Super Mario Bros 2 The Lost Levels Review

Posted: October 1, 2013 in Game reviews

Greetings mortals, I am DracoJames102 and I am here to give you a review. Welcome to my tenth review special. This is my tenth review I posted and for it I wanted to do something special. Now the games that I have reviewed so far have either been good or at the very least ok. For this review I am going to review a game that I absolutely positively DESPISE with a passion. I am talking about the Japanese sequel to the original ‘Super Mario Bros.’ game, ‘Super Mario Bros. 2 The Lost Levels’.

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Now before I go over why I despise this game so much, let’s go over some history. ‘Super Mario Bros.’ was a huge success when it first came out so obviously people were hungry for a sequel and it was only natural to take something that was successful and expand upon it with new ideas and gimmicks to make it better. In 1986, Japan saw the release of ‘Super Mario Bros. 2 The Lost Levels’ for their NES console known as the ‘Famicon’. When the game was ready for an international release, the ‘Nintendo’ corporation of America cancelled it for a release in America and Europe (that is until ‘Super Mario All-Stars’ for the SNES which contains 16-bit updates of the first four console mainstream Mario games). The original 8-bit game eventually got released for the Nintendo Wii’s virtual console where you could play classic NES, SNES, Nintendo 64 and Sega Mega-Drive games. But for the sake of keeping my sanity for this one, I played the ‘Super Mario All-Stars’ port for the Nintendo Wii which was released for Mario’s 25th anniversary. Now that we are done with the history. let’s roast this game. Story The story is exactly the same as the first game’s story. Princess Peach gets captured by Bowser and Mario has to go and save her. Nothing new here.

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Gameplay

The control scheme is exactly the same as the first game’s control scheme. You control Mario with the D-Pad, jump with ‘A’, hold down ‘B’ to run and start to pause. The goal is still the same. All you have to do is get to the flag-pole at the end of the level and move on to next, kill Bowser in every castle and have Toad tell you that you’ve got the wrong castle…AGAIN!!! The power-ups from the last game are all here and accounted for, but one new power-up called the Poison Mushroom was introduced in this game which is darker than the regular mushroom and it damages you when you are big and kills you when you are small. I’m going to guess Shigeru Miyamoto added this into the game just to be a scumbag (along with all of the other things that he put in this freaking game).

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So yeah there aren’t a lot of things to talk about in terms of what new things this game introduced (in fact I dare say there hasn’t been anything new that’s good). Instead I am going to talk about all of the questionable design choices that they put in this game. First off the level design has gotten a lot more obnoxious since the last game. Yes I know that the game was built this way for people who beat the original ‘Super Mario Bros.’, but what about the people who want to play this game despite having not beaten the original game huh? The levels are peppered with all sorts of ridiculous conditions to further the level and some of them are incredibly cryptic. For example, in World 5-1 you come to a point where the level just stops and you can’t continue on and you cannot go back to a previous part of the level. So you’re most likely gonna just run around the stage panicking trying to figure out what to do next. Well it turns out that there are invisible blocks that you have to hit that help you get up to the top of the cliff that’s stopping you so you can get to the end of the level. How are first-time players supposed to know that those would be there? They are INVISIBLE BLOCKS!!! Then there are levels such as World 5-2 and 8-2 where you need to  do a specific task such as enter a pipe or reveal a vine to a secret part of the level otherwise the level loops over and over again. There is nothing in the game that tells you to do that so how the heck are you supposed to know that?!? Then in World 8-1, the game requires you to make a ridiculous jump where you have to gain some momentum, jump off a flying Koopa Troopa and make it to the other side and you only have one try so if you mess up, you die and go back to the beginning of the level because World 8 levels(as well as castle levels) have no checkpoints.

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It isn’t just the levels themselves that’s the problem. They also pack some incredibly awkward enemy placements. In terms of enemies, there haven’t been any new ones but they added a couple of new enemy varieties. From World 4 and onwards, you get red piranha plants coming out of pipes which are a lot more aggressive than their green cousins. They pop out of pipes even if you are standing next to them and they move a little faster too. In the castle in World 5, they introduce faster moving fire bars which of course move faster. Then we get my most despised enemy in this whole difficulty spike of a game, Hammer Bros. They were in the last game and I hated them enough as it is, but from World 7 onwards, we got their even more evil sadistic cousins. These Hammer Bros. actually move forward towards you and they never stop. They also keep throwing their hammers so adding their new movement pattern makes it extremely awkward to time you jump so you can get past them. Now once you pass them, they don’t follow you anymore but they are still extremely frustrating to deal with.

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There are other design elements that bug the heck out of me. For example, there are levels which have surfaces of water which looks like you can swim in them, but you can’t even though there are water levels in this game. What’s the point of having the water surfaces there then? They might as well be bottomless pits, which most of these levels have already.

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In World 3-1, there is actually a warp zone that sends you back to World 1. What kind of garbage is that?!? Besides red trampolines (which were in the last game also) we now get green trampolines which sends Mario really high in the sky. It would be nice if we could see where he is but there is no such feature and one level requires you to use them to complete it. World 5-1 introduces some level segments which have strong wind currents which blow Mario either back of forward which can disrupt your progress if you are not careful.

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Once you defeat Bowser at the final castle, you rescue Princess Peach and you unlock four new worlds to travel through, Worlds A-D. I tried it and I never will again. I couldn’t even get past the first level. Now in the ‘All-Stars’ port of this game, all you had to do was beat the game once and you’ve unlocked these new worlds. In the original release, you had to beat the game EIGHT TIMES to unlock them. That is the completely wrong way to extend game time in my opinion. Game time should be extended through worthwhile rewards that are challenging but not frustrating to get as well as how fun the game itself is.

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This game doesn’t have a multiplayer feature like the last game. Instead you can play the game as either Mario or Luigi. The difference between them is performance attributes. Mario controls like he did in the previous game while Luigi can jump higher, but he has the traction of an ice skater. With those properties I would say Luigi is the hard mode of the game.

Now if I will give this game credit for something, it’s that if you get a game over, you start back at the beginning of the world that you died in. In the ‘All-Stars’ port however you start at the level you died in if you get a game over which I appreciate greatly.

Graphics

The game’s graphics are exactly the same as the first game’s graphics. If you want to know my opinion on them, read my ‘Super Mario Bros.’ review.

Music

Same as my opinion on the last game.

Control

The control is the same as it was in the previous game. The thing is the problems I had with it in the last game are accentuated here because of the level design. I know I’ve gone on and on about this game’s level design but this control is not accustomed to it. For example, there are times where I swear I was holding forward as big Mario to go through a gap which looks like I can squeeze through it, but I fell to my death anyway. That is garbage!

Final thoughts

Well I think it’s very obvious on what I think of this game. Out of all of the Mario games I have ever played, I would say this is the one I like the least. I’m saying it’s the worst Mario game out there (surprisingly there are worse ones) but this game’s difficulty is the main reason why I really hate it. I like a game that’s challenging but not frustrating to the point where I don’t want to play it anymore. I nearly broke my controller from all of the unfair deaths I suffered through. I want my deaths to be my own mistakes, not mistakes that the developers made while creating this game.

But if you really want to play this game (for some reason) then I recommend the ‘All-Stars port as it is much more forgiving and it has a save feature. I also suggest doing the one-up trick too as you can do it in the first level. I heard that there are people that actually like this game and for that I am curious as to why. Please leave a comment explaining to me why you like it you masochists. As for me I don’t think I’ll ever pick this game up again unless the guys and I decide to open up a let’s play segment (Moans angrily). It’s simply too frustrating to be considered decent for me and I recommend newcomers to stay far far FAR away from this installment.

Final rating: 3/10

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