Review by bskiffington

""If it isn't broken, don't fix it!""

New Super Mario Bros. 2 is the third installment in the New subseries (despite it having 2 in it's name) and is probably the best in my opinion. Some will argue this and I'm not saying that my opinion is fact, but I've enjoyed my time with NSMB2 more than the original or the Wii version. That's interesting considering how the general opinion on NSMB2 so far is that it's nothing more than a cheap rehash cash in by Nintendo with very little new content.

Yes, the game is very similar to others in the series but is that really all that bad? The original NSMB sold over 30 million units, so it clearly worked. NSMB2 features the same top-notch level design that has become accustomed with the Mario series and the Star Coins are probably hidden better than any other game as well. "If it isn't broken, don't fix it" seems to be a motto that effectively describes this game.

Graphics - 9/10
NSMB2 looks fine, but if you're like me, you aren't really going to want to play the game for it's graphics. For what it is, it looks fine. The colors are great and it really does have that Mario look and feel. Unfortunately, the 3D effects are very bad in this game and that weighs the score down a little. Often times you will find that with the 3D on, the beautiful backdrops become blurry and that turns out to be a distraction.

Gameplay - 10/10
The game shines once again in gameplay and level design. Despite reused themes, all of the levels themselves are, for the most part, expertly crafted and contain many secrets that you will be able to find along your way. Mario controls tightly, and some of the "floaty" feel that you may have experienced with controlling Mario in the Wii version doesn't seem to be apparent here at all.

The main gimmick for this game is the collection of coins, and it's more addicting than you think. You have a counter at all times that will keep track of every single coin that you accumulate throughout the game. With new power ups like the Golden Mushroom which turns everything it hits (including blocks) into gold coins, you will have many of opportunities to gather them throughout the game. The excellent Coin Rush mode sets you into three randomly chosen levels with just one life and a time limit, forcing you to beat all three levels without dying while collecting as many coins you can during the length of the clock. Coin Rush is an excellent addition and something that will likely draw your attention away from the main game for hours.

The only thing that I don't like about the gameplay in this game would be the boss battles, and not even so much the end bosses but the mini bosses. Reznors (the rhinos from Super Mario World) return, which is pretty cool for the first one or two battles, but after eight fights against them throughout the game, it gets kinda annoying. The main Koopaling battles are mostly fine though, and I won't touch on the final battle as I don't want to spoil it, but you can pretty much fill in the dots with who you're battling in it.

Sound - 9/10
All of the classic Mario songs and sounds are in, but you'll notice that most of the tracks you here are reused from previous NSMB games, which is a bit disappointing. If you enjoyed the music from those games, like I did, you won't have any problems with it here. The new tracks are great as well, but it's a shame that they're so few and far between.

Re-playability - 9/10
Much like other Mario games, re-playability comes from replaying the same levels over and over again until you've found all of the secret exits and the Star Coins, which is fine here. If you are caught up in the coin-collecting craze however, you'll have nearly infinite re-playability with this game as you strive towards that ominous one million coin goal. There are also three optional worlds outside of the main six for you to find and conquer as well.

Note: I did not include story as there basically is no story, like usual for Mario games, so I didn't really want to use that to bring down the game with a low score.

New Super Mario Bros. 2 is more of the same excellent craftsmanship that has made Mario the go-to platformer for the last twenty plus years with a new twist. If you're a fan of the New subseries, you'll enjoy this game immensely. If you're a fan of 2D Mario at all, do yourself a favor and at least try this game out yourself. Most of the reviews I've seen for it greatly downplay how good the game really is and put too much emphasis on how it's a rehash, when there actually is quite a nice bit of new content in the game. NSMB2 once again proves the age old saying "if it isn't broken, don't fix it."

Story - N/A
Graphics - 9/10
Gameplay - 10/10
Sound - 9/10
Re-playability - 9/10
Final Score - 37/40 = 93%

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 08/20/12

Game Release: New Super Mario Bros. 2 (US, 08/19/12)

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