Super Mario Advance - GBA Review: A Classic Adventure Reimagined

super mario advance gba
Platform:Game Boy Advance Portable Console
Title:Super Mario Advance
Number of players:1-4
Type: Plataform
Format: 32 Megabit Cartridge
Game Ratings:Graphics: 8 - The visuals are quite impressive, although they remain nearly identical to the SNES version with minimal enhancements.
Sound: 9 - The audio stands out as one of the best on GBA, offering a magnificent experience.
Gameplay: 9.5 - Mario is exceptionally responsive in this cartridge, delivering superb gameplay.
Fun: 8.5 - You'll be immersed in this game for hours, but if you've experienced the SNES version, it may lose a bit of its charm.
Overall: 8.5 - Undoubtedly, it's a fantastic game that guarantees enjoyable moments.

As a tradition since the release of the NES, a new Mario game accompanies the release of each new Nintendo console. This pattern holds true once again, but this game isn't entirely novel. It's a "remake" that combines two already familiar titles – the iconic Mario Bros and Super Mario Bros 2 from NES – employing graphics from the 16-bit version. This approach may serve to showcase the impressive capability of Nintendo's compact handheld in emulating the well-established SNES.

  2. Gameplay
  6. BIG FUN
  7. Bezel


The storyline of this game is rather straightforward, typical of many Mario games. One night, Mario had an unusual dream featuring a staircase leading to a door. Upon climbing the stairs and opening the door, he found himself in an unfamiliar, vast world that extended beyond the horizon.

A voice then spoke, saying, "This is the world of Subcon, the land of dreams. The frog Wart has utilized his powers to cast a curse on this land. Please defeat Wart and free us from his curse." Mario then woke up.

Several days later, Mario, along with his friends Luigi, Toad, and Princess Peach, embarked on a mountain excursion and stumbled upon a peculiar cave. Upon entering, they discovered a strange world—the very country Mario had witnessed in his dream.

In Super Mario Advance, players have the opportunity to control four characters: Mario, his brother Luigi, Princess Peach, and Toad the mushroom. Each character possesses distinct characteristics that prove beneficial at various points in the game.

This game distinguishes itself from the typical "Marios" seen on NES and SNES. In Super Mario Advance, defeating enemies by jumping on them is not an option. Instead, players must grab and throw enemies or unearth plants from the ground, securing bonuses that contribute to earning additional lives.



The graphics in Super Mario Advance closely resemble those of the Super Nintendo version, providing a broad spectrum of colors and incorporating the successful use of Mode 7 from the 16-bit console era.

As for Mario Bros, the graphics have undergone significant improvement, rendering it nearly identical to its SNES counterpart within the All-Star game (a compilation of various Mario games). This underscores the Game Boy Advance's full capability to emulate any Super Nintendo game.


In terms of music, it can be described as excellent. All the melodies from previous game versions have been enriched with brilliant sound effects, a novelty for Nintendo handhelds. These effects allow for perfect audibility of the protagonists' voices. For instance, when uprooting plants from the ground or grabbing and throwing an enemy, players will hear the voices of Mario or the character being controlled at that moment, showcasing remarkable audio quality.


The controls in Super Mario Advance mirror those of other versions, albeit with adjustments to the function of each button.

The A button facilitates jumping and menu navigation, while the B button enables us to grab enemies and uproot plants from the ground, providing the means to throw them at others for victory. In line with the tradition of Mario games, this one is easy to handle, but that doesn't equate to simplicity. The difficulty rises as we progress through screens, eventually reaching a tremendously challenging level.


This game will keep us glued to the screen for days, captivating and hooking us by progressively increasing the difficulty throughout the entire gaming experience.

Don't overlook Mario Bros either; it's a splendid game. While not as rich or varied as the second part, it remains highly enjoyable, especially in multiplayer mode using the GBA link cable. This enhances the gaming experience even more than the SNES version, allowing us to connect up to four Game Boys and play with four players. The good news is that there's no need for four cartridges (one for each Game Boy); one cartridge is sufficient for seamless gameplay.


You can download the game's bezel or overlay by clicking here.


While it can't be regarded as an entirely new game, given its prior releases on NES and SNES, Super Mario Advance brings sufficient improvements to justify a worthwhile purchase. If you've previously owned the Super Nintendo and experienced these games, the differences may not be striking. Nonetheless, the enhanced version still ensures many hours of enjoyable gameplay, emphasizing the core aspect of entertainment.

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