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Monday, March 12, 2012

Review: Super Mario Land


Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo

Super Mario Land is a weird, weird game. Let's run down a list of reasons why.

  • The sprites are super-tiny.
  • Mario is in a place called Sarasaland.
  • Bowser isn't in the game. In his place is an alien named Tatanga.
  • You're rescuing Daisy, not Princess Peach.
  • There is no Mario music whatsoever.
  • You don't shoot fireballs, you shoot superballs that collect coins for you.
  • Some levels turn into a side-scrolling shooter where Mario uses a submarine or airplane.
  • There are enemies that look somewhat like Mario enemies, but all of them are just slightly... off, like the "Koopa Troopas" that explode after you step on them.
  • There are enemies that look like moai statues with arms that run really fast.
  • Just when the game starts getting interesting, it ends.
All of this combines to make a game that's kind of like Mario, but not quite. If you didn't see Mario in the title or see Mario's tiny, tiny sprite, you would assume it was some sort of Mario knockoff. Nintendo agrees, because neither Sarasaland nor Tatanga have made further appearances in anything Nintendo made.

On the Virtual Console, Super Mario Land is a trifle. It's not as deep as any of the other Mario games and really brings nothing to the table. It's an OK way to kill an hour or two, but really doesn't deserve to be in the same breath as some of the other Mario Land games.

Final Grade: D+