Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Random Retro Round Up #2: Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins (Game Boy)


Another week, another edition of the Random Retro Roundup!  This time, it is the turn of Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins for the original Game Boy.  For some reason, while I was growing up I never really gave this game a fair chance.  A friend of mine got it and was very eager to show me how awesome it was, yet after playing it for a bit I still felt that the original had more charm.  I have picked the game back up again several times over the years yet never really made any headway - until this past week where I finally played the whole thing from beginning to end. Whilst you could hardly call any of the Mario platform games obscure, this is probably the least well known of all them.  It delivers everything you would hope and expect to be in a first party developed Nintendo game – tight controls, impressive graphics, no technical flaws and imaginative level designs.

Title: Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
Developer: Nintendo
Year Released: 1993

This time the story sees Mario being thrown out of his mansion by the evil Wario, and locked out with a mechanism that requires 6 golden coins to unlock.  Each coin can be obtained by visiting a different world around the map, each with its own gimmick.  These range from zones where you are inside a huge mechanical Mario, a spooky zone and one where everything is supersized, and each one contains 2 – 4 stages with the last one culminating in a boss for you to defeat.  Overall the levels aren’t that challenging to get through with a bit of practice, but they are never less than fun.  The bosses are pretty simple for the most part and follow the tried and true Nintendo formula of 3 hits to kill them.

Power ups in this game include the familiar fire flower and a carrot that gives you bunny ears.  This allows you to glide by flapping said ears – it’s not true flight but it does prove handy throughout the levels by letting you extend the length of your jumps.  Each stage has a bell at the end of it and should you manage to reach and ring it you get to play a mini game where you can earn extra lives or power ups.  Also, in this game collecting coins don’t give you an extra life automatically upon collecting 100 of them – instead there is another mini game on the world map where you can pay 50, 200, 500 or 1000 coins to play.  The more you pay out, the higher the chance of receiving multiple extra lives.

Once you get all of the golden coins from the bosses you can then open the front door to the mansion and confront Wario, but only after getting through a very tricky final stage.  Should you run out of lives all of the golden coins that you’ve retrieved will be taken away and you will have to go and get them back again from the bosses.  This can be annoying, but is also fairly easily avoided by keeping your supply of extra lives stocked up through the mini games.  You can replay levels you’ve already completed to earn more coinage so this is the best way to avoid a game over.

Overall the game isn’t very long – I managed to finish the whole thing during one train ride which takes about 1 hour 45 minutes.  The final stage was quite challenging but a little persistence and skill will see you through to the end.  Mario has no shortage of classic platformers in his back catalogue – games which are still worshipped by those intelligent enough to appreciate their brilliance.  Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins may not quite live up to the majesty of the likes of Super Mario Bros 3, Super Mario World, Super Mario 64 or Super Mario Galaxy, but it is still a fantastic game in its own right and deserves to be in anybody’s Game Boy collection.

Verdict: If you have never played it and you love Mario games, you really owe it to yourself to track down a copy.

The video below was not produced by me, but by a chap who goes by the name of PeanutButterGamer - he has a ton of excellent content on his YouTube channel so if you like the SML2 vid below please make sure to head over to his channel and subscribe!

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