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Title: Mario Bros.
Rom Player: Jnes
Reviewer: Rick Wickenhofer

Synopsis: Mario is the Robert De Niro of the Nintendo world, because he has assumed many different roles over the years, including a referee, a golfer, a dragon slayer, a doctor and a gorilla poacher, to name a few. Before all that, though, he was a plumber who heroically stopped various creatures from impeding our fecal matter during its journey to the sewer. The first level, or "phase," of the game pitted you against three turtles, which you had to stun by punching the floor underneath their feet or pounding on a block that caused a low-level earthquake, then you had to kick them into the toxic pool of human waste at the bottom of the screen. Otherwise the turtles would bite you, and to escape the excruciating pain of a reptilian beak in his buttock, Mario would jump into the quagmire of shit himself.

As your make your way through the phases, you will encounter other creatures, such as crabs, which you must stun twice, Mr. Frosty, an icicle with a face whose purpose is to freeze the sewer and cause you to slide around like a mentally challenged penguin, and Brundlefly, who hops around with glee because he'd just banged Geena Davis before she flushed him down the toilet for puking all over her box of Krispy Kreme donuts. Apparently Brundlefly also managed to either clone himself using his teleporter, or reproduce asexually, because you must defeat several of them. Also impeding Mario's "progress" are two types of fireballs, which appear because of a chemical reaction involving methane and other sewer gases. These you must avoid at all costs, because there are few deaths in this world more cruel than being burned alive by flames that smell like moist ass.

There are some phases that involve no enemies, but coins that you must collect within a set time limit. The game prompts you to "Test your skill" when it should really say "Test your basic motor skills," because all you do is run and jump without falling off the platforms. The bonus round distracts you from the normal game effectively enough, but the real excitement of the coin phases can only be experienced in the two-player game, in which Mario and Luigi compete for coins.

Sadly enough for Mario, there appears to be no end to the number of phases he must complete, and the game inevitably ends with him leaping to a smelly doom. Obviously he didn't map out his strategy for the sewer cleanup very well, because if you have more than ten phases in your plan, you might have bitten off way more than you can chew. Here is Mario's outline of the phases:

Phase 1: Kick turtles into sewage.
Phase 2: Kick more turtles into sewage.
Phase 3: Collect payment for Phases 1 and 2 in less than twenty seconds or I won't get my bonus.
Phase 4: Kick crabs into sewage.
Phase 5: Kick more crabs into sewage.
Phase 6: Stun Jeff Goldblum and force him to give me an autograph. Be sure to mention that I loved him in "Death Wish." Then kick him into sewage.
Phase 7: Kick more Jeff Goldblums into sewage.
Phase 8: Collect payment for phases 4 through 8 in less than twenty seconds. Suddenly it's cold as fuck in here.
Phases 9-12: Kick into sewage whatever damn thing comes out of the pipe. Avoid Mr. Frosty and Ass Gas.
Phase 13: Collect payment in 12 seconds. It's really cold now and I'm sliding all over this godforsaken shithole. I can't move fast enough to get all the money in time because I'm frozen from the waist down. I want a different job.
Phases 14-17: More animals are coming to get me. My hand hurts from punching the ceiling over and over, and my knuckles are starting to bleed. With all the bacteria and germs in here, I just know it's going to get infected. To bad I didn't bring any peroxide in here, but I didn't expect to be in the sewer for longer than ten hours. I hope Luigi doesn't get worried.
Phase 18: Collect payment in less than 12 seconds. Why the hell do they keep timing me? I have a good work ethic. I wish they'd just send down the swing stage to get me out of here. I want to go home.
Phases 19-22: I'm scared. Somebody keeps flushing turtles and crabs down the toilet, and I'm being paid for the disposal of each creature by coins that come down the pipes after them. I want my job application back, because I'm switching to direct deposit. Besides, I said they could mail a check to my house. Nowhere on the form did I see a payment option that involved coins encrusted with human shit, and even if I had, I would sooner have measured the depth of the sewage pool with my penis than checkmarked that box. Clearly I'm being fucked with. I don't think they ever intended to let me out of here.
Phase 23: Yay! More money! Too bad there's nothing to spend it on down here in the sewer! You just keep sending your coins, asswipes. Every single coin you bastards flush will be just another bullet in your fucking faces when I get out of here.
Phases 24-27: I must eat. I no longer have the strength to keep punching the ceiling, and my hand is now swollen and gangrenous. Fortunately I discovered that one whiff of my rotting flesh is enough to stun the crabs, flies and turtles. Ahhh...meat at last.
Phase 28: Coins are bad. Almost break teeth on one. Bonus is not meat. Fuck bonus.
Phase 29-?: Crab flesh good. Turtle flesh also good, but only after roasted by Ass Gas. Much to eat. Flies only good in wine sauce. No wine sauce. Must destroy flies. Now I am Lord of the Flies...

So clearly, ending the game quickly and getting Mario's final sewage bath over with is the best option. Otherwise, Christ only knows what kind of drooling, babbling humanoid will emerge from the wastes when he finally makes his way out of the sewer. The two-player game ends in an even worse fate, because eventually one of the two Mario Brothers will turn cannibalistic and eat his sibling. Also, Mario has a long list of girlfriends, including Pauline, who made a regular habit of being abducted by a giant ape; Princess Toadstool, who repeatedly was kidnapped by a dragon with a dog's name and collar; and Princess Daisy, who was captured by an alien. This makes it clear that he has a large sexual appetite for women in bondage, and he might become antsy and end up making Luigi his green-haired little bitch. Either that, or he'll get overfriendly with one of the turtles. Rather than allow this to happen, it is better that our plumber friend be immersed in poo.

"Mario Bros." is a simple game, and is therefore easy to learn. Mario is a bit unsure on his feet, though, and he will skid and slide clumsily even where there is no ice, and you may find yourself blundering right into a turtle or falling onto the spiked form of Mr. Frosty, who then proceeds to give you an involuntary colonoscopy. The real strength of the gameplay is the two-player game, in which the competition for points and cooperation between the two players is at a perfect balance. The competition surfaces mainly during the bonus rounds when both players race to collect the most coins, but there is some fun in menacing your partner by knocking him into Brundlefly as the creature performs its mating dance, or waking a crab up with the stun move just as your buddy is about to send the beast into the drink.

The graphics of "Mario Bros." are also simple, but they are not bad for such an old game. The sound and music both fall into the same category. I can't comment on the sound effects too thoroughly, because I have no idea what noise a turtle makes when you chuck it into a vat of urine, so I just take the game's word for it. As far as the music is concerned, there hardly is any, but the game plays an amusing little tune the last time you are sent screaming into the sewage. If there were lyrics to this song, I'm sure they'd go "You are stinky, you are smelly, you are swimming...deep...in...shit!" At least Mario has something to listen to as he contracts enough diseases to kill a sperm whale and all the vengeful creatures he kicked into the sludge begin ruthlessly chomping on his face.

I have to give "Mario Bros." maximum points for originality, because the gameplay is unique. It was the first game I ever played in which you must stun an enemy before you can kill him. The game also had one of the best 2-player modes I've seen in a Nintendo game, because you could choose either to use teamwork to complete each stage or use the stage as an arena to see who could get the most points or who could live the longest. Technically you were not supposed to try to get your partner killed, but it sure made the game a hell of a lot more fun.

Best Cheats: Nothing Entered

Game Play: 6
Graphics: 5
Music/Sound: 4
Originality: 10
Overall Rating: 6

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