New Super Mario Bros. 2 Review
New Super Mario Bros. 2 Box Art
System: 3DS
Dev: Nintendo
Pub: Nintendo
Release: August 19, 2012
Players: 1-2
Screen Resolution: N/A Comic Mischief

It can be difficult to explain why New Super Mario Bros. 2 just doesn't feel quite up to the usual Mario standard. The controls are solid and responsive (though a teensy bit more slippery than usual with the 3DS analog stick, which is strange as the stick worked beautifully in 3D Land), the levels are varied and have tons of hidden secrets to ferret out, and the Koopa Kids make for fun boss battles. It just feels a bit too rote, too designed-by-committee, and Mario's constant declaration that "It's a good time!" as he jumps into levels isn't quite convincing. Do you really enjoy being chased by homicidal creatures and plummeting off ledges that much, Mario?

New Super Mario Bros. 2 Screenshot

The game looks fantastic as usual, and the console's 3D effect is put to nice, subtle use. As all the action is in 2D, the 3D effect simply rounds everything out, making objects stand out nicely from the background and giving things the illusion of actual mass. The music is catchy but quite familiar, and I found myself becoming annoyed with the doo-wap singers in the background, adding jolly "bop bops" to even the most sinister background music.

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Don't get me wrong. New Super Mario Bros. 2 is a good game. It just doesn't seem infused with quite the right mix of Mario magic to make it a great game. 3DS owners would be better served purchasing the amazingly crafted Super Mario 3D Land. Those who have finished 3D Land and are looking for a new Mario fix will enjoy New Super Mario Bros. 2, it's just that there's a nagging feeling about the game that says it could have been better. Failing to incorporate the game's coin-centric concept meaningfully into the main campaign's gameplay is an unusual misstep for Nintendo. Perhaps it's unfair to hold the Mario series up to such a high standard, but we only do so because we love it so much.

By
Becky Cunningham
Contributing Writer
Date: August 20, 2012

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.0
Graphics
As crisp and colorful as ever, with the 3D adding a nice but completely optional sense of depth to the graphics.
3.9
Control
Generally up to the series' high standard, with a few minor niggles surrounding the 3DS analog stick.
3.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
If you're heard a New Super Mario Bros. game, you've heard this one.
3.5
Play Value
Coin Rush and the many hidden secrets add play value, while the overly familiar levels remove it.
3.7
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Run, jump, bounce, and power-up through side-scrolling worlds while defeating new enemies, discovering new secrets, and collecting more coins than ever before.
  • Every level is filled with golden opportunities—gold rings that turn enemies into valuable gold versions, gold pipes that transport the player to treasure-filled caverns, and blocks that explode into absurd coin fountains.
  • All-new Gold Mario can shoot gold fireballs, turning enemies and entire sets of blocks into coins!
  • Coin Rush Mode allows players to collect as many coins as possible across three levels and challenge friends via StreetPass.
  • The entire game can be played cooperatively with two players using local wireless.
  • The game includes the return of Raccoon Mario, giving Mario the ability to fly and access hidden areas.

  • Screenshots / Images
    New Super Mario Bros. 2 Screenshot - click to enlarge New Super Mario Bros. 2 Screenshot - click to enlarge New Super Mario Bros. 2 Screenshot - click to enlarge New Super Mario Bros. 2 Screenshot - click to enlarge New Super Mario Bros. 2 Screenshot - click to enlarge

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