New Super Mario Bros 2

by Wencke Schuncken
author awarded score: 80/100

New Super Mario Bros 2 Review
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Format Reviewed: Nintendo 3DS
Reviewed by: Wencke Schuncken

Oh no, here we go again. Another version of the good old Super Mario Bros game is now available on the Nintendo 3DS. There are all sorts of reasons why any gamer should give it a try, even the pessimists which are convinced that it is only a financial win. Positivity always wins, they say.

The good old times in a new 3D version. What a pleasure it is to experience the New Super Mario Bros 2 on the Nintendo 3DS. Mario games never are disappointing and always fun to experience the “final” rescue of Princess Peach, who’s been kidnapped by Bowser and his evil Koopalings (or Minions in Europe). But I got this strange feeling that in this game, that the main goal is to collect as many golden coins as possible and that saving the Princess is just an excuse to go through varied worlds and levels to collect those coins.

As soon as you start chasing Mario after Bowser and the kidnapped Princess Peach, you’ll start a new wonderful experience. The main focus is to reach the end of each level safely without losing too many lives but with as much as possible gathered coins. As the difficulty level is very low, reaching the end isn’t an issue. Gathering small and many coins won’t be a problem either, but there are some big coins that will attract your attention. Each level has three big coins which are important to unlock special levels and even extra worlds if no life is spilled in a certain level / world.

When it comes to worlds and level design, this game isn’t a big surprise to most gamers as it contain=s the usual environments with wood, fire, water and castles, accompanied with bonus mushroom locations. Even most actions by Mario won’t come as a surprise although it still is fun to turn Mario into a flying plumber reaching for the sky and perhaps some hidden space … There are all kinds of attributes for Mario, not only the one to make him fly, but also that that he can throw destroying balls. There are some new features but it makes me wonder if they are true assets that we need. For example the gold attribute that turn snot only Mario into gold but also the area and small enemies to earn more golden coins and get rid of them in an easier way. When it comes to earn as many coins as possible, the asset of putting a golden brick on his head is just marvelous. It produces so many coins, while jumping and running and it looks so silly, which all makes it a fun attribute. But it won’t last forever or during the whole level.

If you are facing some trouble during the run, jump, fly, swim, duck and opening doors activities, the last thing you should do is getting frustrated except if you cannot find the exit in the ghost house level and not being able to find your way out to raise the flag on the finish flag pole. No frustration isn’t the right word to use in this review as the difficulty level is really low and therefore accessible / playable by any gamer without an age restriction. If you face any problems, and lose more than three lives, a bonus attribute will be available from the start of the level to make Mario the ruler of the complete Nintendo Empire. Okay, overreacting here, but can anyone hurt him while he’s wearing his white / gold outfit? No, there’s no enemy able to do damage except you for making a dumb move and stealing another life. New try please, again with the help of the “stolen from Elvis” White / gold outfit.

Don’t worry about the lives either. While going into a golden coin rush, a new life will be provided with each hundred coin. Also in each level there are possibilities to find a green mushroom, worth an extra live. Even reaching the ultra top of the finish flag pole is worth several extra lives. Even the mini-game in a level to pick-up eight red coins in short period of time provides a green 1up mushroom.

Double the fun in a multiplayer co-op mode up to a maximum of two players and beat the opponent by “cashing” as many golden coins as possible. The best multiplayer mode that uses the WiFi and 3DS possibilities is the Coin Rush Mode again with the main goal to collect as many coins as possible, but now by playing three levels. To increase the pressure, time is a crucial factor. Make it till the end of each level in time with a maximum of collected coins and the score can be shared online. It’s a good opportunity for friends to beat your record, or vice versa.

From a female point of view, this game is all about Princess Peach. You won’t see her a lot though as she is being kidnapped by Bowser and his little evil Koopalings (also known as Minions in Europe). Beside the intro, you will see her being dragged away to another world with new challenges for Mario to finally save her. One of Bowser little evil characters is Wendy O. Koopa. She’s the third youngest of Koopalings, as well as the only female. She has the power to drag Princess Peach through a world from castle to castle. She is considered a spoiled brat with a quick temper, often going into a rage over little things. And considering Mario as a little thing, she will get angry in a boss battle, trying to beat Mario while throwing her scepter and perform a twirl to defeat him. Another female aspect for marketing purposes, is the presents of the beautiful sisters Penélope and Mónica Cruz starring in a competitive and fun New Super Mario Bros 2 commercial.

As stated there are all kinds of reasons why any gamer should play New Super Mario Bros 2. Maybe you never had the chance to play it before, or suffering the gold fever disease and want to break the golden coin record or contribute as much as possible to the international coin association. Or maybe you just want some nostalgic fun with some new assets and experience the modern 3D version. All kinds of reasons, but don’t forget with all the features different worlds and levels, varied costumes and transformations that the main goal is to save the poor damsel in distress, the one and only Princess Peach. There’s always something more valuable than gold although it is time that Mario seals his love for Princess Peach with a golden ring, and not a mountain full of coins.