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Topic: Super Mario Bros. 2 ('USA') - like it?

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Dwarfer

1. Posted:

I'll get straight to the point:

Super Mario Bros. 2. Oft seen as 'the bad one'. Basically, I've never quite understood the dislike (I would of said 'hate' but that may be a bit too strong a word) this game gets. From that sentence it is obvious that I like it. First and foremost I like it for the simple reasons that as a game (putting the Mario tag aside) it's a good platformer and simply a fun game (in my opinion of course). Now the other main reason why I really like the game is because as a Mario game, it's very different - which I hypothesise is one of the main reasons why a lot of people dislike it. I've always had soft spots for games that 'break the mould' of a series, another case is with Zelda II: Adventure of Link - a game which I personally love because it's different to the rest of the series but a lot of people hate because of the same reason.

Now I understand what this game is. It is the result of Nintendo's belief that the game that we know as Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels (aka Super Mario Bros 2 - which I'll come onto later) was too hard for us Western gamers (charming, Nintendo, charming :roll: ). So Nintendo got a game of theirs exclusive to Japan called Doki Doki Panic and switched the Arabian family (who served as the game's four playable characters) with Mario characters, called it 'Super Mario Bros. 2' and released it to North America and the pal regions instead of 'Lost Levels'. So the West and Japan were playing different SMB2s. I suppose this ordeal is another reason why there is so much dislike for this game. An interpretation (a perfectly fair one by the way) which is shared by a lot of people is that the game is a 'lie'. Nintendo thought that our inferior Western minds couldn't handle the 'real' SMB2 (Lost Levels) so they gave us the 'fake' SMB2 (or what they were trying to pass off as SMB2) which was just some weird Japanese game with Mario characters in it.

My take on this? I obviously don't agree with the above interpretation but I can understand where it's coming from. I understand why people would feel offended and cheated by Nintendo's decision, but personally, I'm glad Nintendo released Super Mario Bros. 2 'USA' (it may be the fake SMB2, but I don't care) instead of The Lost Levels. If I was a kid back in 1988 (which I wasn't, born in '92) who loved Mario and couldn't wait for 'Mario 2' I'd much rather have a completely new game which was completely different from 'Mario 1' than a game which was 'Mario 1' in hard mode. From a modern context I'm glad Nintendo did this because we may have never have got to experience Doki Doki Panic which with or without Mario, is a good game. Also I wouldn't have had my 'radically different' Super Mario Bros game which would have been a shame. I've got nothing against The Lost Levels by the way, I like it a lot (and don't particually find it hard either, I find SMB3 harder), I'm just glad it's not the only SMB2 we have.

Anyway, enough of my long-winded opinion on the game. What is your opinion of it? As a game alone, what do you think of it? And what is your opinion on the SMB2 USA vs. SMB2 Japan saga?

Discuss. (Please).

Dwarfer

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gameking23

2. Posted:

Personlay I have always liked the NA SMB2 it's my favorite out of the original 3.

I rule when it comes to games. So deal with it.

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anthonyb

3. Posted:

Very good points made here. Think of it this way- where as Japanese gamers got to play Doki Doki Panic, we got the game with a much better skin- it had everyone's favorite plummer! I'd rather play the game with Mario than the original characters.

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Adam

4. Posted:

I think the belief that Nintendo thought Americans weren't good enough to play Lost Levels is probably a misconception. I don't buy into the belief that Japanese are significantly better at video games. Maybe their best are better than our best, but the average gamer is still the average gamer, and that is who Nintendo wants to buy their games. I think Japan at the time was simply more receptive of insanely difficult games, not that they were necessarily better at them.

But honestly, I don't even know that I'd say that Doki Doki Panic: Mario Edition was that much easier. I didn't play it much in the NES days. I got into it more when I got All-Stars, so I have for most of my life considered the game to be pretty easy based on the fact that when you lost all your lives you didn't have to start the world over, but when I downloaded the NES version on VC and played it for the first time since I was maybe 5... I haven't been able to get halfway through the game! It may be an unfair comparison since I play Lost Levels a lot more, but I can get farther in LL than DDP.

But that isn't really about which one I like more, so my more on-topic response: I like it. Even without the Mario theme, it would be a great game. It's hard to say which one I like more because they aren't very similar, but like I said, I probably play Lost Levels more. Mario 1 is perhaps my favorite Mario game, so it goes without saying that I'd love a sequel that builds upon that formula.

Doki Doki Panic is a very imaginative and colorful game though, and I love it. In fact, I often wonder, why did this game not get a sequel? The subspace concept added a sense of mystery and wonder as you're not always sure what you'll find with the magic doors. The enemies are much more inspired and memorable than the first Mario's. Boss fights were more frequent, which is always a plus for me. The levels are more varied. There is a lot going for this game. Now that Shy Guys and Birdo are associated with Yoshi, they should do something with that. Another thread mentioned the need for a new Yoshi game, well, why not Yoshi Yoshi Panic. :)

Also, the GBA version (Mario Advance) is my favorite version. It's the most accessible as far as difficulty, and the giant enemies and other additions are quite nice.

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CowLaunch

5. Posted:

I prefer SMB3 & World, but I like SMB2 (US) a lot. As a kid it really rounded off the All-Stars package nicely. The game is also quite ahead of it's time in some ways. For instance, falling down a hole didn't necessarily mean death, but sometimes a path to a warp. Sometimes you could jump over a wall and end up at the end of level boss. Such playing around with level structure was very evident years later in SMW. Also a lot of staples of the Mario series are apparent in SMB2. Most notably Bob-Ombs, I might be mistaken, but I think SMB2 was the first game they appeared in. Also there is Birdo, Shy-guys and a reprise for POW blocks from Mario Bros. Anyone who wants to see the influence of SMB2 should play Yoshi's Island, possibly the best 2D platformer ever. The subtle reach of SMB2 is more than you might imagine.

CowLaunch

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Mama_Luigi

6. Posted:

I think Super Mario Bros. 2 (USA) is the best Mario game for the NES, because it's different!
My only problem about this game is that there isnt unlimited continues (Yes, i suck at that game).

Mama_Luigi

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Adam

7. Posted:

CowLaunch wrote:

IThe game is also quite ahead of it's time in some ways. For instance, falling down a hole didn't necessarily mean death, but sometimes a path to a warp. Sometimes you could jump over a wall and end up at the end of level boss. Such playing around with level structure was very evident years later in SMW.

To be fair, this kind of "playing around with the level structure" was done already in the first Mario where you can jump above the wall at the end of level 2 to get to the warp zone. The part about falling down a hole is interesting though. I didn't know that was the first game to do so. Lost Levels played around with the expectations of a level a lot more than both games combined, though. It even did the jump over the flagpole thing that Mario World played around with a couple times at least.
But as to your general point, yea, it was definitely innovative. I remember one level you can even run left at the beginning to get some extra coins and such, which -- back then -- was amazing to me when you always assume to run right at the very beginning!

CowLaunch wrote:

Also a lot of staples of the Mario series are apparent in SMB2. Most notably Bob-Ombs, I might be mistaken, but I think SMB2 was the first game they appeared in. Also there is Birdo, Shy-guys and a reprise for POW blocks from Mario Bros. Anyone who wants to see the influence of SMB2 should play Yoshi's Island, possibly the best 2D platformer ever. The subtle reach of SMB2 is more than you might imagine.

Yep, that was the first instance of Bob-Ombs. However, I really don't think the games influence can be considered that much when all that Nintendo has taken from it are characters. Now, I know this is being really needy and demanding (but hey, that's what being a Nintendo fan is all about, right? ;)), but I'd love to see a spiritual sequel with magic potions that make doors, picking up enemies and vegetables, keys that are guarded by creepy masks, all those old bosses (or similar ones), and of course the Spaceship Plant -- I laughed so hard the first time I pulled that plant at the end of some level and a spaceship came out.

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Digiki

8. Posted:

I like SMB2 and I'm with Adam that it's harder than Lost Levels.

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CowLaunch

9. Posted:

Digiki wrote:

I like SMB2 and I'm with Adam that it's harder than Lost Levels.

SMB2 is a lot easier if you know the warps, and if you use Luigi (sometimes his jumping ability can half the length of a level). However, the last two levels are tricky whichever route you take. I used to be able to do Lost Levels when I was younger but just can't anymore.

CowLaunch

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theblackdragon

10. Posted:

Digiki wrote:

I'm with Adam that it's harder than Lost Levels.

I'm with you guys. At least when you die in Lost Levels, you can restart from the beginning of the level as many times as you like (or at least you can with the VC version; dunno how the actual Famicom cartridge worked 'cuz i never had one :)). SMB2, you get three continues and then you're back to square one.

The Super Mario All-Stars version wasn't bad, because it auto-saved for you when you reached a new level and you could start from that over and over again, actual continues be damned. That incarnation of SMB2, I liked. The original, though... I can only beat it with the warps. I don't like having to warp to get through a game. :/

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Adam

11. Posted:

CowLaunch wrote:

Digiki wrote:

I like SMB2 and I'm with Adam that it's harder than Lost Levels.

SMB2 is a lot easier if you know the warps, and if you use Luigi (sometimes his jumping ability can half the length of a level). However, the last two levels are tricky whichever route you take. I used to be able to do Lost Levels when I was younger but just can't anymore.

That's true, I forgot to take that into consideration. When I play Mario games now, I make it a point not to use warps unless I am playing with a friend. Warpless play of both games leads me to consider Doki Doki Panic to be the harder of the two games known as "Mario 2". I should try DDP again with warps though. And yes, I almost always use Luigi for that very reason. :)

Come on, friends,
To the bear arcades again.

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gameking23

12. Posted:

CowLaunch wrote:

Digiki wrote:

I like SMB2 and I'm with Adam that it's harder than Lost Levels.

SMB2 is a lot easier if you know the warps, and if you use Luigi (sometimes his jumping ability can half the length of a level).

And I know all the warps :D

I rule when it comes to games. So deal with it.

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Rm88

13. Posted:

SMB2 is one of my favorite games ever, I don't really know how many hours I've spent playing that game.

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SeniorDingDong

14. Posted:

SMB2 is great and I am glad that I played this one instead of SMB2 JP. The "true sequel" is just too much the same and way too hard.

SeniorDingDong

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Rawk_Hawk

15. Posted:

If I could only pick one NES Super Mario Bros. game it would be this one. If it's considered bad then people standards are too high. Maybe I just like misunderstood games because I really like this game and Zelda II. The graphics are phenomenal for a NES game and I love the crazy characters and vegetable you pick up. I will say the music gets a little repetitive, but I glad the US got this instead of the JPN Super Mario 2. And that's my 2 cents :)

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Adam

16. Posted:

What! I love Mario 2 USA's music! I always end up humming it for the rest of the day when I play the game. Take that back. :P

Also, since Mario 2 is always inevitably compared to Zelda II, I must chime in and say that Zelda II is not only a great game, but my favorite in all the series. Like Mario 2 USA, it'd be super great if it ever got a spiritual sequel, though I'm not banking on either game ever being made, sadly.

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ChocoDK

17. Posted:

I love SMB2 and even when I saw it as a kid I didn't think that it was a "fake" version of Mario. I am really glad that in North America they decided to release SMB2 U.S.

I only got up to the 8th World in Super Mario Bros. Lost Levels and that was in the Super Mario Deluxe version with saves. The SMB2 U.S. version though would have to be my second favorite Mario game followed by SMW.

ChocoDK

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Rawk_Hawk

18. Posted:

__adam wrote:

What! I love Mario 2 USA's music! I always end up humming it for the rest of the day when I play the game. Take that back. :P

Also, since Mario 2 is always inevitably compared to Zelda II, I must chime in and say that Zelda II is not only a great game, but my favorite in all the series. Like Mario 2 USA, it'd be super great if it ever got a spiritual sequel, though I'm not banking on either game ever being made, sadly.

Maybe it won't be remade but its influence in other series is pretty remarkable. In fact look how many characters from SMB 2 have continued on in the Mario series. Shy Guys, Birdo, Snifitts, all regularly show up in other Mario games. Even Animal Crossing uses Wart jr. who I assume is the child of the last boss. I think Nintendo honors Mario 2, but in a different way.

"Practice hospitality. bless and do not curse." Romans 12:13-14

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warioswoods

19. Posted:

A few points on this:

First, I remember first being told by friends / magazines when I was in elementary school that this latest Mario game wasn't authentic, and that it was essentially a fake with Mario characters thrown in. I still enjoyed it and found to be a great successor to the first game, and I was vindicated years later when I found out that Miyamoto was in fact the designer of the game, making the standard account of it being a fake greatly misleading for implying that Doki Doki was another game entirely with no connection to the Mario franchise.

Not only that, but as others have said, many elements from this game were incorporated into the Mario canon. I disagree with Adam's suggestion, however, that only characters / enemies were brought forward into later games but none of the unique gameplay. This was the first game in the series to introduce the ability to backtrack and explore freely rather than only progressing in one direction, and Yoshi's Island actually took several gameplay ideas from Mario 2 that otherwise did not exist in the Mario series, including knocking enemies around and throwing them at each other rather than simply squashing them by jumping on them, and the extensive use of keys. Bob-ombs are not just a sprite that was reused, they incorporated several new ideas for enemy behavior that they retained in later games in the series, in that you can pick them up and use them as a weapon but only if you mind the short fuse -- look at the first level in world 8 of Mario 3 and you'll see that the constantly spawning bob-ombs there create the exact same gameplay as the levels in Mario 2 with the Bob-ombs dropped repeatedly from above. Let's also not forget the introduction of new environments that became standard for the series, like desert levels with Pokeys and slippery ice levels.

I like to think of this game as a side project started by Miyamoto which ended up introducing so many interesting new enemy / gameplay ideas that it eventually had to be reincorporated in the Mario canon and reinvigorate the Super Mario series after the real sequel didn't really add much to the formula.

Also, has everyone here played the eReader levels for Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros 3? If not, you really need to play through all the combined US & JP levels, which feature several nods to Mario 2, including the use of plants and some long forgotten enemies. They are also far more inventive than NSMB if you ask me. Here's a clip of one of the levels, which includes a clever use of plants near the end:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-P8yZ6hgRw

Edited on by warioswoods

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VenomTheEvil

20. Posted:

Fine points warioswoods!

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