By JAMES DAWSON
When “New Super Mario Bros.” was released on the DS in 2006, it was unique in that it was the first original 2D Mario title since “Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island” was released for the SNES in 1995. Fast forward six years with the release of “New Super Mario Bros. 2” for the Nintendo 3DS and that is no longer the case.
The New Super Mario Bros. series has become quite popular.
According to Nintendo, it has sold nearly 55.35 million copies as of March 2012 between the DS and Wii titles worldwide.
With such a successful series, it is no surprise that “New Super Mario Bros. 2” stays so close to convention.
However, what it lacks in innovation, it makes up for by providing a polished experience that can only be had with a Mario title.
Like its predecessors, “New Super Mario Bros. 2” follows Mario as he journeys through six worlds to, yet again, save Princess Peach from the clutches of Bowser.
This time around, though, Peach takes a backseat to items that have long served little purpose in the series: coins.
Coins are scattered in huge quantities throughout the levels, and the objective of the game is to collect as many as possible until you can reach the one million coin goal. Unless you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, you will want to take advantage of the game’s new “Coin Rush” mode to meet this goal.
“Coin Rush” consists of three randomly picked stages in which you race the clock to get to the end, collecting coins as you go.
The coin payout is significantly higher in “Coin Rush” than it is in the main game.
The mode also provides a high score mechanic that allows you to compete with friends and compare scores through “StreetPass.”
With the gimmick aside, however, “New Super Mario Bros. 2” offers little new to the series. Apart from two new power-ups that share similarities to ones in previous titles and a few new enemies, the game would not be much different if it was simply a level pack for the Wii or DS game.
That said, it still has the tight platforming action that gamers have come to expect from the Mario series, as well as the impressive level design. Because of this, it is difficult not to recommend to Mario fans, though some may be disappointed with its similarity to past titles.
With the upcoming release of the Wii U and “New Super Mario Bros. U,” some people may be happier simply waiting a few months to get their Mario fix.