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Reviewing the Real Super Mario Brothers 2

Zonk posted about 8 years ago | from the cue-the-music dept.


An anonymous reader writes "When Mario Brothers 2 for the NES came out in the U.S. in 1988, many people were surprised at how different than the original Mario Brothers it was. The second Mario Brothers title that U.S. audiences know was never designed to be a Mario title at all. Instead, it's a game called Doki Doki Panic that's been modified with Mario sprites. Here's a review of the original Super Mario Brothers 2 as designed by Shigeru Miyamoto and released only in Japan. Nintendo felt that the poison mushrooms, blowing wind, and warps that took you backwards made it too difficult for North American audiences."

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This is news? (5, Informative)

Joehonkie (665142) | about 8 years ago | (#15142444)

I think most of us knew this ages ago. The "real" Super Mario Bros. 2 has been available in collections since the SNES era.

Re:This is news? (4, Informative)

ThisNukes4u (752508) | about 8 years ago | (#15142466)

To further clarify, it was available in the U.S. on the SNES game "Super Mario All-Stars" in the sub-game "Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels".

Re:This is news? (2, Informative)

grumbel (592662) | about 8 years ago | (#15142918)

In addition to that it was also present in the Gameboy Color game SuperMarioBros Delux.

Read about what you can never play (-1, Redundant)

babbling (952366) | about 8 years ago | (#15142447)

Why would anyone want to read a review of a game that they will never get a chance to play?

It's already here (and coming again?). (1)

ro_coyote (719566) | about 8 years ago | (#15142631)

Super Mario All-Stars (SNES) [wikipedia.org] has an updated version with a graphical facelift (game titled "Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels"), and even as an unlockable in Super Mario Bros. DX [wikipedia.org] for the Game Boy Color.

In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see it re-appear (the original NES version) on the Nintendo Revolution via its Virtual Console once it launches. We may very well get to see an official launch of the NES original (hopefully).

Re:Read about what you can never play (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15145301)

Try sites like Console Classix [consoleclassix.com] .
They offer NES emulation for free, and other consoles (e.g. SNES) for a fee.

It's also legal, so they can (and have) told the IDSA to piss up a rope, because they only let people emulate games they actually have in stock, acting like an online game rental place.

Current Events (2, Informative)

Chrismith (911614) | about 8 years ago | (#15142458)

Yeah...this was news in 1988. It's been pretty widely known for a very long time. Good job, Slashdot -- way to keep up on the times.

Meh, what a worthless review (1, Flamebait)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 8 years ago | (#15142459)

He basically reviews a really old game that wasn't released in the US initially, but did find its way into super mario all stars (what was it, 10 years ago?)with updated graphics. Why review the original is beyond me unless you really wanted to see if Nintendo made any gameplay differences(the author never talks about the differences, if they exist)

Re:Meh, what a worthless review (2, Informative)

shoptroll (544006) | about 8 years ago | (#15142523)

From what I've read on Wikipedia, the All-Stars versions of Mario 1 and Lost Levels have a "floatier" jump, which I guess means there's less control of the jumping or something. I don't ever remember noticing that, but it's been a long while since I played either version, and I'm going to bet you'd have to play both side by side to actually notice something like that.

Re:Meh, what a worthless review (1)

Hercynium (237328) | about 8 years ago | (#15144501)

I do get the sense of the SNES port having a 'floatier' jump, as you described it.

SNES Mario also seems to skid a little more when running. It's been a few months since I played the original on the NES - but I've always felt the control of the original NES gane was tighter. It might simply be a matter of perception though.

That all-stars cart is one of the best packages of games available. I still play it to this day. :)

Re:Meh, what a worthless review (2, Interesting)

bort27 (261557) | about 8 years ago | (#15145471)

He basically reviews a really old game that wasn't released in the US initially, but did find its way into super mario all stars (what was it, 10 years ago?)with updated graphics. Why review the original is beyond me unless you really wanted to see if Nintendo made any gameplay differences(the author never talks about the differences, if they exist)

Why write this crappy article? Well, the E3 registration deadline is less than 2 weeks away. Maybe he's one review away from scoring a press pass. Hmm...

Oh look, he wrote an article about how to get into E3 last year [about.com] .


Super Mario All Stars (2, Interesting)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | about 8 years ago | (#15142465)

As mentioned at the end of TFA, a SNES reworking of the real SMB2 came out on the Super Mario All Stars cartridge as the Lost Levels. Also, hunting down a copy of the Doki Doki Panic ROM for NES emus is worth the time. It's kind of bizarre playing that game again without the cast of Mario characters.

Re:Super Mario All Stars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15144637)

-1, redundant.

US SMB2, Canon or not canon? (5, Interesting)

Whyte Panther (868438) | about 8 years ago | (#15142470)

I've always found it odd that even though the US SMB2 wasn't considered canon, some parts of it have managed to make their way into the real Mario world anyway, Birdo, Shyguys, the fact that Luigi can jump higher than Mario, Princess Peach floating...

Re:US SMB2, Canon or not canon? (1)

shoptroll (544006) | about 8 years ago | (#15142549)

Yeah, and that really started with Yoshi's Island having Shy Guys (and many varients) as the main baddies. I think the jumping was solidifed by Super Mario Advance and then Super Smash Brothers Melee drove it home.

Oddly the retconned elements seem to work somehow with the core franchise.

Re:US SMB2, Canon or not canon? (2, Interesting)

I(rispee_I(reme (310391) | about 8 years ago | (#15143053)

Actually, the first SMB2 enemy to be recycled was Bob-omb, in SMB3.
Bob-ombs also appeared in Super Mario World, along with Ninjis in Bowser's castle, and Pidgets (as replacements for Bullet Bill after you beat the Special world.)
Yeah, I'm way too into this.

Re:US SMB2, Canon or not canon? (2, Funny)

tukkayoot (528280) | about 8 years ago | (#15142554)

Maybe it's not canon because the entire game is a dream sequence. :)

Re:US SMB2, Canon or not canon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15142966)

Yet some of the dream baddies show up in the "real" world in later games...

Re:US SMB2, Canon or not canon? (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | about 8 years ago | (#15143355)

Maybe it's not canon because the entire game is a dream sequence. :)


Just because Mario dreamed the events and creatures seen in SMB2 doesn't mean they didn't exist in his reality, as well. In fact, if he dreamed of Shyguys and Bob-Ombs, it's probably more likely that those are animals he had encountered in his real life, instead of being entirely imagined.

(Are Bob-Ombs animals?)

Re:US SMB2, Canon or not canon? (4, Informative)

_xeno_ (155264) | about 8 years ago | (#15142594)

Luigi jumped higher in the Japanese SMB2 ("The Lost Levels"). If you look at the title screen [about.com] you'll notice that you have two options: Mario Game and Luigi Game. There was no two-player.

Mario runs faster than Luigi but doesn't jump as high. Luigi jumps higher than Mario but doesn't run as fast. Both characters would "slide" a little when they stopped running - Mario stopped faster than Luigi.

So the jumping thing is canon from the Japanese SMB2, not the American SMB2.

However, Shyguys have appeared in the various Super Mario RPGs (along with other US SMB2 enemies) so it would seem that it's canon-ish, at the very least.

The Wikipedia article on The Lost Levels [wikipedia.org] lists a bunch of gameplay features and comparisons from The Lost Levels. It's worth noting that The Lost Levels version of SMB2 is actually quite a bit easier than the original SMB2 - the Wikipedia article lists why. (In The Lost Levels, you have The ability to save and trestart at any level, so if you find a backwards warpzone you can easily restart the level you started from. The poison mushrooms were changed to be vibrant purple, looking nothing like normal mushrooms. There are other minor changes to enemy AI that makes the game easier as well.)

Bob-ombs (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | about 8 years ago | (#15142659)

I don't recall seeing Birdo in any of the later SMB games (though I have never owned a Nintendo portable, so can't speak to any gameboy mario games). Bob-ombs first appeared in SMB2, and have definitely been a mainstay of the series since. They were even in SMB3, if I recall correctly.

Re:US SMB2, Canon or not canon? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15143919)

SMB2 is definitely canon in my book. It was my hands down favorite of the original NES SMB series, and it might even be my favorite NES game.

The original SMB was fun at the time, probably mainly because I was still in the phase where it was important for me to be as good as the older kids at the pizza place. I guess in my mind I thought playing til I got it right was how to be cool/earn respect. Yeah, they got me good with that bandwagon. Unfortunately, the original game isn't fun for me as an adult. It requires way too many perfectly timed jumps, and I've grown accustomed to having more control in games. I've grown to hate the side scroll "take what they give you and play it til you get it right" mentality. I like being able to go back and explore. I have more fun when I play the game at my pace.

p.s. SMB3 was a lot more fun than SMB: the Tanooki and Frog suits were awesome, and also liked the overview map, but there's something about SMB2.

The sound you just heard (0, Offtopic)

Rude Turnip (49495) | about 8 years ago | (#15142482)

...was Ric Romero laughing his ass off, for a change.

Re:The sound you just heard (0, Offtopic)

MBraynard (653724) | about 8 years ago | (#15143743)

Sorry, but you have used an invalid meme on this site. Please refrain from cross-contaminating memes from other, lesser sites and, instead, re-inforce the established Slashdot memes such as:

In Soviet Russia..
A + B = Profit
Beowulf Cluster of X
Hot Grits
Natalie Portman


Re:The sound you just heard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15144998)


And you forgot to put them down my pants. Thank you.

Nitpick (4, Informative)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | about 8 years ago | (#15142496)

"Super Mario All-Stars" for the SNES contains this game, retitled "The Lost Levels." The Japanese version of All-Stars, called "Super Mario Collection," contains this game as "Super Mario Bros. 2" and the American Mario 2 as "Super Mario USA."

Re:Nitpick (1)

sampowers (54424) | about 8 years ago | (#15142698)

Right. You can't say that it wasn't released in the states, when it really sort of was.

By the way, it was significantly harder, and was a real step up in complexity from SMB1. Luigi jumped way higher, but was slower.

Re:Nitpick (1)

Aglassis (10161) | about 8 years ago | (#15142832)

By the way, it was significantly harder,

No kidding. I doubt that I'm the only one who had blisters on his hands from trying to beat level D-4. I think I spent about 400 lives on that level! But once I beat it I did the happy dance!

-1 to my faith in /. (-1, Flamebait)

shoptroll (544006) | about 8 years ago | (#15142513)

How the heck is this even considered newsworthy? I could see maybe for the new fangled generation (ie. started on the PSOne or PS2/XBox) of gamers but I don't think that applies to the majority of the /. audience.

And has been stated above, this has been common knowledge since Mario All-Stars. Not to mention that Nintendo had a small brief on the game in their "Mario Mania" hint guide for Super Mario World.

What next? A review for "Final Fantasy Plus": The US SNES version of FF5 that never got here?

I'd rather have seen a review for the cd-i mario games than this. At least those are truly obscure. *cringe*

I'm surprised THIS is newsworthy, while an updated version of "Out of this World" isn't.

Re:-1 to my faith in /. (1)

hanako (935790) | about 8 years ago | (#15142555)

I do have to agree... is there ANYONE who reads not just slashdot, but a games-specific section of slashdot, who DOESN'T know about SMB2?

Re:-1 to my faith in /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15142740)

Me. I didn't really start gaming until SNES.

Re:-1 to my faith in /. (1)

stlhawkeye (868951) | about 8 years ago | (#15144878)

I had no idea. I was just playing SMB2 on my original NES last night. There's a PS2 and an XBox in my house, and I'll take my old NES over either of them 9 times out of 10. I'd never heard of this about SMB2. But then, I'm not really a geek. I just enjoy a good video game here and there.

Re:-1 to my faith in /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15142695)

I'm surprised THIS is newsworthy, while an updated version of "Out of this World" isn't.

Huh? Slashdot covered [slashdot.org] the Out of this World remake.

Links Ahoy! (5, Insightful)

kisrael (134664) | about 8 years ago | (#15142519)

The Mushroom Kingdom [themushroomkingdom.net] is the best site I've seen for the Marioverse... they have a very good Doki Doki and SMB2 [themushroomkingdom.net] comparison.

Nintendo had a few oddball "2"s... I'm one of those oddball gamers who preders Legend of Zelda 2 to the original, I really dig SMB2 (it was the first game that made me think 'wow, THIS is a VIDEOGAME???', it looked that good).... and the way that Starfox 2 [dessgeega.com] was never released is a serious tragedy, it really was poised to take the series in some interesting directions, N64 is just pedestrian eye-candy in comparison...

Re:Links Ahoy! (1)

shoptroll (544006) | about 8 years ago | (#15142571)

Tack Yoshi's Island: Super Mario World 2 onto that list as well. If only for the unique graphic style it used.

Also, Mother 2 (aka Earthbound) had some neat changes to the jRPG formula (most of which haven't been seen since [to the best of my knowledge])... Trippy backgrounds, pizza delivery, "analog dial" hitpoints, auto-combat resolution against weak enemies, etc.

Re:Links Ahoy! (1)

EddieBurkett (614927) | about 8 years ago | (#15142673)

Also, Mother 2 (aka Earthbound) had some neat changes to the jRPG formula (most of which haven't been seen since [to the best of my knowledge])... Trippy backgrounds, pizza delivery, "analog dial" hitpoints, auto-combat resolution against weak enemies, etc.
So Everquest imported the concept of Pizza Delivery over from jRPGs... interesting.

Re:Links Ahoy! (1)

dimator (71399) | about 8 years ago | (#15144078)

I'm with you, SMB2 and Zelda 2 were a couple of great games, IMO. It's also a real testament to the quality of Doki Doki Panic that Nintendo thought the game was good enough to bare the name "Mario."

I wonder if such a thing could happen these days? Would Nintendo ever give the reigns of one of its star franchises to a developer with great ideas?

Re:Links Ahoy! (1)

kisrael (134664) | about 8 years ago | (#15144105)

Hmm. I'm not sure if they'd want to share one of their Mario "proper" games, but I believe that many of the Marioverse games, like Mario Party, Smash Brothers, Tennis, etc, are all done by "second parties". (This is off the top of my head, but I know it's the case for Smash Bros. and Tennis.)

Re:Links Ahoy! (1)

rawmule (744495) | about 8 years ago | (#15144721)

Nintendo actually hands over the big franchises to 3rd party developers fairly often.

Starfox Armada on Gamecube was made by Namco.
A lot of the Zelda handheld games have been made by Capcom.

The Metroid Prime series is developed by Texas-based Retro Studios (Americans!), which is a Nintendo second party.

News for Dorks.. (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15142563)

Sadly, Slashdot is losing what once made it cutting edge.

Re:News for Dorks.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15142781)

slashdot.jp is running an advanced version of slashcode and has more intellectually stimulating stories.

I remember when SMB 2 was released... (1)

Hamster Lover (558288) | about 8 years ago | (#15142752)

I remember when Super Mario 2 was released and I rushed home to play it. At first I was like, "What the fuck?", but the game grows on you. It was cool to be able to play as different characters with their different abilities. I also enjoyed the change in gameplay and level design and it was nice to see different backgrounds from the ubiquitous black in Super Mario.

I have the All Stars cartridge and have played the "Lost Levels". Some of them are pretty hard (and I really didn't get past the first few), but I think overall the US version of SMB 2 was needed to push the series into new territory.

Popularity of SMB (1)

LithiumX (717017) | about 8 years ago | (#15142754)

I never, even back when it was comming out, understood the rabid popularity of Super Mario Bros. I thought it was cute, but never any comparison with Metroid and other games on the NES.

SMB is one of those games that has me seriously wondering if, while I may personally be a fan of ultra-violent games, it may be easier for a more neutral game... something safe, secure, and guiltily cute... might always have a better chance of achieving lasting fame.

Think about the most "famous" games of the past few decades. It seems with few exceptions that it's only recently that violent games have become the dominant ones, and I'd bet much of that is due to the publishers, not the audience. Mature gamers automatically are drawn to mature subjects, but it seems that immature games have usually had the longest run.

Re:Popularity of SMB (1)

AuMatar (183847) | about 8 years ago | (#15142887)

Mature gamers automatically are drawn to mature subjects, but it seems that immature games have usually had the longest run.

No, we aren't. Mature gamers are drawn to fun games. Some of those are violent. Some of those aren't. I'd say the majority of them fall into the aren't catagory- most violent games add the violence because their gameplay sucks, so they go for shock value.

Beyond that- anyone who equates violence with maturity is either 13 or really needs to see professional help. If anything overt violence is a sign of immaturity.

Re:Popularity of SMB (3, Interesting)

LithiumX (717017) | about 8 years ago | (#15142984)

Beyond that- anyone who equates violence with maturity is either 13 or really needs to see professional help. If anything overt violence is a sign of immaturity.

I don't agree with that statement. Look at movies - there are two primary ways to get an R rating: sex and violence. The more explosions you add to a movie, the higher your box office draw. The more skin you show, the more adults will flock to your movie. Neither of these add anything to the plot or content of a movie, but without them it's harder for a movie to attact an audience.

Then you have movies like Seven, Silence of the Lambs, and other classics. These movies are built almost entirely around violence, and not of an immature kind either.

Violence is a part of everyone's life. Even in our relatively sheltered 21st century lives, it's a day to day fact - if not in person (and at some point it IS in person for most people), then by proxy. It's also a mature subject, in that you try to shelter the young from it as best you can - and in that it takes an adult to understand it as a story mechanism and not the central focus.

I also don't agree about most violent games having violence purely because of poor gameplay. I haven't seen many truly bad violent games, except for those copying far superior violent games. Grand Theft Auto required violence for it's storyline to work at all, yet the same gameplay worked well for Simpson's Hit and Run (a far less violent game). First Person Shooters require violence, and the greatest of them all have been some of the most violent games ever to exist. Also, like movies, fiction-based follow-the-story games have usually been at their best when the plot was "mature" - simply because sex and violence are visceral. Just ask Shakespeare. Virtually all of the major classics of literature have involved shock of one sort or another, even when that shock isn't as gaudy as less talented hands make it.

In other words, there is nothing intrinsically immature about violence. Glorifying it as something it's not is a sign of an immature mind that has neither truly experienced nor understands violence, but accepting it as a reality, and something that gives fictional events and experiences a deeper sense of reality, is a sign of maturity. Whether that person abhors it and avoids it wherever possible, or whether that person can sit back and enjoy a good tragedy without the "cool" factor, both are signs of maturity, not immaturity.

(Imagine Hamlet without the murder, vice, insanity, incest, and blood? Or Henry V, or Julius Ceasar, or Macbeth)

Re:Popularity of SMB (1)

wampus (1932) | about 8 years ago | (#15143970)

Just because something is possibly not appropriate for children does NOT make it "mature." Besides, the whole maturity/immaturity thing goes out the window when you realize that most adults are just big, whiny children anyway. If something is entertaining to you, good for you. Enjoy it.

Re:Popularity of SMB (2, Insightful)

Grey Ninja (739021) | about 8 years ago | (#15144253)

I'm trying to think of the highest ranking box office successes in history. Here's what I remember.

Star Wars (PG)
Titanic (PG)
Indiana Jones (PG)

Then I figured that my list was probably terribly incomplete. So I looked up this [filmsite.org] . Take a look for yourself.

Re:Popularity of SMB (1)

leland242 (736905) | about 8 years ago | (#15142933)

Hmm, first worthwhile 2D sidescroller...

Oh wait, first worthwhile 3d platformer...

Whats that now? incredibly polished gameplay mechanics?

Yet you are surprised that Mario has a devoted fanbase?

"Mature gamers automatically are drawn to mature subjects, but it seems that immature games have usually had the longest run."

You indicated in your post that you were alive when SMB came out for the NES, so that makes you 25(ish)+ - yet, somehow, you are surprised that a fun game will outlive the latest "mature" game.

wtf dude?

A million people before me have correctly stated that a truely mature gamer will select a game on its merits, not on it's flashy graphics, blood, guns, etc. Have you played Katamari? How about the new Star Wars Lego? I enjoy shooting as much as the next guy, but seriously, consider other options!

Re:Popularity of SMB (1)

LithiumX (717017) | about 8 years ago | (#15143070)

It must just be a matter of taste. I never enjoyed that game, and rarely enjoyed side-scrollers at all. I think the closest thing to SMB I ever got a kick out of was... Commander Keen. Every last one of them. Metroid and Thexder as well, to an extent.

As for options... I've been exposed to a wider array of games over the past few years than I have been since high school, mostly because now I have to "preview" for a niece and nephew (who are forbidden to play anything on their playstation until their uncle has validated it first).

One of the best kid-friendly games I've seen so far... even if it seems to be unknown: Herdie Gerdie (may be mispelled). A kid has to sheperd animals in what turns into a large-scale puzzle game (third-person perspective, each animal has different behavior, and the threats aren't all that threatening). The most violence that ever came out of that game was me cussing out my controller and abusing furniture while I was "playtesting" it.

I'm a firm believer that there should be virtually no restrictions on what's allowed in games, but also that an adult has to take responsibility for what kids play - at least to the limits of reasonable supervision.

Re:Popularity of SMB (1)

Pope (17780) | about 8 years ago | (#15144091)

Why aren't their parents doing the screening, one has to wonder?

Re:Popularity of SMB (1)

LithiumX (717017) | about 8 years ago | (#15144656)

I do the screening because... erm... my sister's judgement isn't always the best out there. Last time we let her decide, she figured "Evil Dead: Fistfull of Boomstick" was appropriate for a 5 year old. Her husband's time is more limited than mine... and I'm far quicker to punish transgressions ("please" doesn't work on me when I'm walking out the door with a confiscated Playstation).

Re:Popularity of SMB (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | about 8 years ago | (#15143426)

first worthwhile 2D sidescroller...

True, but by the time of the NES's North American launch, Japanese developers had already moved on to develop the second generation of scrolling platformers (e.g. Metroid). I think we need to admit that at least part of SMB1's popularity was due to its status as the pack-in game for most of the NES's that were sold.

Re:Popularity of SMB (1, Interesting)

MilenCent (219397) | about 8 years ago | (#15143069)

Mature gamers automatically are drawn to mature subjects, but it seems that immature games have usually had the longest run.

Be careful with the word "immature" here, it carries a negative connotation that I don't believe you intend (and you're wrong if you did intend it). And "mature" games, very often, are presented in a juvenile, sensationalistic way, while games that don't seek to play up their blood-and-sex content are free to have a more mature subject matter. Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, to give recent examples, are games have have almost a storybook presentation but are far from immature.

Anyway I think the phenomenon you bring up isn't all that surprising. Games that seek to shock or titilate tend to age rather ungracefully, since newer games that seek to do the same are, overall, better for having better graphics, while the older games are quickly superceded in the areas that were their primary selling point.

Re:Popularity of SMB (1)

LithiumX (717017) | about 8 years ago | (#15143167)

You've got a point. I meant "immature" as in kid-friendly (ie just about anything that doesn't involve bimbos, demons, heads getting cut off, and rivers of blood and bullets).

What would you call it? Neutral? Non-violent? (that last doesn't work as many of the Playboy-ish games fall under that category).

Maybe there just isn't a clear dichotomy, though there does seem to be a general friendly/hostile division. For instance, Tetris is more friendly than anything else - imagine it with darker music, shades of grey and red, and similar gameplay but a harsher look at feel. It would attract a slightly difference balance of audience).

Re:Popularity of SMB (1)

iamdaflash (915931) | about 8 years ago | (#15144043)

I think it's more about realism than maturity. Some people just prefer to be immersed in a realistic game world and alot of Nintendo games have gameplay mechanics that couldn't be explained in a realistic world. It's really hard to maintain realism and innovate thus we see small improvements over time with these types of games whereas Nintendo focuses on innovation and that's what they're known and remembered for.

SMB2 == ANGER (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15142759)

I knew there was a reason I hated SMB2.

Interesting fact about Mario... (4, Interesting)

casualsax3 (875131) | about 8 years ago | (#15142772)

The only reason Mario ended up with a mustache was because programmers needed some sort of feature to show that he had a mouth.

Re:Interesting fact about Mario... (1)

steveo777 (183629) | about 8 years ago | (#15143057)

Mario was also originally a carpenter. I don't know why they made him a plumber, but it might have something to do with jumping in and out of pipes all the time. They still haven't gotten the 3D models down yet. His pants should be low and there should be a crack. Well, I suppose if he wasn't wearing overalls...

Re:Interesting fact about Mario... (1)

gameforge (965493) | about 8 years ago | (#15143190)

His pants should be low and there should be a crack.

Mario's butt crack? Hmm... I think too much realism can draw away from the "fun" aspect of a game; this is one such instance. :-)

Re:Interesting fact about Mario... (1)

Hes Nikke (237581) | about 8 years ago | (#15144119)

Mario was also originally a carpenter.

yes, but in the carpenter era (read: Donkey Kong) he was named "Jumpman" only later, when he stared in his own game (Marion Bros. - not to be confused with the later Super Mario Bros.) did he become a plumber named Mario.

Re:Interesting fact about Mario... (1)

steveo777 (183629) | about 8 years ago | (#15144217)

Dang unions. Prabably why he quit and went freelance plumbing. At least people call you by your name when you work for yourself.

Re:Interesting fact about Mario... (2, Funny)

captaincucumber (450913) | about 8 years ago | (#15144611)

Mario was also originally a carpenter

So was Jesus.

It's a weird coincidence, that's all I'm saying...

Too difficult? (2, Interesting)

NorbMan (829255) | about 8 years ago | (#15142824)

Can someone explain to me why a game released in Japan was thought to be "too difficult" for players in the U.S.? Are we American's just wimps when it comes to video games? Are the Japanese really that superior to us in the arena of manipulating a pixelated plumber?

Re:Too difficult? (0, Flamebait)

ledow (319597) | about 8 years ago | (#15142911)

It's more to do with marketing that anything, I believe. If it's simpler, they can sell it to more ages of consumer. It's not unusual for other games to be "dumbed down" for an American audience. It's the American publishers that usually change it. It's also not limited to just games... films and books are also culprits.

Harry Potter and the ***Philosopher's*** Stone

Apparently the US doesn't consider itself bright enough to know what a Philosopher is.

There are countless examples of this happening. Just an example:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/1999/11/10/tomb_raide r_toned_down/ [theregister.co.uk]

I have a published children's author in the family and (aside from the changing of words that American children just would not understand because of culture differences), there is also a way to "write" for an American audience that incorporates these sorts of things. Publishers and editors will frequently remove bits that they believe are "too hard" for US kids to understand.

Re:Too difficult? (1)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | about 8 years ago | (#15144573)

Not sure why you've been modded as flamebait, but still...

It cuts both ways. The other week I was reading an article about how Counterstrike was modified for the Japanese audience. Biggest change I can remember is it's no longer terrorist/counter-terrorist. It's got a more futuristic edge, because Japanese audiences wouldn't go for original concept.

Japan has the best games IMO. Most of the games I love either started out as Japanese, or were designed by the Japanese, or, in some cases, were only ever released in Japan. (It's taken HOW long for Beatmania to finally get a US release? Yeah, thanks, but I was playing it back on the PS1.)

Nice to see someone mention the Harry Potter change. It had it's correct name up here in Canada. Never could figure out why they changed it.

Re:Too difficult? (2, Insightful)

AndyG314 (760442) | about 8 years ago | (#15142937)

There is an attitude at nintendo that americans art as good at games, or don't like hard ones, which prevails today.

Nintendo often does not releas some of its best games in the USA, and frequently "dumbs down" games for an american audience. Possibly because they see the american gaming audience as much younger...

Many ff games, SD3, and the first few fire emblem games were not released in the usa, other games like Fire Emblem path of radience were released here, but only much later, when nintendo needed something to keep the gamecube going after most other publishers had moved onto the next gen, and even then they took out nightmare mode.

I'm not sure why they do this, I don't see how it helps them, and I feel like it hurts them with the more hard core gamers.

Re:Too difficult? (1)

EggyToast (858951) | about 8 years ago | (#15143479)

It's actually been switching, even by Nintendo themselves. In the US, we now get "hard modes" tacked on to our delayed releases, and they typically tweak difficulty so it's actually harder in the US. One of the more notable examples was Metroid Prime, where we got a hard mode that Japan didn't get.

It used to be the case because here, the NES was pretty much for kids -- in Japan, it was for everyone. But in Japan, they still focus on story and quirkiness. A good example is many of the Final Fantasy extras. They made FF4 "easy" for US gamers. Yet they added the ultra-difficult WEAPONs for the US release.

If anything, it's been the easier games that haven't made the jump across the pacific, especially if you look at some of the games released in Japan that are purely simulators or offer little competition.

Re:Too difficult? (1)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | about 8 years ago | (#15144589)

I immediately think of the first release of Devil May Cry 3 here. The US "Easy" difficulty was the Japanese normal or hard. (I forget which.) So it's not just Nintendo doing it.

Re:Too difficult? (1)

voxel (70407) | about 8 years ago | (#15142950)

It could be that american culture instills that we are "wimpy" and all have ADD.

However, it could be that we are just fine and up for the challenge, and the real issue is the Japanese at the time didn't think highly of us (maybe still don't), and THOUGHT we needed a dumbed down version because we are slow wimpy monkey like americans.

Any way it goes, there is negative spin on it.

Re:Too difficult? (2, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | about 8 years ago | (#15143151)

I always thought that was just an attempt to stroke Japanese Egos.

Most likely, SMB2 performed poorly (despite selling a TON of inital games) because it was too freaking hard for average human beings. I suspect a lot of Japanese kids moved on to less brutally punishing games (like SMB1) and complained a lot that it was just insane. Of course I don't have sales figures from Japan 1987 to coorroborate this, but I know excessively hard games can easily fall out of the "fun challenge" into the "screw this" category.

Re:Too difficult? (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | about 8 years ago | (#15143449)

Can someone explain to me why a game released in Japan was thought to be "too difficult" for players in the U.S.?

Circa 1986, I'd guess that the average age of a Nintendo player in Japan was ~24, and the average age in the United States was closer to ~12. A game that might offer a suitable challenge for an adult gamer might make a child gamer throw the controller across the room in frustration.

Twenty years later, and the US has caught up with Japan as far as ages go. I'd expect local difficulty variations to be less pronounced now (especially with the advent of worldwide multiplayer online gaming).

Re:Too difficult? (3, Insightful)

some guy on slashdot (914343) | about 8 years ago | (#15143524)

Its possible the difficulty difference has nothing to do with the vast number of gameplay changes that get made when the game moves to the U.S market. Game developers probably tweak games for their American releases because we're the second market, and they can change things that they didn't like in the first run. They have time to make gameplay tweaks while they translate the game anyway, right?

As for the idea that the U.S. was given a "fake" SMB2 because the real one was too hard, I call bullshit. How do you think the American market would have reacted to a game that was essentially a level pack, and released only a year after the original game? It wouldn't have been worth the money, it would have made the Mario name seem generic, and would have served to dampen sales of the next Mario Bros. game. It was a better move in the American market to do something different, even if it meant making a game that was wacky and didn't quite seem to fit.

I don't know why some people seem to take the Super Mario 2 that we got as some sort of insult. It was an excellent game, and plenty hard in itself.

Re:Too difficult? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15143971)

I'd heard, a long time ago, that Mario 2 was too similar to Mario 1, and that's why Nintendo pushed, both internally and externally, for sequels to be significantly different than the original games.

Zelda 2, Final Fantasy 2, Fire Emblem 2, Castlevania 2, SMB2USA... Am I forgetting any? The most ironic part is that all of these series returned to their "roots" for the third release. Zelda 3 switched back to the isometric perspective. Final Fantasy 3 returned to experience points and level-ups. Fire Emblem 3 returned to the chapter-based progress instead of having a world map, Castlevania 3 (which, I'm aware, wasn't actually the third castlevania game ever made, but it was the third for the NES) was less of an RPG, and so on.

Super Mario 3 Clone for Win (1)

DiscoNick (743960) | about 8 years ago | (#15142902)

Its free, but be careful, it will ask if you want to install some yahoo bar thingie. Just uncheck the box.

Super Mario 3 Clone for Windows [filenuts.com] (should work with Wine too).

Re:Super Mario 3 Clone for Win (1)

I(rispee_I(reme (310391) | about 8 years ago | (#15143351)

"Yahoo Bar" you say?

25 MB download for Mario 3?

If you're going to infringe copyright, do it properly.

1) Download an open-source NES emulator [sourceforge.net] .

2) Download the Super Mario Brothers 3 ROM [freeinfosociety.com] .

3) Enjoy. Those of you with an IPS patcher may wish to apply this [archive.org] for enhanced challenge/variety.

All of Mario 3 in under a meg, and no ad/spy/malware.

Re:Super Mario 3 Clone for Win (1)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | about 8 years ago | (#15144624)

25 meg download? LOL! You could get, what? 100 NES games in that file size?

I've got all the Mario titles on my GBA M3 flash cart. I tried the NES versions, but having got used to the graphical upgrade, I can't go back. (Though I have for RBI baseball. The M3 software automatically patches the roms with an emulator to run on the GBA. Wonderful.)

Was SMB3 included in All Stars? Overall, All Stars is an absolute classic and worth getting a SNES emulator for.

Re:Super Mario 3 Clone for Win (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15145167)

You'd get a fuckiload more than 100 NES games on 25 megs considering most are in the kilobyte range.

I, for one, think it's "conversation" worthy. (4, Insightful)

gameforge (965493) | about 8 years ago | (#15142960)

It may not be bleeding edge news, but original NES titles like this are worth talking about and appreciating. Shigeru Miyamoto [wikipedia.org] is, IMO, one of the most brilliant game designers ever... obviously, right? I don't remember where I read/heard this, but one of his game design "virtues" is eliminating everything between the player and the game; i.e., there's no controller in your hand, no TV, no console... just you and a game. Some games today do this well; with such sophisticated 3D graphics and surround sound, it seems like it should be easy. But the NES has only a few colors and rinky-dink sound, it's hardly accurate in any regard (simulation or otherwise). But Miyamoto and Nintendo accomplished this virtue amazingly well; they still do as far as I'm concerned. And no, I'm not a Nintendo fanboy, the last Nintendo product I bought was a SNES.

Nintendo in and of itself isn't like any other game company, and I think they're particularly interesting. They're over 100 years old... have been in everything from playing cards, to a taxi service at one point, and minute rice... and are still one of the big three game console manufacturers (the oldest one that remained successful, I might add). To rant a little... this is why when people talk about "gee, Nintendo's all washed up, Sony and MS have way better hardware", you've got to be kidding me - they're not going anywhere! And hardware isn't everything; but "fun" is almost everything. Their game console might drop in and out of popularity, or the state of the art; but it's not like MS is going to come out with the Xbox 720 and Nintendo will just fold up and go home.

(to rant a little more ;) Even without an article at all, old game history like this is a lot of fun to talk about, IMO. If you don't think it's interesting, or you already know everything there is to know about classic video games, you don't have to read the article or post a reply.

Hooray for fun games and game history!

This game was also released for the GBA in Japan (0, Redundant)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 8 years ago | (#15143112)

however all the text is in English, and of course gba games are region free, so you can still have a chance to play it in (close to) the original format if you can find an import copy.

Re:This game was also released for the GBA in Japa (1)

pla (258480) | about 8 years ago | (#15143401)

so you can still have a chance to play it in (close to) the original format if you can find an import copy.

Oy, just download FCE Ultra [sourceforge.net] , an open source NES/Famicom emulator, and play the actual original, as well as the original Doki Doki Panic.

You'll need to find the ROMs, of course (no, I don't have them - Why keep an illegal copy around when it only takes about 30 seconds to find and download any game ever created?), but that shouldn't present much pf a problem.

Re:This game was also released for the GBA in Japa (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | about 8 years ago | (#15145067)

Oh wow I would never have had that Idea.....

Some people just prefer to have a game they bought on an official cartridge, and played comfortably on a console.

Re:This game was also released for the GBA in Japa (1)

pla (258480) | about 8 years ago | (#15145532)

Some people just prefer to have a game they bought on an official cartridge

I own a LOT of actual NES cartridges. But y'know, they just never released the "real" SMB2 in the US, and even if they had, you can't buy them new anymore anyway. So about 10 years too late to go out and buy a cartridge, in another country, in a language I don't know.

and played comfortably on a console.

[scrrrrrrrch] ... [ca-chick]
"Grrr" ... [ca-chick] ... [blow blow blow]
[scrrrrch] ... [ca-chick]
"Grrrrrrr!" ... [ca-chick] ... [blow blow blow] ... [wipe wipe wipe]
[gachunk] ... [ca-chick]
"Goddamn piece of" ... [ca-chick] ... [blow blow blow] ... [slam slam slam] ... [wipe wipe wipe]
[GCHK] ... [ca-chick] ...
[ca-chick] ... [ca-chick] ... [ca-chick][ca-chick][ca-chicka-chicka-chicka]
[resignedly] "Fuck it." [Fires up emulator]

Yeah. Played comfortably on the original hardware. What-ever!

I have three real NES consoles, two originals and one mini, and I'll still download a game I own to play it before I'll fight with one of them to make a game work.

Golden Mario (1)

PGC (880972) | about 8 years ago | (#15143340)

I remember playing it on the NES on one of those 'illegal' chinese cartridges containing all marios. This mario was called Golden Mario or something though.

I also remember it being released on Mario All-stars a few years later. However, All-Stars had a 'save' function... playing the 'real' mario bros on the nes was far more difficult, thanks to the missing save function .... it was great :P

Article? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15143361)

The article was /.ed for me. Does anyone have the article text?

Secret Levels (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15143394)

In SMB2J for the Famicom Disk System, if you beat the game 8 times (8 gold stars on the title screen), hold A+Start at the title to start at World A-1. You can play up to D-4. Only the best of the best can clear these levels.

Re:Secret Levels (1)

planetoid (719535) | about 8 years ago | (#15145307)

Does this also apply to the version of SMB2j ("Lost Levels") found on the Super Mario All-Stars SNES collection?

He Made The Right Decision (2, Interesting)

Digital Vomit (891734) | about 8 years ago | (#15143507)

I think Miyamoto made the right decision with the American SMB2 game. The modified Doki Doki Panic brought all kinds of great new gameplay features, such as the ability to dig, pick up and run with objects, climb ropes and ladders, play as one of several characters (each with its own traits), etc.

While the Japanese SMB2 had some interesting new features -- wind/weather, bad powerups -- it lacked the whimsy and mystery that SMB2 provided. It was really just more of the same.

That being said, I know of lots of people who would've loved to have "more of the same". I knew people that played SMB1 inside and out and would've definately bought the Japanese version had it been available. I think *both* versions should've been sold here.

Even then I "knew." (1)

Buddy_DoQ (922706) | about 8 years ago | (#15143701)

I remember the first time I turned on the US version of SMB2 and thinking..."Wait, did I rent the right game here?"

I liked the music, but was disappointed that it didn't play like SMB1, the new look were awesome for the time and were enough to keep me interested through the rental period, but once I took it back I never looked back.

I still hum the music to this day, however.

It was just too different for me I guess, never considered it a real Mario game even then, and years later (well, when the story broke like 10 years ago) now I know why. It wasn't the real SMB2! I knew something was fishy, even as a punk kid.

Would the real SMB2 been too hard for me? At the time, I can say yes. I had enough trouble timing the jumps in SMB1 without wind and rain helping me out! Then again, I was about 18 years under it's Japanese target audience...

SuperMarioBros2(US) had more impact (2, Insightful)

grumbel (592662) | about 8 years ago | (#15143836)

While historically the japanese version was the "real" SMB2, the US version had IMHO much more impact on the Mario series as a whole, plenty of enemies got taken over to the main series and some charakter behaviour as well, while with the japanese version there is pretty much nothing left. The insane difficulty hasn't been seen in other Marios, neither have the evil-bonuses. In the end SMB2(jp) really was more like a Add-On to SMB then a fully new part, so while SMB2(us) might have its faults, I am very happy that Nintendo did create it instead of just releasing SMB2(jp).

Super Tux 2??? (1)

filesiteguy (695431) | about 8 years ago | (#15144430)

Since my NES died a long time ago, and I never could find my files for NESTicle, I eventually took up SuperTux (http://supertux.berlios.de/wiki/index.php/Main_Pa ge) as a substitute. I wonder if now we'll be treated to a SuperTux 2.

OTOH, I've heard that there's a new Nintento coming out - N64? SNES?
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