Super Mario Bros. 2
Release Date: 1987
Re-released In: Mario All-Stars; Super Mario Advance.
The American version of
the sequel to the wildly popular original Super Mario Bros., was nothing
like the Japanese one. While the Japanese got a continuation of the original
game (released here in the states as "The Lost Levels" ten years
later), American Mario nuts got a revamp of a Japanese game called Dream
Factory. The existing game was stripped down, with the main characters
replaced by Mario, Luigi, Peach and Toad, and some of the settings and
enemies were changed slightly to synch with the Mario universe. It was a
radically different departure from the original game, and while usually this
spells financial disaster for the company responsible, Mario 2 instead went
on to be one of the most sought after Nintendo titles of all-time (Mario 3
still holds one of the top three spots).
2's story was a little surreal, but it worked. Supposedly, Mario went to bed
one night and had a crazy dream. In it, he climbed a winding staircase, to
find a door at the end of it. Upon opening the door, he discovered a whole
new world. The goal of the game was to rescue these little creatures called
Subcons, from the clutches of the evil Wart, a giant toad. Wart had
imprisoned them, in order to bring about the end of the Dream World, and
control the Subcons power.
Mario 2 is a must-play
game. The control mechanics were sheer genius. True, it seemed to have
nothing to do with Mario, but it did seem typical plumber fare after awhile.
There were some changes however. You couldn't jump on the enemies anymore
and squash them. Jumping on an enemy (non-spiked), would result in just
standing on his head while he walked onwards. You could then jump off, or
pick him up to hurl at another enemy. Which was the next biggest change.
Hurling. Whether by ripping vegetables out of the ground, or picking up
other enemies to use as weapons, the main line of attack in Mario 2 was
simply tossing objects at enemies in order to knock them out. There weren't
any power-ups other than the typical mushrooms, which made you grow to
"Super" status, and the now standard Starman. A couple of extra
items came in the forn of POW blocks, which could be thrown to create
earthquakes, and Koopa shells, which could be used to ride over hazardous
Mario 2 deserves to be
in your collection, whether in cartridge form, or in the form of a ROM on
your computer. It's simply one of the few old school games you will never
tire of quickly. You can know every secret and item, and it's still fun to
kill time, even now.