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31 Bonus Levels of Christmas
Super Mario Bros. 3: Memory Card Game
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 08, 2010   |   Episode 14 (Show Archive)  

   

It's that time of year again, a time when Defunct Games celebrates the holidays by posting a daily theme article that should inform and delight gamers all over the world. This year we're taking a look at 31 of the best-known bonus stages in all of video games. Each day we're going to look at a different level and review it, while also trying to figure out what makes it tick. Join us as we post a new episode of the 31 Bonus Levels of Christmas every day leading up to the biggest holiday of the year!
Super Mario Bros. 3: Memory Card Game
[ Console: Nintendo Entertainment System | Year: 1990 | Grade: C+ ]

SPOILER: This screenshot is not a spoiler!
The Context: The Princess is in trouble again and it's up to Super Mario to save the day. In order to do this he'll don a raccoon tail, turn to stone, stomp around in a giant boot and throw down with the Hammer Brothers. Super Mario Bros. 3 is a gigantic 8-bit adventure, full of wild ideas and creative power-ups. In fact, the world is so large that our hero will need to collect power-ups and special items through a series of cheesy bonus levels. Once he has his frog suit he is free to take on the rest of the game in style.

The Rules: This bonus level may remind some of the classic game of Concentration. There's a reason

I don't care what Shiggy says, Super Mario Bros. 3 is the high water mark in the series as far as I'm concerned!
for that. It's because this IS the classic game of Concentration. This game features 18 cards, each turned face down. The object of the game is to select a card and then find its match. There are nine possible matches. But beware, because too many wrong moves will send you back to the world map. Players able to match all of the cards will be rewarded with coins, power-ups, stars and even 1-ups.

The Verdict: Although I applaud the simplicity of this game, I wish there was more to it. There are only eight possible levels, all of which are easy to memorize without much effort. Still, this is a solid design of an ageless game. Perhaps this mode would be

Mario 3 also features this slot machine-style bonus stage. If this was the 62 Bonus Levels of Christmas we would probably get to it!
more exciting with different cards. For the most part players are forced to match mushrooms and coins, hardly the most exciting prizes. It would have been nice to see the different suits make an appearance in these stages.

Completely Missing the Point: I love Super Mario Bros. 3. Not only is it a great 2D platformer, but it also takes a firm stand against the elderly. Long before they were trying to court your grandmother, Nintendo was giving the middle finger to old people around the world. This is the kind of bonus level that is impossible for anybody over the age of 60. Forget remembering where the matching cards are, most senior citizens have already forgotten what this game was called. There's nothing sadder than watching an Alzheimer's patient suffering through a game of concentration. It just proves how heartless Nintendo was before releasing the Wii.
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