1985’s Super Mario Bros is an undisputed classic, and is still very playable today. It pretty much defined the platforming genre and certainly popularised it. When it came to a sequel, Japan got Super Mario bros 2 in 1986, a game that stuck very closely to the formula of the original title. America and the rest of the West, though? This similarity and the perceived difficult of the sequel led to Nintendo deciding to release an alternative game in 1988. It would not be until 1993’s Super Mario All-Stars that the west would get access to this game, under the title Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels.
What we got instead was a reskin of a reskin. The game that became the American Super Mario Bros 2 started life as a prototype cooperative platformer. This was then reskinned into a game called Doki Doki Panic. This was then reskinned once again, this time becoming Super Mario Bros 2. This accounts for how different the game was in comparison to the other games in the series. That said, some elements from the game were incorporated into later titles.
The game did see a lot of success, but for me, if I am doing a playthrough of the series, I often skip this game as I simply cannot stand it. It’s not about any snobbishness about it not being a ‘proper’ Mario game, but rather just utter indifference to the whole experience. Disappointing sequel!