Despite my zeal for carelessly frittering away my free time, i've never been a huge junkie for flash games. Don't get me wrong, my many hours of Amateur Sugeon have given me a steadiness of hand that would put even the most skilled professional to shame, but i've never quite been able to see such games as anything more than cheap entertainment. That being said, i found myself immersed in the wonder that is Super Mario Bros Crossover for the better part of the day. Reaching back into the NyQuil-infused haze that is my memory (i'm currently battling a nasty bout of illness), i haven't the foggiest idea how i came across it, but i found myself treated to one of the most addictive and nostalgic games i've played in quite some time. Originally released in April of 2010 -- then updated and expanded the following December -- by creator Jay Pavlina, it took roughly fifteen months to create. It has had considerable success on Newgrounds, earning an impressive average of 4.45/5 from over 3,500 reviewers.
More after the jump!
As the name suggests, the game is essentially Super Mario Bros with a variety of characters. I won't completely spoil the surprise for those who haven't played it, but you get the chance to play as Samus, Link, Mega Man, and a few others. It's all very well done, with each character sporting their signature moves, and the each level featuring a selection from the game of their respective origins. Mushrooms and flowers serve their expected purpose, giving the character a one-hit buffer before being flung into the vast digital abyss, as well as powering them up in a unique way. For example, Link eventually gains the ability to shoot his sword (in the spirit of the original Legend of Zelda) while Mega Man gains the ability to charge up his shot before firing through multiple enemies. Each character brings their own strengths and weaknesses, and some will be more well-suited for certain levels than others -- something that presents a surprising and satisfying dynamic not often seen in flash games. Moreover, unlike some less-than-stellar Mario flash games, this features every level in the original Super Mario Bros, and after playing for more hours than i'd care to admit, i've come across no problems with the gameplay whatsoever. The framerate is solid, collision detection is excellent, and most importantly, it's a load of fun. Truth be told, the only disappoinment is Mario himself. Granted, this is basically retro fun, but given that the core of its appeal is playing an old game in a new and interesting way, it would have been nice to see a suitably new -- if only slightly altered -- take on Mario's moves. I used him for a couple levels, but found myself switching to another character rather quickly.
The game is completely free, so sit yourself down in your favorite gaming chair, cracking a couple Red Bulls, and enjoy the fun and frivolity that is Super Mario Bros Crossover! If you're anything like me, you'll be sucked into it's inviting little web, thus foresaking all social obligations and worrying your sister (sorry, Erin) by responding to her many phone calls with an admittedly unhinged-sounding text reading "Not now, Samus and i are having a wonderful adventure!!!" prompting her to reply rather cryptically, "...You know i'm always here if you need to talk."