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Super Mario Goes To Hong Kong

Super Mario 3 SpecialFor every amazingly great video game released through legitimate channels out there, there is a crummy low-tech pirated knock-off version.  Often times these dumbed down games feature familiar character sprites in a bland world filled with glitches and gameplay errors.  Sold on the streets of Hong Kong, China, and other places where copyright laws are a tad gray, these unlicensed games are often crushed when the actual owner of the game license discovers them.  Now The Low Level has a detailed look at  knock-offs of Super Mario World for the Nintendo Entertainment System and Super Mario Bros. 3 for the Game Boy Color.

The graphics are largely there, and although have decreased palettes, still look quite alright. After all, they are from Nintendo, who was always about great graphics.  The game runs on the original monochrome Game Boy, as well as the Game Boy Color. Unfortunately though, running it on the GBC gives little more in the way of colour. The background has a palette, and the sprites have one... pretty much like running original Game Boy games on a GBC or GBA and selecting which colour scheme to use. This is highlighted by the castle, which has red walls!

Intellectual property issues aside, it's interesting to see how Super Mario Bros. 3 sprites seem to take right to the Game Boy Color.  Based on the screenshots they look just like their NES counterparts in most cases.  I can't help but wonder if Nintendo could have pulled off a pixel-perfect faithful conversion of the NES classic for the Game Boy Color.  If the pirates can do a half-assed job and make it look reasonable nice, imagine what the talented folks at Nintendo could have put together.

(via FFWD linklog)