Aug 272012
 

Mario is back! in the form of New Super Mario Bros. 2. This title makes marks Mario’s 2D sidescrolling debut on the Nintendo 3DS with a big focus on coins. Should you spend yours on it or would you rather save them all for yourself?Besides having a stupid title, New Super Mario Bros. 2 is a direct sequel to 2006′s title New Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo DS. (not to get confused with 2009′s New Super Mario Bros. Wii). The Premise is same ole’ Mario problem. Bowser and his kids kidnap the princess and you must go save her. It’s classic, it’s tradition, it’s all we really need. There are over 60 levels to voyage through as Mario (and eventually Luigi if you’d like) with many secret areas and hidden coins to explore and collect. Besides having “New” in the title, you’ll be surprised how little has changed. If it wasn’t for New Super Mario Bros. Wii, I’m sure the experience would have been a welcome, but we have already experienced this not too long ago.

This time there is an emphasis on coin collecting–1 million coins to be precise–and since collecting coins is satisfying as all hell to begin with you’ll find yourself going back to previous levels to collect more. The only problem that arises with this is that when you get 100 coins you earn yourself a 1UP. This takes away any consequence of death since I’ve yet to see the game over screen. It also doesn’t help that there are 1UP areas that can easily give you 6 at one time with little to no effort. At the same time this mean it doesn’t matter how old you are you’ll be able to play. Even if you do find yourself struggling with a level the game will offer a white-tanooki suit that practically makes you invincible for the whole level. Just like in Super Mario 3D Land.

Gaining coins is easy thanks to a brand new power up in the game. The Gold Flower Power. This will transform Mario into a gold version of himself and he’ll shoot Gold fireballs that will turn blocks into coins and will reward the player with 5 coins for every enemy defeated. So if there is a stack of Goombas as, say, 5, that’s easily 25 coins. It’s a neat feature and is rare to get. The other power ups include, the star, Mushroom, Flower, Mini-Mushroom, Mega-Mushroom and the golden block from Super Mario 3D Land. Of course the tail from Super Mario Bros. 3 is back and used properly this time; you can fly as soon as you fill in your P-Meter.

The levels and controls are exactly what you would expect. Perfectly paced with some tight controls. Moments that would ruin a game are saved by the pin-point precise controls. If you fail in a level it’ll because you weren’t patient or weren’tt thinking, and not the games fault. A combination of running, sliding, jumping and swimming will be used. The boss fights were a huge disappointment since they’re the easiest in the game. I had more trouble with a turtle bouncing back and forth between two blocks than with a normal boss. Like previous New Mario title you’ll have three”star coins” to find in a level, and they’re usually in tough spots. These can be spent on Mushroom houses and to access new areas

Be prepared to hear the coin sound in your sleep since you’ll hear a lot of it, it’s still satisfying to collect a whole room of it. The music is a mix of new and revised versions of classic tunes you may be familiar with. The “bah” songs come back and as much as I hate myself for this, I love them. Especially when the environment reacts to the music.

New Super Mario Bros. 2 is a good looking title but it’s not pushing the 3DS in any way. I played the game with the 3D slider set on the half-way mark on the 3DS; this is the first time I’ve ever played with 3D at hal-fway. Not because the 3D effects are useless (it doesn’t help) but because if the slider is at maximum the background becomes blurry to make the illusion of distance. But, you’ll be missing out on a lot of detail and color in doing this. Some backgrounds look so good I felt bad when they went all blurry. You can use the D-Pad or the Circle Pad to play New Super Mario Bros. 2, I found that the D-Pad works better for a sidescrolling title but hand started cramping up because of low on the 3DS it is.

Once you’ve completed the game you can challenge yourself or other players via street pass. You’ll take part on 3 random levels without dying and collect as many coins as possible. This is the most addicting part as you’ll find yourself gleefully entering the same levels over and over again and won’t mind because the level designs are neat. You can easily earn 30K coins in a single match. Multiplayer is also an option but unfortunately I couldn’t try it out. Both 3DS’ will require a copy of New Super Mario Bros 2.

There are a couple of things I was surprised wasn’t included such as Yoshi. But apparently rumors are saying that there is DLC on the way. Maybe it will improve an otherwise good title.

Although the game is easy, (a little too easy) and familiar it’s still a fresh title. Sure it’s starting to feel a little copy and paste but again if the game is fun what does it matter? I think the biggest issue is the difficulty level being way too forgiving. You’re offered 1Up’s and power ups if you even sneeze next to an enemy. Previous Mario titles kept reinventing itself with better graphics and unique interfaces. New Super Mario Bros. 2 doesn’t but it’s still damn fun. The main game will take you only a couple of hours to complete but the one-million coin challenge will extend the life a bit. After playing Super Mario Bros. (Virtual Console) and then playing this title you’ll notice how forgiving it is and that’s really the only gripe I’ve had with this game. You’ll still go back and play a level or two when the itch comes in. You’ll play it for that fix and then complain about how easy it is. But then you’ll come back. Come on, It’s a sidescrolling Mario title, you can’t stay mad at it forever.

8.5/10

Pros
Fantastic music
Pin-point controls
Gold! Gold everywhere!!

Cons

1UP here, 1UP there
Easy boss fights
3D ruins backgrounds

 

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