Review by horror_spooky
Wario needs evicted
Mario's second Game Boy outing is an odd ball in the series, much like the first game boy game. Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins once again lacks Bowser as a central villain, and Princess Peach has not been the subject of a kidnapping. Mario has been kicked out of his castle by the devilish Wario, and he must now collect the titular six golden coins to regain entry and kick Wario out of the castle.
This is the introduction of Wario to the gaming world. Wario is now one of the main characters in the Mario franchise, and it's strange that he made his debut as the antagonist of Super Mario Land 2. As the final boss, Wario proves to be a healthy challenge, but before he can face Wario, Mario must also go through other worlds and collect the six coins. Each world features its own unique platforming twist and new enemy types that have are exclusive to this handheld Mario adventure.
Instead of progressing in a linear fashion, Super Mario Land 2 allows players to tackle each of the six different worlds in any order they want, which also helps it stand out from the other core Mario games. This title sees Mario visit a haunted world with witches flying around and inanimate objects trying to kill him, as well as journey to space, long before his Galaxy adventures on the Wii.
The original Super Mario Land was a bite-sized version of the console Mario games, but Super Mario Land 2 benefits from a camera that is more focused, higher detail in the characters and the environment, and larger objects all around. Visually, the game is a marked improvement from the first handheld Mario game. Everything has a much more "Mario" feel, while the original Super Mario Land was fairly foreign. Lag issues are present when the game becomes too busy, but there's nothing game breaking here.
What I found to be especially impressive in Super Mario Land 2 was the soundtrack. Each level features its very own musical score that is surprisingly versatile and varied for the Game Boy. Catchy tunes abound in Super Mario Land 2, and the sound effects are nice and loud. Super Mario Land 2 definitely benefited from the developers having more time with the Game Boy than when they created the original Super Mario Land.
But just like the original Super Mario Land, Six Golden Coins suffers in a key area. The game is just too short. Super Mario Land 2 can be completed very quickly depending on skill level, and after it has been conquered, there's not much else to go back and accomplish. The level design is great, which makes it fun to replay the game every once in a while, but there is a severe lack of content here, which definitely hurts Super Mario Land 2 in the long run. It just doesn't feel complete or as full as it should've been.
Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins is definitely the better of the two Mario games available on the original Game Boy. Its biggest flaw is that it simply isn't long enough. I wish Mario games took more creative risks like they did back in the day, like with Super Mario Land 2, yet had the same amount of content we see in games such as New Super Mario Bros. 2. At any rate, Super Mario Land 2 is a great Mario adventure that would've been legendary if there was just a bit more to it.
Rating: 4.0 - Great
Product Release: Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins (US, 09/29/11)
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