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Super Mario Bros. 2 (NES) artwork

Super Mario Bros. 2 (NES) review


"The gameplay resembled practically nothing of the original Super Mario Bros., but fans didnít care. It gave us a completely unique game that was enjoyable in its own right, even if it wasnít a true Mario game."



Super Mario Bros. 2 is a game that has many lessons in it. Lesson #1: Vegetables are good. Lesson #2: Sharing vegetables with others is even better. Lesson #3: Everybody has their own unique skill set. Lesson #4: Donít eat those mushrooms you found growing outside your gutter right before bed.

Super Mario Bros. 2 is not like any Super Mario Bros. games ever made and thatís because (SPOILER ALERT!), it isnít a Mario game. The original Super Mario Bros. 2 is a game very similar to Super Mario Bros. except it features even more difficult levels as well as poison mushrooms which you must avoid at all costs.

The difficulty level was so high that Nintendo of Japan thought the challenge was too high for American gamers. (Well, we did get the NES 2 years later in America so we lacked 2 years of gaming experience) Instead of porting this horribly unforgiving game, Nintendo decided to take a more easy-going video game called Doki Doki Panic and replace the playable characters with Mario characters.

Doki Doki Panic featured Arabian characters who ran through levels filled with masked assailants, ninjas, snakes, birds, and more. They climbed vines like Mario, found coins, and earned invincibility, but that was the only similar qualities. When Mario characters were inserted into the game, they did strange things like collect cherries for stars, pick up giant vegetables, jump down giant vases, and more.

The gameplay resembled practically nothing of the original Super Mario Bros., but fans didnít care. It gave us a completely unique game that was enjoyable in its own right, even if it wasnít a true Mario game.

The levels themselves have some platforming elements, but you wonít see loads of stairs, warp zones through the stages, or tons of coins to collect. Instead, you travel through long levels with multiple levels, hop on enemies and pick them up and throw them at other enemies, visit Subspace in order to collect items that can only be found in part of the levels, fight unique bosses, etc.

The levels are tackled like the original Super Mario Bros. You can work your way through them all or find secret warp ďVasesĒ in order to pass up some levels. Each character has unique abilities that can be beneficial or a hindrance based upon the level.

Toad can speed run through stages, but cannot reach a number of areas due to his low jumping. Luigi is the only character who can reach the warp zone in level 5-3, but he can be difficult to control. Princess Peach can hover for a few seconds, but cannot reach platforms as high as Luigi. Mario is average so he runs slower than Toad and picks up slower, but jumps higher than Toad is easier to control than Peach and Luigi.

With four characters to choose from, you can play the game and try to find the best characters for each level or play through the entire game four times to really challenge yourself.

Some of the worlds are repetitive, but the entire game is worth playing through. The graphics are crisp and charming, the music is very easy to listen to and enjoyable (Yet less catchy than SMB 1ís), the amount of objects to throw is plentiful, and the exploration is pretty decent.

Controls are the same for every character, but due to their unique abilities, some control better than others. Iíve found that the NES Advantage control allows for slight better control of Peachís floating and also works well with Toadís speedy handling.

If you find a copy of this game for $8 or less, I wouldnít hesitate to pick up a copy. This game is also available for SNES (Super Mario All-Stars, Super Mario All-Stars/Super Mario World), Virtual Console, Wii (Super Mario All-Stars), and GBA (Super Mario Advance).

Rating: 8/10

japanaman's avatar
Community review by japanaman (April 04, 2011)

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fleinn posted April 06, 2011:

hmh.. I always liked SMB2 the best. And now I find out it's actually a westernized spin-off. Bummer.

Anyway - imo, this is a really good review. The only thing I kind of miss is a few words on the graphics and animation towards the end (where you mention crisp and charming anyway.. "cartoony"? "Round edges"? "Larger characters"?). They did go away from smb1, like you say.. maybe that could be something you come back to towards the end..? Not necessary with some technical rundown - but something that makes you picture the style a bit..

also:
"(...)travel through long levels with multiple levels" -> multiple stages?

But.. fantastic review. Both interesting and well written, imo. Best line in the review by a wide margin: "they did strange things like collect cherries for stars" :D

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