The Virtual Console has been absent on the Nintendo Switch, but thanks to Hamster Corporation, (what a fluffy name) we’ve been seeing a series of NeoGeo arcade classics weekly. Mario Bros. is not a NeoGeo classic of course, but it’s the start of Hamster branching out. And Nintendo Arcade games makes for a pretty big branch.
Mario Bros. is the plumber before he went Super, running in sewers defeating vermin and collecting coins. It’s a simple premise, and it would be a fairly fun one if it wasn’t for the super slippery controls which makes every action a chore, a pain, one step closer to unintentional death. Unlike the Super series, Mario jumps drunk, and you can’t simply murder enemies through jumping, you have to run underneath, flip them, then charge into them from above. It would be a lot of fun, if again, the game didn’t control like it was dancing on ice. And there is an ice enemy which pops up to make things slide even more.
The Arcade version is fairly similar to the equally pants NES version, though there are a few extra animations, and a rather nice running noise that give it that little extra oomph! Being arcade perfect counts for something, and anyone curious will find a few minutes of fun vermin extermination. Add a second player and you can probably double those minutes, it depends how much you like bumper cars. Mario needed his mushrooms to get away from this line of work.