Mario Bros 2 (Lost Levels)
Never really understood why this is considered bad. I mean, it's certainly not great, but I didn't think it was bad per se. Is it cos of the juxtaposition with its industry-redefining predecessor that makes it look weak by comparison?
No. Because it's a bad game, with exceedingly poor design choices.
Here are a few examples. The springs bounce you insanely high which makes landing a jump correctly unnecessarily difficult, but that's not the problem I'm referring to. One of the springs is towards the end of the level. So I thought, hey what happens if you jump over the flag pole? I did, and kept going excited as to what I would find. What I found was a choice between a backwards warp pipe and a pit to jump into. That'll teach me to explore.
Some levels feature gusts of winds that I believe change completely randomly.
Want to unlock all the content? Sure. To get to world 9 you have to beat every level of the game. Fair enough. Oh, and when you get there, you go down to one life, so no opportunity to learn the levels.
And world A? Well for that, you have to beat the game 8 times. Which is just a tad excessive.
Mostly though, it's just unfairly difficult. There were plenty of hard NES games like Mega Man or Ninja Gaiden, but those always felt fair. There were difficult parts (Ninja Gaiden actually may have been more difficult overall), but after getting through the few insane parts for level you had the satisfaction of slashing ninjas or blowing up robots and a chance to settle down. There aren't really any fun parts of lost levels.
And for whatever reason, you could only play with one player now.
Nowadays, if you already know what you're getting, there's value in it for Mario fans that want a ridiculous version of Mario Bros. And it's a neat extra for things like Lost Levels or Super Mario Deluxe (both versions were toned down). And with save states, it's not all that bad. If this was an expansion pack along the lines of Super Luigi U, it's have been a fine thing.
But back then, without much gaming media to speak of, there wasn't much of a way to know what you were getting. Since the first game is relatively easy, people who enjoyed the first might buy the second with expectations of a similar experience. And then it's not.
Plus, there's really nothing new or novel about the game. The graphics are basically identical, it doesn't feature any new songs (I don't think) and the only new "power up" is the poison Mushroom. So you don't even have the motivation to push through the difficulty to find soething new.
Just a series of really poor design choices that make the game only appealing to a small niche.