cuz it's the last world in the game, but levels ask too much of the player, requiring them to deal with obstacles you never experienced early on, and the mid-fortress... my god. It has to be one of the most frustrating levels I've ever experienced in a 2D Mario game. It's maze-like, which doesn't work well with the fact that this game has a timer for each stage.
Despite mosty being really negative to this game, I don't want to write it off as a bad game. It's still fine for what it is and is definitely better than SMB2, but I personally fail to put this above SMW or even SMB1, which despite being a game with very less variety, still manages to be an exceptional platformer that works around the controls and has a proper difficulty curve, even if the game has a more arcade-like structure to it.
A very good Mario platformer but not my favorite of those first four. It has amazing levels and a lot of great bosses, but it has it's problems. I think some of the levels are very short and it takes too long to start getting more challenging. Those first 4 levels are a breeze with how easy and short they are, then you start getting a bit of a challenge in world 5. I also HATED the side scrolling. The side scrolling is super slow and most of the time I was standing there doing nothing because I was waiting for the screen to move. I also thought that the fortress boss (the guy who drops the question mark ball) was too repetitive and they didn't need that many fortresses for this game. Despite all that it's very fun. The worlds are all unique and Bowser's minions are awesome. It's a lot of fun to get through and the Bowser boss fight is very clever. The end is extremely redeeming when you beat the game, even though it's pretty easy. I like it, just not as much as a lot of other people.