Okay before I talk about the game, let me talk about the obvious. Nintendo developed Super Mario Bros. 2, however, their one was too hard so we got a localised version of Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic (夢工場ドキドキパニック) or “Dream Factory: Heart Thumping Panic”,the game was based on a Japanese anime on Fuji TV so they made a game for that (Fuji TV published the game too), but it was released here and in America as Super Mario Bros. 2. Even though it was originally a Mario game in the first place so nobody can go on and on about how this point was missed out.
Now we got that out of the way, our version, Super Mario Bros. 2, developed by Nintendo Research & Development 4 and published by Nintendo. Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic was released on July 10, 1987 for the Famicom. Our version which is Super Mario Bros. 2 was released in October 1988 in the US, April 28th 1989 in EU and May 4th 1989 in Australia. Super Mario Bros. 2 was eventually released on September 14 1992 in Japan as Super Mario USA, which probably was annoying considering that the Japanese were playing a game they already played before.
The story for Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic:
While two children are reading a story, a monstrous hand suddenly appears from inside the pages and kidnaps them. When the rest of the family hear their cries for help, they jump into the story and help save them.
The story of Super Mario Bros. 2
Mario, Luigi, Toad and the Princess must free the dreamland known as Subcon from a villainous frog known as Wart, which happens to be Mario’s dream, sorry spoiler alert, but everyone knows that.
Did you Know? Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic had a save feature as it was released on the Famicom Disk System so you could save it onto the disc itself. Why Nintendo didn’t do this for later consoles I’ll never know.
From now on, I’m only going to focus on Super Mario Bros. 2 and not Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic. The game play is a lot different to the original Super Mario Bros., you can play as either Mario, Luigi, Toad and Princess Peach, yes Princess Peach actually does something; since this is Mario’s dream this means he’s fed up of saving Peach and wishes she could rescue herself, ever think of that?
Mario has the ability to run fast, Luigi has the ability to jump the highest, Toad can run and pick up vegetables faster but is a poor jumper and Peach can jump the farthest and can hover in the air for a short period of time. You pretty much need to use these characters for different objective until you can use one to complete the game. During the levels you can pluck up vegetables and use them to throw at enemies as you can no longer jump on enemies to kill them, you just stand on top of most enemies. There are also potions to go to parallel universes called Sub-Space and collect coins and mushrooms as you have a health bar, which is a big change as this would be used in future Mario games.
The game play is a radical change from the first, but it’s the first time that you can play as 4 characters to choose from, it’s fun but very challenging.
The bosses is just one for the most part, especially Birdo, a pink dinosaur that spits out eggs and throws it at you…but Birdo is in fact a tranvestite…YIKES! And a Mouser who throws bombs at you but you can throw the same bombs back at him. The look of the game is different, but it looks more appealing than the first, it has a more cartoony feel which gives it more of a better identity. Even the enemies are different, none of the enemies from the previous game appear in this game, in fact, the shy-guys, who weren’t even part of the Mario Universe are now a part of the Mario Universe.
Overall, it’s still a fun game despite the differences, Nintendo took some inspirations for Super Mario 3D Land and other games before. The game play is still challenging but still fun to play, the graphics and layout look very nice, the cartoony feel makes it feel even more welcome and it’s aged as well as the first game. And by having different characters it makes it kind of fundamental as you can see what characters you can use to complete different levels.
I really like this game just as much as the original games, despite it’s canon, or is it, complete the game to get the answer but most of you would probably know what the ending is.
You can get it on Family Computer Disk System (Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic), NES/Family Computer, PlayChoice-10, Super Family Computer/SNES, Game Boy Advance & Virtual Console.