Super Mario Bros. 2
Box Shot
Super Mario Bros. 2
Platform: NES
Publisher: Nintendo
Designer: Nintendo
Genre: Action
Players: 1
Published Date 1989
Reviewed by: Adam King

Super Mario Bros was the game that made the NES. Imagine the players' surprise when they heard there was going to be a sequel called Super Mario Bros. 2. Nintendo really wanted to show off this game, even using an image to grace the cover of the premiere issue of Nintendo Power. Basically, Mario and Luigi were successful in defeating Bowser. Sometime later, Mario is dreaming that he's in a cave climbing a staircase. He reaches the top, opens a red door, and finds a magical land called Sub-Con. The people ask his help in defending Sub-Co from the evil Wart. When Mario awakens the next morning, he and his brother Luigi, Princes Toadstool, and mushroom retainer Toad have a picnic. They explore a nearby cave, which contains a staircase, leading up to a door. When they open it, they find exactly what Mario saw in his dream... Okay, onto the gameplay. The first thing you'll notice is that you can pick your character for each level. Each one has different strenghts and weaknesses. Mario is balanced and average, Luigi can jump the highest, the Princess can float for three seconds in mid-air, and Toad picks up vegetables the fastest. Each character can do a squat-jump, where you squat until you start flashing, then jump. As you play, you'll notice a life meter to the left side. It shrinks each time you get hit, and if it reaches 1, you shrink down. The game has seven worlds. Each world has three levels, except World 7, which has two. Instead of fighting Goombas and Koopas, you fight enemies like Shyguys, Snifits, Beezos, and many more. For some reasom, you can't step on them to kill them. You can ride them, but you must pick them up and throw them at something. You will also find grass patches on the ground, and you can pull them up for vegetables to throw(pick up five ripened vegetables and a stopwatch appears and freezes your foes), among other things, such as boms, potions(to go to Sub-Space), and turtle shells. You also gather cherries to get a Starman, but that's all the power-ups. In Subspace, you can get a mushroom, which increases your life meter, and coins. At the end of each level, you fight the mini-boss Birdo(don't believe the instructions, the dude's name is Birdo). Every third stage, you come up against a boss, and you must hit it three times to beat it. The graphics are pretty good. Mario and Luigi actually look different from one another. The stages have nice colors, and the sprites have neat animations. The sounds are okay. There are only four themes, and they do get boring after awhile. The controls handle very well. I do have some problems with this game. You have to cross 20 levels, of slightly difficult terrain, and you only have TWO CONTINUES?! This is a long game, and you cannont beat it on two continues. This game needs a password or battery save feature, or at least unlimited continues. It's frustrating to have to start completely over from scratch after getting so far.

This is a great game, though I like SMB1 and SMB3 much better. The limited continues and no save gives this a frustration factor, but it's a good chapter in the SMB saga, and one worth playing.

BTW, there's another game called Super Mario Bros. 2 released in Japan. It was exactly the same as the first game, only much tougher. Deemed too tough for American players, Nintendo took another game of theirs, called Doki Doki Panic, changed it around, and this is what we got (SMB2j was later released here as the Lost Levels).