Reviewed on GBA


Reviewed By: Joshua Hughes

Computer Platform: Game Boy Advance (GBA)
Produced by: Nintendo
Price Range: $40
Learning curve time: 30 min.
Age level: 3+
ESRB Rating: E

Genre: Action/Adventure
Christian Rating: 5 of 5
   (nothing offensive)
Gameplay: 5 of 5
Violence: 4 of 5
   (barely present)
Adult Content: 5 of 5

Box art for 'Super Mario Advance'
"Super Mario Advance" is a combination of a souped up version of "Mario Bros. 2" and the multi-player game “Mario Bros.” The pak should have a nostalgic appeal to anyone who was playing games ten years ago.

“Mario 2” is different from all the other Marios by the fact you cannot defeat enemies by jumping on their heads. Instead, you pick up enemies or vegetables and throw them at other foes.

Screenshots from 'Super Mario Advance' Before game play starts, players are asked to choose between four characters: Luigi, who has an awesome jump; Toad, who has a lot of speed and power; Peach, who can fly for 1.5 seconds; and Mario, who is the best overall character to start with.

At the end of almost every level, players must face off with Birdo, a monster that spits eggs. Players must catch the eggs in mid air and return to sender to complete the stage. Every third level has a zany boss that presents amazing challenges. From a bomb wielding mouse to a toad who hates vegetables, the game has some hilarious antagonists.

The game is not perfect though. Some levels (especially later ones) can get long and hard. The challenges presented by the baddies sometimes can be unreal and hard for younger crowds as well. Overall though, the game is worth taking a look at; it has a touch of nostalgic fun that is priceless.

From a Christian perspective, the game is very much neutral (neither promoting nor putting-down Christian morals). The game engine is fun but very old (not seen for a decade). For gameplay, the one player mode is a blast. Also available is a battle mode for multiple players. Overall, “Mario Advance” gets an 80%.

Hints: dig up every vegetable you can find, some of them are surprising little secrets.
Year of Release—2001

Super Mario Advance is definitely the Super Mario Bros 2 I grew up with, improved. I played it through when my cousins visited during the summer break. Anyone who played the original Mario 2 like I did and knows it back and forth will be pleasantly surprised to discover new hidden areas added to the levels, and neat new surprises here and there, such as new enemies or new items. And the newly added voice acting; I thought it would get on my nerves, but instead, I love it! The characters talk all the time, and I do mean ALL the time. Mario and friends shout out little catch phrases like “I'm moving now” when they enter a door or "Just what I needed!" when they get an extra life. Boss characters talk too. "Here! Have some BOMBS!" shouts Mouser when you meet him. The voices are well chosen and appropriate, and I think they're a cute touch. A few made me laugh out loud! Bottom-line: The “Super Mario Bros 2” part of Super Mario Advance is great for 8 year olds and for people like me, who played the original game when they were 8 years old. It's a great, improved trip down memory lane. My Ratings: [5/4]
   —Chris G., age 20, non-Christian

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.

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