Wario Land II

Wow was this game frustrating. I honestly can’t believe how many people liked this game… to the point where I feel it must be one of those cartridges their parents bought them and they played it for weeks at a time without completing the game!

I know, because that’s where I was with this.

For the first time in a long time of playing first party Nintendo licensed titles, I found a game that is just plain miserable to play. It nearly went on the blacklist, but for the sake of completion (I already started the Virtual Boy sequel Wario Land which is FAR superior), I had to bang this out.

Why is it so maddening to play?

First of all, Wario can’t die. I mean it. You can do whatever you want, it’s impossible to die.

So, instead of having lives or deaths, the game has a number of scenarios that cheaply start you at the beginning of a stage during the boss battles, where you have to start all over from scratch.

Let me repeat: there are no lives and no checkpoints. The game cheats, you can’t avoid it, and you start from the beginning!

To make matters worse, it’s also not clear how to navigate through levels; as to what you’re to do to overcome an obstacle or even what that next obstacle is.

That led to so much time wasted with this game that I wanted to break a controller for the first time in ages. (I honestly wasn’t aware you could “air charge” through a wall until the game’s final board, for example, because it was never required until then!)

If you’re a completionist, play this game.

If not, skip it.

Actually, just skip it. Wario Land 1 (which is Super Mario Land 3) is a way better game.

I’m going to guess since more sequels of this were made that it (hopefully) didn’t suffer from the same flaws!

Super Mario Bros. Deluxe

Continuing on my quest of playing Mario remakes, this edition of the original game retains the 8-bit style, but also adds a lot of different things to the game. Luigi’s outfit differs from Mario’s, akin to how we know them both know with their red/green costumes.

Various sounds were added to the game, as well as animated water and lava.

An overworld map and the ability to save after each stage were key additions too.

One of the biggest changes is that you can walk backward in the level, so if you pass something up, you can now go back. (Which if I recall, even the All-Stars remakes didn’t allow for that.)

My main gripe with this game is how large items have to be on the screen to fit into the Game Boy environment. If they made it smaller, you wouldn’t be able to see what you’re doing, but making things larger means you often can’t see platforms above or below you, leading to your death (especially if one were not familiar with this game, to begin with).

There are some other cheesy scenes added, and a few would be modes that would appear to be tacked on, but offer replay value (such as You vs. Boo and a hidden red coin mode where you have to locate all of the red coins in each level).

I honestly wouldn’t mind a reboot of this version of the game to fit a traditional screen. As it stands, the extras are fun, and the slight changes modernize the game some, but overall it can be challenging to play with the lack of screen real estate and the added “going backward” mechanic.