It's a strange game, but it's still part of the Super Mario Bros. series.
Super Mario Bros. turns 30 this month. The fact that we are still talking about this game and series after all these years is a testament to how significant it has been since the start. Throughout the course of the month we here at Nintendo World Report will be sharing our thoughts and memories of different games in the Super Mario Bros. series. Today we are discussing Super Mario Bros. 2.
While the following comments are from our staff we encourage our readers to share their own thoughts in the Talkback section below. Happy 30th Anniversary Super Mario Bros.
Justin Berube, Features Editor
Super Mario Bros. 2 is a game that really flew under my radar as a kid. Even back then I didn’t think it felt much like the original Super Mario Bros. and I think many people back then would admit it just seemed a bit weird. It wasn’t until years later that I learned about its origins as Doki Doki Panic.
While I didn’t appreciate Super Mario Bros. 2 as much back then, it was a title I learned to like more when it was re-released as part of Super Mario All-Stars on the SNES. One of the coolest aspects about it was that it was possible to play as four different characters each with their own strengths and weaknesses. However I, along with many others, ended up just using Princess Toadstool 90% of the time because that floating ability was just too good.
It should also be said that Super Mario Bros. 2 greatly affected Mario pop culture here in North America since this game was strongly used as a base for the Super Mario Bros. animated series that aired during the Super Mario Bros. Super Show. Yes, it took elements from the original Super Mario Bros. as well, but the importance of Super Mario Bros. 2 on the series can’t be understated.
Looking back, Super Mario Bros. 2 is a very unique Mario game that I wish was explored a little bit more in a direct sequel. Sure, some elements found their way into Super Mario 3D World, but what would happen if Mario and friends made another trip to Subcon? Wart, I hope we haven’t seen the last of you.
Bryan Rose, Reviews Editor
I liked Super Mario Bros 2. Not as much as the other two NES games, but it's good in its own right. I remember playing it a lot on the NES and I really enjoyed throwing enemies around. I thought some levels, especially the sand ones where you did a lot of digging, weren't interesting, but the gameplay was unique and original for its time. Things like throwing items, entering the Subcon world, and more make the game really stand out.
I like the first and third Super Mario Bros. games a lot more, but Super Mario Bro. 2/USA doesn't deserve any hate. It's not a COMPLETELY original title, as some will know, but it did bring some new ideas to the platforming genre. I wouldn't mind an entirely new Mario game using Super Mario Bros. 2 gameplay as I think more could be done with the ideas. Also, as far as "this was only a dream" endings go, this was one of the better ones...though let's be real, those endings hardly ever work. Mario had a nice sleeping hat, though.
Donald Theriault, News Editor
Super Mario Bros. 2 was actually the first game I ever completed as a seven year old NES owner. I remember reading about it voraciously in the old How To Win At Nintendo Games books, and used those books to help fight through the game. I ended up using the warps once I learned how, and then began to abuse Luigi's flutter jump in order to do things I had no business doing. To this day, I still want to sit down with a strategy guide and do a 100% run (every level beaten with four hearts) to see if I still have the same sense of wonder when I sunk that vegetable into Wart's mouth and realized that was the way to beat him.
Also, **** Clawgrip.
Adam Abou-Nasr, Associate Editor
Super Mario Bros. 2 is my absolute favorite Mario game. I totally suck at traditional 2D Mario, but SMB2's health upgrade system and pick-up-and-throw combat mechanics helped me reach the end. The levels are big and full of secrets, something that the linear levels of most Mario games can't compete with. The music is also still fresh and fun. I like the adorable enemies and fun setting more than the tired Mushroom Kingdom, and I'd argue that this is the only Mario platformer with any real bosses.
I'm still waiting for a real New Super Mario Bros. 2, not the 3DS coin-collectathon we got. I want to find magic potion doors and health upgrades. I want to not be terrified when I need to jump on an enemy. I want to play crazy branching levels with undefined ending and start points. I want to explore Birdo's crazy backstory. Please, Nintendo, revisit this game style. I know it isn't "real" Mario, but it's Mario as I loved him most.