CGRundertow NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. 2 for Nintendo 3DS Video Game Review

Well, it’s finally happened. After 27 years of exhibiting a degree of consumerism so rampant, he’d literally spend his entire savings as soon as he earned 100 coins…the Mushroom Kingdom’s potbellied paragon of platforming has finally learned a lesson about financial responsibility. A coin saved is freaking 20,000 earned in New Super Mario Bros. 2 for the Nintendo 3DS. Evidently, the Mushroom Kingdom has discovered capitalism. Released to the 3DS just a few weeks ago, New Super Mario Bros. 2 is—addition be damned—the third New Super Mario Bros. release, following up 2009’s New Super Mario Bros. Wii and the original DS release from 2006. Frankly, to say there’s much difference between them would be untrue—they’re all built from the same timeless gameplay. But in a relative sense, this one does feel distinct among the three.

In fact, it might be one of the most distinct 2D Mario games ever. Now, why is that? Well, it has less to do with the gameplay than how players are encouraged to approach it. New Super Mario Bros. 2 is the same kind of creative, precise platformer you’re expecting…but you might find yourself playing it a little differently than you played Mario’s prior games.

Slower, maybe more deliberate…certainly greedier. And that’s because New Super Mario Bros. 2 is all about the coins. And yes, they’ve always played a huge role in Super Mario games…but never to this degree. The game is really designed for maximum looting. You can collect hundreds and hundreds, even thousands of coins in a single level. And the game makes sure your total is always prominently displayed on the map. What this does is change the traditional left-to-right focus of the gameplay. Mario is concerned not only with reaching the flagpole, as usual…but with filling his wallet, as well. Old strategies you’ve relied on for decades get tweaked a little when you see a string of precious coins just out of reach. Mario basically becomes Golem. Only fatter. And with a mustache. To go along with his newfound greed, Mario naturally finds some new flora to suit the occasion.

The shiny Coin Flower turns Mario into Midas—everything he touches turns into shimmering gold. So in the same way Super Mario World fundamentally changed things by giving Mario a dinosaur to ride, New Super Mario Bros. 2 also adds an interesting new element to that time-honored, razor-sharp platforming. But of course, the primary difference is that…while coin hunting is built into the design, it’s not to the extent that Yoshi was. And that’s where the game falters a little.

It has this interesting focus on coins, it even brings back the Raccoon Leaf…but the design never really exploits those concepts as much as it could. I really think these things could’ve been taken further, but like New Super Mario Bros. Wii, this one also plays it safe. But you know, when the game is this good, it’s tough to complain. New Super Mario Bros. 2 isn’t the technical showpiece or platforming-defining release Super Mario 3D Land was, but it doesn’t need to be. It’s incredible how sharp it controls, how fun its levels are…how 30 years later, Mario is still the platforming champion. Only this time, he’s not afraid to wear the gold.

As found on Youtube

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