Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Some of you are probably expecting me to take some hard-nosed stance regarding this game and refuse to call it anything other than Yume Kojo: Doki Doki Panic. But that’d be wrong. This is - or at the very least, has become - integral to the Mario mythos. Shyguys, Pokeys, Birdo - originally named Catherine, take that Atlus - are now just as important as black magic and field horsehair plants. (Ask your parents.) So I’m not going to get all pedantic. This is about the PlayChoice-10 version of Super Mario Bros. 2, AKA Super Mario USA, AKA The Reason We Didn’t Learn About That Whole “Lost Levels” BS Until 1993. But say what you will about the hubris of Nintendo Co. Ltd. and their decision to Mario-ize this thing rather than subject the west to the true Mario 2. What we ended up with was a character-diverse, radish-throwing, dream-hopping good time. It doesn’t matter that the plot uses the biggest cop-out in literary history. It doesn’t matter that, for whatever reason, you can ride an egg across a mile of open sea without losing any altitude whatsoever. The game itself makes next-to-no sense. But, regardless, it’s an awesome platformer, and one that really helped to flesh out some of the classic Mario cast. This is where Peach learned her weird levitation trick that keeps popping up whenever she’s in Smash Bros., as well as codifying Luigi’s improved jumping prowess... which is actually from Lost Levels, but that’s on another cart. Mario’s the classic all-rounder, while Toad... well, Toad gets the power to lift things really fast, be they hostiles or plants. Mostly plants. Kinda makes you want to relegate the poor mushroom to Harvest Moon or something. The conversion to arcade controls is largely painless, aside from the rather weird position of the pause button on the PC10 cabinet. I also noticed that the joystick seemed to be very sensitive to the crouch command, which took a little while to get used to... but that sensitivity made getting through that freakin’ Beezo-slalom in level 4-2 a right breeze. (I’m also fairly certain that’s the first time the phrase “Beezo-slalom” has ever been uttered in the course of human history.) This isn’t an arcade game like Turtles 2 or Punch-Out are, but Nintendo’s priority was to get people to play this thing. Y’know, ‘cuz apparently slamming Mario imagery all over it wasn’t enough. Needed more turtles. Always needs more turtles. I like turtles.