Review by tooboredtothink
"New Super Mario missed the jump from the DS to the 3DS and fell flat on his face..."
If you have been buying Mario games for years and hopped around every time you hear a new one is coming out, I suggest hit the backspace key and read an alternate review that will praise the game so you can remain in your fantasy world where you will read what you expect. I'm not here to praise New Super Mario Bros. 2. In fact, nobody should praise this game.
An avid gamer should know that what makes a game enjoyable is innovation. Gamers today don't seem to understand this, they just want more of the same. The neanderthals were able to built an axe for hunting. This worked for them, so they stuck with it. The humans built an axe, then a lance, then a bow. Guess which race is now extinct and guess which one survived? I'm sure you can all understand where I'm coming from now. This game offers nothing new. Everything you see in this game has been done before twice and thrice. It's that simple. The gameplay core is Mario jumping from platform to platform, grabbing as many power ups as possible, stopping on enemies, and collecting coins. Did we not see this same game in 1986? It's 2012 and I can't spot a single attempt to make this game any different than the previous ones. The physics are the same, the controls are nearly indistinguishable . The enemy AI is identical. They probably used the same scripting. There aren't many new enemies either... was there any new enemies? I don't think so.... I couldn't play this game for long because this monotonous routine of repackaging the same game isn't working for me. The level design might as well be a ROM-hack of the previous New Super Mario Bros. games with the exception of polished out graphics. The game difficulty is absurd, it makes Super Mario World (a rather accurate example of the ideal difficulty level a platformer should have) look impossible. Aside from the difficulty, which is something that hasn't been fixed since the first New Super Mario Bros. the gameplay, the level design, and the graphics work out quite nicely, but the fact that it's already been done a million times doesn't make it acceptable. It's a marketing scheme and people are buying into it.
The story has is once again recycled. The princess get's kidnapped by the evil King Koopa and Super Mario has to haul ass and rescue her. Up to this date, nobody has gotten a clear understanding to why King Koopa has to kidnap Princess Toadstool, or otherwise why Mario has to save her. Maybe it's up to the player to decide what's the purpose? Either way, it's getting old and the charade of King Koopa running away with Princess Toadstool on his back isn't funny any more. Remember Mario & Luigi: Superstar Sega on the GBA? Or Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door on GameCube? There is definite proof Mario has been successful in writing out a good story! Why couldn't it be the case here? Lazy is the word.
The music. Why? Why must it be the same? I didn't even like it in the first New Super Mario Bros! Why couldn't the developers give this game a different soundtrack? The OST from SMB, SMB2, and SMB3 are completely different from each other, and yet the music from NSMB, NSMBW, and NSMB2 are dittoed with a slight, barely noticeable, remix into it. Yet another department where the game just fell flat on it's face, and then lifting itself with it's predecessors.
I don't know what else to write. There isn't any replay value to this game, it doesn't help that I didn't even make it halfway through the game due to the repetitiveness. The same strategy is used for replayability: gather all the star coins, and visit the secret "World 9" every Super Mario game has. You are just adding replay value to a previously developed game, since it's the same gameplay. You know which game company uses this marketing technique? Activision (you saw that coming) when they publish Call of Duty games. I'm tiered of people ripping on Call of Duty games for the same reason they love modern Super Mario games. Its hypocrisy to its finest. And before you go all fanboy on me, I don't even play Call of Duty games. I dislike them for the same reason I dislike this game. All you sheep can follow along the yellow brick road Nintendo is driving along, but I'm going to stop and save gas money. Perhaps drift off to a blue brick road next time; because I've had enough yellow for a decade.
Seeing as this game is relatively short, unbelievably easy, and the replay value will come from a different game released in the future called New Super Mario Bros 3, I recommend renting this mother (if you can still rent games today). If it's your first time playing New Super Mario Bros, just borrow it from a friend, and have fun with it if you can. A better alternative is to download SMB3 as a ROM, and then download ROM-hacks from the internet. You'll get a better experience for the price of free.
For a veteran who has played Super Mario games since the NES, I can say this formula isn't going to do it anymore. Put Super Mario to sleep, or give him a slow, painful, agonizing death. Your choice Nintendo.
Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 08/27/12
Game Release: New Super Mario Bros. 2 (US, 08/19/12)
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