Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins

Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins

released on Oct 21, 1992

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Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins

released on Oct 21, 1992

Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins is a platforming game for the Game Boy and the sequel to Super Mario Land. It also marks the debut of Mario's self-proclaimed arch rival Wario, who would later become a recurring character in the Mario series as well as a protagonist in his own series. The game features new graphics, power-ups, challenges, and a completely original storyline.


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A big step up from Super Mario Land 1, and certainly ambitious for the handheld. Very easy, though.


Trying to top Super Mario Bros. 3 or Super Mario World on inferior hardware was never going to be an option. Mario had been refined to such a high degree with these two that Nintendo didn't even bother making new traditional Mario games until 2005. That is, of course, with the exception of this particular game in 1992. Super Mario Land 2 is somewhat challenging to talk about since it's merely an above-average platformer released after two megalithic titles sharing the same DNA shook the world. Super Mario Land 2 does, however, have it's younger brother, Super Mario Land, to compare itself to. While the first Super Mario Land felt like a solid effort to work on new hardware, Super Mario Land 2 feels like the end result of everything the team had learned. Super Mario Land 2 is extremely clean and creative and responsive enough to warrant the status of being one of the best games on the Gameboy. That comment is, unfortunately, more of a remark towards the lack of quality in the Gameboy library than it is a positive remark towards the game itself. Which sucks, because it's a great game! The game itself is a bit hampered by limitations of the hardware. You only get four upgrades, the mushroom, power star, fire flower, and the carrot, with the carrot being the only brand new power. Unfortunately, the carrot is pretty boring to use, functioning almost identically to the tanooki suit while removing the ability to do your spin jump. The game also implemented a way to spend coins to gamble on bonuses, but it mostly resulted in gaining more lives. Given this is one of the easiest Mario games, you don't really need all too many lives. Yeah, it's clear they were struggling to make these variables work together in a unique way. They'd move the brand around a bit, with Super Mario Land 3 being a Wario Land game, while Super Mario World 2 was actually the start of a new Yoshi franchise. Nintendo would completely skip releasing anything beyond ports throughout the entirety of the GBC and GBA lifespans. Kind of a waste too, since I lied earlier, and we've seen the formulas for SMB3 and SMW expanded upon quite significantly from various hacking communities. I dunno about Mario on Gameboy though, I think never having him return for a 2D adventure here would've resulted in the same damn game. 4/6


The Gameboy Super Mario titles continue to prove themselves to be some of the weirdest, most creative and scattered games in the series with this 2nd entry, but just like with its predecessor, I feel as if it's somewhat held back by the hardware it's on. With this said, for better and for worse, 6 Golden Coins is a more ambitious undertaking, not only bringing leagues more detail to the artwork and aesthetic, but also with how distinct each area of the game truly feels, even if the imagery is more in line with your cartoonish fantasy as opposed to throwing the player into equivalents of actual world locations. With that said, the attempts at crafting a more visually distinctive, detailed experience that took full advantage of its system ended up hurting this game in certain other respects, the biggest of which being the way that the developers had to strike a balance between being able to show these sprites off on a tiny, non-backlit screen while also having to make a game around it, the result being that everything ends up having the common issue of feeling way too zoomed in to actually lead to level design that matches the visual creativity on display.

The game on the whole is serviceable for sure, but with the exception of the final level, it all feels very simplistic in how it approaches its obstacle design, largely being rather generic with the occasional interesting setpiece and idea, such as the space level where gravity is turned off and the player is made to fly through a a series of increasingly precise series of stationary enemies. Despite these moments existing for sure, it's rather difficult for a lot of more complex ideas to shine through when the screen feels as zoomed in as it does, though it's probably a good thing since putting the player up against anything more tricky than what it throws at you would make for a pretty miserable time. Due to what this game wants to achieve, it essentially has put itself in a catch-22 situation where it isn't able to do anything amazing with its stages and as a result has to stick almost exclusively to a fairly safe approach. This is made all the worse with the absolutely awful way Mario controls in this game, with even the most simple of jumps feeling like a struggle with how slow and slippery he is. While Super Mario Land 1 also had this issue to an extent, the level design felt as if it was designed around this limitation, making for stages that largely still felt playable despite how clunky it could feel, while in this case, everything feels as if it's going for a more typical Mario gameplay experience, so you feel the bad mobility far more egregiously, often feeling as if you're fighting against the game rather than comfortably playing through the experience.

Despite these complaints, the experience was still rather positive in a lot of respects. The game's easy enough that there are quite a few levels that feel more akin to a leisurely stroll through a wonderous land as opposed to a proper challenge, and it ends up being a chill time as a result. I also like the way that the game really commits to being a weird and wonderful little world, with worlds ranging from the inside of a turtle, to space, to a gigantic Mario robot, the game throws a whole lot at you and manages to do so within the hour and a half it'll take you to beat the entire game. Overall this is a pretty chill, albeit clunky experience that is worth playing despite the many flaws it has and the way it gets kneecapped by its hardware (a very common occurrence it seems). Definitely would recommend for the Mario fans who haven't played this yet, but otherwise, I'm kinda confused about why people would be going to a gameboy game and looking for a tightly constructed, standard 2D platformer, the concept is a bit of an oxymoron it seems.


A very impressive, fun Gameboy title. A good addition to the franchise, but is pretty short.


Fresh, fleet and fanciful from beginning to end with its bite-sized gimmick gauntlets, brisk beats, 8-bit Fleischerisms and the occasionally evocative, expressionistically lit background. More self-possessed and singular than its predecessor while retaining the "off brand" moody charm that distinguishes handheld Mario from console Mario.


more mario games should have halloween levels