Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Review: New Super Mario Bros. 2

New Super Mario Bros
Nintendo 3DS
ACB Rated: G
Price: AU$69.95
Well... a new Mario game in only 9 months since the last one... am I the only one wondering why? Yeah I'm excited to play a new Mario game too but in such a short time? Call me suspicious but I smell a hasty cash in... except it's not exactly one... not completely. Well anyway, read the review for more.

The story is the same one we've seen the last 27 years. This time it starts with Mario and Luigi after saving the Princess and returning her home. Not a moment after dropping Princess Peach off she's kidnapped by the Koopa kids and it's second verse, same as the first.

The gameplay is the same as the previous entries in the (not so) New Super Mario Bros. series. 2D platforming with all the new updated techniques from the 2006 entry. To shake this up Nintendo added a few new elements... if you can call them new. Raccoon Mario makes it's triumphant return following on the heels of Super Mario 3D Land's Tanooki suit, but unlike the suit this one brings back flight and more vertical level designs.
Haven't we been here before?
2 new power ups have been added to the game to enforce the new goal of one million coins. The first is the Golden Fire Flower which is essentially a fire flower on steroids. It can turn bricks into coins and send out a shock wave that can hit multiple blocks and enemies and reward you with coins when the enemies are defeated. The second is a Golden Brick that is worn on the players head and award you coins as you move, the faster you move the more coins you get.

The level designs while new, don't feel much different to the previous NSMB games due to the recycled backgrounds and enemies. While the level design is fantastically designed, all the coins the game now throws at you has reduced the difficulty level. The levels like in the previous titles have 3 large coins to collect, a red ring that yields 8 red coins to collect for a power up or extra life and a midway check point... and now to add to the premise of earning one million coins, a gold ring that turns enemies gold and makes them give coins upon defeat or drop coins and koopa shells drops coins as they travel.

So many stages... too many lives!
The game features 9 worlds, 3 of which are "Special Worlds" which are unlocked by running through certain cannon stages or in the case of the final world you need to finish the main game. Each world has a them around them kinda like Super Mario Bros. 3(the actually game this one is trying to be... and every game since that's in 2D!) and seem to be borrowing from that game too. The maps feature the usual stuff... you know stages, mushroom houses and some require either Star Coins to unlock the paths or finding a secret exit in certain stages.

The games difficulty has been swung towards a more new to games angle due to the large amounts of coins thrown at you and extra lives still only need 100 coins to be earned. Boss fights are also extremely easy too, which makes it not to hard to finish. Heck... even Bowser is easy to defeat! The real challenge comes from finding the secret exits and large coins. To add to the easy difficulty, a white Raccoon Leaf is available to you if you die a fair few times in a stage. Yes, the game is designed for everyone to finish it and while veteran gamers may be insulted by it... it's not necessary to use and not for veterans.

Trust me... he's going down!
Along with the one million coin goal to make sure you don't trade the game in, a new Coin Rush mode has been added to the game. This mode has you racing against the clock to collect as much coins as possible and trying not to die. In this mode you have one life and 3 levels to collect coins in that are randomly chosen from a specific set of worlds. The scores you earn can be shared with others via Street Pass to give you more incentive to improve your scores against other players.

The game also has a Co Op mode that brings a lot of the same problems as the Wii NSMB game. The small screen is too small to handle the co op and on top of that both players have to be on each others screen. Let me just say that co op is only worth it if you play with someone of similar skills as you or after you've finished the game and don't care about doing things right. I honestly will never play co op again but that's because I game alone usually.

Overall the game is another great entry in the library of Mario games... the only problem is it feels like we've played it before. The goal of one million coins is a tedious edition to reduce the chance of trading it in and co op is not for everyone. You'll get a great experience none the less and I highly recommend it. Veterans and newcomers alike will enjoy the game and with DLC coming soon for Coin Rush mode means more life out of the game.

Score 4/5
P.S. I don't feel right about giving a Mario game a score that isn't perfect, but I'm trying to be non bias here.

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