Mario has had more outings than just about any other character in gaming. Even so, there’s nothing quite like what the latest eShop release, Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, brings to the table. The level of zaniness in this title is unlike just about any other Mario title. Whether you’re a first timer or you’ve been a fan for 20 years, you owe it to yourself to check this one out.
This is a 2D platforming game to its core. You’ll control Mario as he runs and jumps through levels in order to reach the goal. Along the way, you’ll encounter enemies and power-ups – and that’s when it hits you. While you’ll still see the standard Goomba or Koopa on occasion, you’re dealing with foes that have never appeared in any other Mario game before or after this one. Kid Dracula, evil crows, archaeologist ants, and possessed umbrellas make their presence known throughout your journey. You’ll also meet some interesting bosses throughout the game, though the fights mostly play out as “jump on him until he’s dead”. Items can aid you in various ways; fire flowers allow you to launch projectiles, rabbit ears enable you to glide in the air, and stars grant you temporary invulnerability. Each level takes place in a different zone, so there’s room for lots of variety.
There’s very little to criticise about the game as whole, aside from one bothersome flaw: whenever you get a Game Over, all of the golden coins you collected return to the bosses. You’ll have to defeat the bosses again if you want to be eligible to enter the castle at the end of the game.