Mario's Portable Video Games: Classically Unique
What do submarines and bunny ears have in common? You'll never see them in Mario's console adventures.
When it comes to Mario, Nintendo rarely messes with the basic formula. Super Mario Advance (AKA Super Mario Bros. 2) was a curious departure from the norm, but for the most part, you can always expect to stomp goombas, grab gold coins and fire flowers.
With this in mind, the company never shies away from making subtle tweaks, especially with the plumber's handheld adventures. Mario's portable history is by far the most experimental, as the publisher introduced different concepts, most of which never appeared in the console games.
On that note, we're proud to present a slice of Mario's portable history and the features that make each title unique.
Super Mario Land (Game Boy, 1989)
Mario's first Game Boy adventure is by far the most unorthodox. For starters, he sets out to explore the kingdom of Sarasaland to rescue Princess Daisy from an alien; normally, he's in the Mushroom Kingdom saving Princess Peach from Bowser, his arch nemesis.
On top of that, fire balls ricochet off walls and ceilings, koopa shells explode and Mario gets to pilot a submarine and airplane.
Bottom line, it's been too long since we've played this gem, and can't wait till it appears on the 3DS eShop, sooner than later.
Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins (Game Boy, 1992)
To beat 6 Golden Coins, you'll need to throw some of the typical Mario conventions out the window. Collecting 100 gold coins, for instance, doesn't grant you an extra life. Instead, it produces a star that imbues Mario with temporary invincibility. What's more, you'll use these coins to play mini-games.
As for gaining 1-ups, you'll need to locate hearts.
In addition, the carrot power-up transforms the hero into Bunny Mario, allowing him to jump higher and slowly descend.
Mario Pinball Land (Game Boy Advance, 2004)
While not the most beloved Mario game, Pinball Land stands out for merging classic adventure elements with pinball, something we don't see too often.
Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis (DS, 2006)
Turns out, March of the Minis has something no console Mario game has: a level editor. Although it's a far cry from our dream, the ability to create full fledged and side scrolling levels, this useful tool is at least a step in the right direction. Users can even share these levels with friends online.
New Super Mario Bros. (DS, 2006)
New Super Mario Bros. was somewhat of a departure from more traditional 2D Marios because Nintendo incorporated 3D graphics, giving the game a 2.5D appearance that was later used in New Super Mario Bros. Wii.
Beyond that, the game introduced the concept of snagging three Star Coins per level, as well as the following power-ups: the Blue Koopa Shell, Mega Mushroom and Mini-Mushroom.