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None of these levels are really beatable, because one half of them are pile of sprite shit while other half is just glitchy copy of normal levels without any logical ending. Don’t even try to guess the reason why that trash was created, you can lose your mind trying. I only can take a guess that it was done by the pirates who just needed to make about 30 different levels that aren’t copies of the normal levels and if the levels are beatable or not, they didn’t care. Anyway, they failed to do even this, because one half of the levels is the same as the other. Well, anyway, let’s move on to the sequels. After the first Super Mario Bros., 2nd and 3rd games were soon to follow.
Super Mario Bros 2. was released in October 1988. Of course, many of you know that this game was released under this title everywhere but Japan, because they already had a FDS-exclusive sequel of Mario, i.e., released on floppy disks for the Famicom Disk System. But we here didn’t know anything about this. This game actually is Doki Doki Panic game converted into a Mario game for US release.
Surprisingly, here it was titled Super Mario Bros. 2, and had virtually no differences with the original US release. At the same time when the second game was released in US, Super Mario Bros. 3 was released in Japan. It came out in US a year and a half later, in Europe three years later, and almost five years later it got to Russia, with Steepler’s blessing of course, that released these games on the ‘licensed’ Dendy cartridges.
With the boxes, of course, and a sticker with the elephant on the back side, sure. However, on the front sticker we see the same nonsense like the first game had. Yet again, there are all the characters from the game, except the Mario brothers themselves.
with only text being a suggestive title S.M.B. 3. Here we see scary Bowser who trying to catch thin air, and Princess Toadstool, who is dragged away by someone invisible, except for a half of his feet. Well, if we compare it with the first game, you remember that it had no title on the label at all, and in the game itself it was only titled ‘2’. Let’s learn how this one is titled. Turn the game on… and what do you think?
This game is titled ‘3’. Of course! If there was a game ‘2’, there should be ‘3’ as well.
It seems that the fact that ‘2’ is actually ‘1’, ‘3’ is ‘3’, and ‘1’ is never existed does not bother anyone in Steepler. Anyway, anyone who bought the game in the Dendy shop, realize that it is Super Mario Bros. 3 right away, and will have no reasons to suspect that it is counterfeit. However, besides Steepler’s ones, this game was sold on many other cartridges. Here is another example, and check this out, it titled Super Mario Bros. 3! Even Mario and Luigi are here! Who cares about the sticker with the elephant, this one looks so good and everything is clear.
Well, label is label, but inside… Yeah. One title screen is better than other. Steepler’s release at least had ‘3’, here is just nothing.
What’s going on the screen? Mario and Luigi kick invisible turtles, and the game menu is just amazing. After this you should have no doubts that Steepler’s carts are legitimate. After these three games, many foreign viewers would think that it is the end of the review because it is practically all the Mario games that were released for NES, except for spin-offs.
NES is not Dendy, and here the saga about the red-capped princess saver is only begins. Right after the third game, Great Republic of China flooded our country with that many Mario games that you can’t even imagine. …or maybe you can. Anyway, real wonders starts right here.
Here is the game that was released on Dendy as Super Mario 4. Fourth game of the series, where Mario travels through a strange world, transforms into a ball, and jumps around like that. When you press B, he cuddles like a pill bug, subtly alluding the Sonic. At the bottom we can see face of a weird character that resembles the protagonist from Castle Excellent. Subconsciously we know that it is actually Mario, so we ignore the face. That is much more frightening is the picture of the hero at the title screen.
Yeah… So the fourth game is remarkable by complete inconsistence of the hero with rest of the game. Let’s move on. Super Wonderful Mario from Steepler.
We take out the cart from the box, and whoa – there is label ‘Super Mario 5’ at the top. So fifth game has a subtitle ‘Super Wonderful Mario’. Alright, turn it on. What the… Super Bros. 5 In reality, Super Mario Bros. 2 with sloppy number 5 instead of 2. So, that’s it? The same game.
And this is the cool Steepler’s cartridge, damn it. In the box. So they just took second game, hacked the title screen, and presented as fifth, titled it ‘Wonderful’. Excellent. Next is Super Mario 6. This one has very original sticker.
Here is strangely thin Mario, wearing a tailcoat, holding a carrot, surrounded by characters from Loony Tunes. Also, we see he takes off his hat despite he wears a red cap. So, he wears hat over the cap. That artist had a great imagination. Looking at that craze, what would you expect from this game? Is Mario going to go to the masquerade?
Is he run across the Mushroom Kingdom collecting carrots, and fights with Elmer Fudd, Porky Pig and Daffy Duck? You know what? That’s almost true. Familiar sound… Wha… That’s the Tiny Toon!
That’s Tiny Toon?! That’s heavy. Uh-huh. So, probably Buster Bunny is on vacation, and Mario is a shift man.
Poor Mario, how did you get here? Why you don’t just stay in your Mushroom Kingdom? You would kick the turtles, hanging out with the princess, instead of guzzle the carrots.
You know, it is very easy to forget that you playing Mario rather than Tiny Toon. I picture that, a friend come by, and say ‘Oh, you play Tiny Toon! ‘, and you answer ‘what’s the bullshit, it is Super Mario 6!’. And damn, you would be right.
Interesting, if you would buy this cartridge back in 1990s, and play for five minutes, would you believe that it is true sixth Mario game? Especially after fifth, that was actually second, despite it was Steepler’s. Circa this point we started to develop suspicion that someone tricking us, to say the least. That’s scary to imagine what could happen if this game was shown in the ‘Novaya Realnost’ (TV show) instead of 16th. Most interesting things has yet to follow.
Because after that crazy 6th Mario game there was equally crazy 7th. I have no slightest idea why, but it was titled ‘Grand Dad 7’. In Russian it would be ‘Velikiy Papochka Sem’. The further the better. The Flintstones theme plays on the title screen.
Cutscene is about Flintstones too. And the world map too. And protagonist is… Poor Fred.
What they did with you? They cut off his head and replaced with severed head of Mario. Sixth game was nothing special compared to this one. Whoever made this was really high. By the way, in the original Flintstones game Fred was able to hide his head, just like in the cartoon.
But here… What you starting at?! As you understand, there are no other changes in the game. Probably it was enough to make kids have nightmares about Mario’s severed head.
Our parade of crazy games continues, and the next game is Super Mario 8. I have more to say about this one. Unlike other pirate copies, on the sticker of this game cart that I bought in 1995, besides a chunky elder with a hammer, we can see two titles – ‘Super Bros. 8’ and ‘Don Doko Don 2’.
Super Bros. 8 raises no questions, but what is the ‘Don Doko Don 2’ I learned only 10 years later. It turned out that is was a Japanese game that was hacked and presented to us as Super Mario 8. And now I can’t get it, why in Super Mario 6 wasn’t mentioned that it is Tiny Toon, in Super Mario 7 wasn’t mentioned that it is Flintstones, but in Super Mario 8 the pirates decided to be honest, and mentioned that it is Don Doko Don 2. Maybe it is because many players noticed that something is wrong with Mario series after two previous games, so the pirates decided to reduce risks. However, I was unable to recognize the title for ten years, and before I got access to the Internet I honestly believed that it is legitimate 8th game in the Mario series. Just look by yourself.
What’s the difference with previous games? Pretty convincing picture of the character at the title screen. Well, he walks around with a hammer, alright. There are many mushroom-like creatures as well. Oh, and pigs flying around. Just your typical magic kingdom.
By the way, the game disappoints a bit that in the beginning we see both Mario brothers, but you can’t play with second player. Other than that, just an usual Mario game. In this game he visit an underwater world, skies, and scary castle full of ghosts. Well, and in a toy world where he should fight with a cuckoo from cuckoo clock. Whatever.
There is the only thing I can’t understand. After completion of the game there is a message – ‘Thank you for playing Super Mario Part 6’. Dear me, we played in 8th game, and in the end it turned out to be 6th. But it is nothing like Tiny Toon, probably the creators just messed up the number. Or maybe they weren’t able to decide how to number this game.
Anyway, everyone here called it ‘Super Mario 8’. I personally called it just ‘Mario with a hammer’. You would expect that 8th game should be followed by 9th. But ‘Super Mario 9’ wasn’t seen here. We got something better instead.
Super Mario World 9. Our gamers went ape shit when they found this game in a shop. Just think about it, a new Mario game subtitled World 9! There were so many legends about the 9th world. Some told that in the Super Mario Bros. actually had nine worlds instead of eight, but you can’t get into the 9th, but it do exist. Gamers were searching for 9th world in second and third games, and even found it in the third game, but there it was just a warp room leading to any level.
And after the 9999-in-1 everyone just went crazy, stating that the 9th world there is a fake, but there is other 9999-in-1 that has different 9th world that actually works. …but it only was seen by a fifth grader that played it at his uncle’s, who got it from Poland, and there in the 9th world Mario transforms to a dinosaur and eats Bowser, and then the princess come by and kisses the dinosaur, and he transforms back to Mario. Yeah… Unfortunately the uncle then went back to Poland at took the cartridge with him, and sold it to someone there, and that guy also moved somewhere, and now it is impossible to find. Bummer. But when this one appeared, we got long-awaited opportunity to dot the i’s, because judging by the title the whole game is about 9th world.
And this means we finally can see that mysterious world in all the details, see everything that was hidden for so long, surrounded by so many legends. Enough talking. Super Mario, World 9. I’ll drink to that. What is this? What is this?!
He scratches his balls?! Are you nuts?! Kids watch that! Screw that! Mario lies under a palm tree, a coconut hits his head, he jump on and scratches his balls. I can’t look at this!
And that’s the 9th world! So what is he doing there, eh?! (something illegible and emotional) Yeah, after so freaky intro I’m afraid to guess how freaky the game is.
But bless the balls (an idiom)… no, not these… My fears weren’t realized. This game is actually rather good. Resembles Adventure Island 2 a little… Just a bit. Mario in the game acts more modestly. The only thing is when he takes a skateboard, he looks like a mutated wild man.
Regarding to the hopes to see the mysterious world 9, they vanished without a trace after the intro. Whoever made this should be hit with a coconut, and then asked, where it hurts. I have nothing more to say about this game, so lets trash and forget it. Super Mario 10.
After World 9 chronology and numbering are back on track. Growing Mario’s universe never ceases to amaze, and stoned Chinese pirates continue to make a mockery on the poor plumber, further distracting him from cleaning pipes and toilets of his home Mushroom Kingdom, slowly transforming his bright image into a dirty 8-bit slut, that hangs around completely unrelated games, deceives everyone, and scratches… uhm. In 10th game this trend continues, unfortunately.
Although there Mario try out a new genre. No, that’s not Contra yet, although after this game that wouldn’t be a surprise. So, the title screen says – ‘Super Bros. 10 Kung Fu Mari’. If we assume that the Mari is Mario – remember the Mr. Mary, also noting the Kung Fu part, we can guess that in this game Mario turns into a fighter.
although I can’t imagine how it would be possible with his constitution… What a hell. Who is that Georgian guy? So athletic… Almost like Jackie Chan, eh. Although his head is larger than himself.
So, he hanging around a valley and kicks frogs and samurai for no reason. You know, that reminds me cult horrors movies like ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ or ‘Hellraiser’. They had a crapload of sequels too, becoming shittier every time.
Exactly same thing here. If I didn’t know that this is a hack, I’d lost my mind back then. Luckily, I once saw the original game, Jackie Chan Action Kung Fu, at the time, that was hacked into this. By the way, Jackie Chan was released by Steepler too. And this proves once again that Steepler didn’t care what crap they put their stickers on and sell in their shops.
They even had Jackie Chan Action Kung Fu and Super Wonderful Mario next to each other on display in their shops. OK, what’s next? Wow, a TV Game.
Super Bros. 11. The picture amazes yet again. Knowing the context, that’s probably Mario rides Yoshi. Although they aren’t more similar than Barak Obama and Muhammad Ali. Let’s dare to see what the game it is. Well, that’s better than the coconut that hit Mario in the head.
There is just an UFO fly by and snatched his girlfriend. Now I get it why Mario and Yoshi aren’t look like themselves at the picture. This is that would be happen if Mario and Yoshi were crossbreed with the guy and his dinosaur from Adventure Island 3. Neither. Super Mario 11 is almost identical to the aforementioned game.
With the difference that here you get a lot of dinosaurs, weapons, lives and upgrades from the beginning. There is no more of Mario than in Jurassic Park, of course, although someone may enjoy the upgrades available right away. Next game is Super Mario 12. Damn, it starts to resemble not the horror series, but porn sequels.
Although this one is actually not that bad. Mario and Yoshi are looking like themselves, although they are small. Hmm, what’s this? Round, speed, music… Everything to default, let’s go! Round one.
Mario turns to a cook? Oh wait, that’s Yoshi’s Cookie! The puzzle where you sorting Yoshi’s cookies. But why it titled Super Mario 12? It is a normal spin-off, also released on Gameboy. Well, whatever.
Let’s just enjoy this, because finally, there is a Mario game titled Mario. Maybe, the trend is changed, and 13th game will be also good? Here it is, Super Mario 13. Pretty strange intro, it seems a huge guy with hoses get angry on Mario.
So what we got here? First thing we see is that Mario does not jump on enemies anymore, not slamming them with a hammer, and not punches them, he uses a wonder stick instead that is capable to enlarge. It is pretty effective and looks OK, but when he does it mid-air, it makes an impression that the stick comes out of his… uhm, how to tell that… a bit under his belly. and that light tip of the stick adds to the impression.
Please don’t get it like I’m trying to humiliate the character, that’s just the scratching in 9th game makes an influence. Anyway, here you fights with mushrooms, just as usual, but when you get a hit, Mario’s face gets a mysterious look… like he got the stick shoved… Let’s not talk about that. So, if you didn’t recognize it yet, Super Mario 13 is a hack of Saiyuuki World 2 (Whomp ‘Em), although it wasn’t common in the original form in 1990s, it was known in Russia as Son Son 2, and I still have that version on a cartridge. We have seen 13 Mario games for Dendy already.