New Super Mario Bros. 2 Review for Nintendo 3DS

The month of Mario continues with discounted Mario classic games, the new Nintendo 3DS XL, and New Super Mario Bros. 2 on the Nintendo 3DS handheld console.

The Hype

Mario’s latest adventure is chock full of all the classic side-scrolling gameplay you’ve come to know and love, easy to jump into for any type of gamer. But what really makes it the gold standard in platforming fun is the true WEALTH of brand new features and gameplay elements.

The New Super Mario Bros. 2 game is bursting at the seams with an endless flow of gold coins for you to collect. You’ll explore levels filled with gold pipes leading to coin-filled caverns, gold enemies leaving behind trails of coins, and new power-ups and items that will push your coin count into the stratosphere. Can you collect a million coins?

The Mushroom Kingdom is shimmering with all kinds of new items that will boost your coin-earning power—alongside some returning favorites.

Alongside the return of gaming’s most famous heroes come some new foes along side some returning ones, and a mischievous gang of sly siblings that might be just a bit familiar.

Whether you’re in a friendly or competitive mood, enjoy a romp through New Super Mario Bros. 2 with friends in a variety of fun modes—including Coin Rush mode, two-player co-op, and more.

The Reality

New Super Mario Bros. 2 offers dynamic scenarios based on familiar formats and events as Mario and Luigi must again rescue the princess from Bowser.

Many other familiar characters factor into the gameplay in this well-balanced, Nintendo 3DS exclusive game. The strong level designs utilize both screens while allowing more vertical movement among six standard worlds and three special worlds (unlocked with Star coins).

The worlds break down into more than 80 levels where glowing lava, windy sand, and other environmental elements add challenge and appeal. The sixth world contains great surprises and makes the single player mode worthwhile.

Developers expand the coin collecting elements, which add entertainment, replay value, and fun new scenarios like using flower fireballs to transform enemies into currency. This coin crazy concentration challenges players to grab everything they see, which can create exciting risks

Players get three profiles with copy and delete options. Always check the item slots in the bottom screen of each level for special items to collect. Press the start button to choose the helpful quick save option. Players can also designate two different dash and jump button control schemes in the options menu.

The main game modes are single, co-op (multiplayer) and coin rush.

Players complete levels in the single player mode to unlock levels in the coin rush mode. Players must utilize different strategies to progress through the detailed levels. The trail-and-error frustration is very low here because the intuitive level design and coin patterns guide observant players very well.

The single player mode begins with only Mario as a playable character, but can play as Luigi by completing the game and then holding L + R and pressing A while highlighting a saved game at the file selection screen.

Coin collecting contributes to an overall counter as well as totals for each game session. The overall counter can reach one million, so players can always being going for the gold. Players must collect 100 gold coins for each extra life.

The impressive co-op (multiplayer) mode features local play (no online) where each players needs a copy of the game. One player can be Mario and the other is Luigi. Both players must have a game copy for the cooperative mode.

Camera views do not focus in between both players here. Instead the camera only tracks one player designated as the leader and marked with an upside down red triangle. Players must stay together or the straying player encases in a bubble that the other player must break to continue gameplay.

There are no online competitions against a worldwide player cache though StreetPass options still allow player challenges and score sharing.

The coin rush mode appears after complete the first world in the single player mode. This mode challenges players to grab all the loot they can with only one life within a time limit among random levels. Players get 1000 coins for a successful completion. Street Pass options let players exchange their scores with others and challenge them to beat it. No overall leader boards here, but players can keep up to 15 records from other players.

The SpotPass feature lets players purchase downloadable course packs in the in-game Shop that are not available in the main game. Special Note: this feature was not yet enabled when completing this review on 8/19/12.

The impressive controls respond well, so learn them quickly. Master the jump types as soon as possible to conquer any scenarios. Hold A (jump) for an extra long running jump or jump then press down in mid-air to smash down (a.k.a. “ground pound”). Dash, use special powers or grab objects with the y or x button. Players release the y or x button to throw the object after grabbing it.

In mid air, jump again when contacting an object for extended jumps. Little white dust clouds and star visuals appear in jump moves, which assist with predicting direction and physics of the jumps. These clouds also appear when characters complete jump “pounds” on their way down to the ground by pressing A then down and B. Players also hit down to duck and up to enter doors.

Button smashing the jump button does not always help. Multiple jumps can make character deflect off objects into enemies creating some funny, but ultimately game ending scenarios. Precise timing and environment awareness help conquer unique challenges especially when facing screen sized enemies and basic enemies stacked in groups.

The gold, mini and mega sized Marios can even the odds against enemies and environmental shifts, which add a nice element of unpredictability. Players must also factor in checkpoint flags, special object movements, switches, fences and ropes.

Special leafs and mushrooms provide power-ups while players who just do not have that golden touch can access a special item. A special white raccoon leaf will appear after multiple attempts, which makes character indestructible when encountering most enemies and environmental challenges with common sense exceptions like molten lava. The golden flower, golden rings, and new “block head” gear provides even more unique advantages.

The gameplay enhancing 3D effect (optional) sharpens gameplay elements in the forefront while buffering out the backgrounds a bit, so players can focus more on essential elements. The music tracks contain several classic tunes with a few variations and the sound effects/cues are sharp and distinct.

Players can always find entertaining experiments throughout New Super Mario Bros. 2 with considerable golden goals and the enticing downloadable course packs to boost the replay value even higher. The previous installment, New Super Mario Bros., released on Nintendo DS in 2006, has sold 29 million copies worldwide. New Super Mario Bros. 2 is available for purchase in stores (physical copy) or the Nintendo eShop (downloadable copy).

Review: New Super Mario Bros. 2

Where to Buy: Nintendo eShop (downloadable copy) and stores everywhere

Price: $39.99

What I Like:  level design, control responsiveness, online score sharing and challenge options, power-up variety, new coin rush mode, local cooperative mode, unpredictable conditions/elements, and additional replay value boost through new downloadable course packs through in-game Shop (not yet enabled)

What Needs Improvement: online gameplay options, expanded 3D features, and more original music

Source: Copy provided by publisher

Categories: Gaming, Reviews