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Super Mario Bros 2, NES


Feb 11 2006, 12:20 AM (Post #1)
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Title - Super Mario Brothers 2
Console - Nintendo Entertainment System
Year - 1988
Developer - Nintendo
Publisher - Nintentdo
Cover - user posted image

Review
In the mysterious world of dreams (Subcon), Mario, Luigi, Toad and Princess Toadstool must aid the inhabitants of this bizarre world in ridding their native land of the horred Wart.

In this, the sequel to the incredible Super Mario Bros, Nintendo threw caution into the wind and decided to create an entirely different playing experience from their original smash hit. Instead of simply jumping from left to right and landing on creatures heads to progress, Nintendo introduced the more realistic element of having to attack creatures with weapons to dispose of them, albeit these weapons were root vegetables.

Other new features Nintendo brough to this under-rated classic included potions, which when used created a door which the player could step through, freezing and reversing the segment of the screen visible to them. In this alternate world, the player had to try to collect coins and, if they were lucky, a mushroom which would grant them more energy. Also included were jars, which acted as mini-bonus stages as well as warps to other parts of the levels, the ability to go back throughout a level (in SMB1 the player could only ever progress left to right, in SMB2 you can go left to right, right to left, and even in some levels up and down and down and up!), and a 'three strike' health gauge, represented by hearts at the top left of the screen.

This sequel was more advanced from its predecessor in numerous ways - more interesting and animated opponents, more gameplay advances, more items, a 'quicksand' level, a 'waterfall' level (later repeated by Sonic and Crash Bandicoot to name but a few immitators), 'power up squatting' (if you held the down button for a few seconds, your character began flashing red and when released, could jump higher than before), enemies that required more than one attack to defeat, and an end-of-level bonus round (later a feature in SMB3, Super Mario Land, and many, many more games).

Finally, Nintendo even introduced variation in the characters you could select. Mario had average skills in strength, speed and agility. Luigi could jump higher and further and leapt with a 'hovering' quality to him, and Toad could lift things easier and run faster than the other characters. Unfortunately, in my opinion at least, Nintendo went a bit wrong with Princess Toadstool. They equipped her with a genuine 'hover' function, which meant that you simply had to hold down the A button and could almost fly through the entire level. This made gameplay a little too easy, but also introduced a subliminal 'difficulty setting' - amateurs would play with Princess Toadstool, whereas veteran gamers looking for a tougher challenge would opt to play with Mario or even Toad (who's "special abilities" often hindered more than they helped, with fequent lifes being lost simply running off the edge of the platform accidentally).

All in all, Nintendo took a great leap of faith with this genuine improvement of a sequel. If it were released today, perhaps it would have simply became a jazzed-up SMB1. However, thankfully, it was released in an era of quality over profit, and by a company with the same ethos, and the benefits can still be seen today - the game has undergone many re-releases, particularly it's fine upgrade for the SNES's "Super Mario All-Stars" collection, characters appearing in the game have went on to make appearances in practically every single Mario game and spin-off since, and many of the original and unique gameplay devices have been imitated by a vast array of platformers (and even some non-platformer games) since it's release almost two decades ago.

Final score - 91% - A great gem of a game with genuinely interesting and unique gameplay features, but gets a little repetitative and is simply too easy with Princess Toadstool.
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Apr 1 2007, 02:51 AM (Post #2)
Here for the cute boys ;)
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Good review. Are there cheats for this game -- or will readers have to go elsewhere for those?
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Apr 1 2007, 03:26 PM (Post #3)
beat me til i feel something
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i own it. and the only advantage (unless you have a game genie) is that there are secret warp stations to progress more quickly. its one of my fave mario games ^_^
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Apr 1 2007, 03:31 PM (Post #4)
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There probably are cheats, but there are already a mountain of sites catering for that. No point in simply repeating other site's work - both immoral and a waste of time stongue.gif
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Apr 1 2007, 03:36 PM (Post #5)
beat me til i feel something
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i checked, a couple of glitches and secrets. no cheats.
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