Game Boy Advance Ported Series of the Month:
The Super Mario Advance Series
The first thing one must do when examining four games that have been ported from one console to another is to ask one’s self the following question: “What has been changed?” Well, there’s good news and there’s bad news concerning the answer to that question. The good news is that not much has changed in any of them. The bad news is that the things they did change were in no way needing to be changed, and are quite awful now that they are different. Let’s start with the first of these games, shall we?
Super Mario Advance: Super Mario Bros. 2: This is perhaps the worst hit by the changes. The main change that the ChangeMaster decided to inflict upon this game was the addition of voices to all the characters. Some of the voices (Mario, Luigi, Peach) are tolerable, but some are just… horrible. Birdo and the bosses have all been given annoying voices, but even then, if you try reeeeeallly hard, you can get over most of them. One voice, however, that is just so horribly horrible that it cannot be ignored is Toad’s. Let me put it this way… Toad’s voice puts the “ak” in Matsutake.. the “ruff” in truffle… the “Shiit” in Shiitake, even! It’s just plain awful, frankly.
Super Mario Advance 2: Super Mario World: The voices are here again in this game, but fortunately there is no Toad, and therefore, no horrible Toad voice. One thing that is horrible, however, is Luigi’s jump. Now, send Paul a nasty e-mail if I’m wrong here… but I don’t recall Luigi having the same jump he did in Super Mario Bros. 2 in the SNES version of this game. The jump is just plain annoying to use, no matter what arguments can be made about how effective it may be in certain circumstances, and they would have been better off just giving him the same jump as Mario (or leaving it the way it was in the original version of SMW).
Super Mario Advance 3: Yoshi’s Island: This game has annoying voices as well (specifically, baby Mario’s annoying crying), but they didn’t give Yoshi an annoying jump and the annoying crying was in the SNES version, so I have no complaints. Wooooohoooooo!!!
Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3: Once again, they added voices to this one, and Toad IS in this game! *shudder*. Fortunately, they decided his written lines were enough and did not add a voice for him. Mario is the only one who really speaks and he just has a few things to say here and there when he grabs a coin or something, so it’s easy to get over. Other than that the game is more or less the same as the original.
Overall, Super Mario Advance 3 is probably the closest to its original version, although all don’t stray too far. The only real problem is the annoying voices, and you can remedy that by turning off the sound (although then you wouldn’t be able to enjoy SMB2’s amazing background music). If you liked the old games and are looking for something to play while you are in the car or something, you might as well pick one of these games up. If you are looking to play them at home, however, you might as well stick to the originals (or Super Mario All-Stars for SNES) since nothing worthwhile was added to these games.