By: Roger Taylor
Mario 2 for the NES? If you don’t remember it, don’t feel bad,
as it was a rather forgettable game and easily the worst in the
Mario series. That’s because it was not technically a Mario game.
A completely different title was released in Japan under the title
of Mario 2. No one is quite sure why Nintendo decided not to release
that title here, but many have speculated that they felt it was too
difficult and challenging for American gamers. Instead, Nintendo
took a platformer by the name of Doki Doki Panic, inserted Mario
characters into it and released it in the United States under the
title Super Mario 2.
Advance for the Game Boy Advance is essentially just Super Mario 2
with slightly spruced up graphics.
For those of you
who never played Super Mario 2, that means that instead of the usual
head-smashing associated with 2D Mario games, you will be engaged in
vegetable throwing. Yes, you heard me right. Super Mario Advance’s
main gameplay feature is the ability to pull vegetables out of the
ground, and throw them at enemies. You can also jump on top of your
enemies, grab them and throw them. The other unique element of this
game is the multiple selectable characters. Mario, Luigi, Princess
and Toad are all playable characters, each with special abilities.
Mario is the "all around" character, while Luigi can jump
higher than the rest, and Princess can jump farther than the rest,
while Toad is the fastest of all.
gamers have never experienced the US ‘version’ of Mario 2,
Nintendo feels that this is an acceptable launch title. However,
this is terrible news for those of us in the United States who a)
have already played this game and b) were hoping for a brand new
Mario title before Nintendo pulled this on us.
That’s not to
say that Super Mario Advance will be a bad game. The original Super
Mario 2, when you let go your expectations of it, was a decent game.
This version should be even better, as it uses the enhanced graphics
used in the Super Mario All-Stars version of Mario 2 and will
feature several new levels.
interesting of all is the new four-player feature which, in my mind,
is the sole reason for purchasing this game. You and up to three
other friends can battle on levels that are very similar to those
used in Mario Brothers (the arcade and Atari game, not to be
confused with Super Mario Brothers, the ground-breaking NES title).
Best of all, this new multi-player mode only requires the use of one
cartridge! Thanks to the GBA and Super Mario Advance, you no longer
have to purchase two copies of the same game to play against someone
else. Now all of the data is pulled off of one cart.
Advance will be released with both the Japanese and North American
launches of the GBA.