Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels

The moment you start playing the real Super Mario Bros. 2 something goes terribly awry. The first powerup is a funny-looking mushroom, and Mario dies the moment he touches it.

Everything wants to hurt Mario here, and in this twisted rendition of Mushroom Kingdom, anything can and will hurt him. He can’t simply run through colorful levels anymore, because these entrapments are designed to hinder his momentum to a snail crawl. Enemies attack from every conceivable angle, even mushrooms want to poison our hero.

To use a modern game journalism expression, this is the Dark Souls of the Mario games.

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