Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Super Mario Land (Gameboy) Review

Super Mario Land is a launch game platformer released in 1989 for the Nintendo Gameboy. In this game, you navigate Mario through foul worlds on a quest to save Princess Daisy.

I never played this game when it first came out but from what I had seen I was interested in trying it out. Overall this is a solid platformer and a good game, after Tetris, to release as a launch title for the Gameboy. Super Mario Land has you take Mario Mario, no Luigi Mario in this game, on a trek through four worlds to rescue Princess Daisy. I like how the creators changed up the bosses from the original Super Mario Bros. In that game, you would defeat Bowser and you would learn that the Princess wasn't yours and you need to keep looking. In Super Mario Land you defeat the boss and find Daisy who turns out to be a bad guy in disguise.

The graphics in Super Mario Land are OK and I only say that because Super Mario Land 2 looks much better than this game. Most of the characters are really small on the screen and this would make it hard to play on an original Gameboy screen. The sound effects aren't too bad but I did laugh every time certain bad guys would die because the sound they make sounds straight off of an Atari 2600 instead of a Nintendo system. The music in this game is great. All of it is nice to listen to but particularly the music in the first world I found I really enjoyed.

The gameplay is just like the other Mario platformers for the era but this version's physics is off the wall. I don't know if I can adequately explain what I mean but Mario was very floaty and not in a good way. I died many times because I would miss a platform or get killed by a bad guy when performing maneuvers that would have worked just fine on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).

Another strangeness was when Mario uses his fireball. When you would shoot it the fire would bounce all around the screen until hitting something it can kill or if it goes off-screen. You can only have one fireball on the screen which may be to the limits of the Gameboy's power. I can understand that but again when basing my gameplay from the NES Mario games I would assume I could shoot a bunch at a time and instead was killed a few times when the fireball I shot out missed who I targeted and then being killed by that guy because my fireball was still bouncing all around the screen.

Super Mario Land consists of four levels and each of the levels has its own theme. My favorite was the Egyptian level, those of you who follow my Minecraft series will know all about that. These things I found strange as it seems as if this game is set within our world. Easter Island has the iconic Moai statues as bad guys trying to kill you.

After each stage, you have a chance to earn some extra lives if you can reach the top door at the end of the screen. It's a fun little diversion that brings this game more in line with Super Mario Bros 3 and all the ways you can earn extra lives.

Out of all the weirdness in this game the one that floored me the most was the shooter levels. The first time you pilot a one-man sub and it plays exactly like a shooter. The end of the game has you piloting an airplane. Just like the shooter levels in Rayman Origins I really liked this since it helped break up the platforming and these levels were lots of fun too.

Super Mario Land was a great game to play that had two issues. As I mentioned the physics was odd and it made platforming harder than it should have been. The other issue was the length of the game. I beat it in about an hour and a half and I guess it's not a terrible time when you consider that this is a portable game but buying this new I think I might have had an issue with this. One last thing, this game sold more copies than Super Mario Bros. 3!!! I didn't see that coming.

Overall Super Mario Land was a fun platformer starring Nintendo's favorite plumber. Fans of platformers, especially Mario games, will enjoy the time they spend with this game. I give Super Mario Land a 6 out of 10.

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