New Super Mario Bros. 2 Review in Retrospect

New Super Mario Bros. 2 is a game that boggles my mind in many different ways. Even just sitting down and putting my thoughts onto the page is kind of hard to do in a way that portrays the feelings I have surrounding this game because it’s mario. When it came in for review I was super excited, but after playing the game for 15-20 hours and have gone through all of the features, new power ups and modes all I can say is “eehhhh”.

Level Design:
The level design in the game is fantastic, there is no doubting that. There are nooks and crannies everywhere. Searching for the 3 star coins in the 6 worlds definitely takes up some serious time and will test even the most veteran platformer’s thumbs and feels like a Mario adventure. There could have been more of a variety. The “snow level” being world 3 is just starting to feel a little old.

New Power Ups:
Speaking of a little old, the new power ups are old. I know that sentence doesn’t make sense but stick with me here. Nintendo, and others in the gaming industry, after seeing the golden flower power and a few of the “new” things in New Super Mario Bros. 2 promised us Mario had changed. These new additions are just not new. They are technically a different name and technically are not the exact same as some other power ups, but in the end feel the same and that is a shame. The golden flower power doesn’t change platforming in a significant way and the golden circle is just the red circle where gold coins appear instead of red.

New Coin Rush Mode:
The one thing that is new, that is actually new, is the Coin Rush mode. The new coin rush mode is actually worth playing and combines things that all Mario players hold true. Mario should be about speed run skills and coins. The mash up of speed runs matched with how many coins can you pick up is addicting if you have a couple of friends that have a 3DS or street pass a lot. It has kept my 3DS in my pocket for a couple weeks and has lengthen the gameplay quite a bit. So in short the coin rush mode is new and actually good.

The multiplayer is just not good. In New Super Mario Bros. 2 you can play multiplayer over local wifi if you want to bang your head against a wall. The problem with the multiplayer is it focuses solely on Mario. If you play as Luigi you basically are just screwed. Granted most people probably won’t even touch this mode, but it just seems like it was rushed and not really thought about. This sort of multiplayer was ok in the 90’s when no one wanted tails to really follow sonic, but these days it is almost inexcusable. Come on Nintendo! Get up to date on your stuff!

Final Thoughts:
It’s Mario and that’s ok. The new features aren’t always as new as I thought they would be and the multiplayer is worthless. However, If you like Mario in the past it might be worth the money to pick it up and kill some time. The level design is good and the platforming is tight. Nintendo always puts out a quality product.

This review is based on a retail copy of the 3DS version of New Super Mario Bros. 2

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