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New Super Mario Bros. 2 – 3DS

New Super Mario Bros. 2 – 3DS

New Super Mario 2 boxPlatform: Nintendo 3DS

Developer: Nintendo EAD Group 4

Publisher: Nintendo

Release Date (NA): August 19, 2012

Genre: Platformer

Nerd Rating: 7 out of 10

Reviewed by Cloud3514

Super Mario is not a series known for having a focus on innovation, story telling, excessive difficulty, or anything of that sort. What it IS known for however, is providing one hell of a good time. With some fun new mechanics and a focus on coin collecting, New Super Mario Bros. 2 is no exception to this. I just wish it had a touch more depth, but hey, that’s Mario for you.

Before I get into the meat of things, I should point out that, like most other recent Mario games, your life count does not matter. By the end of the first world, I had OVER ONE HUNDRED LIVES. I am not exaggerating. That’s because this game is focused on collecting coins. In fact, every new element in this game is focused on coin collection. These include boxes that turn into Gold Boxes, the Gold Flower, and Gold Rings.

The Gold Box lands on Mario’s head and automatically collects coins as you move faster. While it counts as power-up, so you only lose the box when you take a hit, it is on a timer. Furthermore, it’s a bit annoying to get a Gold Box while using Raccoon Mario as holding B makes him fall slower, which also slows coin collection to a crawl.

New Super Mario screen shot 1

Gold Rings turn all enemies on screen gold and makes it so Mario collects five to 20 coins when he jumps on them. It also makes Koopa Shells drop coins along its path. There are a lot of really fun sections that take advantage of the Gold Ring and Koopa Shells.

If the Gold Flower had appeared more often, it would be completely broken. It makes every box and enemy in your path explode into coins, causing the coin count to go through the roof. It’s a lot of fun and Nintendo seems to have found a good balance with it’s power and scarcity.

Outside of these new elements, you’ve got the usual Super Mushroom, Fire Flower and Raccoon Leaf, as well as Mini Mushrooms and Mega Mushrooms. These power-ups function exactly as normal. The controls are also exactly like every other New Super Mario game. You are equipped with a jump button, a dash button, and a d-pad to move. You can wall jump, too.

.NSMB2 Screen shot 3

Visually, the game looks great. It looks about on par with New Super Mario Bros. Wii with all of the expected visual details from that game. It sounds good, as well. The music is as expected, being a somewhat jazzy rendition of typical Mario-style music as with previous New Super Mario games. It’s fun to look at and listen to with little things like enemies dancing along with the music. It’s cute and fun, just as Mario should be.

Mario is a series that is best in two forms: Multi-player or portable, and New Super Mario Bros 2 is proof of that. With such an overly simplistic design, the game can start to drag on when played for extended sessions. But that’s also what makes it a fun pick up and play game. Being able to pick the game up and play a few levels at a time is easily one of the best parts. It’s redundant to say it as it’s been said so many times before by so many people, but this game is a shallow experience. It’s like a chocolate bar, delicious, but too much of it at a time and you’re going to get sick.

NSMB2 Screen shot 6

Still, like that chocolate bar, it is very enjoyable. The level design is top notch. The new mechanics add a lot of new and unique elements to the game over its predecessor. The hidden levels in each world are challenging, and they are all completely different from each other. There’s a really fun one where you use Mini Mario to sprint across water, dodging fish and urchins, collecting coins along the way.

While I was unable to try it for myself, the game is also playable in two-player co-op. I imagine that it’s just like the Wii and Wii U iterations of the series, only with just Mario and Luigi. Beyond that, there’s Coin Rush mode, where you go back and play levels with a short timer, trying to collect as many coins in it as possible.

The final boss is disappointing as well, but then again, so are most of the bosses in the franchise. After the fourth time you fight Reznors, you will realize that there’s only so much you can do with them. They are fun a couple of times, but there’s a reason Super Mario World kept Reznors to secret levels only. However, New Super Mario Bros. 2 decided to make Reznors the mid-world castle boss in every world. It’s to the point that they’re clearly stretching for ideas on what to do with them. At the very least, the Koopaling fights are fun and varied.

New Super Mario 2 screen shot 2

Ultimately, New Super Mario Bros. 2 is just another Mario game, but that’s not a bad thing either. It’s everything to expect from a Mario game, but that’s the Mario series in a nutshell. If you’re tired of Mario, then give the game a pass, but if you want a solid Mario title to play on the go, you can’t go wrong with this one. I just wonder why they called it New Super Mario Bros. 2 instead of New Super Mario 3D. Maybe they were afraid of name confusion with Super Mario 3D Land?

NSMB2 Screen Shot 5

Written by Nerd Bacon

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