Sunday, August 30, 2015

Old School Lane's Mario Tribute: Super Mario Bros. 2 (Doki Doki Panic)

Despite Super Mario Bros. 2 (Japan) getting some decent reviews from both critics and fans, it was decided not to release the game in America due to detracting casual gamers from being frustrated with its difficulty. With that said, the Nintendo Mario developers were working on a prototype game consisting of a two player co-op vertical strolling game that eventually formed into Yume Kojo Doki Doki Panic which debuted in Japan on July 10, 1987 in partnered with Fuji TV. The game was remade into Super Mario Bros. 2 that debuted in America on September 9, 1988, which was almost 3 years after Super Mario Bros. came out.

An image of a jumping man with red overalls and a red hat, a blue shirt, and a beet in his right hand

For the sake of focus on the main tribute, I'll be focusing on the American port of the game. If I am going to be discussing about Doki Doki Panic, it will only be for comparison's sake. 

The game with Mario, Princess Peach, Luigi, and Toad working together to defeat the evil frog Wart and his minions such as Birdo and Mouser. There are seven different worlds in the game that showcases different enemies such as Pokeys, Shy Guys, Bob-Ombs, and the Phanto masks. There are bottles that reveal secret rooms that has the mushroom power up, decorative vases that work as warp pipes to advance to the later levels, and a mixture of vertical and horizontal levels. Each of the characters play differently from one another: Mario is the average character that runs, jumps, and picks up objects normally. Luigi runs a bit faster and jumps a bit higher while scuttling his legs, but is a little hard to control. Princess Peach runs and picks up items slower, but has the longest range in jumping. Toad runs and picks up items the fastest, but has the shortest jumping range.

When the game came out in America, it receives mixed to positive reviews from fans and critics saying about how different it was from the original Super Mario Bros. Over the years, it has been considered to be the black sheep of the franchise and people dismiss it from being an actual Mario game. While it's true that it was Doki Doki Panic with just the Mario characters slapped into it, Super Mario Bros 2. is very important to the franchise. Most of the enemies from this game would continue on to be showcased throughout the rest of the series such as Birdo, the Shy Guys, and Bob-Ombs, there would be an animated series based on Super Mario Bros. 2, it featured more playable characters with different playing styles that wouldn't be featured in the other games until New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Super Mario 3D World over 20 years later, it would be the first Mario game that didn't take place in the Mushroom Kingdom and would be the starting point of Mario games taking place in different locations, and some of the music is some of the best in the series such as 1st world song and the ending credits. If we had gotten the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2, I don't know how regarded it would have been due to being a rehash of the original as well as being very difficult. Critics would've discarded it as not taking any risks. So, in a way, the American Super Mario Bros 2. was a blessing in disguise that wouldn't be appreciated until much later. Overall, in my opinion, I understand why people regard it as the weakest of the original NES trilogy and not as memorable as the first game, but it must be looked at and appreciated for what it is. While I wouldn't seek Super Mario Bros. 2 as much as I would compared to the first game or even Super Mario Bros. 3, it's still a fun game that you should give a chance to play.

That's all for now. Tune in next time as we'll be looking at the last game in the NES Mario trilogy: Super Mario Bros. 3. 

Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. Thanks for reading.


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