The Super Mario Brothers game is a cultural landmark. The charming plumber and his cast of characters have entertained millions across the globe since his first Nintendo Entertainment System game in 1985. Yes, Mario was around prior — but for the sake of time, I’ll be focusing on the main Mario series. Creator Shigeru Miyamoto likely never envisioned how much of an impact he would have on the world with Mario, but 30+ years later and Mario is still the face of Nintendo. While we can wax poetic about the first Mario game, what about the sequel?
The Mario game that wasn’t really a Mario game
In 1986 Nintendo released Super Mario Brothers: The Lost Levels, an almost identical twin to the original Mario game. There were some slight changes and more difficult bosses but overall the game was structurally the same. Unfortunately, Nintendo deemed it too difficult for American audiences, so they gave us something entirely different — a reskinned video game.
Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic is a Japanese only Famicon side scroller game. This fantasy game follows Muu’s adventures inside his dreamworld. If you’ve never played Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic, and want to, just buy a copy of Super Mario Brothers 2 instead. Almost everything, aside from the character sprites, is exactly the same. This sequel is a side scroller as the first Mario installment, but the game introduces features and characters that are used in later Mario games; the ability to lift objects and toss them. Birdo, Shy-Guys, and Bomb-ombs are reoccurring characters in the franchise.
Should you invest in this game?
For nostalgia, yes. This is one of my personal favorite Mario games. This is an important game as it is the first Mario game where you can play as Princess Toadstool and Toad. Cartridges for this game can be easily found for under $20, while a complete set of this game can set you back as much as $120, or as little as $30. As far as seeing a return on your investment, that’s unlikely going to happen unless you come across a sealed copy of the game.
Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic can also be found for under $40 across auction sites, should you want to collect both games.
Still an iconic game
Super Mario Bros 2 has been re-released over the years, solidifying its legacy in the Mario world. The game received largely positive reviews on its initial release, as have the subsequent re-releases. Even those who have played the Japanese Super Mario Bros 2 still enjoyed the American one. Japan did see their own release of the American sequel under the name Super Mario USA.
If you’re a completionist you can easily find a complete Super Mario USA for under $40. I’m a fan of the Famicom games as those cartridges are fun colors (and not just the dull grey like the American counterparts). Super Mario USA is a cute pink cartridge, while Mario 1 and 3 are both yellow.
Have you played both versions of Super Mario Brothers 2? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!