Even though Nintendo got their video game start in arcades and became the stuff of legend via Donkey Kong, they’ve always been a bit shy about bringing genuine ports of their coin-op hits to home consoles. However, that all changes this week thanks to Hamster, Co. and their release of Arcade Archives Mario Bros. for the Nintendo Switch.
The arcade version of Mario Bros. features tighter controls, improved graphics, and more animations over its NES home counterpart (just check out the Koopa-like Shellcreepers righting their shells by exiting them, Super Mario World-style, in the gallery below), and is more challenging to play as well. In addition, this release augments the standard 1- and 2-player cooperative/competitive mode with two forms of score attack modes with leaderboards: Hi Score Mode gives you unlimited time to get as high a score as possible, while Caravan challenges you to get as many points as you can within five minutes.
Unfortunately, there are a few minor issues. The music and sounds come across as kind of muffled, though if some longplays are to be believed, that’s just how the original version was. In addition, you’re not allowed to pause during the two score attack modes; that is, you can, but only insomuch as it brings up a menu that forces you to restart or return to the title. On a hot streak when your daughter decides to start poking at an electrical socket with a fork? Well, you’ve got a choice to make: Life waits for no one, and neither do these modes.
Arguably, the biggest issue comes down to the price tag of $7.99 USD (plus tax). Shy of illicit offerings, you won’t find a better deal, but you might need to be something of a purist to get the most value for your money.