Super Mario 2 is very different from the prequal and later games. There are no Goombas, no Koopas, no ? blocks, no Fire Flowers, no warp pipes. It's all gone! You don't even defeat enemies by jumping on them! Instead, you pull up vegetables and items from the ground and pelt enemies with them. You can even pick up enemies and use them as ammo! There are other different gameplay elements, which are explained below.
Press the A Button and you'll jump. Like any Mario game, or basically any platform game, holding A makes you jump higher until you reach the jump's peak.
Hold down to duck. Once your character grunts and begins flashing, you're Super Jump is charged. Now, without moving left or right, jump to perform a much higher jump with new redrawn sprites to make your character do an SM64-style flip! If you move while flashing, you'll lose the charge.
LIFTING AND THROWING
Red patches of grass are spread out through the game on the ground. Stay on top of one and press the B Button to pull up a vegetable, item, or even an enemy from the ground! Now, you can use the B Button to throw it. If you throw it while standing still, it goes at about a -45 degree angle forward. If you are moving, or running, while throwing, it goes a much better distance forward. Use these two types of throws to your advantage. Some items, heavier items, fall straight down when doing a normal standing throw. To pick up enemies, you must stand on their heads (you can use them as stepping stones or even ride them without taking damage!) and press B to pick them up. Most items and vegetables will disappear off the screen when thrown, but enemies do not. You can use this to your advantage to relocate them. Note that some enemies do disappear when thrown.
In some areas, the only way to go is down through the dirt. Simply press B, as if trying to pick up the ground and you'll dig up one tile of dirt. Not all dirt can be dug up.
DUCKING AND RUNNING
Hold down to duck, which is useful for avoiding some projectiles (not all projectiles are high enough to duck under, like Birdo's eggs and fireballs). You can also try jumping while ducking and you'll do a ducking jump. This is a jump where you are still ducking in mid-air, making you 1/2 the size. It's useful to get through tiny holes. Also, if you hold the B or R button, you'll run. Use this to your advantage to make longer running jumps.
Vines, chains, ladders; they can all be climbed. Stand in front of them and press Up to begin climbing, or Down to slide back down. Be careful not to fall off the sides by pressing Left or Right!
Jars take the place of warp pipes. Simply stand on top of these giant jars and press down to go inside. Usually, there are goodies inside of jars like 1-Ups, Hearts, and Shells. Sometimes even Keys, which are required to progress through the game. Investigate jars; they're not dangerous at all. Some jars are actually shortcuts to other stages, but can only be entered in Subspace.
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