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Super Mario Bros. 2 (NES) artwork

Super Mario Bros. 2 (NES) review

"Even today, there's nothing quite like the gameplay of Super Mario Brothers 2. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but any diehard Nintendo fan must play this game."

Super Mario Brothers 2 is a radical departure from Super Mario Brothers 1, and from future editions of Super Mario. It is one of the few Mario games where Bowser, a.k.a. King Koopa, is NOT the main enemy. Also, four different characters are selectable, not just Mario and Luigi.

In Super Mario Brothers 2, you must save the Mushroom Kingdom from the evil dream master Wart. Unlike previous games, you can choose from four different characters - Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Princess Toadstool. Each one has their own strengths and weaknesses.

Mario can run very fast, but can't jump very high. Luigi can jump the highest, but does so very slowly. Toad is very strong, and relatively fast, but he can't jump high with his compact body. Princess Toadstool can levitate for several seconds, from left to right, or from right to left.

The gameplay itself is very different from past and future incarnations of Mario. You can venture in any direction, in platform style. Simply jumping on enemies will not defeat them; you must either throw them into other enemies, or use vegetables which are conveniently planted in the ground. Mushrooms now add to your life meter, which replaces the ''one hit, dead'' method of earlier games. The gameplay is difficult to explain, but in typical Nintendo fashion, five minutes of playing is all that's required to master it. Other powerups and secrets are present in the game, such as starmen, magic carpets, and warp zones.

The enemies are pretty standard platformer fare. They all walk in predictable patterns, excluding the bosses. The bosses are very tough, and require good planning to defeat. They vary, from egg spitting dinosaurs to bomb chucking mice to angry balls of flame. Luckily, extra lives are easy to obtain, thanks to a slot machine at the end of each stage. You can find coins inside each stage to use on the slot machine.

Stages vary, and no two stages are quite the same. From the green hills and rolling logs of stage one to the mysterious dream world of the last stage, everything is different. The gameplay is long lasting. Super Mario Brothers 2 could be split into two parts, and each part would be better than 99% of the action on the NES.

In presentation aspects, Super Mario Brothers 2 has a nostaglic feel to it. The graphics are not quite new, but not very old either. Odd shades of red and green are used. They're a welcome change from other Nintendo games. Likewise, the sounds have a sort of ''folksy'' feel to them, a bit old west jukebox to them. It all feels a bit dated, in a good way.

Super Mario Brothers 2 is different, but in a very good way. Even today, there's nothing quite like the gameplay of Super Mario Brothers 2. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but any diehard Nintendo fan must play this game.

sgreenwell's avatar
Community review by sgreenwell (Date unavailable)

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