Super Mario Bros. 2. Nintendo R&D4 (1989) Nintendo

We all know that Super Mario Bros 2 was a reskin of Doki Doki Panic. If you want the *other* Super Mario Bros 2 (Lost levels) go here.

Anyway, it is about 20 years since I attempted to beat Super Mario Bros 2, and after recent ventures into the Mushroom Kingdom, I thought I’d venture once more, and play a game I think I hated when I was young.

Story

Never noticed one. So, reading wikipedia…

Mario is having a dream, and finds himself in the world of “subcon” – they didn’t even try -. Mario is asked to help defeat the evil Wart. Mario tells Luigi, Peach and Toad about the dream, and they inform him that they all experienced the same dream, so off they go to Subcon to beat on a evil frog-wizard-king-thing.

To be honest, the story is pretty whack, but then, the story in pretty much all Mario games is non-existent, but at least there is no kidnapped Princess. I can remember as a kid beating this for the first time, and discovering it is a dream. Oh yeah, spoilers for a game released in 1989.

It could be interpreted as it being real, or a dream, but I am bitter and cynical, so I am calling bullshit, and saying the whole thing was a pointless dream.

Woo, a boss

Gameplay

SMB2 is a platformer, so you run left to right, and jump on things. SMB2 is different in that you don’t jump on things to kill them, you jump on them and ride them. You can pick them up and throw them though, which is always fun.

If you find a magic potion growing in the shrubs, and throw it, this’ll let you pass through a magical door, which allows you to collect coins for the slotmachine minigame, which gives you extra lives. Thrown in the right places, these magic doors will let you find a Mushroom that gives you an extra hit point, and if placed on the correct spot the magic doors open secret warp portals.

Warp doors are useful

There are no mazes like the final castle in SMB1, or in Lost Levels stages, but some stages do do things differently, with differing paths or having to go backwards. It means SMB2 does mix things up, and is a lot more interesting than SMB1 and Lost Levels.

On the final stage of each level you get a boss fight, these are fun, and all involve throwing an item the boss a set number of times. As a kid I found this frustratingly hard, but as a grown ass adult, I pissed all the bosses first time without taking damage.

Float like a butterfly.
That’s it. that’s her power.

In SMB2 you get to control Mario, Luigi, Peach and Toad, and each one controls differently.

Mario is Mario, so is the all rounder. Luigi can jump high, but controls like the slippery green cunt that he is. Peach can float, and is the cheesing character of choice. While Toad is, uhhhm, faster, and can pick up roots, digs quicker and jumps like a one legged hamster.

Each character therefore plays differently, and will be more or less useful for certain levels. All stages can be beaten by any of the 4, but some levels have areas only certain characters can reach. Additionally, Luigi is a wanker, and fuck Luigi.

Casually tossing off a snake.

Difficulty

SMB2 is easy, I hadn’t played the game in about 20 years and I pissed through the whole game. You find the odd extra life mushroom, but mostly you’ll get lives in the slot-machine minigame. I would easily find between 5 and 10 coins on most levels, which means 5-10 chances to win. I didn’t look at the screen, I just hammered the stop button, and would get 2-3 extra lives after every level. If you actually tried here you could realistically be getting 5+ lives every level.

Yes I died a fair few times, and I got to the final level with about 18 spare lives where I died about 7 times on Wart trying to figure him out, but overall, SMB2 is REALLY easy and the only thing stopping you playing is your desire to beat it.

Just like in Vegas!

Conclusion

SMB2 is alright. The platforming is solid, the difficulty is on the easy side, and the 4 characters differing play styles add some depth. It means SMB2 is better than SMB1, but not great. Play it and you’ll have fun, but there isn’t much going on. It was good in 1989, now it is alright. I don’t hate it, but there are probably 100 NES games I’d rather play than SMB2.

Pros: Good variety, decent platforming

Cons: Story is whack, a bit easy

77%

Back in the day:

SMB2 was the third highest selling NES game, making it the 3rd best selling Mario game on the NES. It did only receive “good” reviews, getting mostly 80% scores though…

I do not care for Luigi.

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10 thoughts on “Super Mario Bros. 2. Nintendo R&D4 (1989) Nintendo

  1. I absolutely adore SMB2. I think I’d even put it higher in my ranks than SMB3, but I that’s probably because I played it so much as a young person. It’s a game I love playing from start to finish without warping, and I find its uniqueness in the series quite charming. Based on your Luigi Loathing, I’m almost tempted to issue you a challenge to play the whole game with him. He is more useful than you might think!

    I personally hate Toad’s guts. He seriously sucks.

    • Interestingly I liked Luigi in Lost Levels, so i imagine he’ll be the best if you learn to control him. I think I’ll try a Luigi run as you’re right on toad too. What is the use in digging quickly when there are two digging levels!?!

      I can’t remember where any warp is, struggled to find most of the health mushrooms…

      • The health mushrooms definitely get harder to track down later in the game. I did an awful lot of exploring for them when I was younger, so I know where most of them are as well as most of the warps.

        I think you’ll have fun with a Luigi run. The only thing that is a pain is beating Birdo since precision jumping with him is a pain, but you’ll find yourself breezing through other areas that are normally more onerous with the other characters.

  2. I love smb 2, but I have no idea why. The different art style kind of works for it and the gameplay is still pretty fun. I occasionally load this up on 3DS for a quick play through.

    • I struggled with 2 as a kid, I never liked the art and the whole dream thing annoyed me even then. As an adult i can see I was harsh on it, it is a decent game that is fun to play

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