Pixel Perfect Memories–Super Mario Bros 2 (The Lost Levels)

So, it's been like eight years since I did one of these, what with the Half-Baked Hall taking up most of my time. But Nibbish and I decided to join forces on our respective blogs. Starting today, we'll be counting down the Top 20 moments from the NES Super Mario games.

We will not be reviewing the game that did not get released in the States for the NES. Super Mario Bros 2 was deemed too difficult for American gamers and thus Nintendo swapped some palettes on Doki Doki Panic and kept the franchise churning along. It was then released on the SNES as "The Lost Levels" as part of the Super Mario All-Stars package.

I've only played a little bit of it. It is very similar to the original SMB game, but indeed significantly more difficult. Have any of you played it? Drop down your thoughts, and of course, what you've been playing lately.

31 thoughts on “Pixel Perfect Memories–Super Mario Bros 2 (The Lost Levels)”

  1. I did play, and rather like, the Lost Levels. It was difficult, but "too difficult for American audiences" made me laugh. Then again, I was the one kid burning through Mega Man on a single continue.

    Right now I'm playing everything, as always. At the moment the focus is inFamous: Second Son on PS4, which manages to keep everything I liked about the series and discard everything that was lame (in particular, the lead character and his overwrought voice acting are gone). I also burned through the new Tomb Raider a few weeks ago, which was a beautiful, dark story that makes the reboot easily the best game in franchise history. I loved it so much, it was something of a shock to me when I beat the final boss and noticed it was 4 in the morning.

    1. Which new Tomb Raider? I've played the 2013 release by Square Enix and loved it.

      I've been playing Disney Infinity with the girls, especially our 4 year old. It's been an amazing game for her, since we can make toy box areas of various difficulty. So far, she just loves to explore different areas and see what is going on. She's also been adding her own elements, which is a blast. One of these days, we may even get to fighting. We are also really close to getting her started on the Zelda games for Wii, which should be interesting.

  2. Upgraded to Diamond Mind v. 11 this week. Not much change from 10 - there is now a place for player pictures (graphics!) but no pictures yet. I have enjoyed some of the new play-by-play, particularly when one of the Molinas was "leaking oil" as he tried to score from second on a single.

    1. Thanks for the heads up. I had no idea they were even working on it. I thought the project, other than season updates, was considered dead.

    1. I've been playing a little of this on the PC. I... dunno. It's fun and all, but I'm hoping it has some depth as I progress further.

      1. I was right there with you at first, having been a Magic: The Gathering player just previous to taking up Hearthstone. I've been finding the depth lately though. I really enjoy Arena play.

  3. I played Lost Levels and beat it on the All Stars cart yeeeeeears ago. I've gone back and tried to play it since and I did laughably bad. I think that the physics were tweaked a bit in the SNES version? I adore Mario games but I'm not quite obsessive enough to notice that. My next big retro splurge will probably be buying a Famicom Disk System for my AV Famicom and SMB2 will be one of the first games I buy. It'll also be interesting to get to play Metroid and Castlevania with save points instead of password backup. But this is some time down the road.

    I played the Destiny beta quite a bit last weekend and found it to be a blast. I don't particularly like MMOs or Halo but the game clicked for me. I'm very excited to get the full thing in September. Other than that I've been on a Punch-Out!! kick. Using save states on the 3DS allowed me to kind of train against Mr. Sandman and Super Macho Man who I had never had much success against, so I'm going to try to go on a full run on that soon. I also started the Wii Punch-Out!! over. I finished the Challenger mode without much difficulty, and I've done the first two circuits in Title Defense. I'm scared of the final one so I haven't done it yet, haha. Oh and I'm still playing Mario Kart 8 fairly frequently.

    1. I spent a lot of time beating the Lost Levels on the All Stars SNES cart. The entire game is brutal in places, but the "bonus" worlds after eight (which were originally only accessible by beating the game something like eight times! wtf?!) are just insane. I remember one particular jump where you have to take a massive jump into thin air (not being able to see the landing area), only for the offscreen landing spot to be a piranha pipe. The whole thing took such absurd timing that I recall several controller tosses.

      It was a very, very cathartic game to beat, though.

      1. That sounds infuriating. I don't mind playing hard games when I know it's my fault I failed at something. But I hate, hate, hate failing due to randomness like that. I've been playing 1001 Spikes on and off and it's brutally hard, but I don't ever feel like I died due to randomness. If you like challenging platformers I'd recommend it.

        Also, I forgot to plug Shovel Knight above. Shovel Knight is A W E S O M E. I recommend it very highly. It's like a cross between Mega Man, DuckTales, and Super Mario Bros. 3 but it is successful at being its own thing. The music, controls, art, everything is brilliant. It's by far my favorite game thus far this year.

        1. That reminds me that I played a bit of Rogue Legacy and enjoyed it a lot. You're a knight who has to go into a castle and defeat four bosses then kill the final boss. But the game is hard, so you die - and death is permanent.

          However! Instead of just making a new character, you play as a descendant of the character you started out as, with different genetic traits (color blindness/game is in black and white, Alektorophobia/chickens freak you out). It's interesting. It comes out for PS3 later this month and I will purchase it.

  4. I did something I've never done before about a month ago: Finish the main storyline in an Elder Scrolls game. It wasn't a 100% completion, but I'm not that type of gamer so finishing up Skyrim felt good.

    I've also been playing loads of SNES rpgs online during my lunch break. I've since finished FF4 and 6 (or whatever you want to call them), of which both were fantastic experiences. I tried to play 5, but it didn't grab me in any way so I gave up on it. One of these days I'll also finish Chrono Trigger as well. I'm on the final boss fight, but I'm finding it really, really hard so I may end up cheating to get through it. Currently, I'm playing Zelda: A Link to the Past because Zelda games are great. After that, I'm not sure but I want it to be a more traditional JRPG type of game with turn-based battle.

    For my more modern weekend morning gaming, I'm still going through Far Cry 3 and I have Dishonored on the way, which should arrive today. $9 (free, really, since I paid for it in Amazon points) seemed like a pretty good deal for the game. I will probably also pick up NBA 2K14 soon since my 2K13 disc cracked and the newer game is coming down in price.

    1. FF4 and 6 (or whatever you want to call them)

      Call them that. The original releases here did nothing but confuse everyone. FFV is...fine. The job system is kind of fun, but when a final boss is named "Neo ExDeath" it sort of suggests some questionable writing along the way.

      I beat Chrono Trigger legitimately, but for the life of me I can't picture the final boss. I did it just a few years ago, too. I assume it's Lavos, but I literally remember nothing about the battle.

      A Link to the Past is awesome, even for Zelda.

      After that, I'm not sure but I want it to be a more traditional JRPG type of game with turn-based battle.

      Suggestions: the Suikoden series, which is more about character recruitment than anything, but smartly focuses on a small band of heroes to tell a cohesive story. The first two are awesome, but you'll need an emulator or a couple hundred bucks.

      Also, the Disgaea series, which is well written most of the time and often funny as hell.

      1. The final boss is, indeed, Lavos. I don't know if I just didn't level up enough or don't have the right status equipment, but I just can't get past the damn thing. I'd like to keep at it and do it legitimately because the game is completely awesome, but I don't really have the time because kids.

        A Link to the Past has been awesome so far. (I just started on the dark world) Also, the animation of Link swimming makes me laugh every single time. Looks like he's trying to swallow the water.

        Are there emulators for the PS1? I've been sticking with SNES games for the time being because I can play them online or emulators. If there is one for the PS1, it might just change everything,

        1. Chrono Trigger is by far my favorite RPG ever. I remember many late nights failing to beat the second form of Lavos. Ugh. I've been thinking of replaying the game at some point.

          Have you considered Earthbound on your list of RPGs? It's whimsical, turn based, and pretty awesome. I agree with the Suikoden suggestions, they're pretty much the pinnacle of PSX RPGs for me. One that I've been meaning to play for a long time is Live A Live for the SNES. It was only released in Japan, but it has 8 disparate stories that converge at the end. It sounded super cool. It was fan translated, though. So it's pretty easy to play.

          Also, A Link Between Worlds for the 3DS is incredibly good.

          1. I beat Lavos my second time. I think my levels were fairly high, so I had time to figure it out the strategy.

            Yes, there are PS1 emulators, and they're pretty good, if complicated. I played FFVII and FFIX on them without issues.

          2. I started playing Earthbound a while back, and I might try to play it again, but I didn't like the lack of battle animation. I felt like it took me out of the world too much.

  5. A few months ago, I downloaded the Tecmo Bowl Throwback Game on my PS3. This should be called Super Tecmo Bowl Throwback Game because it is pretty much a replica of Super Tecmo Bowl on the NES. The main difference is the team and players names are just generic names instead of the original. However, as far as I can tell, the plays and players abilities are all the same except for a few differences. The one that jumps out at me is the Raiders don't have any running back close to Bo Jackson. They have Marcus Allen but no Bo. That seemed odd since he's the most famous player to come out of Tecmo Super Bowl. I'm pretty sure the Lions have Barry Sanders, but I haven't played with them yet. The Bills definitely have Thurman Thomas. I've played a season with them and also had him go off on me for over 300 yards on like 7 or 8 carries. It was sad. I had forgotten how hard the NES game got when you get halfway through a perfect season. The Sega Genesis game was a lot easier. What's nice about this one is it allows you to edit team names and player names. The jersey numbers aren't quite the same, but pretty close. I printed off a roster from the original NES game and have been editing the names on any team I'm playing. The game also gives you the option of playing with new "3D" graphics that will go on an HD screen or playing with the original graphics that only are for SD screens (HD screens will have the black bars on the side).

  6. I finished up The Last of Us over the past month. There were parts of that game that I really enjoyed, but the only part, gameplay-wise, that really elevated it to a truly great game (rather than an excellent story with some gameplay tossed in) was the Winter section.

    'Spoiler' SelectShow

    Then there's the ending...

    'Spoiler' SelectShow

    So now, I've decided to go back through the PS2 backlog a little. I've started playing the first Sly Cooper game. I'm enjoying it. It's not otherworldly, or anything, but I like the setup and the controls are pretty solid for a 3D platformer.

    Also, I'm still playing FTL, because it's fun and I want to beat the flagship without cheating.

    1. I've played the entire Sly catalog multiple times. The only thing they can't seem to get right is Carmelita. Two or three voice actresses have passed through the character and they've all sucked.

  7. Two years ago, I bought and downloaded LIMBO based on a review I read in an article Roger Ebert linked to as part of a debate about whether video games count as art. It turned out that it wasn't compatible with my operating system so that was kind of a waste. I recently got a new laptop and as I was transferring files over, I found the installer for this game and found that it worked. So I played the game over a couple of weeks not too long ago (it's not very long, which is good because I'm not much of a video game person). It was fun and creepy with occasionally frustrating puzzles, so I really enjoyed it. The graphics were interesting, and for a pretty minimal story, it actually got me a couple times.

    I liked the first few levels the best (with the spiders, ack!) because it seemed like a slightly more organic environment. Later levels that started to use anti-gravity and magnets to control movement felt a bit contrived.

    1. I liked the first few levels the best (with the spiders, ack!) because it seemed like a slightly more organic environment. Later levels that started to use anti-gravity and magnets to control movement felt a bit contrived

      this is the way many seemed to feel. For my part, I still haven't played through more than the demo, which I loved. I'll need to remedy that soon

    2. LIMBO is a fantastic game that I too beat in just a few hours. If you really dug it, I have other suggestions in the vein. Closure and Outland immediately jump to mind.

  8. I got about 80% of the way through Portal 2 on my brother's laptop last time I saw him. It's not ported to Linux yet, so I can't play it here.

Comments are closed.