This is the original version of Super Mario Bros. 2, that unfortunately only got released in Japan, as it was deemed “too hard for Americans.”
Well, I take offense to that, as I played this fucker and kicked its ass!
Okay, it kicked my ass a whole lot but I beat this game and proved that full grown American men with thirty-plus years of Mario experience can hang with some Japanese kids in the ’80s!
While I would’ve really loved playing this game in my youth, as frustrating as it is, I understand why Nintendo of America thought that it wouldn’t work in the States. And fortunately, for us, we got our own version of Super Mario Bros. 2, which was simply a game called Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic. While not an actual Mario game in Japan, it had its playable character sprites redesigned to look like Mario characters. And frankly, even if I’m in the minority, it was my favorite Super Mario game of the original NES trilogy in the U.S.
This game did get released later with enhanced 16-bit graphics as part of the Super Nintendo game, Super Mario All-Stars. On that game, this was re-titled Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels.
I really like this game though. While it uses all the sprites and design style of the original game, it is too difficult to not feel fresh and like a real challenge. It doesn’t matter how well you’ve mastered the original game, you will find this one to be tougher than boiled show leather.
And while you’ll spend a lot of time getting pretty frustrated, the game is still a lot of fun and beating it does give you a sense of accomplishment much greater than its predecessor.
However, I think it is a step down from the original, as some of the level design is tough just to be tough and isn’t really an improvement. In fact, I think this is a bit less imaginative, as there are some maps you can get stuck on if you miss a vine or some other route change that you can’t backtrack from.
Also, due to the game’s complexity, the timer is much more of a bitch in this installment, especially in the fortresses.
All that being said, this is definitely worth checking out if you are a fan of the original game.
Pairs well with: pretty much all Super Mario Bros. games.