Review by Psycho Penguin
"I really enjoyed this game, but..."
I have played a lot of Game Boy games over the years, so I would like to consider myself a fan of the portable system. Every time I go on a vacation, which involves a long car ride or long plane ride, I make sure to take along my Game Boy, along with some of my favorite games for the portable system. I really enjoy a lot of Game Boy games, although I have liked more than others, which brings me to Super Mario Land 2. I really expected to like this game a lot more than I enjoyed playing the original Super Mario Land, since I had heard and read such good things about it.
However, once I first started playing this game I noticed something about the game. It was a lot of fun, sure, and definitely improved in almost every aspect over the original. However, I just did not have the same feeling while playing through this game that I had while playing through the original. It just did not seem as fun or exciting as the original for some reason. I think this is because Nintendo decided to make this a much more non-linear game. I usually have no problems with these types of games, but this game is far too non-linear for a Mario game. Think of it as Super Mario Brothers 2 for NES, but you get to choose the worlds you go to in order. That’s how this game is, in a nutshell.
I will say that I really enjoyed playing this game, though. It was a lot of fun to play through and was definitely the cure for the boredom I would suffer through those long car rides and plane rides. The basic game play is classic Mario action, which means it is a lot of fun to play. Expect lots of high flying platform action, ranging from jumping across platforms, to finding coins in blocks, to collecting secret 1-Ups. It is definitely a lot of fun to play through, and it is a classic Mario video game all the way. It may not be as fun as I expected, but it’s still a highly entertaining video game.
The story line to the game is fairly simple but it is a little more complex than the other games in the series. This time, the evil final boss has taken the six coins of the Mushroom Kingdom needed and has spread them over six worlds. The citizens of the Mushroom Kingdom call on Mario to help, and he decides to find the six coins to help save the Mushroom Kingdom. It is a much more original story line than the original (which was basically another one of those ''save the princess from the evil final bad guy'' that you see in almost any Mario game), and is definitely one of the saving points to this game.
The graphics in the game are amazingly better than they were in the original. In case you have never played the original Super Mario Land, or forgotten about it, let me describe the graphics in that real quick. Everything was so small, which made the basic game play kind of challenging. Mario was a little dot, and the coin blocks were about 1 inch high and 1 inch across. The enemies were the same size as Mario and the coin blocks, which means there was a lot of empty space in the top, because everything was occupying the bottom of the screen.
However, the graphics in the sequel have been improved dramatically. No longer is everything so small. Mario has undergone plastic surgery for this one, and looks just like he did in the NES games. Heck, stick this game in a Game Boy Color or Super Game Boy and this game looks a lot like Super Mario Brothers 3 for the NES looked. The coin blocks are of a normal design and size, and the character and enemy designs have definitely been improved. I especially like how the goombas and koopas look, as they look much better and more realistic than they did in the original.
The backgrounds also look great. There are a nice variety of backgrounds in the game, and they are all designed pretty nicely. I especially liked how there were a few stages in each world, and each world had the same basic background, but it changed somewhat from stage to stage. This was definitely awesome because you could virtually see a different background every single stage. The stage designs in the game are awesome, as there is a lot to do in each stage, so Nintendo definitely got everything done right. Even the world map is done pretty well!
The music in the game is top notch, as I never knew the Game Boy was capable of producing top quality music like the music featured in the Super Mario Land music. I really liked the music in the original, but I knew it had problems. For instance, it did not feature any of the classic Mario tunes we have all come to know and love. So, I was hoping to hear some classic Mario tunes in this game. And what do you know, Nintendo did not disappoint.. somewhat. There are some classic Mario tunes featured, but not as many as I would have liked. It was cool to listen to the music in the game, however, because just like the original, the music in this game is awesome. There is a nice variety, and I like how the music of each stage fit that stage perfectly.
The sound effects in the game are pretty good. I liked a majority of the sound effects in the game, ranging from the sounds of the coin blocks being hit by your head, to the sounds of the enemy shells (in particular, the koopas’ shells) being whacked around into other enemies. The sound effects in the game are definitely solid, and I really liked the variety of sound effects in the game. However, I would have liked to hear some new sound effects added. Oh well, there is no use complaining about spilled milk. I really liked the sound effects in the game, and that’s that.
The Game Boy does not exactly feature a huge amount of buttons to choose from, as all you basically have on the Game Boy system itself is two buttons, A and B, select and start, and the directional pad. So, there is no complex control in this game. You use the start button to pause, the select button is not used, and the A and B buttons are used to jump, shoot fireballs, etc. You can use the B button and hold it down to fly around when you are equipped with the wings that allow you to fly. There is no complex control, but the control overall is solid and very responsive.
This game is a lot more like a Super Mario game than the original was, although that did have a lot of the elements of a Mario game. The things that are included in this game are mind boggling. Some of the elements are retained from the original. For instance, you still have bonus stages at the end of each stage. Instead of climbing up to the higher level, this time you have to ring a bell, which is usually found high up or in a hard to reach place, and if you ring that bell then you get to do the bonus stage. The bonus stages are not that fun, and I wish they would have used the bonus stages from the original, because they were much more fun.
Power ups are simple and effective. You still get the mushrooms, flowers, and stars from the original. This time, however, the flowers’ powers cannot be used as effectively as they were in the original. In the original, you can use the fireballs one at a time, and they can bounce up left and right, and can collect coins, as well. In this game they are just like they were in the NES games. The addition to the power up scene in this game was the carrot. When you got the carrot, you could turn into a mean, lean flying machine. You had wings on top of your head, and could fly around. You had to fly around a lot in the game, like flying over spikes, so be prepared to use these a lot.
There is a world map to this game, which means this is a fairly non-linear game. You started off in this one stage, and after you completed that first stage, you can then move around to different worlds via the world map. There are six worlds, and you can do them in any order. You cannot chose the stages in the world, however, you go through them one at a time. There are also other things to be found in the world map, for instance, the bonus stages. There are a few places in the game that allow you to use your coins to play bonus games. The more coins you have, the higher prizes you get. You can save up all your coins, by the way, so you can get more than 100 now. You do not get extra lives at 100 coins any more. This is definitely a fairly innovative part of the game.
The replay value in this game is not incredible but chances are you will want to play it for a while after you first play it. The game is fairly fun to play and mildly addictive. It is not a hugely addictive game, after all after a while you will probably want to move on to bigger and better things, but while the spark lasts you will definitely have a fun time with this game. Hell, I still play this game from time to time even to this day, I just played it last night in fact, because it is always good to play as a time filler, especially on those long family vacations.
The challenge level of this game is mixed. I felt that this game was a little too easy in certain places, and a little too challenging in other stages. Some of the stages seriously vary in terms of challenge, as well. Like one part of the stage would be easy, then all of a sudden it would get very challenging, then just like that it would be easy again. I played at least five stages that were like this. What is the point? It just makes the game seem sloppily thrown together, which is definitely not a good thing, to say the absolute least. I wish the challenge level would have varied a little better, but overall it is still pretty solid nevertheless.
Overall, I really expected to be blown away by this game, and I was disappointed to discover I did not like this game as much as I expected to. However, I am not going to lie and say that the game sucked or anything, because it was very fun to play, and I enjoyed playing it a lot. It just did not have the same feeling that I had while playing the original Super Mario Land. This is disappointed because I expected to like this game a lot more than I liked the original, but it is actually the complete opposite in this case. I liked the original more than I liked this game. Despite this fact, I am sure many of you will love this game, so go out and buy it if you have a Game Boy. It will be well worth the purchase.
-The graphics in the game are improved tenfold over the original.
-I really liked the story line of the game, as it was fairly original.
-The music and sound effects are pretty good and definitely varied.
-There is a lot of new aspects in terms of innovative game play to this game.
-The replay value is solid, as you will want to play this game a lot at first.
-The game is very fun to play, and is perfect for those long car rides or plane rides.
Not So Good Points
-I really felt that this game was not as fun as the original for some reason.
-The challenge level of the game was definitely varied in a bad way.
-The game may be a little too non-linear for a Mario game.
-You no longer get extra lives after collecting 100 coins. What’s up with that?
I Run Down the Ratings.. DaLadiesMan Style!
Story Line – 9.1/10
Graphics – 9.2/10
Music – 9.1/10
Sound Effects – 9.1/10
Control – 9.2/10
Game Play – 7.3/10
Replay Value – Above Average (Mike Sanders)
Challenge – Above Average (Mike Sanders)
Is this game worth a purchase? - Definitely.
Overall - 7.4/10
The Last Line
Everything about this game is improved over the original, so of course you would probably think I loved playing this game a lot more than the original. However, I still prefer the original. This is still a great game that is well worth a purchase if you have a Game Boy, as it is perfect for those long car rides or plane rides, but for some reason this game just did not have the same fun feeling that I got from the original and expected in this game. This is still an awesome game, and is still pretty fun, but maybe I just expected a little too much, and got a little too less. I liked the original more than I liked this game. Despite this fact, I am sure many of you will love this game, so go out and buy it if you have a Game Boy. It will be well worth the purchase.
And that’s a Ladies Man guarantee!
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 12/14/00, Updated 07/16/01
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