Back in 80/90’s Nintendo were seeing great success in general, but the Super Mario Bros, in particular, was massive, Nintendo was also having great success with the Game Boy, so why not bring the series to that platform? Well, they did in 1989 with Super Mario Land, they followed it up with Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins. It came out in 1992 in Japan and 1993 for the west. The game wasn’t actually created by Shigeru Miyamoto who created the Mario series but was in fact created by Hiroji Kiyotake.
The game was chosen via a poll of three games that were selected by Super Dragon 64 on GRcade.
This is a game that I am familiar with. I loved it back as a kid and I still love it now. I’ve played it to completion a few times and I still think it’s a great game. I’m also still always amazed by how this game looks in comparison to Super Mario Land. Super Mario Land looks very very different, whereas Super Mario Land 2 actually looks like a Mario game. It does look a little off when playing on the GBC as it wasn’t a proper Color game, but on the monochrome screen, it was lovely as the colours weren’t off. Anyway, the game starts off with Wario (yes, this is the first game Wario was in) taking over Mario’s ‘house’ and you are on a journey to get it back. here are six different themed areas with 3 levels each where you have to get a golden coin and when you have all six you can unlock the door to take on Wario. The worlds themselves are all distinct from each other and have some lovely variety. For example, the first world I went to was a giant tree that I climbed, I later went to space and then a Scary Pumpkin. The bosses are a all well suited to the areas too, there’s no Bowser or Koopa Kids here. As I said they are suited to the theme of the area. So in Space, you fight an Alien, in the Pumpkin a Witch.
The Mushroom and Fire Flower make an appearance too, though the Super Mario’s design is different more than likely due to the lack of colour to differentiate from Big Mario as the was no colour. Hearts replace Green Mushrooms again I think it’s due to lack of colour and being able to easily see the difference. On top of it, you have a new power. It’s a Carrot. It makes Mario a Playboy Bunny… Ok, it doesn’t, but it does actually give him Rabbit Ears. These are used in a similar way to the Raccoon tail in Super Mario Bros 3. They aren’t exactly the same, you can’t run and fly with them, they similar in that you use them to slow your descent by tapping on holding jump. Holding it slows your fall, but tapping slows your fallrate even more, which comes in handy.
The music is great also, with a lot a variety again, sound effects are also on par. It seems like a lot of effort went into it to differentiate it from Super Mario Bros, yet retain the overall feel of a Mario Bros game. You can see that I’m really into this game, maybe nostalgia is playing a big part in that and I don’t personally have many qualms with it, other than the game is a little too easy for 99% of it. I died maybe once or twice and then I got to the final level and lost 40+ lives. It’s a massive difficulty spike. It’s still a very good level, but the middle section, for me at least, was very tricky, but I got there in the end.
If you’d like to take part in voting for the games or even picking the games yourself, take yourself over to the GRcade forums and pop into the Retro Monday thread and just post to show your interest. Not just that, you can watch the gameplay live over on Twitch where it’s streamed at 9pm on a Monday evening.