Super Mario Bros. 2 (NES/SNES) – The Art of the Sequel – IMPLANTgames

The sequel. It’s a tough thing to get right. If a game is too similar, gamers and critics
might start to lose interest. Make it too different, and those same gamers
and critics might feel alienated. However, Nintendo of America seemed to have
a firm grasp on what an audience would want from a follow-up to one of the most important
games released at the time. The result was Super Mario Bros. 2, which
would go on to become the fourth best selling game for the NES, receive rave reviews from
critics, and in modern times, create a lore for itself with its unique development history. What I find most admirable about Super Mario
Bros. 2 is how it’s neither too similar to the first game, nor too different, instead
finding a sweet spot which would make many current developers envious. For starters, Bowser is not the villain in
this game and Princess Peach has not been kidnapped. Instead, Super Mario Bros 2. opens with a crawl detailing Mario’s dream
where he finds a staircase with someone yelling for help on the other side of a door. After waking up, he finds the same staircase
when exploring some nearby caves. After walking through the door… the game
begins. I should mention Super Mario Bros. 2 is the
first game I ever beat as a kid, so I do have some nostelgia for it. Others might have a nostalgic attachment to
the 1993 All Stars version, which was also a launch title for the Game Boy Advance in
2001. Anyway, the biggest change in the game is
the player select screen. Before each level, the player is given the
choice to play as Mario, Luigi, Toad or Princess, but more on that later. The second major change is the way enemies
are defeated. While the player can still land on enemies
without taking touch damage, enemies can only be defeated by throwing them, or throwing
something into them. At its core though, this is still a linear
platformer, tasking the player with making their way from the beginning of the level
to the end, defeating bosses, and then moving on to the next world. While SMB1 was a horizontal affair, in SMB2
there is a new element of verticality. At times the player will need to traverse
upwards to progress, other times, downward, and there are even moments where the player
is moving right to left, instead of left to right. It’s a great progression to the formula
and nudged the genre forward. The ability to pick up objects also adds puzzle
solving and strategy to the adventure. Many doors in the game have a lock and the
player will need to find the key and return. Or maneuver a bomb to a breakable wall to
clear a path. This ability to lift objects and move them
is also important when it comes to items. Another change to the Mario formula is the
health bar. The player begins each level with two hit
points but can find Magic Potions in each level. If the player places them in the right location
and enters the door created, they’ll find a mushroom which adds another hit point and
refills health. The addition of keys and magic potions adds
depth and replayability to the adventure. During the course of this review, I continued
to discover new mushrooms I never knew existed and it kept me engaged through a dozen playthroughs. As a kid, I was always disappointed when I
placed a door and there wasn’t a mushroom. As an “adult,” I began to look for clues
the developers left behind. This could be conspicuously placed cherries,
a row of plants, spaces surrounded by breakable walls, and areas left of the starting point. That’s right, unlike the first game, the
screen can scroll in both directions, allowing backtracking. This backtracking introduces an interesting
side effect. Defeating 8 enemies will cause a heart to
appear from the bottom of the screen, which refills a unit of health. Enemies also respawn, which didn’t happen
in the first game. This means for patient players, health can
be restored indefinitely by defeating the respawning enemies. While hearts can be farmed, the starman cannot. Grabbing 5 cherries will cause a starman to
appear, giving the protagonist temporary invincibility. Cherries are not always placed in logical
locations though, meaning the player may receive a starman when it is not useful. Or the star will be out of reach. In fact, the starman can be a hindrance. Each character in Super Mario Bros. 2 has
three different jumps. A standard jump when walking or stand still. A higher jump when running. And finally, a charged jump, where the player
presses down until the hero starts blinking. Unfortunately, this blinking matches the starman
power-up, masking whether the player is charged during this invincibility period. The most dramatic change to the formula, and
the one which makes it most obvious this didn’t begin life as a Mario game, is how one obtains
lives. Super Mario Bros. 2 is frugal when it comes
to 1-up mushrooms. In fact there are only three I ever grab with
any regularity. Instead, a player is tasked with pulling up
vegetables in the Subspace created when using a magic potion. In Subspace, the player can find coins which
can be used in the bonus stage between levels. This is also the biggest change between the
NES and SNES version of the game. In the NES version, the game is stingy with
letting the player receive a Cherry on the first slot. This is critical in racking up lives as getting
a three-of-a-kind is difficult. In the All Stars version, the slot machine
is friendlier. There appears to be a greater chance of receiving
a cherry on the first slot, increasing winning probabilities. Additionally, a three-of-a-kind yields two
extra lives rather than 1, again helping the player. I can’t help but feel this is a flawed approach
to acquiring lives though. Nothing sucks worse than going out of one’s
way to unroot coins in Subspace, and then wasting a couple of minutes receiving absolutely
nothing for the trouble. Still, this entire scenario could be optional
if the game had unlimited continues. Unfortunately, the NES version contains just
three continues with three lives each. The Super Nintendo version has unlimited continues,
each with 5 lives, allowing players to skip the coin gathering procedure altogether if
they so choose. Of course this is a platformer so I should
probably get to the level design and controls. Unlike Super Mario Bros., where the main hazard
in most stages was bottomless pits, Super Mario Bros. 2 mixes things up significantly
with environmental hazards and enemies. In desert stages, the player will often be
tasked with digging into large sand areas to progress or obtain a key. Avoiding pits is not the goal, being replaced
with learning enemy patterns to keep them from falling onto the hero. The desert also contains quicksand. These won’t swallow up a player right away,
and the player can escape, but the hero is a sitting duck to nearby enemies. World four introduces slippery ice. The player must rely on jumping over enemies
or ducking under them to progress forward. Again, falling to one’s death is not the
primary hazard, enemy avoidance is. Many levels also incorporate mushroom blocks
into the level design. These can be used to create barriers, build
platforms to reach new areas, or thrown as projectiles. In some worlds manipulating them is the main
focus of the level. Plucking one allows the player to travel downwards,
but a player must also pay attention to enemy patterns to avoid sparks. They can even be used to plug enemies generators. Don’t get me wrong though, Super Mario Bros.
2 is still primarily a run and jumper, but the designers did a much better job creating
alternate gameplay styles and different goals with the new moveset. One thing people often criticize the first
game for, is a lack of variety. Outside of swimming, the game does feel similar
through the 32 levels. SMB2 does a much better job changing up the
gameplay through the 20 levels, and none are repeated, which is nice. Not only has the gameplay evolved, there is
more visual variety too. First, the artists did a much better job with
background tiles. The game generally doesn’t look like a sea
of blocks. Instead the wavy textures of the platforms,
speckled dirt, and grass tiles look more aesthetically pleasing. Although I must admit underground or indoor
areas are more simplistic. Still, the deserts, fortresses, warehouses,
clouds, ice, castles, and trees make Subcon feel grander than the Mushroom Kingdom. This is further enhanced with the All Stars
version. Those bland indoor and underground areas receive
the biggest facelift. The caves now have an actual background, instead
of a black pallette. Areas like the tree and warehouse are also
much more defined, and I honestly never knew these areas were supposed to be a warehouse
or tree in the NES version. Enemy variety is also greater. The basic enemy is the shy guy, this game’s
equivalent of the goomba. They either walk back and forth on a platform,
or will walk off ledges to their doom. Everything is then expanded on from there. Tweeters jump, but are on a set path. Ninji’s also jump, but will chase the player. Beezo will dive at the player from above,
and Cobrat’s jump out of the sand from below. Porcupos, small fry guys, sparks, and pansers,
cannot be jumped on, and can only be defeated by throwing something at them. Ostro’s are immune to the power block, which
usually clears all enemies on the screen. Phantos are immune to most attacks. Generally, the player must avoid it, or drop
the key causing it to retreat. Enemies are not just damage sponges though,
some can be helpful. Bob-ombs can be picked up and then thrown
to destroy walls. The pidgin has a magic carpet the player can
use to traverse over large gaps. Hoopsters can be used to reach high up platforms
and Trouters are used as platforms. The same goes for the whale. While it’s waterspout cannot be touched
from the side, the top can be used as a platform to reach greater heights. The vast range of enemy behavior, combined
with a greater amount of level diversity makes for a more engaging adventure which is far
less tiring to play on subsequent playthroughs. Also improved are the bosses. The first six worlds have three levels, with
the first two levels usually ending in a fight against a Birdo. These fights start off easy enough, tasking
the player with snatching an egg out of the air and then throwing it back. As the game progresses, Birdo will fire more
rapidly, mix in fireballs, and finally rely on fireballs exclusively. I won’t say fighting Birdo a dozen times
matches the level and enemy diversity, but the varied attacks help. The different environmental setpieces help
as well. Sometimes Birdo is above a platform, sometimes
below, sometimes in cramped quarters, sometimes on a conveyor belt and of course on ice. While the varied attacks and unique environments
are welcome, a second or even third sub-boss type would have been preferred. The main bosses, found in the final level
of each of the 7 worlds are superior to Bowser. Mouser is fought three times, and the player
must snatch a bomb and then place it on the platform Mouser is on. The second and third encounters place Mouser
up on a higher platform, require more bombs to take him down, and one even includes a
Spark, giving the player another hazard to contend with and offering a sense of progression. Tryclyde appears twice, spewing out a fire
attack forcing the player to dodge the attacks and use mushroom blocks to take it out. Fryguy and Clawgrip are both one-off bosses. Clawgrip is interesting for two reasons. One, it wasn’t in the source game and was
created exclusively for Super Mario Bros. 2. Second, many players don’t remember him
at all. It’s an example of the Mandela Effect. Many gamers remember their childhood version
of SMB2 not including the Clawgrip boss. But it was in every run of the cart, making
this collective misremembering interesting. Far more interesting than the boss itself,
which features an odd pattern making it difficult to grab a rock and not get beamed by the next
one. There is a dead zone which rocks will occasionally
roll to offering a nearly risk free way to grab and throw 5 rocks, but overall this is
the weakest fight of them all. The Fryguy is probably my favorite fight and
I like it for two reasons. One, it takes advantage of the horizontal
wrapping. Much like an old Atari game, the player can
walk through one side of the screen and come out the other. The Fryguy has a fairly dense attack pattern,
but once the player learns they can utilize this feature, the boss becomes manageable. I also dig it has two distinct phases. First as a Fryguy, then four small fry guys. The more I fought this boss, the more I developed
a strategy for hoarding the mushroom blocks up high during the first phase, and then using
the hoarded blocks to wipe out the small fry guys from above during the second phase. The Tryclydes offer a similar level of strategy. I’m sure everyone who played this as a kid
remembers building a wall with the mushroom blocks, creating a safe zone where the fireballs
couldn’t reach. And of course there is Wart. He burps out toxic bubbles the player must
avoid, and is immune to damage while his mouth is closed. This forces the player to develop a sense
of timing and rhythm, anticipating when Wart is about to open his mouth and attacking proactively. Or throw when he is spewing bubbles while
also avoiding incoming attacks. Wart is a far more fitting final boss than
the real Bowser from the first game as it actually poses a genuine challenge. I’ve already alluded to the fact Super Mario
Bros. 2 looks and feels less blocky than the first game, features more set-pieces, and
a ton more enemies. With all of these extra sprites comes a performance
hit, in the NES version anyway. This game likes to flicker and slowdown. It seems like the developers should have limited
the on-screen enemies to alleviate the decreased performance. Or perhaps they thought the performance hit
was worth it for the increased complexity, I can’t be certain. HAL Laboratory made a similar decision with
Kirby’s Adventure so the developer’s weren’t alone. Another great thing the game does to elevate
it above other NES titles is animate the background. The quicksand and waterfalls do a nice job
appearing to actually move, but there are more complex changes like the way the cloud
platforms morph and the water in the ice world even appears to have horizontal movement. Of course the All Stars version enhances the
visual and brings them up to date. As alluded to, there are no performance issues
eithers. In fact I couldn’t find a single instance
of flicker or slowdown, the game runs flawlessly from beginning to end. While I generally appreciate the increased
colors and details, one viewer noted the All Stars version homogenizes the Mario games
and removes some of the uniqueness the NES versions contain. For example, the background here is obviously
styled after the hills found in the first game. Wether this is a good thing or a bad thing
is certainly up for debate, but it is a noteworthy observation. As for the music, like before I don’t have
much to say. The overworld theme is ridiculously catchy
with a nice little drum line and hook. The underworld track has a Middle Eastern
vibe which sounds dramatically different than the overworld theme, giving a mysterious tone
to these areas. The boss theme is the weakest of the bunch
and loops way too quickly. The subspace track is short, but a nice remix
of the iconic original track, as is the Starman music. Finally, the Wart fight gets its own cynical
track, which is fitting of the final boss. The All Stars version of course plays on completely
different sound hardware but I find the instrument samples are equally pleasing and do a reasonable
job capturing the spirit of the NES original but with the signature Super Nintendo style. As best as I can tell, the music in Super
Mario Bros. 1 and 2 was composed by the same artist, so it should be no surprise the style
and quality is similar. While the first game may be better remembered,
I do feel like the second game offers more complex compositions and a better variety
of instrument sounds, like the composer was better able to take advantage of those four
sound channels. Finally, we arrive to SMB2’s signature feature,
the four playable characters. Thankfully, one does not have to repeat the
game four times to get a final ending, which I appreciate. The instruction manual breaks each character’s
attributes into three categories: speed, strength, and jumping. As best as I can tell, the characters speed
is about the same unless the character is holding a heavy item, like an enemy. Once holding an enemy, Toad is insanely fast,
Princess Peach is slow, and Mario and Luigi fall somewhere in the middle. The jumping is where the game offers significant
changes. Toad has the shortest jump distance and height. Mario is about average, but Luigi and Princess
are vastly different. Princess Peach has an unique hover jump. Rather than an arc, she moves along a straight
line which beginners might find beneficial. She is not overpowered though. Her weakness is her slow grabbing speed. It can be difficult to nab all of the coins
in subspace for example, and her battles against Birdo can be harder in tight quarters. If one isn’t paying attention, she can get
beamed by the next egg due this slowness. Her jump isn’t even the longest either. Luigi’s jump is actually longer than Peach’s,
allowing him to clear a few gaps in the game not accessible to others. More importantly, he can jump much higher
than the other characters. This allows Luigi to skip sections or tackle
platforms more efficiently than other characters. But his impressive jump height and distance
comes at a cost. He feels slippery. Landing on small platformers is most difficult
with Luigi as he is so twitchy. Again, a good trade-off. So, Peach is the easier character to use,
but runs and grabs items slowly. Luigi has the highest and longest jump, but
his slippery controls require an extra level of dexterity to use. And Toad has the weakest jump, but he is extremely
zippy, and his fast pick-up speed makes the combat the easiest. In my opinion, these three characters achieve…
balance. It is easy to point out the strengths and
weakness of each character, and these strengths and weakness are meaningful to the game. There is a reason most casual players prefer
Peach, while experienced players alternate between Toad and Luigi depending on the level:
there are tangible advantages to each. This leaves us with Mario. I honestly don’t know what the designers
could have done to give him a boost, perhaps an extra hit point or something. I’m not sure, but he is easily the worst
character in the game offering nothing to the player other than maybe a sense of familiarity. While Mario mars an otherwise well balanced
roster of characters, SMB2 is more balanced than say… Mega Man 2, where the Metal Blade weapon is
best in most situations thanks to it’s 8-direction firing and frugal use of energy. Super Mario Bros. 2 certainly isn’t perfect
though. The digging sections were fun the first few
times playing them as a kid, but playing them now, they feel repetitive. World 6-1 has the ridiculous section where
the player has to search dozens of vaces looking for a key. Sure once one memorizes it’s in the fifth
one from the right, its no big deal, but man I wasted a lot of time here on my first couple
runs. World 5-2 also includes a free fall section
requiring memorization, rather than quick reflexes, to pass. Enemies also spawn immediately when exiting
Subspace, which can cause surprise deaths out of the players control. The key can also get stuck on top of the player,
wasting time. Speaking of glitches, for some reason I would
hit invisible walls with Luigi which would kill mid-air momentum and cause death. And of course the life acquisition process
is luck-based, often times not rewarding the player for taking the time to actually acquire
coins. So, where does this leave Super Mario Bros.
2? Well I feel comfortable declaring it to be
superior to its predecessor. The set-pieces are better, the enemy variety
is a great deal better, and the bosses offer a far more engaging challenge than the repeated
Bowser fights. While I do somewhat miss the tight platform
placement of the original, as well as how Mario quickly descends when releasing the
jump button, Super Marios Bros. 2 does a nice job offering levels which accommodate characters
with 4 distinct jumping arcs. The game was influential too. Other developers would take the ideas and
implement them into their own games. Vic Tokai would incorporate the 4 playable
character gimmick in their 1989 Master System game Psycho Fox. Capcom would make throwable blocks a primary
feature of their 1990 hit Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers. However few 8-bit platformers surpass the
overall depth found in SMB2. I absolutely love finding new ways to utilize
the mushroom blocks to defeat the various bosses. I love how even after 30 years I’m still
finding new mushroom locations. I enjoy finding new ways to abuse Luigi’s
incredible jumping capabilities. And it wasn’t until the production began
on this video that I realized how amazing Toad actually is thanks to his super speed
when carrying an enemy. I love how this area has a turtle shell, which
can be used to take down a bunch of Ninjis when the player throttles their speed. I like using the Flurry’s momentum against
them and watching them slide to their doom. I dig manipulating the re-spawning enemies
to make this Magic carpet super fast. I love the little creative moments, like riding
a Birdo egg across a massive gap in stage 4-3. I appreciate how each new screen acts as a
checkpoint, helping the game move along at a nice clip without forcing the player to
repeat too much of the level. I love how the game nudges the player to ride
the Albatoss, and then asks them to do it again later when the solution is less obvious. And finally, I appreciate how well the designers
incorporated the horizontal wrapping into so many of the vertical areas. Overall, Super Mario Bros. 2 is a great game
and a great lesson in how to do a sequel. The gameplay is familiar, yet there are enough
new mechanics to help the game feel fresh. The visual fidelity is a step up, and the
music tracks are as good if not better. The game is loaded with replay value thanks
to the magic vaces, three useful characters, and secrets like the warp zones. I certainly can’t say this is the best Mario
game of all time, but the level of competence and polish found here is surprising for a
1988 release. If you’ve somehow skipped the second installment
of this iconic franchise, give it a try, you might be pleasantly surprised.


  • Gnidel

    I like this game more than 3 and World.

  • Realla Coats

    I think picking Mario offers balance…..he has dead on controls….like you said, Mario is familiar so we know what to expect from him which makes him cool based on the fact we don’t have to get used to anything new with him…

  • My Nostalgia

    Thank you for the fun and alive review! It has amazing ballance of theory and memories. Good luck with the creative activity!

  • Edward Gaines

    It's funny. The title says "Super Mario" but the best player is Luigi. He can tackle almost any stage.

    Mario is just the boring all-rounder like Ryu!

  • Vegarot Fusion

    I preferred SMB2 back in the day simply because it offered more and was harder. SMB1 was just playing through the levels until you got bored and turned it off or warped to world 8 and finished the game. I actually played Ghost n Goblins more than SMB1. When I was 6 I dominated GnG. Now I'm only able to beat it thanks to the save state option on the emulators.

  • PSXMicha

    dude sorry but I had to dislike this video! production value is good, but you praise this sequel sooo much and it isn't really a true sequel at all. you act like nintendo are some kind of geniuses here by making this "sequel"

    But this game is just doki doki panic. nintendo thought the true super mario bros 2 was to hard for the western market, so they just used the game doki doki panic and put some Super mario sprites on it

  • Jonathon Gillis

    I never got into SMB2. 1 and 3 were always a go-to. I found it to be weird and kind of frustrating to play overall.

  • Matt McKinney

    True, Mario had no strengths, but he also had no weaknesses. That was the point…he was the gimmick-free option.

  • edward18517

    Don't really know why you say it's "how to do a sequel", when all it is is mainly just a copy-and-paste job of a different game with Mario Characters put into it.

  • XO Gold J.G.S.

    man this was a great game… so many memories from 1989/1990…..

  • Snarky Mark

    Super Mario 2 (US) > Cancer > Super Mario 2 (Japan)

  • Suzuki Halwende

    Seriously! This isn't the real Mario 2! It's Doki Doki Panic reskinned! Mario 2 was only officially released in Japan!!! REALIZE THIS!!!

  • Elan

    Come on, where are you pulling all this BS from? This is not a sequel to Super Mario, this is Doki Doki Panic rebranded as Mario. None of the points you stated in this video are valid at all.

  • Skeletonpuns24

    A shame this game wasn't originally designed with Mario in mind

  • Markku

    in the Super Nintendo Version, there is a strategy to the slotmachine. Kinda like the Toad Minigame in Mario Bros. 3

  • Shane Ardoin

    As a kid at the time I don't know how I bet this game

  • Neightro

    19:10 Not Luigi's last encounter with invisible surfaces.

  • Amazing Andy

    I played smb2 when it was new but I don't think childhood me ever realised you could move the potions to make mushrooms appear and get more hitpoints 😲 #mindblown

  • Brian Roberts

    Great video. Great game. You say Mario is not a useful character because he doesn't have any unique advantages but that provides a slight increase in challenge which some players will look for especially on replays. It also makes Mario's abilities feel consistent from the first game to the second.

  • DigitalChaos

    i feel like the commentary, some of it was ripped from watching speedrunners and not being honest. Toad speed comment, the comment about how "advanced" players will switch from Luigi and toad.

  • FaZe Goofy

    I thought Yoshi's Island 2 was I guess the creator of Mario made a mistake from Japan

  • Chris Stokes

    I loved this game I know its not exactly what you want from a Mario game because of its repackaged story but…. So call of duty every year

  • Shaun Dickey

    I just wanted to say that I think the reason most players don't remember Clawgrip is because they warped past World 5 and thus never fought him.

  • Videogames Rule!

    what about the GBA version

  • Scarygoround Seven

    re skin of doki doki panic. because lost levels was never released in america due to its difficulty. i though this was a weird sequel but still love it because of the memories i hold of it as a child. great game

  • Titus McCarthy

    Never seen such a thorough analysis of SMB2

  • Tidus

    i love mario

  • Gabriel Pescado

    You mentioned that the fact that most players remember their copy of SMB2 not having Clawgrip as a boss was more interesting than the boss itself. It makes me think that the reason most players have that false memory is because Clawgrip was such a forgettable boss that players literally forgot he was in the game.

    Not to discredit the game as a whole, though. I love this game!

  • MrGoat

    I have a theory for why some players don't remember the clawgrip boss. First of all, its the boss of level 5 and many kids may not have gotten that far. More importantly though, I'd ask whether those people knew about the warp pipes as kids, and used them often. Because if you used the warp in world 1, you go to 4, and most players then would use the warp in 4-2 to go to world 6, and beat the game from there. Another route is to warp from world 3-1 to world 5, then take a warp in 5-3 (thus leaving before reaching Clawgrip) to go to world 7. Either way, both warp routes through the game skip Clawgrip. This means the only players who likely fought him were ones that were skilled enough to reach him all the way from the beginning of the game without using warps, the only exception being if someone chose to warp to 5-1 from 3-1 but either skip or didn't know about the warp in 5-3.

    Bottom line: Most playthrough scenarios would end up either never making it to Clawgrip, or warping past him. I think this is more than enough to explain why a lot of people don't remember encountering him as kids, without invoking silliness like the mandela effect.

  • Jeremy

    I would argue the extra lives game is skill based. I have the timing for cherry’s down to the point that I can clear 100 extra lives without a problem. Fun fact, When you clear 100 men it switches to A01, then B10, then C20 and so on.

  • One 7 Decimal 2 Eight

    the only advantage of having all stars was the ability to save and have all games on one cart. otherwise the nes versions were superior because they came first and are still regarded as the best platformers of all time.

  • chromosome boo

    Super Mario Bros. 2 was one of my favourite NES Mario Bros games, I loved it more than the original Super Mario Bros. The SNES remake was amazing too, more colours and just plain awesome! Who cars how or where it originated, its now a Mario Bros. game, get over it!

  • Diego Crusius

    Even though I truly dislike this game and could never play it even back in the day, it was a pleasure to come here and watch the video about it

  • Kilgore Trout

    More like Doki Doki Panic reskinned: the art of the not sequel

  • Raymond Hall

    A lot of Nintendo's hit games had sequels that were totally different from the first game, and imo were often better, like Zelda 2 and SMB2, where you'll hear comments about how oh it doesn't fit into the series. How could it fit the series if at that point there were only two games? And (here comes the dumb comments because i have an opinion of my own) I'd say that Castlevania 2 has certain aspects that i find to make it a more complete game than the original. Those three games being so vastly different is what i liked the most about them, especially after those series expanded and they went back to being similar to the original

  • Sayak Sen

    And this is a demake of doki doki panic.

  • JustinEvitable80

    Luigi jumps higher than Princess but not farther. And some don't remember ClawGrip since most players warp to skip World 5 or remember a 3rd mouser fight in the original game of Doki Doki Panic.

  • Robert Hjalmarsen

    I never liked this game's physics. Something incredibly odd about the walking

  • HDDude1981

    Very good and thorough analysis.

  • yeet yeet

    what youre liking things that people hate

  • Belita William

    most of us had a friend who had this game and we ended up borrowing it, but never giving it back 😛

  • linguistically oversight 86

    Um it's not a Mario game it's a game called Doki Doki panic that's been reskinned with Mario assets 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

  • Jasper Jones

    Mario 2 is just Doki Doki Panic. Change my mind.

  • Gustavo Paz

    "Mouser is fought three times"

    Well, that's true for DDP, just not here in SMB2

  • Chick Finnegan

    In my top 5 nes games. Always a classic, to me.

  • Chaoss Inc

    You poor bastard.

  • Roger Gilbert

    Something else I bet you didn't know is that the end of level bonus rounds aren't really luck based. The items cycle at a fixed pattern and rate and then move so many spaces once you pick, so you can time your picks to get whatever you wanted with some practice. I actually got fairly good at doing so.


    This is American version, another game called 夢工場ドキドキパニック is similar to American Super Mario2.

  • GWS

    Hey I actually liked that key glitch where the key would bounce on top of the player's head. I used to do that just to see how high I could get the key to bounce.

  • Rift Shredder

    It's funny because in all the modern Nintendo games that feature Birdo she has that bow on her head which wasn't on the NES version but on the Super Nintendo version

  • Ramon Valenzuela

    This is not a smb game it’s a re skin of another game called doki doki panic. Japan didn’t release the actual smb 2 because they thought it was to hard for American players. So yeah !!!

  • Kris Shaw

    I gated mario 2 it sucked so bad

  • Steven Mills

    Imagine a full 3D "remake" of this game.

  • Mike Menzel

    Ironically, Mario is arguably the worst all-round player in a game with Mario in the title

  • arkdov

    Super Mario Bros 2 is my favorite Mario game still to this day.

    Before Nintendo even intended to make Doki Doki Panic, the project was intended to be the second Mario game. But afterwards Nintendo decided to shelve the project and decided to take the first Mario game and modify it by adding more obstacles to make the games harder and released it as Super Mario Bros 2: The Lost Levels (Japan). So to me Super Mario Bros. 2 of USA is as real as any other Mario game.

  • Funkopedia

    I want to note that Nintendo wasn't bucking convention by not having King Koopa (he wasn't Bowser yet) be the villain, or not having Toadstool (she wasn't Peach yet) be kidnapped. Those had only happened in one game at this point, so there was neither expectation nor tradition of it.

  • revinevan87

    there's something too HD about the audio. we can hear, in addition to your voice, all the little sounds your mouth makes and it's really annoying.

  • NickPixel

    That was an awesome video. Subscribed!!

  • JSenator06

    People just don't remember well, Clawgrip was in the game from the beginning.

  • Kyle James

    Funny to here you say Mario is the worst. I have always thought he was the best because he was 2nd best at everything and had no weakness.

  • MrMekmek29

    Another great reviewer and narrator.. you got yourself a subscriber sir!

  • Gibbo The Hippo

    Game of the year

  • TKnightcrawler

    I agree. It's a great game. 🙂

  • Dedede da prankstah


  • KnuckleDuster2004

    It's not the Mandela effect, people that don't remember clawgrip used warp zones and never saw him or fryguy

  • Matthew Curran

    SMB2 is a remake of Doki Doki panic for the western audience as they thought super Mario lost worlds was too hard and repetitive for Western's which was SMB2 in Japan.

  • 9milly kitty

    i know it's been said already but it can't be stressed enough – the life acquisition process (the slot game) in the nes version is NOT luck-based! please see my world record max-lives run 🙂

  • dead poinsettia

    I've always loved SMB2. Great video!

  • brian thomas

    My favorite things about Super Mario 2. No clock and backtracking. I could take my time to explore the game without the extra pressure of completing it before time runs out. And with backtracking, I could go back and get something I missed.

  • ssjup81

    I used to use Luigi against Wart. I'd grab the object, jump behind him and hit him that way.

  • Dave Danger

    I get this wasn't the real SMB2 but it was what I grew up with. You absolutely nailed it with this review. This is a very underrated sequel and was unfairly labeled as the redheaded step child of the Mario franchise. Kudos on a great video!

  • Anthony Beers

    There are tricks to the slot machine. They also really pushed the hardware some of the complaints were hard to avoid on an nes

  • TTGGrave

    Great review. Oddly, as a kid, I of course had SMB, as well as SMB3, but my cousin had this game, so I only played it on occasion, and I think that made it seem more special. It helps that it’s such a wonderful and fun game. I don’t think it’s possible to play this game and not be happy.

  • King_Svveat

    I could play this on my smartphone right now.



  • Deconverted Man

    Mario is the "balanced" one.

  • Blink th3Dog

    I'm 37 and I remember my dad bringing this home one day when it first came out when I was little. Always was a favorite

  • Jack Muise

    I remember this was probably the very first game I ever got in the game boy for Nintendo ds version when i was seven. Absolutely loved it and didn’t even know about the original version until later. I was wondering how you felt about doki doki panic as well. Random side note trivia, in the original version of smb2, the instruction manual actually states that birdo is transgender.

  • GimpsGaming

    Not even going to mention Doki Doki panic?

  • Daniel Olsson

    This was the western version of Super Mario Bros (Mario Mania) Nintendo of Japan did not release the "true" Sequel to Super Mario bros because they thought it probably was too hard to westeners. North America and Europe did get the sequel, The Lost Levels in Super Mario All Stars. Damn everytime I hear the main theme I think of this:

  • Elmo Sexwhistle

    I love Mario 1+3 dynamics, but equally love 2, and wish that Nintendo would revisit this style of play.

  • Sezmo Forsyth

    Mario is useful because his stats are completely balanced, they dont lean towards jumping grabbing or running. his jumping is meant to be average for that play style. I always try playing the other characters but end up on mario.

  • Blue Ballistic


  • X X

    Down vote for ditching Sonic Heroes, sorry. Nice video though, and nice in-depth look at SMB2 and not treating it as a glorified reskin.

  • Mohamed Warsame

    You know that Mario 2 is a doki doki ripoff

  • ShyGuyXXL

    I think you should've taken a closer look at the GBA version of the game. It's not just a port. They added a TON of stuff to it. And I'm not just talking about the voice clips.

  • Miles Prower

    i definitely would not say mario is underpowered compared to the other 3 characters, yes there seems to be no clear advantage to using him, but that’s a double edged sword as there is no disadvantage for mario either, he can pick up objects rather quickly making combat eases for him than peach or luigi, but is still beat out by toad. he doesn’t lose or gain speed when carrying an object (as far as i can tell) which is better than peach and luigi who slow down, but not as good as toad who speeds up. now mario jumps about as high as peach, i’m pretty sure he actually jumps higher though, but he doesn’t have the float, he has a trade off with peach, but is worse than luigi, however his jump is leagues above toad’s. all of these combined make mario easier to handle than luigi or toad, and i’d say he’s on par with peach, mario is the template the other characters used and is the equalizer among them.

  • FullmetalHagane

    Alright, I gotta get on this game already.

  • Dylan Stakely

    I played the GBA version of this game a lot as a kid. I'm glad I found your channel. You make great videos, man.

  • Pedro Guilherme

    You regard differences as being design choices for a sequel. The problem is, this game was not even supposed to be a sequel for SMB. Not mentioning this fact was quite an oversight.

  • HardcoreGamer4Ever

    This is probably my favorite of the NES Mario trilogy if I'm being honest. I don't even care if it's not a real Mario game.

  • Nintendo Cartooner 2

    Ummgh.. are we sure about this?

  • dinosoid2000

    For not starting as a Mario game it's kinda shocking how many of the franchise staples started there.

  • Dennis Sims

    Easily my favorite Mario game. Fun, fast, different, and with lots of replay value.

  • dead poinsettia

    Mario is the average.

  • Lane Argent

    I don't remember claw grip at all In smb2.

  • Aurum

    It's all fun and games till you remember it's technically not a mario game

  • Foxeye

    This game was also the game I finished first, though it was the All Stars version.

  • InternetTAB

    fuck yeah. fry guy is the best fight!

  • Joe Smart

    This review is completely wrong – Nintendo did not put any thought into this "sequel." SMB2 in Japan is basically just a harder version of SMB1. Nintendo of America received an advanced copy of the Japanese version of SMB2 and hated it. They sent it back to Nintendo of Japan saying it was too difficult for American consumers and warned that it would not be well received in US markets. Nintendo of Japan heeded the advice and abandoned plans to release the highly difficult SMB2. Instead Nintendo of Japan took an unrelated game that was intended to be Japan-only, they re-skinned the main characters of the game with Mario, Luigi, Peach and Toad. No changes were made to the any other aspects of the game which is why the game play and enemies are completely different from SMB1.


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