New Super Mario Bros. 2
There are platforming games out there that set the bar and ups the standards in gaming; platformers which, at the height of their glory with roughly 25 years of excellence and counting, are considered to be some of the best of the best. When most gamers think of platforming perfection, the name Super Mario comes to mind. Super Mario has very good for the Nintendo Wii, selling missions of games for the console. After hits such as Mario Galaxy 1 and 2, and New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Nintendo decided to launch the sequel for the Nintendo 3DS. New Super Mario Bros. 2 is, just like its predecessor, a fun and nostalgic adventure through the beloved Mushroom Kingdom. But despite the new additions to New Super Mario Bros 2, the game still has some sketchy level design and falls short of the Super Mario games that have come before it. As a game itself, New Super Mario Bros. 2 is a tremendous accomplishment . But one can't help but compare it to the previous Super Mario game.
New Super Mario Bros. 2 Plain and Simple
So you're probably thinking, "What's this guy's problem? Don't be hating my Mario." Well first, calm down and I'll explain why I like this game but still feel its just a step back rather than forward. The 2D levels still provide the usual challenge. Mario jumps and leaps all over the screen like an acrobat or gymnast. Players will stomp on enemies, leap precise and perilous distances over cliffs and chasms and the like, swim around avoiding those pesky jellyfish, and travel underground through pipes to complete challenges here and there. There are some new suits to utilize to your advantage and a nice little feature that turns Mario into a coin gathering machine (not literally of course). Guess he's not worried about hyper inflation.
New Super Mario Bros. 2 Same as Wii?
This is all well and good. I know some of you may be thinking, well, most sequels are very similar to the original, why are you coming down so hard on New Super Mario Bros 2?" And I'm sure many of you are thinking "Just look at Call of Duty or Battlefield". And I know you are, that's what everyone thinks or says. Its become the go-to for people who can't come up with their own arguments to support their opinions. And all that may be true, but my point is, and I want you to pay attention here, is that yes, many games recycle what worked with the original. But what they do (Or should try to do) is improve upon what worked. They need to fix flaws, big or minor, and make the experience a better one for the player. New Super Mario Bros 2 lacks what the original performed with gusto, amazing level design. The levels in New Super Mario Bros. 2 are bland, uninspired, and repetitive. Is the whole game like this? No, of course not, if it was I wouldn't have said its a good game on its own.
New Super Mario Bros. 2 E3 Trailer Youtube vid by Nintendo
New Super Mario Bros. 2: What it should be
So given what I said above, what is it about New Super Mario Bros. 2 that salvages the fun experiences I hinted at? In general, it's an enjoyable platformer. In general, mind you. While many levels are just too easy, and trust me, most players will experience this more than they should in a Mario game, there are a few here and there that will challenge even the more experiences gamers with a talent for 2D platforming. That's when I had fun, when the game fought back. I'm flying through level after level, and then suddenly get an uppercut right to the chin. In certain parts of New Super Mario Bros. 2, players will have to leap with precision. And we all know what I'm getting at. The split second of exhilaration, when you're just not sure if Mario will make it, maybe you feel you jumped too soon, or perhaps too late and poor Mario would plummet to his death. And there are parts of the game that are all about speed. And those get your hearts racing as the screen pushed you forward and you have less time to think about what you doing and simply react.
New Super Mario Bros. 2 Secrets
And what would a Super Mario Bros. game be without a few secrets things to uncover here and there? Star coins, red coins, extra lives to obtain, and warp pipes, all of which will push even veteran players and for many average players or newcomers, it may even be a frustrating experience. Hey, that 3DS is expensive, so no rage quitting, got it? But that's not the main feature of this game. We've all read and heard about it. What players are after, besides a few suits here and there, is Coin Rush Mode.
New Super Mario Bros. 2 Coin Rush
Coin Rush Mode, a.k.a. more lives than you'll know what to do with mode, will have players challenging themselves to complete three-level runs as fast as they can against the clock without killing Mario, and, of course, collecting as many coins as possible. Mario can finish this game with some serious swag if you're good enough. Basically, in this mode, just about anything and everything you do while you're racing through the level results in rivers and tidal waves of gold coins for Mario to collect. If only making money were so easy. So, with too many lives mode, i mean-- Coin Rush Mode, you may be thinking, could this game get any easier? Well, yes it can! If the player dies over and over, he or she can choose to use a special suit that basically makes Mario a chubby, lasagna loving, coin collecting, plumber god. Pretty much a guaranteed level completion, but the same of resorting to such underhanded tricks will be forever marked on your profile stars. Hang your head in shame.
New Super Mario Bros. 2 Gameplay Youtube vid by GAMEXPLAIN
New Super Mario Bros. 2 Co Op
Co Op in New Super Mario Bros. 2 is pretty much the same, just limited to 2 players. Mario, and his bro, Luigi. Co Op is fun, if a little irritating at times as players will have to really strive to stick together or risk getting separated and die because it's hard to see what you're doing, and in many cases, you simply can't do what you need to do. And the competitive drive behind New Super Mario Bros Wii just isn't there in this one. Still, having said all that, its not like players can't simply make it a competition anyway. And that's where the fun will come in. Who can collect the most coins? Who died the most? Who stomped on the most enemies? Some games are limited, up the stakes in your own way, Nintendo can't do everything for you. My friend and I came up with our own way. We both took control of each other's control pad. She directed, I jumped. I directed, she jumped. So really, I was controlling where her Mario ran, while she controlled when he jumped. She controlled where my Luigi ran while I controlled when he jumped. Just stupid things like that make it harder and more fun to play as you're trying to mess each other up while making sure your guy survives.
New Super Mario Bros 2 Final Verdict
New Super Mario Bros. 2 is a by the book Mario game. Plain and simple. Which is another way to describe the game. The controls themselves are top notch. The graphics are alright for the 3DS. I like many others actually preferred it without the 3D mode. And while there are some fun new suits, an entertaining Coin Rush Mode, and some challenges to be had at certain intervals, this game just doesn't live up to the Super Mario standards. I'm just not sure what happened with the level designs. Did the developers run out of ideas? Was it a new and separate team from the one that made the Wii game? Is New Super Mario Bros. 2 just a fill-in until more important games in the franchise are released like Final Fantasy X-2 was for Square Enix? I don't know, but its apparent from the very beginning, and it hurts. This is Super Mario, he and lil bro Luigi deserve better. Unfortunately, New Super Mario Bros. 2 earns a 6 out of 10. A good game, but not what it could have been.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
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