*days may or may not be concurrent.
It wasn't just the Game Boy that made me the Nintendo fanboy that I am to this day. There was also something else, a magazine that seemed to come out just around the right time for me. While Nintendo ga
mers in the US had Nintendo Power, in Australia we had Nintendo Magazine System (NMS for short) I'll have to go into more detail about the magazine later, but for now I'm gonna talk about the game that was the first cover game for the mag. It was also the first brand new game I got for my Gameboy after I got the system for Christmas '92. While many Nintendo gamers would of cut their teeth on all things Mario with Super Mario Bros, for me the one that had me at hello was the second installment of the Land series
You know I always though the title was Super Mario Land 2: G Golden Coins when I was kid, wasn't till years later I found out it was 6 Golden Coins
So I got my hands on the first issue of NMS completely by chance, I believe it was the first video game mag I had ever gotten, what luck I picked up issue 1 I guess (ended up being a lot harder to get issue 2 however, more on that in a future blog). This magazine opened my mind to a whole spectrum of new things to look at and dream about and the main focus was Super Mario Land 2 for the Game Boy. A 4 page spread for the game. I looked at these pictures of the game and read the review several times. My mind was already forming tiny images in my head about what this game must be like. I got my hands on the game early '93 I believe, parents picked it up brand new for me when we were shopping in the city on one of our trips there, and dear god was I in for one hell of a game.
I love this game, LOVE IT!!!! Its in my top 3 Mario games along with Mario Galaxy as well as Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga. I dunno what it is about this game but it just clicked with me, everything about it was fantastic. The graphics where just amazing and the best I had seen on the Game Boy up until that point (out of the 4 games I owned at that stage that is). The gameplay was the usual perfect platforming action you see in 2d Mario games. You have your power ups of course with the Mushroom, Fire flower and the brand new and appearing only here Bunny Ears which help slow Mario's descent when hes falling, also they give us the cutest looking Mario ever. This was a great introduction for me to the Mario games, I may have played Super Mario Bros 1 prior but I honestly can not recall so for me this is my first Mario game.
If only it was as awesome as it could have been, a whole world based on Mario would be awesome
You can clearly see the influence of Super Mario World in the game, the graphics are very much reminiscent of its SNES counterpart. Mario moves very similar as well going so far as having that Spin jump that he has in World. You also has a huge open world map full of secrets and extra little levels that are not really required to be visited but are there if you choose. Its also a very non linear game. You can visit any of the 6 zones in which ever order you wish. Having said that most gamers will head straight to to Mario Zone at the first opportunity only to be disappointed that the stages are more of a clockwork/toy theme then Mario themed. The other zones in the game are Tree Zone, Micro Zone, Pumpkin Zone, Turtle Zone & finally Space Zone.
Once all the levels have been completed you can then head to Mario's castle at the center of the map (which while we are at it, since when did Mario have a castle and why is he never seen in it anymore?) to take on the grand arch fiend who has taken over rule of Mario's Land, Wario. Its funny to see how Wario has grown as a full character from this game. His rise to fame was quite amazing, after this he got his own series that holds to this day with Wario land, had his own Bomberman game in Wario Blast, several puzzle games and then of course the Wario Ware games plus all his cameos in the Mario games. Hes really gone on to build himself from a one time scheming villian to having whole games dedicated to him, a claim even Mario's greatest nemesis Bowser has yet to achieve.
Damn I love the Bunny Ears, look soo awesome
I don't think I can give this game the praise it deserves, its a truly amazing game and like many of Mario's 2d romps still one thats just as fun to play today as it was back then. Hopefully when we get the inevitable DsiVirtual Console this game will come out as I don't think enough people played it, which is a shame as this is one of the best Mario games ever made. Yes thats most likely me saying that more out of nostalgia then anything, but this is a very important game for me and one I don't think gets enough love.