Super Mario Bros. 2
|Super Mario Bros. 2|
North American box art, with Mario holding a beet.
|Release date(s)||Family Computer Disk System
Super Mario Bros. 2 is a platform game developed by Nintendo and published on October 10, 1988 for the Nintendo Entertainment System as a sequel to the original Super Mario Bros.. The game was also remade as part of the Super Mario All-Stars collection for the Super Family Computer/SNES, released in 1993. It was rereleased on the Wii's Virtual Console in Europe, Australia and New Zealand on May 25, 2007, the U.S. on July 2, 2007 and in Japan on August 10, 2007.
Super Mario Bros. 2 initially was proposed as a demo for a vertically scrolling, two-player, cooperative-action game that was scrapped. It was intended to be the sequel to Super Mario Bros. but also a radical departure from the previous Mario game, as at the time, the gameplay of the Mario series was not yet significantly standardised. The original Super Mario Bros. itself had already been a radically different sequel to the original arcade game Mario Bros., and this new sequel was proposed as a mixture of the gameplay of both these two successful Mario games. The reasons for the scrapping of the original prototype included the technical limitations of the NES hardware making it difficult to produce a polished game featuring a vertical orientation and multiplayer features conceived for the project. It was decided to add more Mario-like elements, such as horizontal levels, though many vertically oriented levels were retained in the final project. Since the game had gone through some development, Nintendo created the game Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic for the Family Computer Disk System during its agreement with the Fuji Television company. The game was changed in order to fit with the theme of Nintendo's foremost characters and their adventure.
After Nintendo of America had concluded that the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2 was too difficult, they chose instead to help the original development staff to redevelop Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic back into a Super Mario Bros. sequel.  The game became a commercial success, and eventually the game became well received enough that it was also released in Japan for the Family Computer itself as Super Mario USA. After performing successful sales, Super Mario Bros. 2 has since been considered a classic Super Mario Bros. game around the world (including Japan), and has since been released in many remakes including to being one of the Mario games featured in Super Mario All-Stars, and as well as having its own remake for the Game Boy Advance in Super Mario Advance.
The game is a side-scrolling platform game. At the beginning of each stage, the player is given a choice of four protagonists to control: Imajin/Mario, Mama/Luigi, Papa/Toad, and Lina/Princess Toadstool. Each character has different strengths: Imajin/Mario runs faster; Mama/Luigi can jump the highest of the four; Papa/Toad can run and pluck vegetables the fastest but is the poorest jumper; and Lina/Peach can jump the farthest, due to her ability to hover for a short time, though she is the slowest runner and slowest at plucking items from the ground. All characters have the ability to increase the height of their jump by ducking briefly before they jump.
Unlike the previous and following Mario games, no enemies can be defeated by jumping on them. Instead, the player character must throw objects at enemies, such as vegetables plucked from the ground. Certain opponents can be picked up and thrown as well, and several levels feature blocks marked with the word "POW", which when picked up and thrown kill all the enemies on screen at impact, similar to the one in Mario Bros.
The game features a life meter, a then-unusual feature in the series. The player begins each stage with two points of health, represented by hearts or red hexagons (in remakes of Super Mario Bros. 2, they are shaped like hearts), and can increase the number of health points in the meter by picking up heart containers or mushrooms. Health can be replenished by floating hearts, which appear after a certain number of opponents have been defeated. The invincibility star from the previous game appears, with a player needing to collect five pairs of cherries to acquire it.
Each stage contains one or more hidden flasks of genie lamps or potions. When plucked and thrown, they create a door to Sub-Space, an alternate world in which coins are collected instead of vegetables when plucked. The heart containers or mushrooms used to increase the health meter can also be found here. The player automatically leaves Sub-Space after a few seconds. The coins collected are used in a slot machine mini-game played between stages. This mini-game is the chief means of obtaining additional lives. In addition to the items found in Sub-Spaces, certain ones are also used as warp zones; these involve the use of vases as pipes.
Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic
While two children are reading a story, a monstrous hand suddenly appears from inside the pages and kidnaps them. When the rest of the family hear their cries for help, they jump into the story and help save them.
Super Mario Bros. 2
Mario, Luigi, Toad and the Princess must free the dreamland known as Subcon from a character known as Wart.
Originally, Nintendo of Japan released its version of Super Mario Bros. 2 in 1986. Visually, it was like Super Mario Bros., with the same basic game format but with completely different level design that delivers a higher difficulty setting. Nintendo of America disliked the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2, which they found to be frustratingly difficult and otherwise little more than a modification of Super Mario Bros. As they did not want to risk the franchise's popularity, they canceled its stateside release and eventually decided on helping the original Japanese developers to revise Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic into Super Mario Bros. 2 as had been originally intended.
Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic originally started as a Super Mario Bros. 2 prototype, both developed and directed by Kensuke Tanabe. The prototype emphasized vertically scrolling levels and throwing blocks. Notably, it was originally intended to be a two player cooperative game allowing players to toss each other around. The gameplay was considered not fun enough at the time and was scrapped until later when Tanabe received instruction to use the Yume Kōjō mascots in a game, at which point he expanded the gameplay and developed Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic.
The title Yume Koujou: Doki Doki Panic is literally translated as "Dream Factory: Heart-pounding Panic", where "doki doki" is a Japanese onomatopoeia for a quickly-beating heart. The game's title and character concept were inspired by a license cooperation between Nintendo and Fuji Television to promote the broadcaster's Yume Kōjō '87 event, which showcased several of their latest TV shows and other products at the time. The game features the mascots of the Yume Kōjō festival – a family consisting of siblings Imajin and Lina and their parents, Papa and Mama – as protagonists. The rest of the characters, including the main villain, Mamu, are creations by Nintendo for the game. Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic takes place within a book with an Arabian setting. All four characters are playable, and the game is not fully completed until the player clears all levels with each protagonist. In the American version of Super Mario Bros. 2, Mario, Luigi, Princess Toadstool, and Toad were built on Imajin, Mama, Lina, and Papa's models, respectively, marking the first time that Mario and Luigi had noticeably different heights. Miyamoto came up with the idea of adding a "fluttering" effect to Luigi's legs to justify the enhanced jumping ability that the mother character from Yume Koujou: Doki Doki Panic has. Because Tanabe's original prototype had already contained Mario-like features, Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic naturally features many elements from the Mario universe, such as Starmen, coin and jumping sound effects, POW blocks, and warp zones. Additionally, the game's soundtrack was composed by Koji Kondo, the original Super Mario Bros. composer, and needed only a few alterations and new compositions throughout the conversion.
The Western version of Super Mario Bros. 2 was such a success that it was eventually released in Japan in 1992 under the title Super Mario USA. Nintendo has continued to release both games under the title of Super Mario Bros 2. in their respective regions, including on their recent Virtual Console release, and also in the Wii rerelease of Super Mario All Stars.
In 1993, Nintendo released an enhanced Super Famicom/SNES compilation titled Super Mario All-Stars. It included all of the Super Mario Bros. games released for the Nintendo Family Computer/Disk System and Nintendo Entertainment System. The version of Super Mario Bros. 2 included in the compilation had improved graphics and sound to match the Super Family Computer's and SNES's 16-bit capabilities, as well as minor alterations in some collision mechanics. Among other enhancements, it was also possible to change the character after losing a single life, while the original version allowed to change it only after completing a level or when the player lost all its lives and chose "Continue", making the game much more forgiving when choosing a character not adept at some specific level. Also, the player began with 5 lives instead of 3, and the slot game gained an additional character: if one could get three "7"'s, the player could win ten lives.
In March–April 1996, Nintendo (in collaboration with the St.GIGA satellite radio station) released an ura or gaiden version of the game for the Satellaview system featuring graphical enhancements similar to Super Mario All-Stars. This new game was entitled BS Super Mario USA Power Challenge (ＢＳスーパーマリオＵＳＡ パワーチャレンジ Bī Essu Sūpā Mario USA Pawā Charenji ), and like all Satellaview titles it was released episodically in a number of weekly volumes. BS Super Mario USA Power Challenge was never released outside of Japan and as with all other Satellaview titles it has never been rereleased as a stand-alone title. The game exists today solely in ROM format and is traded online by Satellaview emulation enthusiasts.
Super Mario Advance
In 2001, Super Mario Bros. 2 received another release, this time based on the All-Stars remake, as part of Super Mario Advance, which also contained a remake of Mario Bros. Super Mario Advance was developed by Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development, and was a launch title for the Game Boy Advance. The Super Mario Advance version of Super Mario Bros. 2 includes several new features such as the addition of the enemy Robirdo (a robotic Birdo acting as the boss of World 3, replacing Mouser), the addition of the Yoshi Challenge (in which players may revisit stages to search for Yoshi Eggs), and an all-new point-scoring system (a first for the game). Graphical and audio enhancements were also added in the form of enlarged sprites, multiple hit combos, digital voice acting, and such minor stylistic and aesthetic changes as an altered default health-meter level, boss-order, backgrounds, the size of hearts, Princess Toadstool being renamed to the now-standard "Princess Peach," and the inclusion of a chime to announce Stars.
Super Mario Bros. 2 sold ten million copies, and was the third highest-selling game ever released on the Nintendo Entertainment System at that time. Nintendo Power listed Super Mario Bros. 2 as the eighth best Nintendo Entertainment System video game, mentioning that in spite of not being originally a Mario game, it was able to stand on its own merits and its unique takes on the series' trademark format. Super Mario Bros. 2 was ranked 108th out of 200 of the "Greatest Games of Their Time" by Electronic Gaming Monthly. GamesRadar ranked it the 10th best NES game ever made. The staff complimented it and other 8-bit games for being a greater improvement than sequels around 2012 (which they felt only made small improvements).
When it was rereleased in 2001 as Super Mario Advance it received generally positive reviews, garnering an aggregate score of 84% on Metacritic. One reviewer concluded "all nostalgia and historical influence aside, Super Mario Bros. 2 is still a game worth playing on the merits of its gameplay alone", also saying that "the only reason you may not want to pick it up is if ... you already own it in another form." However, GameSpot thought that Super Mario Bros. 3 or Super Mario World would have been a better choice for a launch game considering their respective popularity; both titles were eventually also remade as part of the Super Mario Advance series. Conversely, IGN praised the choice, calling it "one of the most polished and creative platformers of the era". The game was named one of the NES best games ever by IGN, saying that the game offers greater diversity in graphics and gameplay than the original, making it a great bridge game between the other NES Mario titles. They also named the music played in the battle against the final boss Wart in the eight best 8-Bit Final Boss Themes. In contrast, the game was also ranked as the 9th worst game in the Mario game series by ScrewAttack; they said that while it was a good game, it felt like a "lie" because they weren't playing the "real" Super Mario Bros. 2.
Many elements in Super Mario Bros. 2 have endured in subsequent sequels and in related series. The game added the ability to pick up and toss enemies and objects, a move that has become part of Mario's permanent repertoire, appearing in other Mario games including Super Mario Bros. 3, Donkey Kong (Game Boy), Super Mario World, Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, Mario vs. Donkey Kong, New Super Mario Bros., Super Paper Mario, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Super Mario Galaxy, Super Mario Galaxy 2 and New Super Mario Bros. U. The Wii U game Super Mario 3D World features the same playable characters with the same basic physical abilities from Super Mario Bros. 2.
The New Super Mario Bros. series also includes elements and ideas originally proposed for the prototype of this game. The multi-player elements originally proposed, were finally realised in the Wii game, where up to four players can play competitively or co-operatively. This gameplay incorporates the competitive elements from the original Mario Bros., with the platforming of Super Mario Bros.. Vertical scrolling multi-player levels are frequent in this game, and also the other games in the series that followed after the Wii release.
Many characters of Super Mario Bros. 2 have been assimilated into the greater Mario universe as well, such as Birdo, Pokeys, Bob-ombs, and Shy Guys. This is the first game in which Princess Peach and Toad are featured as playable characters. Princess Peach herself has gone on to star in other Mario games such as Super Princess Peach while Toad has received supporting roles in later Mario games and has starred in games like Wario's Woods and New Super Mario Bros. Wii. This is also the first game where Luigi received the appearance he has today; notably, he is taller than Mario. In the Super Smash Bros. series, Peach not only has the ability to pluck and throw vegetables, but she can also float in mid-air both in the same fashion as in this game. Super Smash Bros. Melee has a stage called Mushroom Kingdom II, which is based on Super Mario Bros. 2, though the visuals are more similar to the version seen in Super Mario All-Stars. The stage also has characters in their 2-D sprites, including Pidget and Birdo. The television series The Super Mario Bros. Super Show produced by DIC Entertainment features animated segments featuring characters from Super Mario Bros. 2.
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