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Super Mario Bros. 2

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Super Mario Bros. 2 (SMB2) is a platform game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Entertainment System video game console. The game was also remade as part of the Super Mario All-Stars collection for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), released on August 1, 1993 in North America and December 16, 1993 in Europe. It was rereleased on the Wii's Virtual Console in Europe, Australia and New Zealand on May 25, 2007 and the U.S. on July 2, 2007.

Unlike the majority of other Mario titles, SMB2 was not developed from an independent point; rather it is a redesign of the Japanese Family Computer Disk System game Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic. Nintendo's original sequel to Super Mario Bros. was released in Japan as Super Mario Bros. 2 in 1986; however, because of that game's difficulty and its close similarities to the original game, Nintendo decided not to release it in the West at that time. The redesigned Western version of Super Mario Bros. 2 was released in Japan in 1992 under the title Super Mario USA (スーパーマリオUSA?), and in 1993 a 16-bit remake of the original Japanese version was released to the rest of the world as "Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels" (part of the Super Mario All-Stars collection for the SNES).

Because SMB2 is a redesign of a non-Mario game, the game differs greatly from the original Super Mario Bros.. Many elements from Super Mario Bros. 2 have since become part of the Mario series canon and the repertoire of recurring elements.

GameplayEdit

Super Mario Bros. 2 is a side-scrolling platform game. At the beginning of each stage, the player is given a choice of four protagonists to control: Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Princess Peach, credited in the game as merely "Princess." Each character has different strengths; Mario is a well-rounded character, but Luigi can jump the highest of the four, Toad can run and pluck vegetables the fastest, and Peach can jump the farthest, due to her ability to hover for a short time. All characters have the ability to increase the height of their jump by ducking briefly before they jump.

Unlike the previous and following Mario games, no enemies can be defeated by jumping on them. Instead, the player character must throw objects at enemies, such as vegetables plucked from the ground. Certain opponents can be picked up and thrown as well, and several levels feature blocks marked with the word "POW", which when picked up and thrown kill all the enemies on screen at impact.

The game features a life meter, a then-unique feature in the series. The player begins each stage with two points of health, represented by red diamonds, and can increase the number of health points in the meter by collecting mushrooms. Health can be replenished by floating hearts, which appear after a certain number of opponents have been defeated. The invincibility star from the previous game appears, with a player needing to collect five cherries to acquire it.

Each stage contains one or more hidden flasks of potion. When plucked and thrown, a potion creates a door to Sub-Space, an alternate world in which coins are collected instead of vegetables when plucked. The mushrooms used to increase the health meter can also be found here. The player automatically leaves Sub-Space after a short time. The coins collected are used in a slot machine mini-game played between stages. This mini-game is the chief means of obtaining additional lives. In addition to the mushrooms and slot machine coins, several Sub-Spaces are also used as warp zones; these involve the use of vases as pipes.[1]

DevelopmentEdit

The original Japanese version of Super Mario Bros. 2 is known in America as Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels. The Japanese version was directed by Takashi Tezuka and produced by Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Mario and The Legend of Zelda. Visually, it looked like Super Mario Bros. with the same objective but with a higher level of difficulty.[1] Miyamoto did not particapate as much in the production of The Lost Levels as he did in Super Mario Bros..[1] The American Super Mario Bros. 2 was originally released in the U.S. in October 1988, the same month Super Mario Bros. 3 was released in Japan.[1]

Nintendo of America disliked the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2, which they found to be frustratingly difficult and otherwise little more than a modification of Super Mario Bros.. As they did not want to risk the franchise's popularity, they canceled its stateside release and looked for an alternative. They found one in Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic (Dream Factory: Heart-Pounding Panic), a game Miyamoto actually put more time on than The Lost Levels.[1]

Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic was a platforming game that followed family of four, each with different abilities, on a quest to rescue kidnapped kids in a strange fantasy land. Mario, Luigi, Peach and Toad were built on Brother, Mama, Sister and Papa's models, respectively, marking the first time that Mario and Luigi had noticeably different heights.[1] Some elements from the Mario universe already existed in Doki Doki Panic, such as Starmen, coin and jumping sound effects, the POW blocks and level warping. Also, the game's soundtrack was already composed by Kōji Kondō, the original Super Mario composer, and upon the conversion needed only a few alterations such as removing most of the Arabian elements, replacing them with original Mario tunes.[1]

Re-releasesEdit

In 1993,[2] Nintendo released an enhanced SNES compilation titled Super Mario All-Stars. It included all of the Super Mario Bros. games released for the Nintendo Entertainment System and Famicom. The version of Super Mario Bros. 2 included in the compilation had improved graphics and sound to match the SNES's 16-bit gameplay capabilities, as well as minor alterations in some collision mechanics.

In March-April 1996, Nintendo (in collaboration with the St.GIGA satellite radio station) released an ura- or gaiden-version of the game for the Satellaview system featuring graphical enhancements similar to Super Mario All-Stars. This new game was entitled BS Super Mario USA Power Challenge (BSスーパーマリオUSA パワーチャレンジ?), and like all Satellaview titles it was released episodically in a number of weekly volumes.[3] BS Super Mario USA Power Challenge was never released outside of Japan and as with all other Satellaview titles it has never been re-released as a stand-alone title. The game exists today solely in ROM-format and is traded online by Satellaview emulation enthusiasts.[3]

In 2001, Super Mario Bros. 2 received another enhanced remake as part of Super Mario Advance (which also contained a remake of Mario Bros.). Super Mario Advance was developed by Nintendo R&D2,[4] and was the first Mario title for the Game Boy Advance. The Super Mario Advance version of Super Mario Bros. 2 includes several new features such as the addition of the enemy Robirdo (a robotic Birdo acting as the boss of world three), the addition of the Yoshi Challenge (in which players may revisit stages to search for Yoshi eggs), and an all-new point-scoring system (a first for the game). Graphical and audio enhancements were also added in the form of enlarged sprites, multiple hit combos, digital voice acting, and such minor stylistic and aesthetic changes as an altered default health-meter level, boss-order, backgrounds, the size of hearts, Princess Toadstool being renamed to the now-standard "Princess Peach," and the inclusion of a chime to announce starmen were also added.[5]

ReceptionEdit

Upon release, Super Mario Bros. 2 was highly successful, and it is the third highest-selling game ever released on the Nintendo Entertainment System, with ten million copies sold.[6] Nintendo Power listed Super Mario Bros. 2 as the eighth best Nintendo Entertainment System video game, mentioning that in spite of not being originally a Mario game, it was able to stand on its own merits and its unique takes on the series' trademark gameplay.[7] Super Mario Bros. 2 was ranked 108th out of 200 of the "Greatest Games of Their Time" by Electronic Gaming Monthly.

When it was re-released in 2001 as Super Mario Advance it received generally positive reviews, garnering an aggregate score of 84% on Metacritic.[8] One reviewer concluded "all nostalgia and historical influence aside, Super Mario Bros. 2 is still a game worth playing on the merits of its gameplay alone", also saying that "the only reason you may not want to pick it up is if ... you already own it in another form."[9] However, GameSpot thought that Super Mario Bros. 3 or Super Mario World would have been a better choice for a launch game considering their respective popularity,[10] (both titles were eventually also remade as part of the Super Mario Advance series). Conversely, IGN praised the choice, calling it "one of the most polished and creative platformers of the era".[5] The game was named one of the NES best games ever by IGN, saying that the game offers greater diversity in graphics and gameplay than the original, making it a great bridge game between the other NES Mario titles.[11] The game was ranked as the ninth worst game in the Mario game series by ScrewAttack; they said that while it was a good game, it felt like a lie because they weren't playing the real Super Mario Bros. 2.[12] They also named the music played in the battle between the final boss Wart the eight best 8-Bit Boss Themes.[13]

LegacyEdit

Many elements in Super Mario Bros. 2 stayed for the game's sequels and related games in the series. The game added the ability to pick up and toss enemies and objects, a move that has become part of Mario's permanent repertoire, appearing in other Mario games including Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine and New Super Mario Bros.[14][15][16][9] Other elements of Super Mario Bros. 2 have been assimilated into the greater Mario universe as well -– Shy Guys, Birdo, and Bob-ombs are notable examples.[9] This is the first game in which Princess Peach is a playable character; she has gone on to star in other Mario games like Super Princess Peach.[9] This is also the first game where Luigi received the appearance he has today (notably, he is taller than Mario).[9][1]

Computer versionEdit

WindowsEdit

Released September 1992

System requirementsEdit

  • Windows 3.0/3.1/95/98/NT
  • Intel 5 MHz processor or higher
  • 2 MB RAM
  • 720 KB or 1.44 MB floppy drive
  • 32 MB of disk space

MacintoshEdit

Released September 1992

System requirementsEdit

  • Motorola 16MHz or higher
  • 2 MB RAM (4MB RAM recommended)
  • System Software 2.0 or higher
  • 256 Color, 512x384 Display or Better
  • 400 KB, 800 KB, or 1.44 MB floppy drive

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

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