New Super Mario Bros. 2, the third installment in the New Super Mario Bros. series, is a fun new Mario game that adds some new twists into the Mario forumla but nothing major that moves the series forward. New Super Mario Bros. 2 is just as fun as any other game in the series. New Power ups like the tanooki suit and the golden flower add a twist to the New Super Mario Bros. gameplay. This time around coins play a major influence in New Super Mario Bros. 2. You’ll notice throughout all the game’s levels that there are more coins than the usual amount found in a Mario game. New gameplay elements like the gold head blocks and gold rings are only some of the new ways to rack up large amount of coins to reach the goal Nintendo sets out for you, collection 1 million coins! Earning the 1 million coins will unlock a new title screen.
Like in almost every Mario game, you star as Mario who must once again save Princess Peach from the clutches of Bowser. In addition to Bowser, the Koopalings are back as well playing the role of the bosses you must face at the end of each world leading up to the final world with Bowser. The entire story mode can take you 5-6 hours if you rush through it or up to 8-9 hours if you try collecting the hidden items. The story mode isn’t as difficult as the classic nes games but still challenging in it’s own way. You are guaranteed to die at least a couple of times throughout the game even if you aren’t trying to collect everything, however it won’t matter as you’re bound to have more than 50 lives at the beginning of the game just from collecting coins. Speaking of coins, coins play a huge role in this game. The gold head block goes on Mario’s head and gives him a coin a every second. The faster you run, jump, and slide, the more coins you earn. Golden rings turn every enemy around you into a gold coin earning machine. Stop on a goomba and earn 5 coins. Stop 10 goombas in a chain and earn up to 300 coins! The gold fire flower (my personal favorite) lets you turn just about everything into coins. Shoot a gold fireball and a stack of bricks and suddenly they become coins. Shoot a group of enemies and earn hundreds of coins. You’ll find yourself earning a lot of additional lives because of this as well. In addition to the new power ups, old power ups like the classic mushroom, fire flower, and starman are back. As well as the power ups from the original New Super Mario Bros. like the mini and mega mushroom are back but aren’t as common as they were in the first game.
In addition to collecting coins in the story mode, Nintendo has added a new Coin Rush mode where the premise of the game is to collect as many coins as you can in three levels without dying and with a time limit. Gamers can share their coin rush scores via streetpass to compete with other gamers who have played Coin Rush. It would have been nice to see some sort of online leader board with this or at least the ability to download other people’s scores to compete against. Speaking of online, Nintendo mentioned prior to the release of New Super Mario Bros. 2 that there would be a world wide counter that added everyone’s collection of coins into one coin count. At first I thought the idea was awesome, gamers would be able to get online and see who has the most coins and other features. Sadly I was wrong, Nintendo didn’t add an online mode at all and no one but Nintendo has records of the world wide counter. It’s up to Nintendo to update the world on how many coins have been collected world wide via their social network accounts.
New Super Mario Bros. 2 has some great level design and nice look backgrounds…when the 3D is turned off. I have no idea why Nintendo decided to do this but turning on the 3D on New Super Mario Bros. 2 causes the background of the level to blur. I get that Nintendo was trying to do something cool with a depth of field effect but it was an awful attempt. The only levels you should play the game in 3D is in the mansion ghost levels where the background is still visible and in Bowser’s many castles where the 3D ember looks really cool. In end, New Super Mario Bros. 2′s design doesn’t feel like it was built exclusively for the 3DS like Super Mario Land 3D was. It’s more of a gimmick this time around.
The music in New Super Mario Bros. 2 is all music from previous Mario games. Nothing new has been added to this installment which is really sad on Nintendo’s part. They at least remixed some of the original New Super Mario Bros. music for the Wii sequel. On the other hand, the music is still as catchy as it was back when the first New Super Mario Bros. was released. I was just hoping to hear something new.
The CO-OP mode in New Super Mario Bros. 2 is ok. The 3DS screen doesn’t do the multiplayer justice here. The camera sometimes has trouble keeping both the players on screen. It makes it hard for any of the players to explore beyond where the other one is. At this point, the feature seems more like an alright add-on than a compelling feature to buy the game.
Overall New Super Mario Bros. 2 is a fantastic 3DS game. The 3D is more of a gimmick this time but playing in 2D is just as fun. It may not change the series in a dramatic way but who ever said more of New Super Mario levels were a bad thing. While it seems like a repetion of gameplay with some new power ups and graphical upgrades, New Super Mario Bros. 2 is still a joy to play. The lasting appeal isn’t that great currently with the campaign being short and coin rush lacking online interaction, although Nintendo has mentioned that Coin Rush will get DLC levels in the future. Either way, New Super Mario Bros. 2 is still the best 2D platform game on the Nintendo 3DS and a good Mario game in the end.
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