Month of Nostalgic Video Game Reviews 2 – Super Mario Land

09 Apr

Howdy peeps and welcome to Day #8/9 of Month of Nostalgic Video Game Reviews 2! This is a blog series where I review video games from my childhood. I know we’re again but I swear I’ll get on top of this soon! Anyways today’s game is one that I loved and hated with equal amounts in my childhood days on my Game Boy, so with that in mind let’s talk about Super Mario Land for Game Boy!

Super Mario Land was released for the Game Boy in Japan and the United States in 1989, while it debuted in Europe in 1990. The gameplay of Super Mario Land is similar to that of Super Mario Bros. on the NES, the game is this a side-scrolling platformer and as usual yo play as Mario. You need to travel across several levels tackling enemies, avoiding hazards and defeating bosses. The main goal is to defeat Tatanga, the villain known as the “Mysterious Spaceman,” and save Princess Daisy (this game marks her first appearance in the Mario series).


Mario’s primary attack is to jump on top of his enemies, which normally kills them. However, there are a few antagonists who cannot be undone in this manner or may even cause damage to Mario if he jumps on them. Power-ups like the Super Mushroom work normally, but the Fire Flower enables Mario to throw “superballs” that fly at a 45-degree angle and ricochet off floors, walls, and ceilings. Unlike traditional fireballs, Superballs can also be used to collect coins, which is useful for coins that are difficult or impossible to reach otherwise. Also, unlike other games in the series, gameplay doesn’t pause briefly when Mario collects a power-up or takes damage.


In two specific levels Mario flies in the “Sky Pop” aeroplane or travels in the “Marine Pop” submarine instead of walking. In these levels, there is no Super Flower because Mario can shoot the entire time. He still can grow by getting a Super Mushroom or become invincible by getting a Starman. During these levels, the screen constantly scrolls forward until it reaches the boss at the end, and it is not possible to slow down or stop it. Mario can be killed either by an enemy or by being crushed by the edge of the screen.


The game consists of four worlds with three levels each. At the end of every level, there is a tower with access at the top and at the bottom. If Mario can reach the upper access, there is a bonus level in which the player can win extra lives or power-ups. If he only reaches the lower access, the game continues normally. At the end of every third level, Mario has to fight a boss by either battling it or getting around it to reach a point behind them that will end the battle, similar to fighting Bowser in the original Super Mario Bros. After the game is completed, the game returns to the title screen, and the player is given the option to play in “Hard Mode.” If the game is finished in Hard Mode, the game goes back to the title screen and allows the player to choose which stage to start in, allowing for replay of any particular stage.


This seahorse is an asshole, I suffered many bad times fighting him!

Ah Super Mario Land, this game was the reason I was an angry child. Besides playing Sonic on my Mega Drive, this is one of the other games that really whipped my arse when playing. I loved the game for its differences from the other Mario games available at the time, the visuals were cool and different, I liked the different levels and the way the fire flower fireballs were changed to bounce off the walls was cool and added some dynamic ways to take out enemies. But then the game had a great deal of difficulty and towards the later levels things just became hard as hell, all I did was die, die and die again. After a while your skills and attend would dwindle and then your jumps and precision would go to shit. After that point I gave up and would go back to Pokemon instead. At least the visuals were good and the music, even though a tad repetitive was very memorable.

So in conclusion Super Mario Land was a game that I really played the hell out of and almost beat on a good few occasions, but the amount of failure I had with the game was too much pain to endure. This is a good platforming game for the Game Boy but it is a little hard and awkward with the controls. Give it a try if you’re looking for a hidden Mario title that isn’t as conventional as the rest.

Well there’s another game review done only 22 more to go! If you have experiences with this game or any of the following ones do comment below! I’ll see ya tomorrow with another nostalgic video game review yo! 😀


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