Review by The President

Reviewed: 10/17/02 | Updated: 10/17/02

Mario is back and better then ever on the Game Boy!

Mario=Million seller, right? Darn right it does. Unless something goes terribly, terribly wrong. However, the formula worked with the 2nd Mario release for the Gameboy in 1992. I still say that this is the one of the greatest games for the Gameboy, right behind pokemon and Tetris, and slightly ahead of Kirby. So it makes it the 3rd best gameboy game on my list. Not just because this is a Mario game however, because of how original this game is for a Gameboy game that I was slapped silly when I first played it. In fact, I was pistol whipped. Taking the view of the smash SNES hit, Super Mario World, the game becomes much more non-linear then any Mario game before it. It also brings in a few items and gameplay moves not seen in other Mario games, and bringing in the new/turned somewhat good during the past 10 years bad guy Wario into the mix.

You, being Mario, have somehow gotten your way onto an island, as it seems, next to the mushroom kingdom, ruled by the evil King Wario. You see that to stop King Wario from doing his devilish ways (even though you never even know what they are) is to collect the six Golden Coins scattered throughout the island. Each of them is in 6 different “zones” on the island, each representing a different, well, let’s say “climate” on the island. You have Turtle Zone-underwater levels, Tree Zone-the most like a basic Mario level, Pumpkin Zone-levels filled with ghosts and ghouls, Mario Zone-levels filled with moving parts, Macro Zone-where Mario is very very tiny!, and Space Zone-where Mario can jump much longer and higher then any other levels. Once you get threw all the levels in the zone, you face the boss of the zone. If you defeat them, you get a Golden Coin. Once you get all 6 Golden Coins, you can make your way into Wario’s Castle, and eventually, defeat him, and bring peace to kingdom once again.

Graphics: 9
These graphics were a great leap ahead from the first Super Mario Land. With bigger sprites and more animation going on when playing, this the best platforming game, in my mind, on the Game Boy. Colors, well, you got black, white, grayish-black, and grayish-white. No need for colors where you’re going anyway. Since most of the people who played this game have at least seen a fireball or a carrot, you can understand what colors they should be. All the goombas and Koopas are still along for the ride, looking better then ever before. The backgrounds, however, are the only bad thing about the graphics, they are pretty sub-par. You pretty much got to see a blank screen, twinkling stars, or some other form that sets the tone for the zone, for every level. Now, if you are playing on a Game Boy Pocket instead of the Original GB, GBC, or GBA, then you will actually see the best picture out of all of them. When I played this on my GBA, once I it added that one shade of color that it gives to most older games, it becomes somewhat blurred. This also happens on my GBC. SO bust out your GBPs! Anyway, these graphics are pretty damn nice, except that they could of added maybe a few more things inside the background, like water, for instance. Nice feather-in-the-hat to tell when you have fireballs because you can’t turn red though.

Gameplay: 9
This is standard threw and threw Mario gameplay, and this was actually, if memory serves me right, the last Game Boy Game to star Mario, or even to be a 2-D game that is not a remake that involves Mario as an adult. Please email me if I am wrong. You use the D-pad the move forwards or backwards, A to jump, and B to run faster. Simple, yet so classic. The first Mario Land game played more like the first installment for the NES, with Mario much smaller, going against the same enemies from the first one too. This one uses the gameplay of Super Mario World, as in you have a World Map, but any way that you go still has one common goal, which is to get to the final boss level and defeat him. This one took the first new steps on the Game Boy for Mario game, the Wario Land games just almost the same approach. The art is completely different from any of the other Mario games, and it brings this game in a league of it’s own, giving it a whole new sense of depth and character. Each enemy, gear, tree, carrot, and star does not look completely different (that would be impossible on the Game Boy) but instead, looks different from the Mario games. I still do not know why Nintendo did not keep the look of this game. They even gave Mario a new power, the Carrot, which would give him Bunny Ears. But what would bunny ears do against the Koopas? Well, when you jump, you repeatedly press the A button to make the Bunny Ears flap; you are able to stay in the air longer. Its like the Raccoon Tail, except you don’t fly.
Each Zone does have different levels; you end up with about 30 levels in all, if you do all the extra levels around the World Map. These extra levels do not seem to have any purpose except just do get more coins. However, unlike every other Mario game, every time you get 100 coins you do not gain an extra live. Instead, you take them to a small cave to exchange them for something. It could be anything, and it also could be nothing, so I suggest you wait until you get 999 coins and get the best chances of winning.
With less levels then most Mario games, you could end up beating this faster then any of the Mario games. Also, if you know how to get easy mode, then it could only take about an hour to beat. With little replay value other then to get as many coins as possible, you will only play this a long time after you beat it. Still, when you first play it, you have the feel that it is a game that you can’t put down.

Sound: 6
If you look at many of my Game Boy reviews, I make fun of almost all Sound that is done on the Game Boy, and rightfully so. Face it; one teeny tiny speaker that is the size of a stamp does not make good music. So, when you are playing, if you want to set a mood for the game, then listen. But don’t come crying to me when you are 67 years old and have a ringing in your ears. The music is not as bad as a few games on the GB. If you have some headphones, use them to play the game it does give the music a much better quality and tone. When you hear the sound coming from the tiny speaker, it sounds warbled, warped, and feeble. It does have a good, steady rhythm for each tune, and they all are in common time. (Or 4/4, 4 beats per measure.) The Amount of range that this game has is one of the few good things about the music in this game. They really let them go, trying to put in the very high notes and the very low notes, but it all get scrambled. Not too good.

Fun Factor: 8
If you love Mario games, you will love this one. Simple as that. Games have not been this pure in full playing capacity since, well, sine I was a lad. Which was about when this game came out. It all fits into the grand scheme of things. They took a Nintendo Mascot (Mario) Made him run and jump for the people’s enjoyment, and even added one new upgrade to him (the carrot.) So, I would think that people would enjoy this game over the years, as well it should be.

Well, there you have it, Super Mario Land 2 in a nutshell. One strange fact about this game is that is still demands a pretty high price when you go to gamestop or EB or something like that. It sells for 30 dollars, more then most GBA games! So, my advice would be to buy this game, or if you have one, don’t sell it. It may not be viewed as the greatest Mario game ever, but it will fetch a pretty penny.

Graphics: 9
Gameplay: 9
Sound: 6
Fun Factor: 8

Reviewer’s Score: 8/10

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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