There are few things Dana Wessel loves more than old-school Nintendo games. Every week here at GoRadioMN.com he takes a look back at a classic game to see how well it holds up in 2018 with a bit called ‘Remember That Game?’. Have a game you want to see him take on? You can tweet him or email him Dana@GoMN.com.
Super Mario Bros. 2
Nintendo Entertainment System.
October 9, 1988
Oh, Super Mario Bros. 2. Where to even start? You might remember this installment of the Mario Bros. series as the one where, instead of fighting Bowser and rescuing the Princess, you are throwing vegetables at bad guys, riding flying carpets, and beating dinosaur-looking bosses by picking up the eggs they spit out at you and throwing them back at them.
If you didn’t know the real backstory behind this game (more on that in a second) you might have thought the conversation at Nintendo went something like this:
Nintendo Executive One: Super Mario Bros. is a massive success! We need to make a sequel!
Nintendo Executive Two: Yes, indeed!
Nintendo Executive One: But let’s do a whole bunch of LSD before we make it.
Nintendo Executive Two: Ummmm…..OK!
But unfortunately the real story doesn’t involve as much as LSD as you would have hoped. Here is the short version, there is plenty of literature on the internet if you want to read more. A version of Super Mario Bros. 2 was released in Japan but the big offices at Nintendo of America thought it would be too hard for American players. So they ended up convincing Japan to make a new version for America, which ended up just being an existing game called Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic with Mario, Luigi, Toad (RIP, death by internet) and Princess Peach swapped in as the main characters.
As a kid I remember being taken aback by this big switch-up between Mario 1 and Mario 2, especially since things went right back to normal for Mario 3 (aka The GOAT). For the longest time it was kind of the redheaded stepchild of the Mario series. But as we all got a little older and a little wiser we realized that “Hey, you know, that redheaded stepchild isn’t so bad and is actually pretty cool!” The game was a huge success in the US and, in a surprising move, was eventually released in Japan under the title Super Mario Bros. USA.
Once you get past the fact that instead of shooting fireballs you throw turnips at the bad guys, this game holds up really well — much better than the original Super Mario Bros. Give this one a spin if you can. It is available on the NES Classic and was also remade for the Super Nintendo (part of Super Mario All-Stars) and the Game Boy Advance (called Super Mario Advance).
If nothing else you should track it down for your old friend Toad. One of the few games where he is a playable character. He could use the love and support during these trying times.
7.5 turnips out of 10.