|I just 100% completed Super Mario Bros. Deluxe for the first time.|
I'm now convinced that DX is definitively the best version of this game. It has so many different varieties of goals to complete besides just "beating the game", making you see this game in a whole different light than what you are normally used to when you just focus on surviving till the end or getting to the end as fast as possible with warp points.
The Challenge Mode is all of the individual levels of the main game with extra goals added, including finding the hidden Yoshi Egg and 5 red coins that were added to each level. There's also the individual level high score goals. These target scores aren't insanely unreasonable or anything, but they really require you to practice the level and gain a much more in-depth understanding of the level's construction than you would normally get from just beating the level normally. You need to figure out all the ways you can combo enemies and collect the coins and hidden 1ups/powerups for extra points while still beating the level quickly for the timer bonus. It makes you think "hmm, would it be better to take this vine/pipe to a shortcut area with coins, or would it be better to take the normal route and kill all the enemies along the way?"... stuff that you would never think of when playing the game normally on the NES version.
After clearing all the challenge mode levels, I went back to the main game and beat hard mode, and got a final score of over 800k due to all of my practice in the challenge mode. The requirement for unlocking the Lost Levels mode is only 300k so it's not really required to do that well or anything, but going for a high score is a very interesting way of playing through the game compared to just survival or speedrunning.
There's also the Boo Race mode, which is a bunch of challenging extra levels that are on a very strict timer, so you need to be basically running forward all the time and memorizing exactly when to jump and everything. It has mechanics that aren't in the normal SMB like switches and switch blocks...
There's also a goal incentive of killing all 8 Bowsers with fireballs... pretty easy to do after all the practice you get from the Challenge mode. I wonder how hard this challenge would be in NSMB?