Super Mario Bros. 2: The Taboo of the Mario series

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Every game series has a black sheep. For Sonic, it was Sonic Unleashed. For Zelda, it was Legend of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. Most people tend to consider that Super Mario Bros. 2 is the black sheep of the Mario series. I beg to differ. Stereotypical Mario fanboys tend to say things like this:

  • It was a rip off of Doki Doki Panic
  • It had the same game engine as DD Panic
  • Bowser wasn’t the main enemy or featured in the game at all
  • Vegetables were the main power-up
  • Mario had HEARTS, not lives
  • You could play as Peach AND Toad

There are many other reasons, but those are the ones that people tend to consider the worst.

I disagree with all of them! Sure, it was different, but it doesn’t mean it was really bad. It has its flaws like all games but they’re certainly not something that would destroy the whole game.

 

  • It was a rip off of Doki Doki Panic

I believe that Doki Doki Panic was more like a test. The game got recognition because of the hardcore difficulty of the Lost Leves, and the U.S and EU were looking for a new Mario game. They took the idea, and instead of copying it, they enhanced it. They added Mario enemies, power-ups and artwork to make it a proper Mario game. While still keeping a small part of Doki Doki Panic, they had properly changed it into a real Mario game.

  • It had the same game engine as DD Panic

Similar to above, however, the vegetables mechanic was the same. Nintendo added their logic and Mario physics to create a completely unique style of gameplay. This means it was similar to Doki Doki Panic, but nowhere near the same game engine. I consider Doki Doki Panic to be a beta version of this game, with Super Mario Bros. 2 being the final, edited version.

  • Bowser wasn’t the main enemy or featured in the game at all

I find this to be a good thing, as it created a fresh start with a different storyline. When I play this game, I think “Oh, Bowser isn’t kidnapping Peach, now I really don’t know what will happen…” This is similar to the Mario and Luigi games, having a completely different plot when compared to the usual Mario games. This is another reason why I enjoyed this game more the the regular games, similar to adding ‘suspense’ to the game. Thankfully, he wasn’t in the game at all, so Wart got some screen time.

  • Vegetables were the main power-up

Again, this is similar to being a rip-off. There were cherries in Doki Doki Panic which were obviously not transferred, meaning yet another part of gameplay was unique. Fruits would provide extra health units, while the vegetables were used as weapons to throw at enemies that you just can’t normally jump on.

  • Mario had HEARTS, not lives

Mario started a level with 3 Health Units, and when hitting an enemy, instead of losing your powerup, he lost a heart. This paid a reference to The Legend of Zelda, because after losing every heart, Mario would lose a life, as per usual. This also made it easier for people who never power-up in the other games.

  • You could play as Peach AND Toad 

How could this be a bad thing!? Now, this was the first playable appearance of Toad and for Peach. If this game was never created, all those Toad fans would also never exist. Which also means that Toadette wouldn’t have been created at all. Nobody knows what could’ve happened to Peach too.

 

For the reasons above, I recommend that you replay Super Mario Bros. 2 and understand why I thought it was a great game. Who knows what would’ve happened to the Mario series without this game? The answer remains shrouded in mystery…

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