These days everyone accepts him as the fun, portly antihero that we all know and love, but once upon a time Wario was simply a mysterious new nemesis for Nintendo’s mascot. That was the case in Super Mario Land 2, featuring perhaps the best original portable iteration on the classic Mario formula. It was only a matter of time before this Nintendo classic appeared as a downloadable, and that time is now, as the game appeared on the 3DS eShop this morning.
After the more unique take on the franchise in the first Mario Land, Super Mario Land 2 took more direct cues from the series with a graphical style similar to Super Mario World and a world map that’s been a franchise standard since Mario 3. Each zone had its own theme and boss, with some of our favorite levels involving a trip into space and exploring a giant clockwork Mario toy. Land 2 did add some of its own flavor to the mix, including the adorable Rabbit Mario power-up (we miss that look), plus an open map where you could take on any of the six zones in the order of your choice.
Of course Land 2’s the greatest addition to Mario history was Wario, Mario's evil twin-style archenemy. After fighting Bowser a a dozen times, it was nice to see a new villain appear to give King Koopa a break. Except Wario proved too popular to be a shadowy bad guy and soon took over the Land series, recasting it as Wario Land, which was followed by multiple spin-offs that continue to this day. The upcoming Super Mario 3D Land is the first time in nearly two decades Mario has returned to the Land label, but how long can that last before Wario steals it back?
Sep 29, 2011