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Title: Super Mario Bros. 2
Rom Player: NESticle
Reviewer: FatSatan

Synopsis: When I’d first played Super Mario Bros 1, I thought it was the greatest game in the world. I had played games similar to it on PC, but none had the speed, the colorfulness and the variety of this game. I had no way of keeping track of upcoming games, so when a friend of mine had bought Super Mario Bros 2, I was surprised and very curious.

The gameplay of this one had been completely revamped. In some way it was nothing like Mario 1. One very pleasant new aspect that backgrounds could scroll back, so you could move in any direction you wanted. The storyline, which was a rare feature to a game anyway in those days, is barely worth mentioning. Mario has a dream in which he visits a “dreamworld” that is being destroyed by a toad/dragon like creature called Wart, who is vaguely reminiscent of Bowser/King Koopa.

Starting a game, you have the choice of four characters instead of just being assigned Mario as player 1 or Luigi as player 2. Each has different qualities and abilities. The standard among them is of course Mario. Luigi runs slightly slower than Mario and has the odd ability to kick his legs really fast while in the air, causing him to jump very slowly and high. Toad, whom I think most people tend to choose, is the strongest, meaning he can pull stuff from the ground the fastest. He also seems to run faster than the others. The last is Princess Peach/Toadstool. She is the slowest and weakest of them all (what with her being a woman and all), but has the unique and very handy ability to float for a while when you hold down the jump button. Very useful for people new to the game who haven’t gotten the hang of the awkward jumping this game has yet.

The fighting concept of this game is not stomping enemies like in the first one, but throwing stuff at them, or even throwing them themselves. You can stand and ride along on most enemies, pick them up to throw them at other enemies or off ledges, but the game is littered with polls of grass that you can stand on and pull to see what’s under the ground. Usually these are turnips or alike objects that can be thrown, but there are other things – extra lives, bombs, Koopa shells, and potions. These potions are an important part of the game. If you throw them on the ground, a door appears. Upon entering this door, you are taken to a shadowy reflection of the stage you just left, that dissipates for a while. When you pick up grass here you receive coins, and there is often a mushroom around to prolong your life. At the end of a stage, the coins can be used to gamble on a jackpot machine in order to earn more lives.

Despite the fact that there isn’t a goomba in sight, Super Mario Bros 2 has an unforgettable cast of totally new characters. Shyguys, Snifits, Pidgits, Beezos, Trouters (known on this site as Squigly Fish) and some really cool bosses like Mouser, Triclyde and Fryguy. In the end, world 7, you’ll face Wart, who isn’t too hard to beat.

I’d say Super Mario Bros 2 is the lesser game of the trilogy. It has fun characters, but the controls are much less pleasant than before, there’s a serious lack in secrets, and the cycle of bosses repeats a lot. Nevertheless, it’s a fun and absolutely classic game.

Best Cheats: In world 1-3, at the very end, there is a vase. If you bring a potion here and enter the vase in the sub-world, you will be warped to world 4. In world 4-2 there is another such vase on a little island in the sea (you’ll pass over it). Use the whales to get to it with a potion to be warped to world 6.

Game Play: 7
Graphics: 7
Music/Sound: 9
Originality: 7
Overall Rating: 8


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