Super Mario Bros. 2 is the second installment in the series of Mario platformers, and introduced a large number of unprecedetned features, everything from new enemies to the ability to select characters with different stats.
I first played this game when I got in a double-game cartridge along with my Game Boy Advance (which I can no longer find, strangely) paired up with the original Mario Bros. I have to say that I actually quite enjoyed it, because I liked having tha ability to play as different characters, and I often went with Luigi for his high jumping ability.
The only thing about the game that I wasn't crazy about was its real deviation from the Mario formula; for example, there were no Koopas, or Goombas, or even Bowser. I found out from one of my friends who has been a gamer for years that this game was not planned to be a Mario title, but because the now Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels was too similar to the original platformer, they took this game, entered in characters from the franchise, and used Mario having a crazy dream as the plot. Despite this, it has been widely accepted as the second game, and was the first appearance of Shy Guys, which are now an enormous favorite of mine and especially Geniusguy445's. So, the issue of deviation can't quite be considered a problem, but it wasn't what I was used to.
Regardless, the game was fun. I enjoyed the wacky enemies and gameplay mechanics, and the ability to dash across ice and pull up sand. I also found fun the mechanics of picking things up and throwing them, which was actually nowhere in any of the previous titles, or in any of the ones to come. This, in fact, made the game's feel very dream-like and fantastical, which was cool.
The heart count was also a good feature. The other platformers only give you a determined amount of hits based on your situation before you died. The fact that you can add hits to your endurance was a welcome change for me. However, this brings back to my mind the fact that there were far fewer power-ups in this game than the other titles, namely the Fire Flower, which I found disappointing. Actually, now that I think about it, the lack of the Fire Flower was the biggest reason for my discomfort. If it had been in there, I would have enjoyed it far more.
I find myself kind of mixed about what to say of this game in the end, as I don't know how this game will ring in the minds of those reading this review. I just want to say that this is not like any other Mario title you will ever play. Not even slightly. It's one of those games that's opposed to Super Mario Bros. 3, as it isn't a given for Mario fans. Due to this, it would be best if you could find some way of playing it beforehand, before you buy it. This game actually is rentable with the recent re-release of Super Mario All-Stars, as well as its availability for the Game Boy Advance and the trial version in Super Smash Bros. Brawl that can be unlcoked by winning five matches with Peach. If you play the game and find that you enjoy it, it's a definite buy. However, if you just can't get comfortable with it, you can go ahead and skip it.