Here are a few of my favorite things: Nintendo, Penny Arcade, The Legend of Zelda, Mario, Pokemon, Harvest Moon, Fallout, Dungeons and Dragons, books, dice, Professor Layton, Shadow of the Colossus, Minecraft, and so much more. I'm going to talk a lot about video games, I sincerely hope you don't mind.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Collect ALL the Coins! New Super Mario Bros. 2 Review.

new super mario bros. 2 3ds start screen
New Super Mario Bros. 2 for the Nintendo 3DS.

For the past two weeks news has been floating around that New Super Mario Bros. 2 for the 3DS is more of the same old Mario, but that it’s not a bad thing. A lot of people are wondering if the series needs a break, but Nintendo has announced that they’re planning one new Mario game per platform. Personally I believe that the Mario series is one that can be revisited with great frequency because Nintendo is always looking for ways to improve and innovate. There are always new things to add to classic gameplay, and I’m glad that they continue to reimagine our little Mario.

If anyone out there has played New Super Mario Bros. for the DS, or New Super Mario Bros. Wii, then New Super Mario Bros. 2 for the 3DS will feel right at home in your hands. The graphics and physics are the same, along with a familiar World layout, and there are a lot of hidden levels and stops along the way to the castle for the curious and determined. While on the World view, the bottom screen shows spots of where hidden levels exist. This is great for players such as myself, because I frequently don’t discover the secrets of levels. These spots serve as pointers to at least know which levels merit further exploration!

new super mario bros. 2 3ds lower screen world select
Tiny dots of great potential in NSMB2.

The additional levels also add a great amount of replayability, as does the ‘collect as many gold coins as possible’ angle. Some reviewers believe that the ‘coin collecting’ aspect of NSMB2 is pure gimmick. I feel that it creates a more driven gameplay system, one where I explore carefully and aim to bring each level as close to completion as possible. The lure of getting all the coins has integrated some very fun new mechanics, such as the Coin Block Head power up, and the Gold Coin suit. It’s also incredibly satisfying to hit a new tier of coins. Your first congratulations will show up at 500 coins, then again at the 1,000 mark. After that you’ll get satisfying notifications every time you gain another thousand coins.

new super mario bros. 2 3ds super leaf power up
The white leaf (super leaf) power-up in NSMB2. 

Along with new coin-centric power ups, old favorites such as the raccoon suit make plentiful appearances. Having never played Super Mario 3D Land, I had yet to experience the powerful white racoon suit. World 3-3 gave me my first introduction. NSMB2 incorporates yet another feature that has been sorely missing from newer Mario games: the reserve item! The lower touch screen now plays host to a back up item that will fall from the sky at the player’s command. It’s a sigh of relief, especially during the tricky castle fights. Those Koopalings are getting quite inventive.

new super mario bros. 2 3ds lower screen reserve item
New Super Mario Bros. 2 for the 3DS brings back the reserve item.

I ended up purchasing NSMB2 through the Nintendo eShop, and it was a hassle-free and easy experience. This is good, since Nintendo's "how to purchase and download games through the Nintendo eshop" tutorial is lacking some important information. Players can add funds to their 3DS through Nintendo point cards (available at retailers) or via credit card. Set amounts of points can be added to the 3DS ahead of time with a credit card, or the player can choose to simply pay the exact amount of the game at the time of purchase and download. There is also an option to store credit card information (with a PIN for verification purposes) to facilitate quicker purchases in the future.

As of now I haven’t had a chance to experience the multiplayer aspect. I’m not near anyone else that owns a 3DS, and even if I were they’d have to have a copy of the game as well! I wish Nintendo had offered the multiplayer through single cart play, but with all of the simultaneous gameplay going on I can see that being a bit much for download and play. I haven’t missed out on all the extra content though, because NSMB2 offers coin collecting speed runs! Once completing a world, the player has access to three random levels to get through within a set time limit, all the while collecting as many coins as possible. It’s a total hectic blast!

new super mario bros. 2 for the nintendo 3ds
All of the Hidden Coins from World 1-5 in NSMB2 for the 3DS.

Overall I give New Super Mario Bros. 2 for the 3DS eight out of ten golden apples. The gameplay isn’t totally original, but it’s still very solid. I wish the multiplayer were accessible through the single cart experience, too. It’s worth picking up, especially if you have a friend to play with! Did anyone out there pick it up already? If so, did you do in-store or download? If you did download, did you experience any problems? Personally I was very pleased with how easy it was. It took maybe ten minutes! Go Nintendo!


P.S. There is even MORE additional content than what I've mentioned here! This is how you can play as Luigi, and This is how you can unlock a very special Rainbow level!


I downloaded it, which was great. I really like the game and getting all the coins is really addictive. I much prefer NSMB on a handheld, it just feels right there. Somehow NSBB Wii just felt wrong.

I think it goes great on the handheld, but I prefer the wider button spacing for the Wii. My fingers tend to get frantic and forget where to go with the small spacing on the 3DS :(

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