Super Mario Bros. 2 / Doki Doki Panic Port Comparison


When there are a number of home versions of a classic game, you can’t help but wonder what compromises have been made from the original version. For older games, it is very hard to find some solid comparisons of various ports. Fortunately, every now and then somebody puts together a comparison of screenshots and characteristics of a multiplatform title.

This time, fastbilly1 has put together a nice collection of screenshots to show a variety of scenes to give you a good idea of the visual differences. He also did a nice write-up to summarize the various installments…

Super Mario Bros. 2 has always been one of my favorite games. Not only was it wacky, but it was too hard for my friends and family, yet I could beat it. Even today I get a kick out of just goofing around in it, be it riding the Birdo eggs in 4-3 or defeating that old Wart once more, I can always lose myself in the game. Now I have played a lot of games and there are only two I can do this in, the obvious Mario 2 and the original Zelda. But enough about that what are the difference.

Versions Compared

  • Yume Koujou Doki Doki Panic – Famicom
  • Super Mario Bros 2 – NES
  • Super Mario Allstars – SNES
  • Super Mario Bros. Advance – GBA (GBA player through Gamecube)

Side Note: There are two more versions of the game, “Super Mario Bros. USA” (Famicom) and “BS Super Mario Bros. USA 1-4” (Super Famicom). The reason they were not mentioned is simply because Super Mario Bros USA is a Famicom port of the E/U game – I don’t know of a single difference apart from language. BS Super Mario Bros USA series was a weekly downloadable level series from the Mario Allstar version of Mario 2. Neither of which were different enough to warrant an individual image – though they are featured on the last slide.

Screenshot Comparisons

You can find larger screenshots in this Flickr photset.

Game Differences

  • Well as you can tell the game gets prettier as the years go on, gone are the epileptic waterfalls of Doki Doki, however it does get vastly easier.
  • Not only do you get more lives in the later versions, your characters have tweaked stats. (In the beginning of stage 6-2, on the NES/Famicom games you have to power jump to make it out of the beginning area as Mario, however in the SNES and GBA versions you can time your jump so you don’t have to.)
  • Also in Doki Doki there is no B-Button run. So if you thought the game was hard when we got it back in the 80s, you have yet to play the “hard mode” for lack of a better phrase.

Most Popular Version

Simply put, most gamers prefer the NES version. Not only for nostalgia sake, but because it has the right mix of difficulty and fun. This version is also perfectly emulated on the Wii, or so I am told, I haven’t downloaded it yet since my Wii and Famicom were hooked up to the same tv up until recently.


claudio says:

well done, i always wondered what the difference really was. cant believe there is no run button in doki, thats pretty wack.

SaurianOverlord says:

SMB2 was always one of my favorites. I also found it easier than most of my friends did. 🙂

I was always under the impression that the only real difference between it and Doki Doki was the replacement of character sprites. Now I know just enough to want to play through Doki Doki: enough to know there are a few other differences, but not enough to ruin it for me. Thanks for another well-done article, Racket.

SaurianOverlord says:

My apologies…thanks to fastbilly1 for the article! Sorry, I didn’t catch the credit right away.

fastbilly1 says:

I must mention that the character in the Doki Doki Panic images is actually of the Toad character from the Mario series. The Mario character is clad in blue, but you can tell for obvious reasons why I choose to take the images with that character.

Covarr says:

The graphics of the GBA version are nearly identical to the SNES port. A few sprites and tiles were redone, and the brightness was pumped way up to make up for the dark GBA screen. When played on a GBA or GBASP, I’d say that this version is easily the best looking, but on a Game Boy Player, a newer backlit GBASP, a Game Boy Micro, or any of the DS variations, it looks much too washed out.

Alex says:

you need to go more in depth with the comparison, I’ve barely played the GBA bersion but there was a lot of “features” in that one like the new coins and giant enemies.

Super Mario 2 is one of my all-time favorites, too, and I really enjoy the GBA version. It’s the same, but has quite a number of changes as well, keeping it fresh.

fastbilly1 says:

This was actually more of an experiment to see if this style of story would generate any sort of interest. Since it has, There will be a topic/poll on the forums soon (probably by the end of today) about which game(s) you would like to see.

If Mario 2 is chosen it will probably be a stage or two a week compared pretty much shot by shot.

LOLO says:

great site men, love it !


SoloWingLagi says:

Did you ever notice how Zelda 2 looks just like Battle of Olympus, right down to the walking animation?

pakopako says:

Aw. I jumped here from this month’s Together Retro (2012/09) and I see the Flickr image is missing and the Flickr folder is set to “private.” (Which may account for the comparison shots to have disappeared.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get a nice roundup of new retro gaming content once or twice a month.