Super Mario Advance (JP) (also called SMA) is the port remake of Super Mario Bros. 2 developed by Nintendo Research & Development 2 as a launch title for the handheld Game Boy Advance, released in Japan in March 2001 and in North America and Europe in June of the same year. It is based on the Super Mario All-Stars remaster for the SNES, and also contains a remake of the original Mario Bros. game. Advance includes many new features, gameplay mechanic changes, graphical and audio enhancements, and stylistic and aesthetic alterations from the All-Stars edition, with the most significant changes being the addition of the enemy Robirdo, a robotic Birdo, replacing Mouser as the boss of World 3; the addition of the "Yoshi Challenge", in which players may revisit stages to search for Yoshi Eggs; a new point-scoring system; multiple hit combos; enlarged sprites; and digital voice acting.
Changes from the Original
- Level 1-1 has some changes, mainly clouds have been added in places and the first part was moved to the right along with clouds.
- Voices for Mario, Luigi, Princess Toadstool, Toad, and the bosses were added.
- The game can be saved after every level.
- An unknown voice shouts "choose a player!" at the appearance of the character select screen.
- A circular character select screen is shown, instead of Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad lining up in a row.
- A point system has been added. Players get more points for making one thrown object hit lots of enemies. If enough enemies are hit, an extra life will be awarded.
- Hearts appear much more frequently than in the original. Whenever three or more vegetables or enemies are involved in a collision, a heart appears. Also, hearts can be pulled out of the ground.
- Giant Vegetables have been added to the game. These voluminous vegetables take a long time to pull out of the ground, but function normally otherwise (apart from having a larger area to hit enemies with).
- Giant Shy Guys and Giant Ninjis have also been added. They take a long time to pick up, and whenever they are thrown or involved in a collision, they yield a heart.
- Giant POW Blocks have also been added. These bounce several times, each time having the effect of a normal block.
- Shells were made larger, and they now bounce off walls and yield hearts whenever they collide with enemies. They also now take longer to pick up, and appeared in a little more levels. They can now hurt players, however.
- The insides of vases were changed and so did the music inside the vases.
- Starting the level, the player starts out with only one heart filled in the heart meter.
- An extra mushroom was added per level.
- In each level, there are five red Ace Coins. If all are collected, the player receives an extra life, and the level gets a star on it on the map screen.
- When the game is finished, a new "Yoshi's Challenge" mode appears. Now, there are two Yoshi Eggs hidden in Subcon in each level, and the player must find and collect them all.
- Robirdo, a new boss, replaces Mouser as the boss of World 3.
- Mouser replaced Tryclyde as the boss of World 6. As a result, Triclyde only appears once in the game.
- More enemies were added in the game.
- Some things in the game, such as the Subcons, were completely changed in art.
- Phantos now make noises when they move around the screen. Also, when the player throws the key down or loses a life, they exit the screen while moving forward, making them appear considerably larger than usual.
- It is possible to remove Green and Red Birdo's Ribbon by jumping on her and picking it up, the player could either throw it away, or put it back on Birdo by throwing it back at her.
- Clawgrip is now spelled correctly in the cast list; in previous versions, it was misspelled as "Clawglip". The Japanese release of this game, however, does not have the error corrected.
- Luigi's overalls are now a similar color to Mario's and his hat and shirt are a mint green color, in the SNES remakes, they are purple and his hat and shirt are a sea foam green color.
- Toad's vest is now purple, in the SNES remakes, his vest is blue.
- Carrots now appear as items helping the heroes get to higher places, particularly in the first level.
Super Mario Advance was developed due to the success of Super Mario Bros. Deluxe for the Game Boy Color in 1999. Despite the use of most graphical and audio assets from the All-Stars remaster, the game was coded from scratch; new sprites and audio cues were created because their existing counterparts were "not good enough". The development team purposefully decided to add "large" versions of enemies and increase the number of enemies on-screen as a means of highlighting the Game Boy Advance's processing power. The Mario Bros. remake was initially a separate project designed to experiment with the Game Boy Advance's link cable feature, but it was eventually decided to include it as an extra.
The main credits for this game includes directors Satoru Iwata and Toshiaki Suzuki, producer Masayuki Uemura, and assistant director Hiroaki Sakagami.
Super Mario Advance received generally positive reviews, garnering an aggregate score of 84% on Metacritic. When GameSpot reviewed the game, it thought that Super Mario Bros. 3 or Super Mario World would have been a better choice for a launch game considering their respective popularity; both titles were eventually also remade as part of the Super Mario Advance series. Conversely, IGN praised the choice, calling it "one of the most polished and creative platformers of the era".
Pre-release and unused content
The game's graphics data contains smaller versions of the slot machine icons and two unused Vegetables, which also went unused in Super Mario All-Stars. A mouse, possibly intended for Mouser's boss intro with a blue Cobrat, possibly intended for Tryclyde's boss intro were also found in the game's data. Also, an early screenshot of the game, shown on a GBA on the cover of Nintendo Power Issue #143, shows one of the two "hills at night" backgrounds brightened like all the others; in the final game, these retain their original color palette.
- This is the only Super Mario Advance game to not feature a prologue cutscene in the game that depicts the story in the user's manual (Not counting Super Mario Advance 3, due to Yoshi's Island already having an opening prologue in the original version).
- This distinction is shared with the Game Boy Advance remake of Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!
- It is also the only Super Mario Advance game to not feature the original opening when selecting the game.
- It is the only Super Mario Advance game to, when selecting the main game, have the chorus declare the title in full (in all later games, the chorus cuts off just after they say "Super Mario").
- Interview on Nintendo's Japanese website, Nintendo. Retrieved March 30 2015 (partial translation available here)
- Super Mario Advance (gba) reviews. Metacritic.com. June 11, 2001. Retrieved July 20, 2009.
- Super Mario Advance for the Game Boy Advance review. GameSpot. Retrieved 2010-02-26.
- Super Mario Bros. 2: Super Mario Advance - Game Boy Advance Review. IGN. Retrieved 2010-02-26.