THE essential Mario game for the GBA.
First off, the game's sound and graphics are excellent, similar in style to that of Donkey Kong Country, but less muddy and more colorful. Mario is surprisingly agile and there is nothing wrong with the controls at all; he jumps, he runs, he climbs and he somersaults just like he's supposed to. The level design is very good, some of the levels are damn hard but at the same time they're not impossible. If you die or otherwise fail, it's your own fault.
Actually I can think of nothing to complain about, this is one of the few essential games for the GBA. Maybe, just maybe, it's a tad too short. And even though I personally don't care much for the pre-rendered style graphics, it's no biggie.
The Bottom Line
As far as GBA puzzle/platform gaming goes, this is the shit. It's perfect for playing on the subway, in bed or on those long transatlantic flights, just like a good handheld game should be. Top notch!