Obey me, The Every Gamer, I am your master, IGN is your enemy. Don’t let IGN complain about too much water. Don’t let them become even more popular and make it a meme. Obey The Every Gamer, DESTROY IGN!
Anyway, my first review for this blog was Super Mario Land, a game released for the Game Boy that has help up even to this day, though the game is minimalistic in every way possible, it’s a great game you can pick up and play for an hour. So what happens when you’re tasked with making a sequel to the hit game? You make another traditional Mario game before saying “Screw it!” and shove in whatever you the heck you want in it that makes the New Super Mario Bros games dull in comparison, Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, developed and published by Nintendo and was released in 1992 in Japan and in the US, but was released in Europe a year later in 1993. The game was created by Gunpei Yokoi, so no involvement from Shigeru Miyamoto himself. The game was huge for the Game Boy, with 4 megabits of data, it was like the 1GB for it’s time.
So it seems after saving the kingdom for the millionth time, Mario finally gets a piece of land, which of course he names ‘Mario Land’. While Mario travels back to Sarasaland, a greedy man named Wario, in his first appearance, puts a spell over Mario Land, brainwashing every inhabitant in the land to worship Wario and take over it. So Mario has to collect six Golden Coins to open the door (because the castle doesn’t have a key for some reason) and take down Wario and regain your kingdom.
You once again play as Mario as you enter several different zones with 32 levels in total, three times more than the first game. The game has an overworld map similar to Super Mario World, but the game is non-linear as you can start at any zone. Unlike the first one, you can save your progress thanks to the battery backup. The game also has secret levels you have to find in certain levels, though after you complete it you have to go back to the normal level to finish it normally, which can be irking when the levels are very long. There are six zones, each of them having a Golden Coins, Tree Zone, set in…maybe the Great Deku Tree…A GAME THEORY! and the boss is a crow, “WE’LL I’LL SEE A PLUMBER FLY”. Space Zone, set in space and in my opinion the most challenging Zone of the six, but hey, you get to battle Tatanga, the final boss in Super Mario Land. The only way to get to Space Zone is to go to a Hippo level.
Macro Zone (or is it Micro Zone), it’s mostly a house, only you’re now The Incredible Shrinking Mario where you battle a rat as the final boss of the zone. Pumpkin Zone, a halloween themed zone with spooky scary ghouls and various monsters. Turtle Zone is the underwater zone and you somehow enter the zone by getting eaten by a giant turtle…be prepared, it’s going to get weird; the boss is an octopus. And finally there is Mario Zone, a clockwork figure of Mario is a zone, it’s toy-themed and see if you can find references to Nintendo’s toys they released before going to the video game industry. Also, there is a level in Mario’s crotch and guess what the level contains, plastered all through it? BALLS! Balls here, balls there, balls in the wall, enemies shooting balls, riding on balls. No way did anyone have a think of this and go “WHAT THE HELL JAPAN?”. The villians are the three little pigs…MARIO IS THE WOLF CONFIRMED…I’ll see my way out.
There are many power-ups in the game, some you’ll never see again. There’s the Heart, your 1-up, the Heart was made instead of the mushroom due to also having a power mushroom, they couldn’t use it again for the life due to the Game Boy’s monochromatic palette and thus would look the same as the power mushroom and so it turned into the Heart. You get the fire flower and you become Fire Mario and shoot fire balls, this is common in Mario games and not a Super Ball like in the first game. There’s a Carrot, exclusive only to this game, where you can turn into Bunny Mario and hover and glide down, it’s very useful to avoid challenging parts in the game; It’s similar to the Cape Mario in Super Mario World and the Raccoon Mario in Super Mario Bros. 3, only you can’t infinitely fly. There is Bubble where you go in a bubble and hover around the level…or you can use it to skip the entire level, I say entire level because you can only use it in one level, the same goes for the Spacesuit, but you can use for the entirety of Space Zone, in fact it’s mandatory if Mario wants to breathe.
At the end of a level you can either exit as normal or try to ring a bell and access one of three mini-games. The first one is a crane machine where you can collect power-ups and three sets of Hearts, though you’re mostly going to collect a stupid amount of lives, if you manage to get the bells for every level, you can collect tons of lives…you might need it for the final level in the castle. In the second one is stopping some mice what will gnaw wires, the untouched wires will direct you to a random prize. The third one is a slot machine in which you can gain more coins and more lives. Actually, when you collect coins in a normal Mario game, you collect a 1-up when you collect 100, but in this game you can collect up to 999 coins and use those coins for a slot machine.
Now trust me when I say this but, this is one of the weirdest but original Mario games ever made, this is unlike any Mario game I’ve ever played, there are mostly new enemies, the settings for Zones are unique and just plain odd, the level design is…not Mario, it has the essence of a Mario game but not a lot. And this is where I realised that this game is more unique and more refreshing and more original than any of the New Super Mario Bros and Super Mario 3D World COMBINED, it seems when it comes to the Mario games these days, Nintendo seems to be safe with the same old same old; this on the other hand stands on it’s own merits, it’s like a bunch of children drawing the same dinosaur and that one kid made a drawing of Godzilla breathing fire because it felt like it.
Overall, this is one of the best Mario games in terms of story and originality. The graphics look fantastic for the system, the music by Kazumi Totaka is memorable, though not as memorable as Koji Kondo’s work, but it even includes the Totaka’s Song in it hidden at the game over screen when the game is left running for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. It’s odd, it has some wacky originality, I love it and whilst Super Mario Land still has a place in my heart as one of the first Mario game I ever played, 6 Golden Coins is a much superior sequel in every way possible. I just wished Nintendo spiced up the gameplay and even the look of future Mario games.
You can get this on the Game Boy and the 3DS Virtual Console.