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P-Vock's Music Box: Letting A Hidden Gem Shine

Hello and welcome back to P-Vock's Music Box. Today is a good day.

Recently, in a rather inevitable move, Nintendo added Game Boy and Game Boy Advance games to the Nintendo Switch Online service. Everyone saw this coming for so long, including myself.

What I didn't expect to see happen was for Nintendo to launch the update with multiple games that I would consider absolute hidden gems. Games that have never been given the praise they deserve.

Among these, was what may very well be my favourite Mario platformer of all time.

Super Mario Land on the Game Boy is one of the most "Fine" pieces of media ever released. It's a great time but doesn't leave much of a lasting impact. Its sequel, however? Hoo baby this game slaps and has so many amazing claims to fame.

Unique levels, memorable power-ups, and the introduction of Undisputed Champion of Girth in the Thicc King Wario are among some of the monumental achievements this short and oh-so-sweet game brought forth.

Oh yeah, the music ain't bad either.

It's a stupidly simple menu theme. It has next to nothing going on. It's just a minimal amount of beeps. So then, WHY DOES IT SLAP SO HARD? Like, seriously, it's a damn menu theme. It's just a bunch of beeps in an almost dissonant manner with some crunchy percussion.

Despite this, it is legitimately one of my favourite menu themes of all time.

If you ever needed proof of the concept of simplicity sells, here you go.

But alright, let's jump in to an actual level.

It's a good thing the Game Boy could survive literal bombs (it's true, look it up) because this OST is actual fire. Once again, a rather simple track that just fires me up. Usually, the intro level theme for Mario games is called the athletic theme, but this is the first one that actually sounds like it. It's the perfect track to accompany a joyous romp as you bounce across your enemies heading through the stage.

The Mario series has a ton of iconic melodies from various games' early levels or main themes. The fact this isn't up there with the likes of Gusty Garden Galaxy, Bob-Omb Battlefield, or the original World 1-1 is an actual crime and makes me irrationally angry.

But okay, I clearly love this soundtrack. There surely can't be yet another absolute banger that is also SOMEHOW overlooked, right?

Sorry to the various moon or space themes from DuckTales, Final Fantasy, Portal, or anything other games out there but, Mario Land 2 has the best space theme of all time.

That funky bass line that you simply have to shrug along to, the high-pitched beats that fill you with excitement, that little power-up sound, and the absolutely perfect melody that is equal parts rich and spacious (I'm not sorry for that) all add up to something that is truly out of this world.

This is one of few tracks I've played for tons of people in my life and never really heard any legitimate complaints. I think that's because there aren't any to make.

Video games may as well stop having space levels at this point because no composer will ever top this.

My adoration for this stupid track is as boundless as the cosmos themselves.

Mario is THE video game character. Everyone knows him and honestly, his oversaturation may be why I don't care much for the character. He's very milquetoast and many of his games, especially the recent ones, aren't much more interesting to me. This is why I'm glad that Nintendo has finally given a bit of a spotlight to one of his underappreciated titles.

Seeing people give a ton of love online to this game that they've always neglected fills both my inner child who hasn't had his hopes dashed yet and my jade adult self with endless amounts of joy.

Even if I don't care much for his recent platformers, I will always take the opportunity to collect Six Golden Coins and take down Wario once more.

Alright, I'm going to go play Mario Land 2 once again. Thank you so much, as always, for checking out my content. I hope to catch you back here next time with another suggestion from my Music Box.

Stay Brutal!

PS. I just have to give a cover of the Star Maze theme. I just love it too much not to:

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