My name doesn't matter, what does however is the fact that I love bananas, bongos, bohemian apparel and other assorted things that begin with the letter B. I came to Destructoid to seek fortune writing literature that rivals classics such as the 1851 novel by Herman Melville, Moby Dick. I don't give a damn whether or not you think my work rattles along at classic standards or not, they are all works of art, as much an art as interactive video entertainment games.
This write up will evidently become lost in a sea of write ups praising Super Mario Bros. 2, hell, the conception already has. Nothing will most likely set this apart as a definitive read about the game. With all of that said, I really only just want to write about my love for the game. I'm not even going to go into the history. Most of you probably already know it. It has already been touched on multiple times and has become quite a tried old subject. I would very much like to skip it, and just jump straight into text fucking Super Mario Bros. 2
The first time I ever seen Super Mario Bros. 2 was on a commercial that aired way back in the late 80s(link). With a bit of luck and a brand new VCR, after taping some Saturday morning cartoons, that small little piece of Xanadu was mine to keep. I watched that commercial over and over again. It somehow triggered euphoria for me each and every time I watched it, even a bit to this day. Super Mario Bros. 2. simply looked INCREDIBLE!!!
The graphics were such a big step up from the original, so much that I was floored and amazed that the NES could output such power and wonder. The enemies looked extraordinarily rad, strange, and unique. There were 3 headed snakes, small masked birds, and MY GOD, A MOUSE WITH SUNGLASSES, A MOUSE WITH SUNGLASSES!!!! Could This game get any better looking? Not only were the graphics almost at par comparative at the time to Crysis, well for me personally; not only was there a MOUSE WITH GODDAMN SUNGLASSES, but Mario, yes the one and only Mario, could finally pick up items. MARIO COULD PICK UP ITEMS!!! GOOD LORD IT WAS AMAZING!
I had never fathomed that such a thing could ever happen, that Mario, Super Mario of the Super Mario Bros, could pick up items. It was such a genius, well maybe just creative, game mechanic at the time. I had never played, seen, or read about anything remotely like this at any point in my life. I was set at playing this game. I wasn't even concerned about owning it then, I just wanted to play this, this, immaculate, unspoiled, sinless, spotless, stainless gift from the video game gods. I told my mom, I wrote it on my Christmas list, I checked the rent shops, and I put the word out to my friends in school that I was looking to play this game. I was making it known.
The day finally came, I was at my cousin's house and our local rental shop finally had Super Mario Bros. 2 in. I stood by the shelf just staring at the box for a good 2 and a half minutes fantasizing about all of the fun I would experience. Ok, that's a lie, I did that for Super Mario Bros. 3. It just sounds better though. In reality my aunt picked the game up on her way back from getting some groceries and threw it at us like she would a steak at a pack of blood thirsty wolves. We ripped the game out of it's plastic imprisonment and rammed the cart into the machine as fast as we could.
The title screen hit us like a ton of bricks, this was it, Super Mario Bros. 2 in all of it's splendor. Just as the initial shock of playing this game hit us, we were then punched in the guts by a character selection screen. HOLY CRAP!!!!!!!! Not only could we play as MARIO, but we could play as LUIGI, TOAD, or even PRINCESS TOADSTOOL!!! Yes, the very same princess you rescued in the original game.
I forgot who went first or who we played as initially, but what did matter was that at that exact moment in time, we were both playing the greatest video game in the world, at least that's what it felt like. I was personally overwhelmed and boggled by the sheer unique beauty of it all. The environments were so different from the original. Green hills that once would only be seen or detailed as simple background art were now fully developed platforms, logs rolled down waterfalls in crisp, fluid, sprite based animation, and heads of plants waved as if wind were blowing by. The little things, that most would take for granite in today's world really made an enormous impression on me. Compared to Super Mario Bros. , Super Mario Bros. 2 was a massive, giant, enormous step up for the series.
The enemies were unbelievable creative. There were cloaked masked creatures named shy guys that very much resembled Jason Voorhees, other breeds of those very same with guns as mouths, tiny squinty eyed birds with magic carpets, and for God's sake, a transsexual gender confused dinosaur that not only spit eggs out of it's mouth, but guarded doors made out of the heads of a one time existing race of giant birds. What more could you want from a video game? Super Mario Bros 2. embodied and defined fantasy.
The game played a bit differently as well. It was all still based on completing each level, but the game added a bit more depth into it then the original had. There were now more stops along the way, such as castles, rooms, outdoor housing and caves, vertical platforming, varied boss battles, and well, overall more areas to be had. There were also a few different paths to take to finish some of the levels as well. Speaking of, the levels weren't even timed. Super Mario Bros 2. gave us a bit more to explore the the original.
Super Mario Bros 2. somehow was given the title of black sheep as time moved on. I'm pretty sure it was given that title because of it's history and just by how different it was. Imagine if there was no Doki Doki Panic, only Super Mario Bros 2. (U.S), Now try to look back at it without thinking of the history. Super Mario Bros. 2. was a great, unique, imaginative, and creative game. This is hard to say, but personally, I believe it had much more character and personality then the original. It was also a great stepping point for Super Mario Bros. 3 as well, both graphically and by design.
The original Japanese version of Super Mario Bros. 2. looked and played very much like the original. It was more so an extension of the first game then as a sequel. The U.S. Version of Super Mario Bros. 2. substituted as such. It evolved and moved the series into what it would evidently become. Without 2, we wouldn't of had the others. I may go so far as to say that the franchise could have died with the NES, much like the original Donkey Kong games, Balloon Fight, and Ice Climbers.
Conclusively, If you haven't played Super Mario Bros. 2., you're probably young and aren't reading this, but if you seriously have not, boot it up sometime and try it out. If not for the entertainment, then for an understanding of how far video games have come. Super Mario Bros. 2. was and still is a ravishingly beautiful, creative, and fun experience. Maybe my retro goggles are a bit foggy, but I still find it that way. Super Mario Bros. 2.: it has a mouse with sunglasses.