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3DS  header logo

Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels

For: 3DS

Saving a princess has never been so difficult

Product: Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels | Publisher: Nintendo | Format: 3DS | Genre: Platform | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels 3DS, thumbnail 1
Like many other things in life, as games grow old one of two things happen: either they fade into obscurity, becoming little more than curios, or they skyrocket to near untouchable levels of fame.

Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels is one of these near untouchable titles. Infamous for being harder than swimming in concrete, it's gone on to become a rite of passage for any dedicated gamer who relishes a challenge.

Now, thanks to its arrival on Nintendo 3DS's eShop, there's an even easier way to snap your 3DS in half in frustration.

Separated at birth

Comprising a set of stages that'll have you tearing your hair out, these lost levels were originally deemed too hard for the Western world to endure. We got Super Mario Bros. 2. instead, but The Lost Levels has a greater claim to be seen as the sequel to the original NES platformer.

And despite its 1986 release, The Lost Levels has aged surprisingly well.

The 8-bit NES sprites are realised wonderfully on the 3DS's screen, coming across crisp and clear rather than dated and blurry. If anything, they feel akin to the pixel-art indie games that have begun to emerge over the last few years.

Brotherly Love

Surprisingly, given the general homogeneity of the series, The Lost Levels plays very differently from the other Mario games. For one thing, Luigi is no longer just a re-skin of the titular hero.

Your choice of character affects the pace of play rather significantly. Mario is more agile than his taller brother, but Luigi can jump higher and farther.

Where Luigi could easily bound over an obstacle Mario has to find some space to run and jump, or an enemy to jump on to bounce higher.

In some respects, playing through The Lost Levels feels more like playing through a Sonic The Hedgehog title as you careen your way through levels to get to the end. It's a very rhythmic experience of timing jumps while continually moving forward to get through a level.

Thankfully, the notorious difficulty of the original is tamed by the Virtual Console's restore point system. With this you can create a quicksave point to go back to if you die, thus negating the three-life approach to the entire game.

Despite this change, Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels is still as devilishly hard and enjoyable as it's always been. 
Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels
Reviewer photo
Vaughn Highfield | 9 January 2013
It may not be for everyone, but if you're looking for a challenge on the go, look no further than this delicious slice of retro action
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