While the original Super Mario Land is undoubtedly a great game, with a mere 12 stages it's also one of the shortest adventures in Mario's history. If that original game was one small step for Mario games on Nintendo handhelds, Super Mario Land 2 was a giant leap for Mariokind and showed just what the Game Boy was capable of.
This is the first Mario platformer in which he doesn't have to rescue anybody. Taking place after the events of the original game, Mario returns from saving Princess Daisy to find that the evil Wario (in his first appearance) has stolen his castle and scattered the six magical coins that Mario uses as keys to the castle throughout Mario Land.
It's up to Mario to find these six coins and stick them back on the door of his castle so he can get inside and defeat Wario.
This sequel is bigger and better than the original in every way. There are more stages to play through (30 in total), the graphics are chunkier and have more of a Super Mario World feel to them, and the linear level structure has been replaced by a world map with themed levels that you can choose to play through at will.
Land Of Hope And Glory
The game contains some interesting features that have never been repeated in a Mario game. For example, rather than getting an extra life every time you collect 100 coins, you can collect up to 999 coins and spend them in a special roulette mini-game on the world map.
This makes it a little harder to rack up a lot of lives because 100 coins doesn't necessarily guarantee you a 1-Up.
The other big addition is the Carrot power-up which turns Mario into Rabbit Mario. This lets Mario float to the ground slowly if you hold the jump button or, if you batter away at it, it'll let him hover in the air for quite a while.
It doesn't quite give you the power of flight as enjoyed in the likes of Super Mario Bros 3 but it's still a fun power-up that adds a little more to the game.
Although it's not one of the main Mario console platformers, this is still packed with Mario charm.
The soundtrack is chirpy and cheery and will have you humming away to its unique theme tune after a while, the enemy sprites are bursting with character and the introduction of Wario as the final boss is a fine debut for the antihero.
It's an essential download for Mario fans who haven't played it yet.