"We all know what that when Nintendo releases a new system they accompany it with some sort of Mario game. Thatís been the case until the Wii broke tradition, even if a title or two in particular didnít star Mario. You know what Iím talking about. In the case of the Game Boy Advance, Nintendo did provide a Mario game at launch, however it was not an original game. They still havenít provided an original Mario platformer for the GBA, and instead just feed us ports of old NES and SNES titles. "
We all know what that when Nintendo releases a new system they accompany it with some sort of Mario game. Thatís been the case until the Wii broke tradition, even if a title or two in particular didnít star Mario. You know what Iím talking about. In the case of the Game Boy Advance, Nintendo did provide a Mario game at launch, however it was not an original game. They still havenít provided an original Mario platformer for the GBA, and instead just feed us ports of old NES and SNES titles.
Makes you wonder just what they were ďadvancing.Ē
This game contains the strange Super Mario Bros. 2 and the original arcade Mario Bros. For those that have played the NES original or the SNES update in Super Mario All-Stars, keep walking, thereís nothing new here. If you missed out on the original, itís something to consider.
The first thing to know about the gameplay in Super Mario Bros. 2 is that itís, well, different. Jump on an enemy. Go on, try. Doesnít work does it? Jump on an enemy and press the action button. Youíve picked up the enemy. Press it again to throw it. Quite a change from the norm. You can also pluck a variety of things from the ground and toss them at the enemies, usually turnips, radishes, and the like. Who knew a vegetable garden could be so lethal? Occasionally youíll pluck a potion from the ground that you can throw anywhere and cause a door to appear. Going through the door leads to some parallel dimension where you can earn coins and possibly a new hit point.
Yes, hit points. Again, unlike the other Mario games you donít pick up feathers, leaves, flowers; there are no power ups (save for a power star that appears after collecting five cherries). Just a mushroom you can pluck and get an extra hit point. You start each level with two and can find three mushrooms in each level. Once a level ends youíll start over with two. The coins I mentioned are used at the end of every level in a slot machine. Here you have chances at gaining extra lives. Thereís the typical 3-lineup, but thereís some other combos you can find.
Youíll be running, jumping, plucking, and tossing your way through twenty levels that lack variety. Ooooh, grasslands, caverns, deserts, and icebergs. Havenít seen those before in a game. Thatís about all you ever travel through so donít get too bored with the scenery. At least the levels are well designed. Theyíll keep you interested.
Before each level you can select one of four characters to run, jump, and pluck. Each character has their own pros and cons. Mario is the balanced character. Luigi can jump high but moves slow. Toad is the fastest character but is a lousy jumper. Peach is slow and weak but she can glide in the air for short lengths of time. Experimentation is the key; you may repeatedly die in a level, but switching to a different character can result in success. Control is tight (although looser than the original), so you canít blame a death on the controls.
Replay value isnít the highest, although upon completion you can go back through all twenty levels and search for hidden Yoshi eggs. You donít get anything out of it. Just a pat on the back, which will likely be supplied by yourself. Cheap way of extending playtime? Definitely.
On the technical front it doesnít push the Game Boy Advance in any way. Even at the launch of the handheld it looked simple. There was a bit more color and animation but other than that it looked identical to the SNES update. The sound received an upgrade and a downgrade. The music and sound are still great, but they canít be experienced in all their glory unless you have a set of headphones. Something thatís both a nice addition and a horrible mistake are the addition of voices to the characters and bosses. The voices are great for about ten seconds and then youíll feel like puncturing your eardrums. No one in the game will shut up. Pluck anything, they yell. Grab a cherry or an Ace Coin, they yell. Get hit by an enemy, they yell. There is no way to turn off the voices, unless you want to turn the volume down.
You can link up your system with up to three others using one cartridge and play the classic Mario Bros. All it involves is hitting the floor underneath an enemy to flip them over and then knocking them off the screen. The mayhem builds up as more players join in. A simple but fun addition.
So do I recommend the game? Only if youíve never played the original and find it cheap. Thereís still enjoyment to be derived from the game, so long as you donít mind it being simple.
Community review by tremorc (December 25, 2006)
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