I’ve always loved every game featuring Mario, ranging from Donkey Kong to Super Mario Galaxy. My favorites were the Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario World series’ from the NES and SNES.
But when you line all of these titles up, there is one that just sticks out like a sore thumb. And that’s Super Mario Brothers 2. It’s not that I hate this game, but when you compare it to all the other Mario games, this game is terrible.
To start things off, there is hardly anything in this game that is familiar and related to the other SMB games. No Koopas, no Goombas, not even a single Fire Flower. When you start your quest, you begin the first level by falling from a door in the sky. How the heck did that door get up there in the first place? One of the worst things about this game is that Bowser isn’t even in the game, let alone is he the ending boss. Instead, players are introduced to new characters such as Shy Guys, Birdo, and Bob-ombs. Also, the ending boss is now a fat toad called Wart. This has no relevance, whatsoever!
You now start off by picking one of four characters, instead of just Mario or Luigi. Another thing that was changed is your health. In this game, you are given a heart health meter. You begin each level with 2 hearts and if you get hit, you lose one heart. Now, this wouldn’t be so bad, except for the fact that now it’s very hard to replenish your health. In the other SMB games, you just hit blocks until you found a mushroom. Now, you have to beat a certain amount of enemies for a heart to appear. Doing it this way is ridiculous. And speaking of enemies, you can no longer kill them by jumping on them. Instead, you must throw them at other enemies in order to kill them. And remember the Star? Well instead of just finding a star in a block, you have to collect 5 scattered cherries in the level for a star to appear. Why in Sam Hill did they choose cherries, anyways? And one more thing, this is ONLY A 1 PLAYER GAME unlike the previous Super Mario Bros. game which had a 2 player option.
[Spoiler Alert: SMB2 ending revealed]
Once you beat Wart, you’ll see Mario in bed, sleeping. The whole game has just been Mario dreaming, which is good because it’s terrible!
Now, here is where we begin to find why Super Mario Brothers 2 is such an odd ball. In 1993, Nintendo released Super Mario All-Stars. This game contained all the Super Mario Bros. games for the NES: Super Mario Bros., SMB 2, SMB 3 and a bonus game called The Lost Levels. What is this? There are lost levels?
Believe it not, it turns out that this game is the real Super Mario Brothers 2! Released only in Japan, this game picks off where the first SMB left off. The same enemies, power-ups, everything. Even the maps look exactly the same. This game is the perfect sequel to the original Super Mario Brothers.
So, how did OUR Super Mario Brothers 2 game come about? And why isn’t it the same as the Japan release?
Well, a few years back, a game called “Doki Doki Panic!!” was released in Japan. Now when you first start this game, two kids are reading a book and a green hand proceeds to pull them into the book. Then, the heroes of the game jump in after them. Now, this may not seem related to a Mario game, but after the heroes jump in the book, you will be astonished.
This game is EXACTLY like Super Mario Brothers 2. The “Mario” character starts the game out by falling from a door in the sky. You also choose from 4 characters, each having the same special abilities as the four in SMB2. Now, if you think that only the characters and themes are the same as SMB2, think again. Because if you put both of these games side, you can’t tell them apart, except for the character you are playing! All enemies are the same, too.
Allegedly, Nintendo of America decided that the Japanese version of Super Mario Brothers 2 was just too much like the first one. So basically, they took an older Japanese game, slapped “Super Mario Brothers 2″ on it, changed the playable characters to Mario, Luigi, Princess, and Toad, and shipped it as Super Mario Bros. 2 in the US.
Now we know how this “odd ball” of a game came about.