Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels is in Japan the direct sequel to the then-best selling and highly acclaimed video game, Super Mario Bros. But due to the game's high difficulty and similarity to the first game, Nintendo of America chose to hire the Japanese developers to finish off and release this original designed "Mario 2" prototype, which has resulted in some confusion amongst fans as to which was "the real mario 2", some siding with the former and others with the latter.
Gameplay. In contrast to it's predecessor, this game does not feature a two-player mode and players are given the choice to play as Mario or Luigi. Mario still has his same abilities from the first game, while Luigi is less agile but he can jump higher and farther than his older brother. However, when players stomp on enemies such as the Goombas or Koopa Troopas, they bounce up higher than in the last game. There are no new enemies, but they behave differently from before. Goombas, Koopa Troopas, and Lakitus can now appear in underwater stages, and you can't kill them unless you are either Fire Mario or Fire Luigi.
This game also introduced the recurring Poison Mushroom, in which when it's taken by Mario or Luigi, players shrink back to their normal shapes, or die if they are in such state.
Design. Sprites remain unchanged and it's a 2D sidescrolling platforming adventure game. However, what I actually liked is that the developers gave the background surroundings and terrain much more detail than in the game's predecessor. Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka were the designers of the game, as well as the original. But this game was far more challenging and difficult than it's predecessor. Koji Kondo also wrote the score for The Lost Levels. The game largely re-used the musical pieces from its predecessor, though there were also new compositions, such as the ending theme.
Re-releases. Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels was never released in America because the people of Nintendo of America didn't like it, labeling as a reboot of the original game plus being more difficult. In 1993, Super Mario All-Stars was released on the SNES, and it included a remade 16-bit version of the game. In order to not confuse if with the other Super Mario Bros 2, the game was re-titled as Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels.
Rantings. Some things I rant about this game are not only because of the game's difficulty, no. The things I rant is the wind sequences in some stages in the game. Whenever there was a wind blowing you away, that part would actually get on your nerves. Lakitu's in the water were also a major annoyance, especially in some stages where they were floating halfway from where they usually fly.
Good Aspects. Though difficult and challenging, this game has such great qualities and has moderately high replay value. You can download this game on the Wii Virtual Console for 500 Wii Points. If you want the challenge to beat this hard game, then good luck and have fun.
Overall. Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels gets a 8 out of 10.