Mario quick hit reviews — 1Q2016 issue

Super Mario Land
Mario’s first adven­ture out­side of the Mush­room King­dom just hap­pens to also be his first in the portable sphere. Mario Land is a ser­vice­able adven­ture filled with the weird and dif­fer­ent (Tatanga, any­one?), but it’s still good Mario. The mechan­ics resem­ble SMB, and the graph­ics keep things famil­iar enough despite space­ships and pyra­mids mak­ing an appear­ance. Keep this early Mario as an option on the go.

Score: 3.5 out of 5

Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
Mario’s sec­ond hand­held adven­ture is a step up in terms of … every­thing. There are more power ups, more stages and more ene­mies to take on, includ­ing Wario, who is intro­duced to the world at large here. The six tit­u­lar golden coins mean more places to explore and more to do, which is always help­ful in a Mario title. The con­trols get a lit­tle crisper and the graph­ics are gor­geous for a hand­held title. This is one to own, even if you’re not a super Mario fan.

Score: 4 out of 5

Mario Kart: Super Cir­cuit
Mario’s first foray into the hand­held kart­ing side of things is a mixed bag. On the one hand, it’s Super Mario Kart finally on a hand­held sys­tem. That instantly makes it worth check­ing out by itself. On the other hand, the dif­fi­culty and rat­ing sys­tem make it a frus­trat­ing expe­ri­ence. If you’re used to the rub­ber band AI from the two pre­vi­ous titles, you’ll find it well worn here. And good luck get­ting the max num­ber of coins and stars pos­si­ble in the bid to max out the game. But, it’s still decent Mario Kart over­all and the game plays exactly like you’d expect. That’s a win­ning attribute that helps sal­vage this race.

Score: 2.5 out of 5