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Super Mario Bros. 2, as we know it in the US, is not the real Super Mario Bros. 2. The real Super Mario Bros. 2 was released as Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels and was only available in Super Mario All Stars for the SNES in the US (it is now also available for download on the Wii VC). Our Super Mario Bros. 2 is actually a redesign of the Japanese game Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic. That explains why it is so non-Mario-like. It also explains why I love it so much. Weird Japanese games equal love, after all.
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Mario has a dream about a different world he has to save and finds it in the waking world, after that I'm not really sure of the story. There is an evil mouse (Mouser!) who lives in Lego hideouts that you have hunt down and destroy. He didn't kidnap any princesses, but he must have done something. Steal Legos? Not provide healthcare to the egg spitting dinos? Who knows?
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Remember Super Mario Bros.? Yeah, Super Mario Bros. 2 is nothing like that. First of all, you get to choose which character you want to play with, either Mario, Luigi, Toadstool or Princess. Each of them have a special ability that none of the other characters have. Princess can hover, Luigi can jump really high, Toadstool is fast and Mario, well, Mario can't do anything special for some reason. Every time you start a new level, you will get to choose what character you want to play as.
Each world has a number of levels that must be completed. They are usually centered around a certain theme, such as the desert or ice, and at the end of each level there is a dinosaur that spits eggs you must defeat to move on. Defeating enemies in Super Mario Bros. 2 is unlike defeating enemies in any other Mario game. You can't simply jump on their heads, you can either jump and them and pick them up and throw them or pick vegetables out of the ground and throw them at enemies. Like other Mario games, at the end of each world there is a boss to defeat, but this time it is Mouser instead of Bowser.
The Wii mote makes a decent classic controller for Super Mario Bros. 2. It's pretty classic; d-pad moves the character, while the 1 and 2 buttons are A and B. Easy.
Unlike other Mario games, Super Mario Bros. 2 doesn't have any score. You don't get points for collecting items or killing enemies, although you do get the ability to play mini games by the number of items you collect.
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Graphics and Sound
Graphically, Super Mario Bros. 2 is better than Super Mario Bros. It's not much better, but the characters are less pixilated and the back grounds are clearer. While still an NES game, it looks nice.
Sound-wise, I really enjoy Super Mario Bros. 2. The music seems a little more sophisticated than the first Super Mario Bros. and while it may not be as well known, the music still strikes a cord and stands up to the test of time. It's happy when it should be and tension ridden when it should be. Nice.
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Yeah, I think so. It has a lot more depth than the first Super Mario Bros. although it might be the black sheep of the Mario game family. There are more hidden warps and special finds in Super Mario Bros. 2 which makes it feel like there is a lot to be discovered. Also, the worlds in are unique enough to take some skill and time to navigate them and learn all of their secrets.
There is a nice mix of ease and difficulty. While there are some frustrating places (those stupid masks!), none of them are that bad. In fact, the design of the game is so good nothing that goes wrong can really be blamed on bad development decisions. It will most likely be player error. All in all, besides Super Mario World, this might be my favorite Mario game.
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If you have fond memories of playing Super Mario Bros. 2, are a Mario fan, or are just looking for something different to download onto your Wii, try it. It's only 500 Wii points and while it might be a little strange, it is still a game worth playing again and again. Plus, everyone should own the holy trinity of Mario games.