It’s almost been three weeks since the release of New Super Mario Bros. 2 and ZI’s review of the game has been nowhere to be seen! Well, we have finally managed to bring ourselves to review NSMB2 and our reviews are a little mixed. One of use likes NSMB2 but the other just doesn’t find it to be all that interesting. Is it good? Is it bad? Find out in Zelda Informer’s Triple Review of New Super Mario Bros. 2!
New Super Mario Bros. 2 is one of those gems that you just can’t seem to pull yourself away from. I’ve honestly never been a fan of 2D Mario titles or Mario in general, but New Super Mario Bros. 2 is just so addicting that I couldn’t help but go back for more platforming action to rack up my coin count.
The game’s fun and addicting gameplay are well worth buying but the game’s full story mode suffers from its short length, lasting only about 4 ½ hours. Should players choose to continue forward and go for every star coin while unlocking every stage, they can expect an additional 5 hours, making the game 10 hours at best.
The game isn’t hard, but it isn’t necessarily easy either. Players can expect to die a few times and don’t be surprised if the game has to end up throwing you a White Tanooki Suit at least once during the game’s entire run. The levels are a blast to play through and there’s never a dull moment as you’re constantly searching for more coins to collect and secret locations/items to find.
Given that the game’s primary focus is having players collect coins upon coins, new power-ups have been added that make use of this theme. Golden flowers let Mario shoot golden fireballs that explode upon impact turning any blocks and enemies it touches into gold. There’s also the Golden Mario Headblock that pours an almost endless stream of gold coins while acting as a selective “3rd shield” that comes off when Mario takes damage while leaving him with whatever power-ups he had prior. Other gold themed items such as the Gold Mushroom simply serve to grant players 50 coins.
Players can keep track of how many gold coins they collect via a coin counter that is almost always visible when in the menus and overworld, maxing out at 9,999,999 coins. While players can easily replay the game’s 80 or so levels one by one, it’s easier to rack up coins thanks to New Super Mario Bros. 2 Coin Rush mode.
Coin Rush allows players to tackle 3 randomly selected levels from select worlds that they’ve already played through before. Coin Rush can easily speed up the process of coin collecting by 10x at the least, but on its own, it’s a somewhat repetitive feature and this is where the game makes use of Streetpass.
Players who Streetpass each other can tackle each other’s saved record in Coin Rush for both to challenge the other to see who can gain the most coins. Players will be given the same three stages as the selected Streetpass player was given in their record. That player’s total coin count will be represented with four question marks hiding the Streetpassed player’s record till the player completes all three stages.
Players are only given a single life to complete all three stages with each stage timing the player with 100 seconds and a bonus 50 or so seconds upon reaching the checkpoint. If players can touch the very tip of the flagpole at the end of each stage, their total accumulated coin count will be doubled each time, cutting down the time it takes to collect 1,000,000 coins. If players can beat another player’s record, they will be awarded with their total coin count along with their own and a bonus 1,000 coins.
The Streetpass records add an insane amount of replay value if you’re able to find a lot of people with a copy of New Super Mario Bros. 2. The game’s multiplayer feature isn’t necessarily bad or good, it’s fun to have a helping hand, but sadly the players are restricted to the same screen that does not zoom out the further away both players are.
Another fault with the game is its 3D. The art style used in the New Super Mario Bros. series remains consistent in 2, giving it a basic yet colorful art style that will attracts kids easily, but the game’s 3D just ruins the experience. In an attempt to create a field of depth, when the 3D slider is turned up, the sharp, crisp, and lovely backgrounds become blurred and ugly creating a mediocre 3D effect that feels flat for the most part and giving no reason to play the game in 3D.
All in all, New Super Mario Bros. 2 is a fun and addicting platformer that many will enjoy that makes use of Streetpass and Coin Rush in a fun and competitive way.
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” This old adage applies perfectly to the most recent Mario game, New Super Mario Bros. 2. The gameplay has been fine-tuned to perfection, and hopping over obstacles, racing to the next flagpole is as fun as it’s ever been. Whenever the plumbers are back in action, it’s worth taking notice.
I honestly don’t believe this resurgence in the “New” titles is that bad of a thing. Obviously, they are not masterpieces and do little to nothing to progress the series. But do they have to be? Games like Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Super Mario 3D Land show that Nintendo is fully capable of coming up with deliciously inventive scenarios for the plumber to be in. But games with that unbridled sense of fun take time, and Nintendo doesn’t want to lose its audience while they are hard at work on those. Enter the New Super Mario Bros. series, a way for the company to give the players more of what they want, just without waiting as long as they might have to for the next Zelda.
But the aforementioned phrase serves as a double-edged sword for NSMB2. While the platforming is consistent and spot-on, everything else just feels like it’s begging for change. The worlds themselves bother me immensely. I’m tired of treading through the same grasslands, deserts, oceans, and clouds that we’ve seen ad nauseam since the series began.
The music is also guilty of this, being ripped almost note-to-note from New Super Mario Bros. Wii. There’s no denying that the level compositions from that game were catchy, but they’ve still become trite. On a positive note, the classic note block has been given a function that actually fits its image- jumping on one adds a chime to the song that fits in with the melody of the stage you’re playing. Additionally, the clattering of the Dry Bones and other new skeletal enemies adds a needed bit of percussion to the established themes. Beyond these few tidbits, though, there was nothing I hadn’t seen in adventures past.
As such, it’s hard to tell New Super Mario Bros. 2 apart from any of the other “New” games. Many consider the coin-collecting aspect of NSMB2 to give the game a sense of identity. Heck, even I suggested this when speculating about the game a while back. After beating the game, though, I think this is a shallow gimmick.
Outside of extra lives, there’s no real incentive for getting all the gold. I’m not going to give away what the much-promised “Million Coin Prize” holds, but I can tell you it’s a joke. In fact, when I tried to perfect my level times I had fun seeing how few coins I could collect. In short, the coins you’ll find are nothing but fool’s gold.
If the Mario series does want to retain classic, easy to learn gameplay but keep it up with the times, then it should look no further than its former rival. The Sonic 4 titles have taken a similar position to the “New” series philosophy, but have helped it stay relevant. How can NSMB learn from Sonic 4?
Now, I’m not trying to defend the gameplay and physics of the Sonic 4 games in any way. One small idea that has gone a long way is taking two tired world types and mashing them together to create a breath of fresh air. For example, the level White Park combines the typical ice world with the equally generic amusement park to make a picturesque derelict, snow-covered joyride. Even the level’s theme song builds on the series’ past for a brand new composition. The graphics are also improved upon from game to game, rather than sticking with the exact same aesthetic.
On one hand, I want to disagree with the people saying Mario needs to “take a break,” as these regular games are far too much fun to just give up on. However, I do think that this game shows the dire need of creativity in the “New” sub-series- even the most classical of styles should be open to fresh, albeit slight, additions. I feel like I just played the exact same game I did 2 years ago, and I don’t want to do it again on another console.
Ah, the New Super Mario Bros series. I have fond memories of playing the original game to death in the backseat during road trips. Collecting every star coin, completing a speed run, and destroying Dry Bowser countless times are all some of the best DS moments I’ve ever had.
My disappointment with the Wii entry in the series put me off of purchasing the newest entry in the series, but the double coin offering on Club Nintendo convinced me otherwise. After a quick playthrough of the entire game, I walk away with mixed feelings. The game was fun and clever, but as I set my 3DS down I ask the question “What’s next?”
The new element Nintendo is showing off to everyone is the coin-collecting madness. Although many levels contained creative power-ups and hundreds of golden goodies, the game didn’t feel different from its predecesors. Sure, you can turn bricks into coins, create Koopa Banks, or sprint ahead while an endless amount of gold falls into your inventory, but these elements only come in on some levels, making them feel less important to the whole package. Usually, it’s just your plain old Mario 2D platforming. Run through the level, stomp Goombas, and get to the top of that flag pole. Not that this is a bad thing, it’s just more of the same.
Needless to say, when the coin crazy elements do come in, they are a ton of fun. Strategically getting the most out of a timed golden ring is incredibly fun, and figuring out where to throw a golden Koopa shell gives me a thrill. Both the Golden Fire Flower and the Gold Blocks are incredibly fun to use, and they both carry a cautious feeling, as one hit knocks their powers away from you. I just wish there was more of this “Mario on Crack” gameplay in the game, as it’s all incredibly fun.
As I mentioned, my main complaint of the game is that it’s just more of the same. The soundtrack of the game is the tunes you’ve heard before, with some more “Wa wa”s. The graphics don’t push the 3DS, but they look fine. My one complaint in the visual department is the 3D, which makes the game worst. The artwork in the background becomes blurred, and there’s little reason to waste the battery life for the addition, unless you’re on the world map.
The Streetpass feature of the game makes up for a lacking difficulty. Coin Rush offers a huge challenge and a ton of replay value to a relatively short game. I’ve already beaten tons of my friend’s records, but been flabbergasted at the majority of them. Still, the missed opportunity of Streetpass is huge. It would be awesome if I could see how many coins one person got on a certain level, and their best time.
All in all New Super Mario Bros 2 is more of the same. The gameplay is fun, the soundtrack is catchy, and the levels are clever. Still, there was a huge amount of missed opportunity in the title, ranging from Streetpass to coin collection. Why not throw Wario in as the villain too to shake things up a bit?
The game is perfect in what it was trying to achieve though: making a New Super Mario Bros game. I don’t regret my purchase, but I do hope that New Super Mario Bros U will change the formula a bit. If not, I’ll just have to wait for a 3D Mario to get my fill of everyone’s favorite plumber.