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Super Mario Bros. 8

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Super Mario Bros. 8
SMB8
North American box art of Super Mario Bros. 8. Notice the similarities betweeen the original and the 'sequel'.
Developer(s) Tabletops
Publisher(s) Akeh Publishing
Platform(s) Wii
Genre(s) Platform
Release Date(s)
25px-Flag of USA April 14, 2009
25px-Flag of Japan April 20, 2009
25px-Flag of Australia April 18, 2009
25px-Flag of Europe April 16, 2009
Mode(s)
1 Player, 2 Player
Age Rating(s)
ERating 3Rating USK6 OFLC-G CERO A
Media Included WiiWare (only in North America as of 2010), Wii Optical Disc

Super Mario Bros. 8, dubbed Super Mario Bros. 5 to some who are particular to the series, is the latest of the Super Mario Bros. line and is developed specially for the Nintendo Wii. It was released in North America on April 14, 2009, in Europe on April 16, 2009, in Australia, Korea and all other developed countries on April 18, 2009 and in China and Japan under the name Super Lucky Bros. on April 20 2009. The game is published by Akeh and is developed by Tabletops.

Its gameplay is identical to that of Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels. The design, still in 2D, has been enhanced from that of its predecessors. However, instead of saving Princess Peach, they have to save Donkey Kong. Due to this unexpected scene, it has only sold 100,000 copies as of June. On the box cover, it was printed down that it could only use the Wii Controller instead of the Classic Remote.

Tabletops later went on to publish a video game for the Nintendo Wii that produced high sales, followed by a subsequent merger with Ganz Games Inc.

Plot and Gameplay

Donkey Kong has been kidnapped by the evil Bowser. Mario, loving his beloved pet, has to save Donkey Kong and destroy Bowser and his 'lair'. The aim is to save Donkey Kong while going through the eight worlds. Enemies could be stomped on, and power-ups could be collected to increase Mario's ability. Basically, it is the same as the original Mario game, but released as an 'unofficial sequel'.

On the back of the box, the following reads:

To whom shall Mario save this time in this epic quest for justice? Princess Peach is not the victim, but Donkey Kong, Mario's pet! With a heart of solid gold, Mario tries to destroy the evil Bowser and save Donkey Kong, but only with your help, could this mission be accomplished!

Featuring the same 8-bit graphics from the original with an enhanced gameplay, you'll love this game and would ask for more!

Worlds

The "Worlds" in the game were meant to be similar to the concept of Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels.

Unofficial Name Description Environment Final Boss Remarks
1 Starting Zone A highly enhanced version of the World 1 from the original game. World 1-1 (Land)
World 1-2 (Underground)
World 1-3 (Mountain)
World 1-4 (Castle)
Goomba in disguise as Bowser World 1-1 and World 1-2 do not have the same layout as the original, while World 1-3 has extra powerups. World 1-4 is slightly easier, 80% of gamers claim.
2 Sea of Mario All levels of the game have a sea environment, instead of just one level. Underwater Fish in disguise as Bowser Inclusion of fish as enemies. Warp Pipe found in World 2-3 end.
3 Nighttime Nighttime-like environment, said to be the 'far east of the Mushroom Kingdom' in the game. Nighttime-World 3-1 (Land), World 3-2 (Mountains), World 3-3 (Land), World 3-4 (Castle) Bowtie Powerup as Bowser Enhanced greatly from original, bow-tie powerup frequently appears, Hammer Bros. appears in World 3-2 for first time in game.
4 Solid Wasteland A complete wasteland. World 4 has more than seven glitches. Overworld Wasteland Weird garbage as Bowser Short, seems to have been rushed work
5 Underworld Either features an underground or underwater environment. Unique and considered the 'best world in the game'. Underground (World 5-1)
Underwater (World 5-2)
Underground (World 5-3)
Underwater Caste (World 5-4)
Weird garbage/glitchy figure as Bowser Producer claims they 'took time on this world', and introduction of 4 new enemies.
6 Town (technically Overworld) Meant to be the 'central' of the whole Mushroom Kingdom, it has an overworld layout similar of World 1. Land Weird garbage/glitchy figure as Bowser Less challenging than previous worlds.
7 'Blank' Glitchy world that seems to have a similar layout to Worlds 3, 4 and 5. Glitch (World 7-1)
Glitch (World 7-2)
Glitch (World 7-3)
Castle (World 7-4)
Weird garbage/glitchy figure as Bowser Producer claims that this was meant to be a mix of Worlds 2 and 6.
8 Final World World filled with castles, highly identical to the original World 8 of the original SMB. CASTLE (World 8-1 to 8-4) Bowser himself. Glitches taken down drastically from previous worlds. Bowtie powerup not seen here.

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Power-Ups

Item Ability Rarity
Mushrooms Enables Mario to be Super Mario, and would not die immediately when in contact with enemies. 3 out of every 10 question boxes
Fire Flowers Enables Super Mario to be Fire Mario, which has the ability so shoot fireballs at enemies. 3 out of every 10 question boxes (must be Super Mario)
Goomba Treats Invincibility against Goombas for a temporary period of time. 1 out of every 10 question boxes
Hammers ('Bowties') Allows Mario to throw hammers, which are in the form of 'bowties', without being in Super Mario form. 1 out of every 10 question boxes.
Coins Although coins aren't actually power-ups, they help raise the amount of coins in Mario. Upon reaching 100 coins, Mario gets an extra life. 5 out of every 10 question boxes.
1-Up Mushrooms Gives Mario an extra life. Very rare, not in question boxes at all.

Development and Production

This is based on statements by an Oregon magazine.

Tachasin Apanitadi, whom developed Table Slide 4, was in charge of the Super Mario Bros. 8 project, codenamed "Tabeltop Mario". Makadito Elbima, Savadi Toopeh, Meng Ping Siting and Liqa Vonjour were in the development team. The project commenced in early 2008, and they originally planned for it to be released during the holiday season. However, due to delays, the project was shifted to the 2009 summer season. Tachasin focused more on his other projects and did not pay much attention, along with the other members of the development team. They slowly developed Worlds 1, 5 and 8, and put as much effort as possible in making the sprites. However, by the time they developed those worlds, it was March 2009.

Meanwhile, rival XDVE was also developing a similar game, titled Super Brothers Mario and Luigi Wii. The game was planned to be released in April and loads of anticipation arose. Tabletops spent much on advertising to promote their games, although Super Brothers Mario and Luigi Wii received more. Deemed to be released in May, the development team rushed their work and completed it by April. Copies were mass-made, some of which were spoilt during the process. They rushed it to the market in mid-April and received much criticism thereafter. Their inventory was still at large, and they had to sell them for free.

Rival XDVE eventually cancelled production although several copies were made, and it was found out that it was actually a redundant version of several games merged.

Reception

Reception was extremely poor for the game, most of which regard Tabletops as 'not following the Mario series. All of which are in Fandom.

Metacritic gave it an aggregate of 31%, based on 77 reviews. Praise focused on Worlds 3, 5 and 8 for following the Mario series carefully, but the ridiculousness of Donkey Kong was a humongous factor. GameRankings gave it an aggregate of 30% based on 83 reviews. Complaints and compliments were nonetheless akin to that of Metacritic's.

Several local magazines also reviewed the game as the game, on its release, was widely available in smaller towns instead of bigger ones due to competition. Two magazines, based in Montana, gave it a rating of C. A gaming magazine in Oregon rated it 55 out of 50 on their ridiculousness level, and ranked it 5th worst Wii game of 2009. A local newspaper in Texas had a cover story based on the game, claiming it as the 'next Hotel Mario'. It also so happens that Tabletops redeveloped a Hotel Mario game for the Wii.

IGN gave it a 3.4 over 10, stating the game had 'no absolute certainity', 'multiple glitches' and that the price was 'extremely high for such a game'. Official Nintendo Magazine gave it a 3 over 10 similarly, stating that 'the developers fooled with Mario intentionally'. Nintendo Power gave it 41%, stating that it did not closely follow the Mario series at all.

The game sold only 50 thousand units. The game is still in production and sold mostly at flea markets, black markets and on eBay under different aliases. There was even planned to be a sequel, slated to release by 2011, but it was dropped soon after. The game sold best in Brazil, as its distributor there sold it 60% below other games, making it one of the most affordable games in Brazil, though the Zeebo led the market at the time.

Controversy

There are quite a number of controversies surrounding the game, most notably the victim being Donkey Kong.

Donkey Kong in Princess Peach's place

Mario and Donkey Kong has a large rivalry since 1980, the release of the arcade game 'Donkey Kong'. Yet they surprisingly get back together. In other video games released around the same time, Mario and Donkey Kong still have a rivalry, thus not being in sequence. Many had accused Tabletops for not following the game carefully.

Bowtie Power-Up

The 'Bowtie' power-up is another controversial factor. Bow-ties are in no way associated with Mario or anything related to him, thus, why must it be a bowtie out of all items? The developer commented that it was an error and was meant to appear as a hammer, allowing the character to throw hammers. This has been proven true after close examination. As the original hammer image was corrupted, so as the action sprites.

Exclusion of Two-Player Mode

The original game allows two players, but SMB 8 excluded the feature as they were rushing for their deadline. This sparked heated controversy among consumers, 50% turning it down after finding out the truth. However, a glitch in the game enables a 'two player' mode, which could be read below.

In Super Lucky Bros., the two-player option is available, but only adds three more lives.

Weird Enemies as Bowser

From World 3 onwards, it seems that the developers did not know what enemies to use for Bowser. Instead, they used powerups. On World 3-4, a Bow-Tie was in fact Bowser, while in World 4-4, some weird glitchy figure takes the form of Bowser. World 5, 6 and 7 continued to use the weird glitch figure as Bowser.

Prototype?

A news report from a Japanese newspaper stated that Tabletops initially planned to release it in July and had no plans to shift it to April. It seemed that what was released was a prototype version, and not the actual version. However, not to arise attention, Tabletops did not recall the products. In a statement, president of Tabletops, Mulahail Madiko, claimed:

What we released was the correct version and not any prototype. It had been rendered thoroughly and released for the market. Glitches seen are expected, so please do not complain to us, as we had tried our best.

The press was not convinced, and one newspaper in Oregon even claimed that "someone sabotaged the company". As of August 2010, there has been no evidence to support these statements.

Glitches

There are several glitches in the game.

World 1-5

Upon completing World 1-4, a player would usually be transported to World 2-1. However, if the player goes toward the left of the screen upon exiting from the pipe (the scene is similar to that of World 1-2's end in the original game), the player would find yet another castle without a flag. No points are accumulated, though.

World 1-5 is simply a replay of World 1-2, although it continues to loop.

On the other hand, many claim that as it is World 1-4, there should be no pipe. However, an extra castle is found next to the toad, which would bring Mario to a room with a pipe, which will transport Mario to the top of the screen. Up to World 7, this is the case each world's endings.

Two-Player Mode

There is a two-player mode function, activated only at the end of World 2-3. After completing World 2-3, the player must push the buttons A and B as fast as they can, causing a jump-turbo effect. Eventually, Mario would be taken off the screen, and another Mario enters. The second Mario could be played with another controller. The first Mario would eventually drop down within 5 seconds, however, if the Second Mario goes off-screen, the first Mario would not return. This is the same vice-versa.

World 3-1 Glitches

Listed from start to end of the stage:

  • On the start of World 3-1, five bricks lined consecutively could not be broken. When fireballs are thrown at it, the bricks could be broken.
  • Later on, fifteen castles, flag poles and goombas lined consecutively would be sighted. A player is able to walk pass through all of them.
  • Collecting two bow-ties would give Mario the ability to throw garbage, probably meant to suit with the theme.
  • A large 3-D Mario could be enabled by jumping on more than five goombas. This form would eventually die down, and has the same animation as when Super Mario becomes Mario.

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