Game & Watch Super Mario Bros | Review

Game & Watch Super Mario Bros | Review
In 1991, Mario the Juggler, marked the end of publications for the Game & Watch series. The Game Boy was already an established reality and Nintendo decided to put an end to the first big era of portable video games. It is not surprising, therefore, that Super Mario Bros was chosen precisely for the 35th anniversary of the famous plumber to bring the iconic Game & Watch back to store shelves. Taking up the original form factor, and adding some tricks to make it more in line with the "current times", the Game & Watch Super Mario Bros proposes, in a single solution, two pieces of videogame history and does so in a way, almost, perfect.

For those who have lived through the last years of that period, opening the Game & Watch Super Mario Bros is a sensory experience like leafing through an album of faded photographs. Although the external packaging is more accurate, proposing a transparent slipcase that adds graphic elements to the golden cardboard box, once the protective plastic that protects the small console is reached with the fingers, the contact with that minimum thickness, and those iconic materials, It takes us back in an instant to when we paraded the Game & Watch from their polystyrene frame in the late 80s.

Everything, in terms of form factor, has remained unchanged. The base, and the frames, in red monochromatic plastic, host a golden aluminum frame with a small screen placed on the central part. The directional cross is always the one designed by the famous Gunpei Yokoi (which we had already told you about when we told you the story of the Game Boy) and the A and B keys are exactly as we remembered them ... rubbery, impractical and damn iconic. Set aside the packaging, of which we particularly appreciated the nice thanks from Nintendo placed in one of the side flaps, the Game & Watch Super Mario Bros looks exactly like one of the handhelds of the past. The only substantial changes are the removal of the battery compartment (since the console is now powered by a USB Type-C output), the screen (which is now a 2.36-inch color LCD), the absence of disappearance and the presence, on the right side, of the power button.

For those who do not know, in fact, the Game & Watch were conceptually portable digital watches that allowed small videogame digressions thanks to simple integrated software . Therefore, it was not possible to turn them off as, whenever they were not played, they automatically entered clock mode, becoming small pocket alarms or positioned on the bedside table through a practical retractable support placed on the back of the console. In the Game & Watch Super Mario Bros, unfortunately, the original concept has been slightly modified, removing the rear stand and orienting the project, more, on the side of very small gaming consoles. If you were thinking, therefore, of displaying the console in a showcase, you will have to think about getting a third-party support.

Contentistically speaking, however, the Game & Watch Super Mario Bros offers everything you would expect from a consoles from this series, as well as a handful of very welcome additions inspired by Nintendo's most important brand. First of all we find two complete games: Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 2 (Known in the West as The Lost Levels). If on the first title there is not much to add, being the most famous platformer in the world, on the second game we can tell you that, if you have never heard of it, it is the original sequel to the first title in the series that was rejected by the then president of Nintendo Of America who, due to excessive difficulty, opted to reject its production in the West, requesting a reskin of Doki Doki Panic (a title made, under license, by Miyamoto) to offer American players a more accessible game .

Game & Watch Super Mario Bros, however, adds a very interesting feature to help players who are not inclined to difficult challenges. By pressing A for more than 5 seconds, in fact, you will get infinite lives in both games, not having to worry further about running into unpleasant Game Over. A small addition that, while not limiting the difficulty of Super Mario Bros. 2, allows players to complete one of the lesser known adventures of the famous plumber with less difficulty. Furthermore, completing one of the two titles present in the Game & Watch Super Mario Bros will unlock a nice surprise which, however, will remain available only until the next console shutdown.

In addition to the first two titles of the series he most famous plumber in video games, the Game & Watch Super Mario Bros also offers a re-edition of Ball, the game that marked the debut of Nintendo's small consoles on the market. This re-edition, however, offers a nice variant that, conceptually, is linked to that Mario the Juggler we were talking about at the beginning. The original juggler, in fact, abandons the features of Mr. Game & Watch and assumes those of Mario (or Luigi if the A key is pressed for more than 5 seconds). Considering that both titles asked the player not to drop the objects held in the air by the juggler, it goes without saying that this nice revision celebrates the dawn and dusk of the first era of Game & Watch in a few pixels.

Finally, the Clock mode is back which, in the Game & Watch Super Mario Bros, includes a multitude of Easter Eggs and quotes that will delight fans of the Mushroom Kingdom. By pressing the Time key, in fact, we could choose different settings, while pressing the A and B keys will generate sparkles in the various blocks on the screen. The 35 different animations are played throughout the day, along with a pleasant day / night cycle that will change the scenarios that will appear on the screen. A long press of the A button will allow you to start playing the song “Disegna Mario cantando” which, unfortunately, has a bug: the subtitles, in fact, are not associated with the correct language and to be able to view them in Italian, the German language must be chosen. An oversight that cannot be fixed in any way, except during a new round of production of the console, and that will make this first edition particularly coveted among collectors.

We particularly appreciated, however, how Nintendo wanted it maintaining the ability to use the console as a small desk clock, even if the autonomy of just over 3 hours does not help in keeping the original concept of the console alive.

Powered by Blogger.