Patreon button  Steam curated reviews  Discord button  Facebook button  Twitter button 
3DS | PC | PS4 | PS5 | SWITCH | VITA | XB1 | XSX | All

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).

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

A bio for this contributor is currently unavailable, but check back soon to see if that changes. If you are the author of this review, you can update your bio from the Settings page.

More Reviews by japanaman [+]
Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition (3DS) artwork
Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition (3DS)

Street Fighter IV has received its second update with Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition for the Nintendo 3DS. The small portable cart packs quite a punch with every feature from Super Street Fighter IV for Xbox 360 and PS3 along with new features including figure collecting, wireless figure battling, and of course, ...
Mortal Kombat (PlayStation 3) artwork
Mortal Kombat (PlayStation 3)

This game doesnít just retell events, but remakes the gameplay into something better than ever. The game literally feels like NetherRealm studios took every good piece of Mortal Kombat that ever existed, threw it in a blender, then added their own unqiue umbrella to stir it up with. The results is a bigger, badder, b...
Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES) artwork
Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES)

The graphics are far more detailed than the original Super Mario Bros. with a much higher color count and larger enemy sprites. There are new enemies you can hop on and ride, giant shoes to ride in (Seriously!), fire snakes, and an angry Sun. Each world has a theme, such as water, giant, ice, and sky with some enemie...


If you enjoyed this Super Mario Bros. 2 review, you're encouraged to discuss it with the author and with other members of the site's community. If you don't already have an HonestGamers account, you can sign up for one in a snap. Thank you for reading!

board icon
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..

"(...)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

You must be signed into an HonestGamers user account to leave feedback on this review.

User Help | Contact | Ethics | Sponsor Guide | Links

eXTReMe Tracker
© 1998 - 2023 HonestGamers
None of the material contained within this site may be reproduced in any conceivable fashion without permission from the author(s) of said material. This site is not sponsored or endorsed by Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Microsoft, or any other such party. Super Mario Bros. 2 is a registered trademark of its copyright holder. This site makes no claim to Super Mario Bros. 2, its characters, screenshots, artwork, music, or any intellectual property contained within. Opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily represent the opinion of site staff or sponsors. Staff and freelance reviews are typically written based on time spent with a retail review copy or review key for the game that is provided by its publisher.