Total time played: 9 Hours
Short review: Although Mario 2 is the black sheep of Mario games it is still a classic and offers a huge amount of replay value with the ability to play each level as one of 4 characters.
Interesting links related to Super Mario Bros. 2
Super Mario Bros. 2 is a classic game. It is known as the black sheep of the Super Mario family. It was so different than Super Mario Bros. that a lot of people didn’t give it a chance.
It is well known that the original Super Mario Bros. 2 was released in Japan only as it was deemed much too hard for American audiences . The game Doki Doki Panic had the playable characters changed into Mario characters and that became the Super Mario Bros. 2 released in America. The real Super Mario Bros. 2 was finally released in America on the Super SNES in the Super Mario All-Stars game. It was called “The Lost Levels”. The true Super Mario Bros. 2 looks identical to the original game. Personally, I like the Doki Doki Panic Super Mario Bros. 2 more than the true Super Mario Bros. 2.
Doki Doki Panic Super Mario Bros. 2
Super Mario Bros. 2 Japan Super Mario Lost Levels (SNES)
I have a very strong memory of sitting on the bus in the 1st grade and seeing a 7th grader get onto the bus carrying the NES game Super Mario Bros. 2. I was a very shy kid but when I saw the NES game I didn’t hesitate to strike up a conversation. At that time I had never played the game and just wanted to talk to someone who had. The 7th grader was actually nice to me and talked to me about the game.
That summer, for my 7th birthday I got Super Mario Bros. 2. I honestly do not remember if I ever beat the game but I definitely logged more than a 100 hours trying.
The game features a mechanic that you don’t typically see in a Mario game. You get to choose one of 4 characters at the start of each level.
Mario – The most well rounded of all characters. His jumping ability and digging ability are just average. I never played as Mario
Luigi – Luigi can jump like a flea. His vertical leap is easily double any other character. His digging skills are slow. Historically I played as Luigi more than any character
Toad – The smallest of the characters with average jumping ability. Toad can dig much quicker than all other characters. I always used to pick Toad on levels where you would have to dig in the sand.
Princess – Princess digs slower than molasses but is able to jump and float for several seconds.
Each level can be beaten with any of the four characters which gives the game quite a bit of replay value. As a kid I always chose Luigi as I loved how he would jump high and kick his legs wildly. I used to mimic his jumps and leg kicking every time I would jump off of a diving board.
I tried to play with Luigi as an adult and found that I am not nearly as good at the game as I once was. I ended up playing through the entire game with Princess. I found her ability to float very comforting as I could correct myself in the air much easier, saving myself from dying dozens of time.
Each level features plants that you can pluck from the ground. At two places in each level the plant you dig is a potion. The potion, when dropped, materializes a door that leads to a shadow world. In the shadow world every plant you pick is a coin and sometimes, if you are lucky a mushroom will also appear that gives you an extra hit point.
In the earlier stages getting these mushrooms isn’t that necessary as the levels are pretty straight forward and easy. But, in the later levels I explored quite a bit more because those mushrooms are needed to get through the level without dying. The hard part is that the mushroom may not be on the same screen you pick up the potion meaning more times than not when you would go through the door there would be no mushroom. My NES memory kicked in and I was able to remember where most of the mushrooms were.
The potions are also used to access warp zones. There are 2 warp zones in the game and I used both to progress from stage 1-3 to 4-1 and then stage 4-3 to stage 6-1.
Unlike most Mario games there aren’t 8 stages, only 7. Stages 6 and 7 are very tough and I bet I played more than a dozen times before finally getting to the final boss, Wart.
Wart replaces Bowser for the first and only time in a Mario game. Wart isn’t a very difficult boss but my nerves got to me and it still took me probably 6 times to finally beat him.
The entire game was very familiar to me but I honestly think this is the first time I ever beat it. Although this game is thought to be the worst Mario game in the NES/SNES/N64 era it is a very good game. If the game had been released as Doki Doki Panic I believe it would have been regarded as more of a classic. It was just the stigma of being the follow up to the video game that changed gaming forever that keeps it from being the classic that it deserves to be.