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Super Mario Land 2: A Bigger Sequel

When it comes to sequels, whether in movies or video games, they may leave you with the opinion that they performed better than their predecessors, or didn't meet expectations. Maybe there's a certain aesthetic or detail that you liked in the original, or vice versa. We wouldn't get a sequel to Super Mario Land for another three years, making for a 1992 release, but was the wait worth it? In my opinion, it's a very easy "yes" vote.

What's it about?

Super Mario Land 2 takes off right after the ending of the first game, in which the alien Tatanga is defeated, Princess Daisy is rescued, and Sarasaland is saved, with Mario going back to his castle that's in his own homeland, simply known as Mario Land. But he's in for a surprise as his newly introduced rival, Wario has taken over the castle and has locked Mario out of it until he finds six golden coins scattered throughout the overworld after defeating the bosses that reside in the different zones.

Super Mario Land 2 borrowed a few elements from Super Mario World, including a new overworld map allowing the player to take a non-linear path on a Zone they could choose to go to as well as a new battery save system.

How's the gameplay?

Differentiating some elements from its predecessor, Super Mario Land 2 had bigger sprites, and allowed Mario to have floatier jumps and easier jump control, also bringing over his spin jump from Super Mario World. As with any new Mario game, we were also introduced to the power ups, including the Carrot power up that allowed Mario to grow rabbit ears on his cap and slowly descend from a jump similar to the raccoon leaf. But you can hold down the jump button as opposed to constantly pressing it. The fireball returns, giving Mario a feather on his cap to show that he has it, since the Game Boy lacked color to show his change in costume when using it.

Just like the first game, the level design concepts are far different than the themes you would usually see in the console games. While grassy plains may be present, you won't be seeing deserts or snowy areas, but rather its own distinct themes like outer space and even in an area full of toy blocks. Even the the spooky "Pumpkin Zone" feels a bit different from the ghost houses from World.

Another glaring difference is the fact that you can go over the 100 coin count, this time instead of gaining extra lives for the count, you cash them in at a casino in the overworld if you've saved up enough through a slot machine. As for taking out enemies, 100 of them will reward you with an invincibility Starman, and running into a handful of enemies for extra lives.

Did you know? Super Mario Land 2's Space Zone was the first time we would ever see Mario in outer space, predating Super Mario Galaxy by 15 years!

Super Mario Land 2 continued the tradition of including more unfamiliar and unfitting enemy types that weren't found in the console games, such as Japanese ogres, vampires and even bugs with stingers to name a few, although this time around, Goombas, Boos and Koopa Troopas returned.

Even with sprites being bigger you won't feel like there's that frustration of screen crunch where you didn't notice anything coming up from off screen, Mario runs at a fair pace and the controls are very tight, dare I say, a step up from the momentum that was in the first game.

Just like the first game, an exclusive comic/manga adaptation was only available in Japan, adding more to the story with additional appearances of Luigi, Yoshi, Princess Toadstool (Peach) and even Daisy returning, and featuring a mini guide of the game's levels.

Super Mario Land 2 also has some hummable tunes here and there just like the first Land, whether it's the overworld theme of the grassy plains or even the catchy level 2 theme of the Space Zone, it's definitely worth hearing them every now and then just to give you something to bop your head to.

Overall, Super Mario Land 2 stands as a huge step up from the first game. You can revisit levels, cash out any coins at a nearby casino for lives, and newbie gamers will have an easier time going through with the pick up and play controls making for a more pleasing experience to play through the game.

What are your memories of Super Mario Land 2? Leave a comment and as always, see you next article!

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Benjanime Posted on Apr 12, 2022 at 10:59 PM


i would certainly put it in my top ten game boy games, my love! definitely give it a playthrough if you can, it's fun! and thank you always for the compliments, my love! ❤

Julie Posted on Apr 12, 2022 at 04:48 PM

I can feel your passion for video games on this cute, well-written article. ❤ I love your charisma and cute enthusiasm, my perfect love @Benjanime. ❤❤

I had the cartridge with the first game only but I did play a bit of this one on emulators years ago and I absolutely agree with you: superior graphics with big sprites, beautiful stages and of course, an even more pleasant gaming experience. ❤ I'm glad you're a game lover (as I am). ;)

The way you talk about the game makes me want to play it again. ❤

Benjanime Posted on Apr 11, 2022 at 11:22 PM

just thought i'd clear something up: this was meant to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the game but since the actual anniversary month isn't until november i thought i'd go ahead and publish it now before i forget later. well anywho, enjoy!

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