(Wii Virtual Console / NES)

Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (Wii Virtual Console / NES)

Game Review

Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Marcel van Duyn

For the first time outside of Japan – experience the original sequel to the best-selling video game of all time!

Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels is a bit of an oddity. "The Lost Levels" isn't even it's real title - This is actually the real version of Super Mario Bros. 2. Japan got this game (As SMB2), but when Nintendo realized (Somehow) that it would be too hard for Europeans and Americans, they changed it into the Super Mario Bros. 2 we know now. Japan later got our SMB2 as "Super Mario USA".

Years later, the Super NES was released, and eventually most of us got Super Mario All-Stars for it, which included a peculiar little game called "Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels", even complete with a label saying it wasn't previously released. The game was also later included in Super Mario Bros. DX for Game Boy Colour (Except this time it was retitled "Super Mario Bros. for Super Players"), which is a port of the original game with extras.

So, what is this game all about? As you might have guessed by the two English titles, it is basically just Super Mario Bros. - Same overall gameplay, same enemies, same pickups and everything. The thing that's different is the level design - Every level in the game's been redesigned to be a lot more challenging, with trickier jumps, the inclusion of a few new gameplay elements (Poison mushrooms, blowing wind) and fewer powerups. Basically, it's an even more super Super Mario Bros.!

There's a few small other changes too - The 2-Player alternating mode is gone in favour of "Luigi mode", in which you play as Luigi - He now has differences, namely that he jumps higher and slides further (Meaning it's harder to stop). The graphics have also received a notable overhaul.

There's a few tiny surprises after the final world though - If you beat the entire game up to World 8-4 without ever using a Warp Zone, you get to the secret World 9, which consists of 4 extremely easy (Almost joke-worthy) stages. When you beat the game 8 times in a row (If you did World 9 or not doesn't matter) you go to World A, B, C and D. These contain some of the toughest levels in Mario history and are sure to make your sanity take a turn for the worst.

Conclusion

But is it worth shelling out the money again for what is essentially version 2 of Super Mario Bros.? If you're a fan, yes. The completely different levels, slightly changed visuals and Luigi mode make the game feel like a little more than "just an update". If you're not a big Mario fan, though, I would suggest sticking with the original (Unless you like extremely hard games). Another thing to take into consideration is that this game, in it's original NES/Famicom form, was never released in Europe and America. The All-Stars version had upgraded graphics and sound (And slightly lowered the difficulty), while the DX version cut out Worlds 9 and A-D. This means this is the first time you can own this game in it's original, complete form (Unless you live in Japan or imported a Famicom Disk System and the game!).

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User Comments (30)

Bass_X0

#1

Bass_X0 said:

Hm. I think it may be too hard to deserve an 8/10. Many people won't see much of the game because of its difficulty and will end up playing the same few levels again and again. Plus it is very similar to the first game. Being fair, I would have said a 7/10 at most.

Ferret75

#2

Ferret75 said:

^Just because a game is "hard" doesn't mean it's bad.

Look at most other NES games for example, like Contra.

metakirbyknight

#4

metakirbyknight said:

It's an amazing game. Much better than that Doki Doki Panic! (Super Mario Bros. 2 in America) stuff that we got here in America!

NESnes

#7

NESnes said:

This is an example of Nintendo frustration for me. What I really want is a port of the Famicom Super Mario Bros. 2 game with no changes from the original release. Correct me if I am wrong, but the mario/luigi abilities weren't in the original Famicom game were they? The wind probably wasn't either. I am a huge fan of 2-player alternating mode in NES games, and if they took that out, that alone means I won't buy this title. Also, the 'All-Stars' games are not my cup of tea. The revamped graphics altered the sprite size, and made the gamplay mechanics feel very different to me from the beloved originals. I played Super Mario Bros, 'For Super Players' on the GBC, but that did not have the 2-player alternating mode, and I am not sure if anything was added to the original Famicom game, I also am not a fan of playing NES ports unless you have the original aspect ratio. In Super Mario World on the GBA, one of the Star Road levels which used to be very challenging with ricocheting koopa shells became super-easy, because the shells would just exit the screen borders and disappear. I will just have to wait until a perfect port of the Famicom's Super Mario Bros. 2 appears on the V.C. Also, I don't like them adding the mario/luigi abilities, such as the luigi high jump, I want to play on 2-player alternating mode, and I want to have the same skill set as my opponent to see who is better. That is the whole point of 2-player alternating mode for me, to compare and contrast.

NESnes

#8

NESnes said:

upon further research it seems that the original IS a 1 player game in which mario & luigi have distinct abilities (correct me if i am wrong)

Alucard

#9

Alucard said:

As a direct sequel to the original Super Mario Bros, this game is acceptable in many ways. In terms of gameplay elements, enough was added to keep it fresh - and yes, elements such as the wind and the brothers' distinct abilities were there right from the start.

In terms of difficulty, it picks up right where 8-4 of the first game left off. It is well known that Nintendo shelved the worldwide release of this game due to the demanding difficulty. However, I think it was a mistake to do that; instead, it would have been better marketed as a "master challenge" for those who had completed the original. And considering how many players were at least acquainted with the original, this shouldn't have been too much of a problem, aside from concerns about setting a precedent for future Mario titles.

As it stands now, in its original form, it is a worthwhile download, as a historical curio and as a serious game. However, it is missing the welcoming "playground" feel of more successful Mario platformers - and as such, it requires a serious, persistent commitment to master.

While its rank and standing in the Mario series is up for debate, don't miss the special opportunity to download and play this game in its original form.

paulesungnomo

#16

paulesungnomo said:

wow... i think ill pick this up again just to play through all those enfuriatingly hard levels... it took me forever to beat it back when i had all-stars. what a great game. and anyone who would lower the game's score based soley on the fact that they are a klutz who can't handle some serious platforming is not hating on the game becasue the game sucks, they are hating on the game because THEY suck.

Incognito_D

#18

Incognito_D said:

The All-Stars version, while hard, saves automatically after each stage and even if you get Game Over you start right back on the level you died at. Is this the case with the original here, or does Game Over send you right back to 1-1?

theblackdragonAdmin

#19

theblackdragon said:

@Incognito D: the VC version will allow you to restart from the -1 stage of the level you died on, i've done it many times lol. i forget if you have to hold A while pressing start to begin the game like you have to do in SMB, though.

SuperMarioFan1995

#20

SuperMarioFan1995 said:

This game just frustrates many hardcore gamers. The warp pipes does indeed take you back to the beginning. Wait a minute...reversed pipes? I'm in an underground level wanting to warp to another world and I go all my way back to the start?! And I'm in a castle avoiding the lava pits and everything else but STILL get killed?!?! Over and over again?! ARRRGH!!!!!

It's not my favourite game, but it is very fun to play. The original is still the best.

Starworshipper

#21

Starworshipper said:

How did I manage to miss this? Been wanting to play SMB2jap forever! Definately downloading this. And will definately be frustrated about it, at least that's what I think after reading comments here. Really, that hard?

But, I'm glad they made SMB2 US quite a different game. That meant new characters and items included in SMB universe that would go on to be cherished members.

Dr_Salvador

#22

Dr_Salvador said:

I use to call this game "Psycho Mario" not because it sounds cool but because it is psycho!!!
If you think it´s too easy try using Luigi and you´ll see yourself slipping in lots of bottomless pits...!
Just keep holding that run-button down, never look back and hope for the best! ;)

yoyogamer

#23

yoyogamer said:

Personally, I prefer this one over the original. A lot of the new features in Galaxy 2, such as the ability to chose between both bros, are based on this game.

atariman

#26

atariman said:

WoW! that hard? well I watched the video, and it doesn't look so hard. but I'll try it.

UnseatingKDawg

#27

UnseatingKDawg said:

Got this for the Wii a couple years back. I can safely say this is one of the hardest games I've tackled (and currently one of 3 Mario games I have not finished yet). I'm getting it for the 3DS though - it'll be good for on the go, and the Restore Point feature will really help out.

Gridatttack

#28

Gridatttack said:

Come one people! Dont be discouraged but the difficulty of this game!
I beated it on VC, and let me say it, you feel reallly accomplished when you finally beat that world.
And this is far better than the flawed SMAS version.

Beau_Skunk

#29

Beau_Skunk said:

Yeah, I agree with Gridatttack, I kinda prefer this over the 16-bit remake. If you're good at the original SMB, this one will prove to be quite a treat, and just as fun. The levels also seem to have more variety to them then first SMB.
Plus it has more hidden 1ups, and hidden coin rooms in it then the original SMB which helps balance the difficulty a bit, and encourages a bit of reward for exploring the game's brick blocks, and pipes.

Also, I discovered something interesting. You can still get to World 9 if you use a warp zone, but then you have to use the 2 "backwards" warp zones to compensate. You just have to complete every level in the previous 8 worlds to unlock World 9 the "Fantasy World."
(This won't work in the "All-Stars" version though. In that version you can't even use the backwards warp zones.)

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