I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but in case I haven't: Super Mario Bros. 2 is my favorite of the two-dimensional Super Mario Bros. games. (Note: I don't consider Yoshi's Island to be a "mainline" Mario game.)
I'm not alone, apparently. Although he doesn't say so in the description he penned for the work-in-progress painting (below and here) that he posted on deviantart.com earlier this year, I have to imagine WayForward's Austin Ivansmith has similarly fond memories of the game that's known in Japan as Super Mario USA.
(By the way, I have to admit that I very much like Ivansmith's painting as is. I love that I knew, the second I saw it, which characters, and which game, it was supposed to bring to mind--despite the fact that it's made up of just outlines, noses and eyes. OK, and a pair of pixelated mustaches.)
Another person who seemingly prefers Super Mario Bros. 2 to the rest of the classic series' releases: Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto. At least, that's what "the man who made Mario" says in this recent ign.com article.
Sadly, it seems unlikely Miyamoto's colleague, Takashi Tezuka, feels the same way. In the aforemented article, for instance, Miyamoto says, "The Mario games of that type are really in the hands of Mr. Tezuka at this point. Because he didn't work on [Super Mario USA] ... he doesn't have memories of developing it that he would draw on to re-create concepts in the New Super Mario Bros. series now."
Are any of you as crushed as I am to hear that it's unlikely Nintendo will be making another Mario game that's akin to Super Mario USA/Super Mario Bros. 2 anytime soon?