Coins, coins and more coins!
Nintendo is not immune to the criticism of milking an established franchise. In fact, they’ve been accused of this for a decade now, but Mario is something that is deeply rooted in our heads and is one of the most iconic characters ever; that, and coupled with the fact that there are some brilliant people working at Nintendo. They make it click. They make incredible games.
New Super Mario Bros. 2 is a 2D side-scrolling Mario game which released simultaneously along with the 3DS LL–featuring a large screen and nothing else. But I suppose that can be termed as a good revision. The 3D effect is well done here with proper depth and really enhances the game even on the vanilla 3DS.
There is a reason why we all like 2D Mario’s. They’re innovative when it comes to the level design, have beautiful artwork, and most importantly, they’re really fun to play. With NSMB 2, you get to enjoy all this, but not in a way that can be termed as consistently good. There are holes in Nintendo’s money making machine, and while it will still continue making lots of money, the quality has slightly gone down.
This game is all about collecting coins, and a lot of them. If you do manage to hit 1 million coins–which is regularly tracked based on whatever you do in the game–you can unlock some cool things. I won’t say what it is, in fact, even I don’t know what it is, and probably never well, since I managed to hit 20k after beating the game which is a paltry amount surely. There are a lot of ways one can obtain coins here. The game is designed such that in-game power-ups can have some weird effects, which oozes with Nintendo’s design sensibilities.
For example, coins spouting out of Mario’s head, or turning whatever he touches into gold coins. It can be really amazing to collect coins this way, and this is where you get to appreciate the work put into the game. The levels aren’t that unique compared to its predecessor which launched in 2006, however, it is functional and has a lot of surprises and hidden collectibles.
That’s what you want ultimately in a Mario game, right? Lot’s of things to do, and just goofing around trying to get good scores, while enjoying the platforming goodness and boss fights. This game is a bit derivative and nothing like the Galaxy games when it comes to pure innovation and a plethora of ideas. What I think the problem is that Nintendo churned this out quickly to match 3DS LL’s release.
Of course, people are going to talk about this because they expect a certain quality from Nintendo, especially when it comes to one of their biggest franchises. That said, the game will offer a lot of fun and a true 2D Mario experience if you keep your expectations in check. Not much to be said here, but there’s a Coin Rush and co-op mode which will enable you to earn a lot of coins for that 1 million mark.
Co-op mode is local only which requires you to play with a friend in the same room, but the coin payout is immense with Mario and Luigi piling on the magic. New Super Mario Bros. 2 lacks some of the charm that you would normally expect from 2D Mario games, but ultimately it’s something that is still worth your time.
This game was reviewed on the 3DS.
Coins and lots of coins. Lots of collectibles. Coin Rush and co-op modes are fun. It looks really good on the 3DS.
Level design is lacking. Feels rushed.
New Super Mario Bros. 2 lacks some of the charm that you would normally expect from 2D Mario games, but ultimately it's something that is still worth your time.