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Review | New Super Mario Bros. 2

by on August 20, 2012
 

The release of any traditional Super Mario Bros. game is usually a cause for joy; what with all the fun there’s typically there to be had.

Such was the case with the first New Super Mario Bros. that was published on the Nintendo DS.  The side-scrolling mayhem was as good as we’ve ever seen and with the release of New Super Mario Bros. 2 on the Nintendo 3DS, the action gets even better.  Available as a physical retail copy or as the first 3DS title to be fully downloadable, NSMB2 simply rocks.

As with any Mario game, Bowser invades the Mushroom Kingdom to get himself a piece of Princess Peach.  With the help of his Koopalings, Peach is wisked away against her will and it’s up to Mario and Luigi to save the day.  However, unlike past side-scrolling Mario games, it’s not just enough to simply complete each level on your way to the ultimate showdown with Bowser.  This time around, those sweet golden coins that you pick up along the way have now taken a much bigger role in the game.  As you play through the game, every coin you pick up will be added to an overall total; essentially like a leaderboard of coins. Every level also features hidden coins that can be accessed by not just hitting invisible blocks but by standing in particular sections of the level, or by finding the golden block that turns Mario and Luigi’s heads into a block; leaving a trail of coins as you move along.  Additionally, you’ll find golden rings that turn everything into gold, while the Gold Flower allows you to turn almost anything you hit with a “fireball” into coins; even blocks.  This new functionality adds not only quite a bit of replayability, but honestly hooks you to the point that it becomes extremely addicting and fun.  There would be times where I’d complete a level, and then go right back to do it again but to pick up more coins or to try to discover new areas.  No matter how difficult it was to try and get some coins, even if I died over and over again, I just had to try and collect them. Of course, as with the previous side-scrolling game, some levels include multiple exists that unveil a new road or new level that looked previously unattainable on the overhead map.

Hardcore fans will likely be able to run through the game in a matter of hours, as I found the difficulty level to be about average, unless of course I was dying to get coins, and lesser skilled players will also be rewarded with a Gold Leaf that lets you fly with the raccoon tail without having to build up your speed that much, while making you almost invisible to everything but lava.  I of course rarely wanted to use it as I felt it cheapened the experience for me, but I could see kids for instance, making use of it when they just can’t advance.  I was happy using the good old fashioned Leaf to get my Super Mario Bros. 3 Raccoon Tail, and it rocked!  Not just for the nostalgia factor but for the use of both my tail to knock stuff around and to discover hidden areas.

You can complete the game going through six worlds, ranging from the desert, frozen tundra, water inspired worlds and more.  Of course there are two other worlds that you can jump into but you’ll have to just figure out how to get there.  The game also features multiplayer which requires each person to have their own copy of the game and an ad-hoc connection, so no online play.

Just as addicting as the normal game is, I also thoroughly enjoyed, and continue to enjoy the game’s Coin Rush Mode.  In this mode, players will traverse through three random levels, in which the goal is to collect as many coins as possible, while trying to finish all three levels before time runs out.  Your score is then saved and are able to share your scores with friends via StreetPass, using your Mii as your representative. As you complete levels and collect coins in the main game, you’ll unlock more sections to compete in within Coin Rush.

New Super Mario Bros. 2 is an absolute blast to play.  With the addition of Coin Rush mode to the mix, along with the traditional side-scrolling game, which by the way, looks really nice in 3D, and the addictive nature of each mode, Nintendo has developed another solid entry into the lovable series that every 3DS owner must play.

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