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Mario and Wart Apparently we've recently passed by the eighteenth anniversary of the original release of Super Mario Bros. 2 for the Nintendo Entertainment System.  Who celebrates anniversaries that aren't divisible by five?  Poison Mushroom, that's who.  LBD "Nytetrayn" has written a long and loving look back at the Super Mario game that "wasn't" a Super Mario game, reflecting on where the game has been and where it's going.  Plus the article is packed with vintage off-model Mario character art!

If one were to pick up Doki Doki Panic after playing the Mario-fied version, they might swear they were playing some sort of Beta program, or perhaps a hack of some kind. Screenshots only tell half the story, as the graphic changes went beyond mere swaps of characters and items. Where Super Mario Bros. 2 felt like a living, breathing, animated world, Doki Doki Panic simply… did not. Many of the moving elements, such as blowing grass or the scrolling word “POW” on its respective blocks, were static in the original game. In contrast, the waterfalls moved at an almost irregular speed, appearing as though ready to induce seizures that would make a Pokémon jealous.

As with the first Super Mario adventure, I was introduced to Super Mario Bros. 2 at someone else's house.  I don't remember why, but for some reason back in 1989 I had to go visit this cousin (or some other cousin-type relative) for an afternoon, and as it turned out he had a NES and the game in question (which, until then, I'd never heard about).  We played all afternoon, but by the time we reached Clawgrip at the end of World 5 it was time to go home.  I saved up my allowances for weeks to afford my own copy of the game, and sure enough once I had the money the game was sold out all over town.  I eventually found a copy and snatched it up, playing it over and over again with the different characters as I tried to complete the game in new ways.  Surely gaming could never be any better.  Hey, what's this Super Mario Bros. 3 on the cover of my new Nintendo Power?