It's a me, Mario!
The original Super Mario Bros. is rightly hailed as an instant classic, one of the finest platformers ever created and which stands at the top of the hall of fame, above Sonic, Rayman and all the other pretenders to the crown. This follow-up baffled gamers a bit when it was first released, as it wasn't quite what everyone expected (it wasn't the same version as released in Japan) but in retrospect, it too remains a top notch experience. This one finds our plumber hero and his new friends Toad and the Princess, along with Luigi, entering a strange cave which Mario has seen in his dreams and which is filled with all new threats, including bad guy Wart and his many minions. What follows is another side on platformer which dispenses with many of the elements most associated with the first game but which introduces new ones, including the ability to swap between the four characters, each of which has their own unique ability. Anyone who goes in expecting a re-run of the first game might be disappointed, but if you go in with an open mind, there's still a fine platformer to be found here. The visuals retain that typically Mario and Nintendo look, with sharp, personality filled sprites and slick level design. The gameplay has a different feel and pace to the previous game, and it's this which is perhaps the toughest thing to wrap your head around, although the absence of certain mechanics is also a surprise. The new ideas are well implemented though, and the game retains that classic Mario sense of fun so pick this up and you're sure to be rewarded.