Review by parkourboybryan
"A Great Mario Game, But not without some faults."
Graphics: 8.5/10. The NSMB Art Style is being used again. But it has yet to look this good. Mario is made up out of beautiful amounts of polygons and has a nice sheen to him and the rest of the enemies due to the advanced Shader Technology of the 3DS. The 3D on the other hand is a mixed bag. When it turns on, it creates a depth of field effect, which in turn blurs every thing into the background. It is actually a more realistic representation of how 3D would look since your eyes are focused on the foreground where all the action is, but it is a shame to see all that pretty artwork essentially ruined when the slider is pushed up. It does work well however on Ghost House and Castle/Tower levels, so if there was a time to turn the 3D on, those levels are the time. Although it's not the best looking game out there, another thing worth mentioning is that it does run at 60 fps, faster than a majority of the games on the system currently. It helps to make everything more fluid and overall adds a plus to the games visual appeal.
Sound: 8/10. People expect that with a New Mario Game, there's often a new shiny soundtrack to boot, but that's not the case here. Most if not all of the soundtrack is ripped straight from the New Super Mario Bros. Wii game, with a few exceptions coming from Super Mario 3D Land. Granted those songs were and still are fun to listen to, and go great with the theme of the game's levels, but it is just a little bit disappointing that all they did was add more "BAHS" to existing songs instead of creating entirely new music.
Gameplay: 10/10. Despite a few missteps in the Graphics and Sound department, the Gameplay is still top of the line. The Physics are still great, the power-ups, while not necessarily new, are still a blast to run around with and work amazingly with the levels built around them. As for the level design, after all these years Nintendo still hasn't run out of ideas and is still making wonderful and amazing levels that are a blast the first time and still fun the second or third time. Don't expect a walk in the park either. With the exception of some borderline easy boss fights, the game starts out slow and quickly picks up pace after the first few worlds. It's not quite at the level of Super Mario Bros. 2: The Lost Levels, but it's certainly rather difficult, and finding all the star coins or a secret exit on a level may take multiple tries. Now for this games real hook: Coin Rush Mode. While the main point of the game is to once again rescue Princess Peach from the clutches of Bowser and his demented children, the coin challenge is what gives this game its much needed variety. In Coin Rush mode, you have 3 random levels picked for you and you have to speed run through them with a single life trying to collect as many coins as you can in the process. After you're done, you have the option to save in your high score and even upload your amount to the World Coin Total via Spotpass (Over 35 billion coins worldwide have been acquired as of this review). This mode is a blast and it is great to play through the same levels with a different mindset.
Lasting Appeal: 9/10. The Main Story Mode is on the average length, while seasoned veterans may speed through it in no time, a majority of other players may spend up to 10 hours trying to find and unlock everything there is. It's a good length, not too long, not too little. Coin Rush mode is what gives this game its longevity though. It's so addicting to speed run through levels trying not to die while also trying to beat your previous high score, while also adding your total to try to reach the "1 Million Coin Goal". Coin Rush with its randomness has the ability to keep you busy for a while, although I do recommend finishing the main game 100% first, as you will have played all the levels and know where the secrets are, but you also get extra advantages to help you get more coins and make the journey to the Million a little faster.
Overall: 9/10. The game is great as it can be when it comes to the Gameplay portions, but those mess-ups and bouts of laziness in the sound and graphical departments are what's going to set this game a little bit away from the top. However, it's still a complete blast to play and a must buy for all Nintendo 3DS owners, as well as a reminder that although Mario may be older than 25, he still has tons of tricks up his sleeve to pull you in for another run and make you happy you did.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 08/21/12
Game Release: New Super Mario Bros. 2 (US, 08/19/12)
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