The road to Wonder stops at a new strangeness: today’s retro-review is for the island of Super Mario Land 2 and its oddities
The road to wonders, Road to Wondertakes us to stop with another retro-review: the one for the continuation of the chapter examined two weeks ago, that is Super Mario Land 2. To no one’s surprise, while on fixed consoles the first sequel of the main series did not fail to amaze the public, the second sequel on portable platforms did the exact opposite. But even with a few more dogmas from the Mario series, it cannot be said that Land 2 is pure order. Let’s face it, after all this is still the title in which that stinker made his debut Wario! This alone would earn the game rightful entry into the pantheon of delusions, but there’s a lot more to talk about.
Home invasion | Road to Wonder: Super Mario Land 2 retro-review
We will hardly mention Wario when we have to write the review of Wonder, but the narrative pretext of Super Mario Land 2 is entirely about him. After the events of the first chapter released on Game Boy two years earlier, Mario takes a holiday on his personal island: Mario Land itself. Only to then discover, however, that Wario has stolen his castle from the protagonist, sealing the entrance with six golden coins distributed to as many bosses. It will be up to Mario to recover what the game’s subtitle calls i 6 Golden Coins. With almost total freedom on the order in which to do it, giving the final blow to the arcade-style progression which involves the succession of levels until the end credits.
Laptop Equivalent | Road to Wonder: Super Mario Land 2 retro-review
In a similar way to The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening for Game Boy, which was the pocket equivalent of A Link to the Past in terms of gameplay, in the same way Super Mario Land 2 seems almost like a portable variant of the released chapter on SNES, Super Mario World. As if Mario’s sprite in the overworld, clearly taken over by his “big brother”, wasn’t enough to remember him! It may also be for this reason that, as we anticipated, there is now room for one map screen, from which to select the level to play (and/or replay). However, while no world shakes the linearity of experience with some fork in the road, the worlds are all accessible in any order. In short, the game does not fail to restore order revolutionize everything!
Crazy worlds | Road to Wonder: Super Mario Land 2 retro-review
Likewise, i worlds of the game each boast a unique and unmistakable identity, much more marked than the already imaginative first Land. Ideally, the “first” world would be there Tree Zone: an area of the game in which you slowly climb to the top of a gigantic tree. However, it is also possible to start from Macro Zone, a gigantic house in which to face even ants. Or from Pumpkin Zone, a haunted world where Goombas wear hockey masks with a dagger stuck in them. And what about instead of Mario Zone, a huge robot with the features of the hero? Not to mention, then, the Turtle Zone: An underwater world accessible from the turtle’s head in the southeast. Finally, the Space Zone requires entry into the hippo level to the northwest, but brings the plumber into the cosmos in no uncertain terms for the first time. Years before Galaxy!
Everything, really everything, under control | Road to Wonder: Super Mario Land 2 retro-review
The torture (sorry, dear purists of the very first episodes) of the air movement enslaved by inertia also ends. THE salt of Super Mario World are at the player’s complete disposal: fast, precise and reliable. Not only that: pressing ↓ in mid-air allows you to transform the jump into the spin variant seen and appreciated in the SNES episode. Of course, the use of larger sprites also brings with it a hint of screen crunch, but the occasions in which the player cannot foresee a danger are more unique than rare. The game promises to bring the magic of Super Mario World to the small (in every sense) screen of the gray brick. And, scaling aside, we would say that the experiment was fully successful.
Portable power! | Road to Wonder: Super Mario Land 2 retro-review
The power-ups available to Mario start from the essentials: outside of the mushrooms, the Fire Flower makes its portable debut here. Given the lower verticality in the level design (alternative level exits permitting, available in the “high and low” variants already seen in the first Land), Fire Mario he can return to expressly attacking anyone who stands in front of him. Furthermore, as an interesting novelty, Bunny Mario allows you to glide, similarly to the Cape from Super Mario World or Flying Squirrel Mario from New Super Mario Bros. U. However, you never deny yourself some extra costumes. Just think about the space suitwhich adds to his power-ups in the depths of the Space Zone.
Souvenir photos and mug shots | Road to Wonder: Super Mario Land 2 retro-review
Each of the boss faithfully adheres to the theme of the world to which it belongs. Guarding the gold coin in the Tree Zone, for example, we have a colossal bird. Tatanga returns from the previous game as a minor boss, but (predictably) is fought at the end of the Space Zone. Of all the bosses, however, we would gladly point out the fantasy behind which the Mario Zone ends with the three little pigs. The entire fight follows the logic of Joseph Jacobs’ fairy tale, with the pigs convinced that Mario intends to tear down their houses. And he will, but only to get started final clash with which to put an end to the ambitions of that usurper Wario.
Meowser before its time | Road to Wonder: Super Mario Land 2 retro-review
Well yes. It is believed that the final battle with Bowser in Super Mario 3D World represents the first occasion in which the antagonist uses power-ups against the player, but this is not the case. The need for a “bad Mario”, or in Japanese for a “Warui Mario” (Wario), was aiming for this from the beginning: a battle in which to face an evil double, bigger, fatter, stronger and more ignorant. Which is also symbolic of how, in the future, Wario would actually manage to steal something from our hero. Not that castle, presumably earned with coins in the first chapters of the series (and never mentioned again by the series). But something bigger.
“With blackjack and luxury call girls”
Wario stole the concept of the “Land” series from Mario. The next chapter, Super Mario Land 3would have seen that sequence of words acting as a mere subtitle to the real name of the adventure: Wario Land, in which the doppelgänger is trying to conquer a castle of his own. However, unlike Mario, Wario would later be the protagonist of Wario Land II, Wario Land 3, Wario Land 4 and, on Wii, Wario Land: The Shake Dimension. Nowadays the indie scene keeps alive the spiritual legacy of the so-called “genre”. Wario-like, with exponents such as Antonblast, Pizza Tower and even the shooter Treasure Tech. Without anyone remembering that, in the past, it was a more humble plumber who gave life to platformers in which you can bet coins to get extra lives (and transform into a bomb to cancel a save).
Now it’s up to you to tell us your opinion: what other game are we going to fish out while waiting for the October 20thday one of the game? Let us know below, and as always don’t forget to stay on techgameworld.com for all the most important news for gamers and beyond. For your purely gaming needs, you can instead find the best discounts in digital format on Instant Gaming.