The world of Subcon has been conquered, and the inhabitants were imprisoned by a tyrant named Wart. Mario, along with Luigi, Toad, and Princess Peach journey into the world to free them. However, to get to Wart, they must trek through the dangerous worlds and defeat all of his minions first. -summary
Super Mario Advance is the remake of Super Mario Bros. 2 which was originally released in 1988 for the Nintendo Entertainment System. In many ways it doesn't exactly feel like a remake, instead I see it to be a lot more of an enhancement. The general set up is still the same and there have been very small changes made. In any case, the game is pretty much exactly the way an old fan remembered it back during its original release, and new fans will probably take a liking to it just because it's Mario. However, I can see them shunning it also, since it seems quite prehistoric when compared to newer games in the series. But make no mistake, the game does deserve its props because it set the new foundation for every single Mario game that would soon follow.
Super Mario Advance is an excellent port of the original, and although I don't consider it to be as good as the original Super Mario Bros. It's still a decent plat former that greatly expanded on the game play of the original. The basic plot is to journey through the worlds which are made up of three stages (excluding the final world which is made up of 2). Now the first two stages features a mini boss that follows the same basic strategy and can be easily beaten. The mini boss re-appears frequently in later stages in a more violent reincarnation. The final stage features a completely different boss with a different strategy altogether. However, they can all still be very easily beaten.
New to the series was the ability to pick up objects like vegetables and toss them at the enemies. In addition, enemies can also be picked up and tossed at each other, in which, this is the only method in defeating them, completely doing away with simply jumping on top of them like in the first game. Other changes also occurred, such as obtaining limited invincibility via the "star" after picking up 5 cherries, instead of jumping and hitting a block to reveal it. The stages also aren't timed, therefore you don't have to rush through them. Your player now has a health meter made up of two hearts, that can be increased up to four, making your character able to withstand four hits before being killed. Possibly, the coolest feature is the bonus stage that can only be played after picking up coins. Here, the player uses the coins in a slot machine to earn extra lives.
Another new feature to the game is being able to select one of the four characters. Each of them have areas where they excel at; speed, strength, and jump ability, thus, making some characters better than the other for certain stages. Some stages will require multiple deaths before the player learns who's best for that particular situation.
The stages have some creative designs and there are plenty of opportunities to die cheap deaths through falls. But the stages really aren't challenging at all when compared to the original Super Mario Bros. They feel incredibly easy and the hardest stages in the game can't compare to 6-3, or the entire 8th world in the first game. I always felt this was an area of the game that was way too under developed. However, the game tries to make up for it, by adding additional elements to get from point A to point B, such as riding magic carpets or riding the back of birds.
Although somewhat shaky and the character will slip off edges once in awhile. The controls are alright at best on the DS-lite. There isn't a learning curve to them at all, and hopping on top of enemies and throwing them are very easy. This is a game that even a child can get into really quick.
The graphics have been greatly updated with brighter, more detailed sprites and backgrounds. I'm not too sure if this is the same makeover from the Super Mario All Stars game, which was released for the Super Nintendo over a decade ago because it has been so long since I played it, but the game looks very nice. I did notice that the music went through a slight makeover, and I'm sure all vets of the series will catch it. I'm not too fond of this, but I'm not really bothered by it either, since the music does compliment the style of the game so well. The sound has definitely went through a change, with many new voices for the characters. Toad practically yells every time and it sounds hilarious. You can also notice the strain in the characters voices when they pick up heavier objects. This also goes for the bosses too, as they also have voices added to them.
Super Mario Advance also comes with the original Mario Bros packaged together. This game can be selected at the main menu, and the premise is to knock the creatures on their backs, by hitting the platform from underneath them and kicking them off the stage. The game play is still the same, but I would've preferred the game in its original form. I really didn't get into this at all.
After beating the game, another mode opens up called Yoshi's trial, and from what I played, it's now possible to travel to the stages in any order and replay them. Personally, it didn't really appeal to me since the main game was beaten. However, I believe serious fans will enjoy this more. Overall, Super Mario Advance is a nice trip down memory lane for us old timers, and even new comers can pick up and get into this game. It's a nice start for young kids who have never played Mario games before, and it's also not a bad idea to take a look at it, to see how far the fat plumber has come since then. Recommended.
Pros: -4 different characters to choose, cool bosses, save feature, updated graphics and sound
Cons: -Way too easy, weak stage designs, minor control issues
The legacy of Super Mario Bros. 2 is an odd one. On the one hand, it helped permanently define the Mario canon - the ability to pick up and throw enemies is in there in large part because of Super Mario Bros. 2. Birdo, Shy Guy, and Pokey also received their first introductions in Mario 2. It was Mario 2 which first cast Luigi as the tall, stringy, high-jumping brother of Mario. Yet, there are very few games in the Mario series which polarize gamers as much as Mario 2. The game is easily the dark … more
In 2001, Super Mario Bros. 2 received another release (this time based on the All-Stars remake) as part of Super Mario Advance (which also contained a remake of Mario Bros.). Super Mario Advance was developed by Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development, and was a launch title for the Game Boy Advance. The Super Mario Advance version of Super Mario Bros. 2 includes several new features such as the addition of the enemy Robirdo (a robotic Birdo acting as the boss of World 3, replacing Mouser), the addition of the Yoshi Challenge (in which players may revisit stages to search for Yoshi Eggs), and an all-new point-scoring system (a first for the game). Graphical and audio enhancements were also added in the form of enlarged sprites, multiple hit combos, digital voice acting, and such minor stylistic and aesthetic changes as an altered default health-meter level, boss-order, backgrounds, the size of hearts, Princess Toadstool being renamed to the now-standard "Princess Peach," and the inclusion of a chime to announce Stars.[10