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?
GamesRadar is the premiere source for everything that matters in the world of video games. Casual or core, console or handheld - whatever systems you own or whatever genres you love, GamesRadar is there to filter out what's worth your time and to help you get even more from your games. We deliver the best advice, the most in-depth features, expert reviews, and the essential guides for all the top games.