I can hear the groans now but hear me out! We all know Super Mario Bros. 2 is really Doki Doki Panic. It’s common knowledge these days and has sparked multiple debates of “is it a real Mario game?” To that question I say yes it’s a real Mario game and I’ll explain why, but first a review of the game.
Mario 2 was a big change from the first game of the series. For starters you were given the choice of picking your character. Your options were of course Mario and Luigi, but there was Toad and Princess Toadstool (Peach) as well. Me, I’m Team Luigi all the way! I can beat the whole game just using Luigi and his awesome “wiggly feets’. Ever since I first played the game I referred to his feet as that, but I digress. Mario is straightforward, no real noticeable abilities. Luigi of course has said “wiggly feets” that allow you to jump and clear great distances. Toad has the ability to dig faster than the others. He’s a must use during World 2 – The Desert World. Lastly, Princess Toadstool has the ability to hover after jumping for a brief period of time. Just like Luigi, another way to clear levels quickly.
One of the first things you’ll notice is the music, or at least I did! I’d go as far as to say Mario 2 has some of the best music on the NES. That overworld theme is some of the catchiest game music ever and will get stuck in your head for the rest of your life. The controls are easy enough, hold down B to run and A is jump. You can jump on your enemies heads but you’ll find this doesn’t kill them like in Mario 1. Here you’ll need to press the B button to pick them up! Toss them into another enemy to knock them out or simply toss em down a hole. You can also pull turnips from the ground and use to throw at enemies. The POW block is the kill all, it causes an earthquake thus killing everything on the screen.
You travel through your typical levels found in games back then. You got your desert world and your ice world. There’s also your underground levels and of course the pretty green outside levels. Nothing really too special. There are 8 total worlds as was the case with most Mario games. Instead of a face off with Bowser at the end of a world you got some amazing new enemies! Mouser was always one of my favorites with his cool shades. Tryclyde was a three-headed snake who stood out as well. It’s a shame these characters got left behind. Birdo was a mid-world type boss who could be taken out by tossing back the eggs it barfs at you. Bowser wasn’t even the end boss! Wart who is a big Toad is the main villain and one who deserves a comeback.
That about covers it for Mario 2. By now, especially retro gamers have played it or have seen videos on YouTube. This game is also famous for it’s ending where after all the hard work of playing through it, you find out Mario was dreaming the whole time. And people complain about and get game endings changed these days. Bah, in my day we got crappy endings, and we liked it! Okay, maybe that’s not true but we moved on without much of a gripe. Now it’s time to explain why I think Super Mario Bros. 2 is a Mario game.
Truthfully I don’t have a whole lot to back me up. The main reason I consider it a Mario game is because it introduced some characters that are still apart of the Mario Universe today. Without Mario 2, we may not have gotten Shyguys! Shyguys were introduced here and didn’t really gain popularity until Super Mario World: Yoshi’s Island. Could you imagine Yoshi’s Island without Shyguys? Shyguys are also playable characters in both Mario Kart 7 and 8. Another beloved character is the Bomb-omb. Without Mario 2 we wouldn’t have Bomb-ombs or the famous King Bomb-omb in Mario 64. Cobrats my not be popular but he is in Mario Kart 7. On the Shyguy Bazaar level he is seen popping out of baskets, much like he does in the pipes in Mario 2. Phanto my not be in anything new but boy did he give us nightmares! Pick up that key and he eerily chases you until you drop it.
The Super Mario Bros. Super Show also embraced Mario 2. Most of the characters, music, and sound effects on the show came from Mario 2. King Koopa commanded both Mouser and Tryclyde in the cartoon which was odd being as Koopa wasn’t in Mario 2. All the enemies made an appearance in this cartoon as well. Even the Bomb-omb dropping condors are in the Super Show. I’m not sure how involved Nintendo was with the cartoon, but it sure seemed like the creators thought Mario 2 was cannon. Phanto even made some appearances, giving us chills in our cartoons.
Basically, if it wasn’t for this game we wouldn’t have these characters we love today. Birdo may not be a super star, but did make an appearance in Mario Kart Double Dash as a playable character. I thank Mario 2 for giving us these characters. Combine that with bright colorful graphics, a fantastic soundtrack, fun gameplay and good replay value, you have what I consider to be a great game and is also a Mario game!