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Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins

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Nintendo
1992
Genre:
Action
Theme:
Humour / Misc. Fantasy
Language:
English
Licence:
Commercial
System:
Game Boy
Views:
2392

Rating [?]

Herr M.:
4/6
Overall:
4/6
Popular Vote:
4/6
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Local Reviews

Herr M. (2015-12-26) [hide]

Avatar As I am sitting down to write this review I start of with a seemingly good idea – which turns out to be horrible. I take the sentence ‘Super Mario Land 2 is a game’ and rewrite it over and over, adding a little detail each time. While the eighth or ninth iteration shapes up rather nice, it becomes really repetitive. What bothers me even more though, is that I say absolutely nothing about how I feel about the game at all. For some games this might be a good way to review them, but it seems really inadequate for this one. Maybe because when you have played a game for such a long time, talked with so many people about it, the game becomes more than the cartridge itself. The technical details might still be interesting, and maybe there is a thrilling essay about how fluid the animations are, or about the really creative level design in it, but I realise that I am not the person to write those, because I am far too biased. It is one of my all time favourite video games after all. So my mind starts wandering and I am thinking back at all those precious moments I shared with it…

There is an ad on the TV, an ad for an actual video game! I cannot believe my eyes and ears. And it is a sequel for one of the coolest GameBoy games too. A very weird looking guy named Wario is telling me to stop Mario from getting six gold coins and reaching his castle. He has got big hypnotic eyes, and admittedly I am a little bit afraid of him. Oh boy, did I get this right? A sequel with a mysterious anti-plumber telling me not to get it? He must be out of his mind. I am getting as excited about this as only a child can be, impressionable like I am…

It is ice cold and dark outside and I am sitting in the car, the rest of the family is getting into the vehicle too. I am mesmerised by a small screen, on which I can barely recognise a couple of pixelated sprites. Contrary to my mother’s rules I sneakily turn on one of the small lights over the back row. Shapes emerge in the dark-greenish yellow plane and I can finally take the first couple of steps in this new game world, I had been anticipating for months. Filled with joy I bounce on one of the myriad of mindless minions I am going to vanquish. A blooping sound acknowledges this victory, followed by a wave of endorphin. My father starts the car and we drive off to my grandparents with whom we want to celebrate the holiday too. It is Christmas, and one of the best ones too…

School is over – at least for today – and I am sitting on the bus on my way home, talking with a couple of friends, babbling away while we make our way through one of the tree levels. Suddenly one of them starts mentioning a hidden level. Just recently I had found one of my own and had thought that this was the only one, but lo and behold: He is talking about a totally different one, and he knows another one too! We concur that it is incredibly cool to have such secret pathways and that more video games should include them. It is also the moment where we start to realise that the carrot, which gives you flying power, is a lot more valuable than the fire flower, because while shooting baddies might be nice, being able to move to the really hard to reach places opens up a lot more possibilities. We wonder what else is laying ahead, make up some rumours, discuss how hard the boss fight will be and make wish lists for the third one of the series…

My parents are going away somewhere, probably to a ball or a short trip, and I am staying with my grandparents. Lounging on the couch I have finally, after months of playing, come to the last level… and it turn out to be incredibly hard. I almost despair in the face of fire ball throwing flowers, deadly spike traps and far too small platforms hovering over seas of lava. My grandmother comes in and asks me what I am doing. I take a short pause, which is a welcome to my strained nerves, and tell her some things about the game, while trying to avoid to get to technical about it. Because how can you explain things like that feel of control over Mario, who reacts to each and every tap of a button, or how fun it can be to manoeuvre barely over and under all those waves of obstacles, to someone who has never played a video game in their life? I am uncertain whether she can understand my enthusiasm for the game, but then again I am sure that she is just happy that I am having such a good time. Years later when she finally passed away and I am taking a look back, thinking of all the precious moments I shared with her. And while some of them drag me down, because of the loss I feel, it is the episode mentioned above that makes me smile the most…

While feeling rather bored my brother and me start up the GameBoy, which we dug out a couple of days ago after not having played with it in ages. Roaming around in one of the countless – maybe fourty or thirty? – levels, we talk about how great the music of this particular game is. We hum a couple of songs and eventually we make up our own lyrics for one especially catchy tune, the one from the Hippo stage. It is really stupid, somewhat Dadaistic, but we have an incredibly good laugh that brings tears to our eyes. Funnily I am afraid that I might forget the song and almost consider recording it, yet I still have it as an occasional ear worm and know the words by heart…

Whenever I am wandering into a second hand stores with GameBoy cartridges in it, this is one of the games I see most often. Each and every time I wonder how it would be to play it for the first time (again). The artwork on the front promises quite a lot: Mario is jumping the shark in front of a couple of islands filled with colourful, giant buildings. But after years and years of more detailed graphics with supposedly more and more 'photo-realistic’ images, orchestral sound tracks in full surround sound or ingenious new ways to control your characters, this one will look incredibly old as soon as you boot it up. Well that is if it was not for a nostalgia fad that will die of sooner or later, or will it not? One time I realise that the game must be worth a bit of money too by now, since it has a tag of almost 30€. So I start to wonder why would anyone, who has not played it, pick it up now? Why pay so much for it? Or do only people who owned SML2 but lost/sold it sometime, buy it again to relive the glory days of old? …

So, what is left to say? Super Mario Land 2 is a timeless video game for the good old Gameboy, whose fluent controls coupled with the easy to pick gameplay are not its real strength, as important as they might be, because it also crams in a lot of uniquely designed levels with a certain style, that outgrows the purely technical limitations of the used system, like the black and white graphics and mono sound, and lets the genius of its creators shine through in very nicely drawn mangaesque sprites and ear worm resonating beats, which rubs off a bit on the player and might leave a mark or two.

Game Groups

  1. Super Mario Land (Game Boy)
  2. Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins

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Comments (3) [hide] [Post comment]

Mr Creosote (2015-12-28):

Originally posted by Herr M. at 23:15 on December 27th, 2015:
Originally posted by Vagabond at 09:17 on December 27th, 2015:
Heh, i hear you... a bit of advice if i may: if you want to make it special - don't try to make it special.
Easier said than done. ;) To me it is kind of hard to write something up without some kind of 'masterplan', without some grand idea behind it. The funny thing is that those which were the most fun to write (like this one) are those which I guess are not that much fun to read or are not that informative.
Oh, I certainly wouldn't say this wasn't fun to read :D Whether it is this game or another one – we can all relate!

Herr M. (2015-12-27):

Originally posted by Vagabond at 09:17 on December 27th, 2015:
Heh, i hear you... a bit of advice if i may: if you want to make it special - don't try to make it special.
Easier said than done. ;) To me it is kind of hard to write something up without some kind of 'masterplan', without some grand idea behind it. The funny thing is that those which were the most fun to write (like this one) are those which I guess are not that much fun to read or are not that informative.

Quote:
Anyway, good review, man! I mean.. nice childhood account with some inadvertent references to the game stuck in-between, hehehe ;)
Thanks. :) Usually I try to avoid getting this overly nostalgic, but once in a while it is actually quite nice.

Vagabond (2015-12-27):

Quote:
I take the sentence ‘Super Mario Land 2 is a game’ and rewrite it over and over, adding a little detail each time.

Heh, i hear you... a bit of advice if i may: if you want to make it special - don't try to make it special. Based on my personal experience the easier you take it on first attempt the better it comes out, and it may only take a few corrections here and there after you have outlined the foundation, but don't overdedicate yourself prior to that point, cause it will only impede you. Been there, done that :)

Quote:
What bothers me even more though, is that I say absolutely nothing about how I feel about the game at all.

Clearly, what you really wanna tell us about is your carefree juvenile past, not the game, hehe ;)

Quote:
It is one of my all time favourite video games after all. So my mind starts wandering and I am thinking back at all those precious moments I shared with it…

Can't relate to it unfortunately, as i never owned a Gameboy myself... i can only say with full certainty that back in the days of my youth it would have definitely made me happy beyond words :)

Anyway, good review, man! I mean.. nice childhood account with some inadvertent references to the game stuck in-between, hehehe ;)

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