Super Mario Bros DX (GBC VC) – Full Review

Nintendo were generous enough to give those who registered a Nintendo Network ID on a 3DS between 10/12/13 and 31/1/14 a copy of Super Mario Bros DX for the Game Boy Color game in it’s 3DS incarnation for free. The codes arrive in the recipient’s email box, and they started being received on 14/2/14. Those who don’t have a code yet ; fret not! They are still in the process of being sent out (indeed up until the 28th February).

Super Mario Bros DX includes the NES games ‘Super Mario Bros’ and ‘Super Mario Bros : The Lost Levels’. Offering GBC adoptees bang for their buck, it introduced extra modes, save points and an over-world map.


Super Mario Bros DX brings the original Super Mario Bros to a whole new audience... for a second time!

Super Mario Bros DX brings the original Super Mario Bros to a whole new audience… for a second time!


The game itself plays like the original, although with a smaller screen due to the GBC’s resolution being smaller (you can view the game’s cut off parts using the D-Pad). This does cause the game to be more difficult, especially when making jumps from platforms.  Deluxe has save points which make the game easier, compensating for the difficulty caused by the reduced screen. In addition, as those who’ve played other Virtual Console titles will already know, this includes an additional save file system so you can start from the exact point you saved from.

When you get 100,000 points or more, you unlock ‘You vs Boo’ mode in which you have to race a Boo (a common enemy in the Mario franchise) to the end of each level. There are blocks which can either aid you or hinder you, and Boo has the unfair advantage of being able to passing through them. I enjoyed this mode the most and believe it will encourage players to keep replay them to improve their times.


‘You VS Boo’ mode makes it’s celebrated return


Also in DX is Challenge mode. This requires the player to find 5 hidden red coins throughout each level. Getting all the coins unlocks pictures and awards in the toy room. As well as the red coins you can try and find a hidden Yoshi egg, encouraging you to fully explore the level as opposed to rushing from Point A to B like in the main game.

As stated earlier Super Mario Bros : The Lost Levels is also included. Here the levels are referred to as ‘Super Mario Bros. for Super Player’s. To unlock these levels the player must get 300,000 points or more to unlock these levels and these levels were known for their difficulty back in the day.

The graphics are pretty much the same as the NES classics they depict, although a few tweaks were added such as animated backgrounds and moving lava/water. The audio is the same music from the NES Classic and. despite the GBC’s audio chip being limited, pulls off the tracks without any distortion.


Searching for Yoshi eggs adds a whole new element to the NES classic

Searching for Yoshi eggs adds a whole new element to the NES classic


Due to the 3DS’ hardware being different than the Game Boy Color’s several modes are inaccessible to the 3DS VC port such as the VS mode (in which Mario and Luigi has to race to the end of the level) and the Game Boy Printer feature. While the GB printer link was mostly a cosmetic feature, Nintendo could have easily adapted it so you could save the images to your SD Card, when you unlocked them.


Super Mario Bros Deluxe is a decent port of the classic SMB1 and has enough to keep gamers coming back. That said ; the lack of multiplayer access due to the 3DS hardware can feel like gamers are being presented with an incomplete copy, so if you already have the NES versions of Super Mario Bros and Super Mario Bros : The Lost Worlds on your 3DS I wouldn’t see much point in buying the same game again.


  • Good replay value, especially on ‘Lost Levels’ and ‘You vs Boo’ modes
  • Presentation looks good.
  • 64 Levels to play


  • Certain modes not accessible (VS mode, GB printer)
  • Screen feels squeezed

Final Score: 7/10

(Super Mario Bros Deluxe will be released on the 27th February and will be priced £4.49)

  • John says:

    Wow! My childhood game, Super Mario Bros the best game ever! I wish to be a child again play all day these game on my video console… I love it! Great memories too with Mario.

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