The sequel that started it all this generation has finally hit store shelves. New Super Mario Bros. 2 is the sequel to the hit 2D platformer that took everyone by surprise when it hit original DS handheld. We have seen another incarnation of the title also perfected on the Wii console. Mushroom Kingdom apparently has a new trend in the title which happens to be coin collecting. Will Nintendo get lost in the coin spree and forget about precision platforming? Continue reading in order to see if Mario collects a Stale Mushroom or continues with his career with another All-Star performance!
As I recall this title was part of the library on the 3DS. However it feels more like the game is a port from the original DS. Seeing as the 3D never is fully realized, the only implication of 3D is the fact that the background is blurry to make Mario or Luigi appear that they are in 3D. Which is really unfortunate, especially after seeing what Nintendo did with the previous franchise entry on the 3DS. Super Mario 3DLand which really pushed the hardware as well as the 3D implication. In NSMB2 the only sequence that truly captured the 3D in my opinion was during one of the last levels. Actually, the last castle is the level to be exact when you are avoid turning into stone.
This is not to say that the graphics or the environments in the title don’t look superb. This is one of the best side scrolling Mario titles to date, and even rival the New Super Mario Bros. Wii title. Yet even with local Luigi Co-Op and a new mode this game feels garnished more for the little ones than hardcore Mario fans. Local Co-Op allows players to grab a buddy and play as Luigi but so long as they are in the same room as one another. This also shows some setbacks that Nintendo continues to face while trying to tackle the online community, it doesn’t. The only online component is something implemented with street pass which allows gamers of the title play a new mode.
Coin Rush is that new mode and actually adds a huge amount of value to the title as far as replay ability is concerned. Players are able to select from different packs of courses. Which are all referenced to Mario items such as Mushroom pack, Flower pack etc. Each pack has 3 different levels as well as a secret level at the end of the pack. The trick is that you cannot die during any of the levels or else you start over. To make matters worse you are only given 100 seconds to complete each level unless you find a clock power up which increases the time for you to complete the level. Of course collecting coins will help your leaderboard status as well as how fast you can speed run the levels.
New Super Mario Bros. 2 brings some new ideas to the Campaign or Story Mode. Some of those actually being spot on others not so much. One such idea is the new coin collection system for the franchise. While coin collecting is nothing new the developers of the game really wanted to hard press coins on the screen. Which is good and bad in a number of ways. Some good ideas come from the power ups used during the levels of NSMB2. Having a fireball power-up that turns everything in to gold coins is well golden! Others are gold loops in the air see Mario going thru one only to have every enemy turn into a golden opportunity. With enemies now shooting,dropping, and making a trail of coins the new iteration of baddies only lasts about 10 seconds but is a blast to do every time!
Then there is the dreaded difficulty factor involved with collecting so many damn coins. I beat Mario NSMB2 and I have over 100+ lives. This has never happened to me in a Mario game before granted that in some titles I have beaten the game with over 20+ lives, however this is only after playing the title more than a few times. I am a seasoned Mario player yet I do know that in a great Mario title my first run through will see me use a continue or two. Not only does this hurt the title, it actually takes away from my personal experience with NSMB2. As I feel that the game really wants you to beat it so bad that the coin system was implemented so you never use a continue. Now I do understand that the 3DS is targeted towards a smaller child in mind and not for an adult. However after playing Super Mario 3DLand this game is really a let down after comparing the 2 titles.
You would think that the coins in the game would be collected and put to good use in some way. However the title just uses the counter as a gimmick much like south park does when they say the word “sh*t” in the episode It hits the fan. While the only real coins that matter in the game are the larger star coins which can be used to open up various paths in the game. As during your play through you will not open up every level or world for that matter. Even then the game still feels gimmicky like a Wii motion plus controller and doesn’t really take advantage of the 3D system. This is by far the most disappointing thing about the title as more such events and levels could have been utilized in the 3D/2D world of Mario so well as its last 3DS entry in the series. A Mario game is always good but a Super Mario game is always better and sadly don’t let the title fool you as this is a sub par Mario title.