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Super Mario Land 2 Review

Could Mario Land 2 be the best 3DS eShop game so far?

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.

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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total), the graphics are chunkier and have more of a Super Mario World feel to them, and the linear level structure has been replaced by a world map with themed levels that you can choose to play through at will.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.

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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.


19 comments so far...
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  1. MarioMagic Thursday 29th Sep 2011 at 15:28

    For some reason, I used to be scared of this game.
    I remember being about 5, getting up to the stage with the big rat, and the starting music used to scare me... :(

  2. acheaquil Thursday 29th Sep 2011 at 15:29

    Will probably pick this up after finishing LoZ:FS

  3. toffeeman30 Thursday 29th Sep 2011 at 16:17

    disagree with the score. i have the cart on my gameboy and its too easy to warrant that score

  4. Davesoh Thursday 29th Sep 2011 at 16:46

    Just downloaded this game, I'll start playing it later.

  5. CyberGW Thursday 29th Sep 2011 at 17:02

    Probably getting an E-Shop card for Christmas, so I'll get this, the original, Link's Awakening and something else then.

  6. falconpunch94 Thursday 29th Sep 2011 at 17:11

    Probably getting an E-Shop card for Christmas, so I'll get this, the original, Link's Awakening and something else then.

    Metroid II! It should be out by then.

  7. Castle Crashing Thursday 29th Sep 2011 at 17:19

    I just hope people who played Mario Land for the first time on the 3DS aren't put off getting this.

    The quality between the two is night and day. The second is so different and so much better, that you wouldn't even think it was the same series.

  8. sciqueen Thursday 29th Sep 2011 at 17:39

    I love this game! Never completed it though.

  9. Samster296 Thursday 29th Sep 2011 at 18:02

    I remember playing this game at my friends house. Not played it for about 8 years though :P

  10. Dertdood Thursday 29th Sep 2011 at 18:40

    I don't agree, Donkey Kong GB is a much better game

  11. Ai64 Thursday 29th Sep 2011 at 19:42

    I downloaded the game when I returned home from work. Classic and timeless gameplay really shines in this one. :D

  12. lminett Thursday 29th Sep 2011 at 21:10

    I dont know what it is about this game, but after playing it again recently theres quite alot i dont like about. Firstly this game has some of the worst music in a mario game ever, with the exception of the fast overworld theme and the second space level music the rest is really boring (even the starman music is the worst in any mario game). Secondly alot of the levels are easy to blast through and dont feel that long, you could easily do this game in an hour or two.

    Having said all that its not a bad game compared to other games out there, but stick to playing super mario bros, or the orginal land game.

  13. mushroomchow Friday 30th Sep 2011 at 07:01

    Classic game, love it. The first Mario game i ever completed. At a wedding reception in Rugby, to be precise. :D

  14. MrChewtoy Friday 30th Sep 2011 at 09:56

    The music is enough to warrant a purchase (although I already have the original).

    And I love the way in a previous ONM, it was said how they wanted Wrio Land: Mario Land 3, but asked Nintendo not to have to sit through Mario Land 2 first, and yet here we are, and it gets a great review score. Obviously these things aren't written by the same person, but it still struck me as odd and hypocritical.

  15. PinkShaymin Friday 30th Sep 2011 at 10:54

    I absolutely love this game! It was always one of my favourites for my Game Boy :D I still have the original cart but I have downloaded this anyway, will be great to have access to it all the time as I haven't carried my Game Boy around with me for years.

  16. Darkblizz Friday 30th Sep 2011 at 16:29

    One of the finest Game Boy games ever.

  17. wak Sunday 2nd Oct 2011 at 07:45

    Ah another trip down nostalgia lane, i remember owning this for the Gameboy many years ago.

    It's amazing how much comes back to you when you play it again.

    Not the best but recommended.

  18. 9 Times Sunday 8th Jul 2012 at 10:32

    A great game, will buy. :D

  19. Shmilly Saturday 8th Sep 2012 at 21:39

    I still have the original GB cart somewhere, I remember absolutely loving it. Having now re-played it thanks to the eShop, I have to say it's a lot easier than I remembered. That said, the final boss stage is insane and I never got past it back on my GBC. One of my favourite entries in the series, I think.

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