#126 Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels

Posted: 24th January 2014 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , ,

302nd played so far

200px-Mariobros2japanboxGenre: Platform
Platform: NES
Year of Release: 1986
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo

It seems ages since we last played a Mario game, with our limitations on the previous hundred, and our reluctance to do so after having played a lot of them in a short go while borrowing games. It has been ages… and considering the number of Mario games on this list it has been a long time coming.

More importantly, it’s the (expansion pack) sequel to the game we played sixth, the original Super Mario Bros. Not released in the US until it was bundled in the SNES All-Stars bundle, for the west Nintendo developed (or rather, adapted) Super Mario Bros. 2 instead, a game we’ll cover later. Reasons listed are both the difficulty of this game and its similarities to the original. Both will come up in our discussion.

Our Thoughts

With a game like today’s, I wonder whether we’re running out of things to say sometimes (we are). The graphics, while they have a certain retro charm, are nothing to write home about. Controls similar, the goal and story the same.

Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels really has two things going for it. First, most noted, is its difficulty. The original Super Mario Bros is tough enough, but Lost Levels ups the difficulty level to the point that a player capable of reaching the eighth world in the first game will find the first world here a challenge. That part of the justification for it being kept for the Japanese market only makes sense.

The game also re-purposes some elements in a different context. Warp areas are considerably more complicated, sending you forwards and backwards through the worlds. Fish appear on land, while normally land-bound enemies such as Goombas appear underwater. You’re expected to go outside game bounds sometimes, having to use secret parts of the level to finish them.

A handful of new elements are introduced – the poison mushroom the main one, which kills you instead of having its normal growing benefits. There’s winds and new spring pads to help you jump further.

In gameplay, there’s little new here, and we can be happy they didn’t go this route for future sequels. At the same time, what it is it does well – an extension of the original games meant to challenge you further, for those already addicted to the original game.

Final Thoughts

This game doesn’t feel as innovative as it should have been and, to be honest, I don’t think it’s different enough to earn its place on the list – it’s one of the weaker Mario games, with other games including far more inspiring changes. It just doesn’t fit.

With 29 games (or 1 in 35) being a Mario game I think that there is a lot of fat that could be trimmed if they ever chose to redo this list. Okay this introduced wind into a platformer (which is a big deal) but with 3 years of gaming happening since the book… there needs to be a shake-up.

  1. […] you just need that, but as I’ve said before, I don’t like it for this list. If Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels is already a bit much, can you really justify two games of the smaller Mercury Meltdown series for […]