New Super Mario Bros. 2
Mario is more popular than ever and also more important than ever for Nintendo. Only with games in which he appears you can already justify buying a Wii, 3DS and in the near future a Wii U. That’s not only thanks to the amount of games, but also the creativity the Japanese keep showing in for instance Super Mario Galaxy or Super Mario 3D Land. Also the New Super Mario Bros. was a nostalgic top title with its familiar gameplay put in a new and colorful jacket, filled with unique moments.
New Super Mario Bros. 2 is now also available for the 3DS but doesn’t have the ambition to make the 3D capabilities a selling point. For that we already got 3D Land not so long ago. What we do get is the typical classic Mario platformer with a couple of changes, but just a bit too few real surprises to talk about a new height in the series. However, we won’t complain as the average Mario game is still a lot better than the average platformer.
More of the same so to speak, and that actually sums up the most important parts. The graphics are still as cute as they are colorful, and thanks to subtle use of the 3D effect many 2D levels look a lot more appealing. There are secrets to discover and all kinds of terrains to overcome; land, sea and air – as always in the series – but with a clear lack of memorable levels which results in a feeling of déjà-vu. And that’s quite painful as well as not surprising seeing the many variations of his platform adventures lately.
Probably the makers already figured out that they needed to do something different and this time the coins get a more important role, just like the co-op capabilities. The first are more present than ever and there’s even a new block to put on your head and which allows you to constantly generate coins. Also the Tanooki suit is back, just like its invincible version for when you get stuck. Thanks to a golden turtle you can also have opponents explode into golden coins… Clearly a coin overload and those who still can’t get enough of them can also check out the Coin Rush mode.
There you need to collect as much money as possible in three levels without getting killed. The more the better and it of course comes down to doing better than your friends. Too bad that you can only compare through SpotPass due to a lacking of online tables that we’ve become so accustomed to thanks to Sony and Microsoft. The co-op is a nice variation, but unfortunately not more than that as it plays a bit frustrating; you always have to stick together on one screen.
This Mario game has become a snack in the series. Fans will love the new levels and possibly find some variation in the Coin Rush mode. Unfortunately New Super Mario Bros. 2 doesn’t really find its own identity, nor do the makers succeed to add brilliant innovations to the golden formula. Fun, but no must-have!