Customer Reviews: New Super Mario Bros. 2
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on March 11, 2013
I'm usually pretty generous with my ratings, especially on Nintendo products because I've been a fan since the original NES came out. However, after finishing Mario 2 last week, I must express some frustration with the game. First and foremost, if you played Mario Bros for Wii or DS, this game is nearly identical in format. It's fun, but if you've played the others, this won't really excite you. I miss the days when all Mario games were completely different.

Secondly, and I hope this doesn't become a trend, once you unlock certain coin rush levels, you have to purchase them for $2.50 each. This is unacceptable. Everything I need to play the game should be included in the purchase price (which was costly enough to begin with.)

I am sad to say I will think twice before purchasing Super Mario Bros 3 if it ever comes out.
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on August 19, 2012
Before you down-vote this review in a knee-jerk reaction to my rating, please lower your pitchforks for a moment and hear me out. Know that it hurts me to write this review. Whenever people bash Nintendo for releasing too many Mario games, I'm always one of the first to defend them and point out how there's more creativity and effort in a single Mario game than almost any other "AAA" title released in any given year. I love Mario games, and some of my fondest gaming memories are of playing the classic Super Mario Bros. games at my grandma's house on her old NES. When it comes to New Super Mario Bros 2., there is a lot to love, truly, but sadly there are a few glaring issues that kind of bring the rest of the package down to me, especially when compared to other games in the series, even recent ones. To be fair to the game and to you, the reader, I'll try to be as detailed and informative as I can. I do not hate this game emotionally, but it is lacking in comparison to the other games in the "New Super Mario Bros." series, without a doubt.

Let's talk about positives first though, shall we?

- It's a Mario game with the tried-and-true classical 2-D Mario gameplay all faithfully intact. Mario controls splendidly and the game does a wonderful job capturing that nostalgic NES Mario feeling (Once you beat the game, you can play as Luigi as well by holding the L and R buttons at the same time while loading your game. He controls no differently than Mario, however). What more needs to be said? All Mario bros. games are known for delivering the undeniable, jubilant joys of running and jumping, and New Super Mario Bros. 2 has nailed that core tenant wonderfully. Classic Mario power-ups like the fire flower and Super Star make a return of course, but I was most excited by the return of the Raccoon Leaf from Super Mario Bros. 3. What a nostalgic delight it was for me to play as Raccoon Mario again, flying through the sky, complete with Fox-ears and fluttering tail. This game is FUN to play, plain and simple, and what more can you ask for with a Mario Bros. game?

- In a new twist on the traditional Mario formula, Nintendo decided to throw a big curveball regarding the way you approach the core mechanics. See, the game places a big emphasis on collecting coins and the way they designed the game makes coin hoarding not only a focus, but an addicting joy. New power-ups are introduced that are incredibly fun to use, such as a gold-flower that turns Mario into the Mushroom Kingdom's own version of Midus, where every shimmering gold fireball hurled turns all blocks and enemies into coins you can grab. Golden koopa shells spew coins in in its wake as it spins along the level. Green pipes shower the world in gold coins. It's definitely a unique appraoch to a Mario game, but it does have its drawbacks as well (more on that later). Overall, though, I really enjoyed the unique focus on coin collecting in this game. It was an old-school Mario gameplay element presented in a new and exciting light. That's great, and one of the more creative ideas the game has.

- The visuals are quite beautiful and are actually as detailed and colorful as NSMBW, which looks awesome on the 3DS(XL)'s screens. Little details like mini-Mario blinking his little eyes just scream attention to detail. As is expected from a Mario game, the visuals are vibrantly colorful, expressive, and super imaginative. That's all I ever expect or want from a Mario game. World themes are a little derivative, but have enough variety to keep the game from getting too stale, which is good. The 3-D effect, while being nonessential, is really cool and gives a genuine feeling of depth to the Mushroom Kingdom. It is worth noting that the higher up you have the 3-D slider, the more the background image becomes blurred on purpose to give a sense of depth. While it succeeds in that endeavor, it really eliminates details in the visuals. Personally, I played the game with the 3-D slider halfway up.

If this all sounds great to you, it should. Mario games almost never fail to deliver the goods, and NSMB2 definitely does where it counts in these areas. However, there are some glaring issues with the game that simply restrict me from scoring the game higher. Here are some of the bigger ones:

- The game is way too short. It took me 4 hours to beat the game... 4 hours to beat the game... 4 hours to beat... FOUR HOURS... Wow. Even for a Mario game, that's far too short. New Super Mario Bros. U (the best in the NSMB series, in my opinion), will take a player roughly nine or so hours just to get to the end. Four hours for this just seems inexcusable when compared to the much more substantial game length of literally every other NSMB game, especially at full price. What happened? If you go back and try to get many of the hidden star coins hidden in each level, you can probably pad out the length more, but seriously... the content volume in this game just feels paltry. When compared to other portable Mario games like Super Mario 3D Land, or the other entries in the NSMB series, NSMB2 definitely comes across as lacking in content and effort during development, sadly. Heck, even Donkey Kong for the original Gameboy (one of the best games on the system in my opinion) has more variety and content than this. What gives?

- As disappointing as the paltry length is, Nintendo's approach to fixing this issue by adding more content is even worse. If you want more content for this game, you have to pay even MORE money for dlc packs that add some new coin rush levels, the levels that most people don't care about anyway. What on earth are you thinking Nintendo?! Thankfully, they learned how to do DLC right after this game, as evidenced by what they did with Fire Emblem: Awakening and Animal Crossing: New Leaf, but it's too late for NSMB2, sadly. The DLC in this game is, to be frank, unsubstantial, generic, and way over-priced for what it is. Much of it feels like it should be in the game you already payed full-price for and comes across as a rip-off. Bummer...

- As fun as the focus on collecting coins is in this game, there's no real reward for doing so. You're constantly encouraged to try and collect one million coins cumulatively over time, with the promise of a great reward for doing so. What's the reward, you may ask? It's so lame, it's not even worth writing. What a disappointing carrot on a stick, and nothing more than a terrible way to pad out the game beyond its anemic length. Like I said while discussing the egregious DLC policy, there is a "Coin Rush" mode where smaller obstacle course are generated with the purpose of collecting as many coins as possible in a short amount of time. While this can add more incentive to play the game, it really feels like a tacked on feature more than anything. Being able to compete with other players via streetpass seems cool, and can add a lot of coins to your profile if you can beat their times in certain coin rush levels, but again, why bother? Like I said, there's no real reward for collecting coins, not even bragging rights really. Too bad.

- There is a co-op mode in the game, which is really awesome in concept. What better idea could there be than a portable Mario game you can play wirelessly with a friend, using downloadable play so that you only need one cartridge between the two of you to play the game? Oh wait, they made it so you both have to have a copy to play co-op to force more people to buy the game? Yep, thanks for that Nintendo. You gave other games like Star Fox 64 3D and even Mario Party Island Tour download play, but not this game? What gives?! There are a few problems with co-op too. Both players are forced to have Player One's camera angle, so P2 had better be a good enough co-op gamer to stick around P1. How cool would it have been for each player to get their own view of the game being played together, so that they could explore and play the level at their own leisure. It just feels like a wasted opportunity for a 2-D Mario game where each player has their own screen, and because the 3DS screen is so small, it's incredibly frustrating to stick together so close.

- Ultimately, my biggest problem with this game can be summed up by the one question I kept thinking to myself while playing this game: Where's the cream filling? For those confused by that, cream filling is basically code/lingo in the video game industry for "effort" (lol). In so many ways, this felt like more like an expensive expansion pack to New Super Mario Bros. Wii than a truly unique, new entry in the NSMB series, and it shows. All world themes are recycled from the Wii installment and there really aren't any genuinely creative levels in this game in terms of lay-out or design from a gameplay perspective, aside from a handful that make good use of the Midus Mushroom. The graphics, as pleasing as they are on a handheld, feel copied and pasted from NSMBWii. Much of the music is blatantly copied from that game too. There really aren't any new songs in this game, as most, if not all, are either copied or remixed from NSMBW. What a disappointment. As much as I love the Mario series, whether it's of the 2-D or 3-D persuasion, this one really felt phoned-in compared to Mario's history, and that's my biggest problem with the game. It pains me to say this, but this game feels quite lazy.

The pros of this game are undeniably solid, but the cons really work to weaken the strong Mario foundation of the rest of the game, and it comes across as the weakest entry in the NSMB series, and even one of the weakest Mario efforts in years. Make no mistake, you will enjoy the time you spend playing this game. Mario games are like pizza; even when one isn't very good (which is super rare, I emphasize), it's still pretty good (lol), and that applies to this game. However, given the negatives I've discussed in this review, I just can't bring myself to give it any rating higher than 3-stars (which means "It's OK" by Amazon's standards). If you're a gamer looking for a good portable Mario game, or you're shopping for one to give to a friend/family member, then I'd recommend Super Mario 3D Land over NSMB2 any day of the week. Ultimately, it is the much better Mario game on the 3DS as of this review. In context of the NSM series, New Super Mario Bros. U is, without a doubt, a better game than this by leaps and bounds in every way. If you have a Wii-U, I'd recommend that game over this in terms of new 2-D Mario games. Thanks for taking the time to read the review. I hope you found to be helpful and enjoyable. If not, go ahead and take out your pitchforks and ready that "unhelpful voting finger now. Either way, have a good day. Toodles. :)
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on August 26, 2012
NSMB2's unveiling was met with a lot of praise and criticism by fans of the 3DS. After superb sales on the Wii (New Super Mario Bros. Wii), NSMB2 follows in its predecessor's footsteps but maybe a bit closer than some will want to admit. Of all the discussing I see some bickering fans partaking in, the word "rehash" seems as synonymous with this game in discussion as it is with a franchise the likes of Call of Duty or Madden. So the ultimate question probably should be "Is this really bad or not"?

Gameplay, more money more problems?:
NSMB2 brings back just about all the gameplay elements of its Wii (and of course DS) predecessor in terms of gameplay style, mechanics and so on. As you can tell by the marketing campaign and the game case itself, NSMB2 takes pride in encouraging greedy players this time around. In addition to your usual princess rescuing routine a sub-goal of the game is to collect 1,000,000 gold coins throughout the course of your overall time playing the game. With a task as arduous as this you'll probably wonder if it's possible without sinking your life into the game. The answer is in a sense yes. There are a plethora of means to gain coins which range from the overpowered gold fire flower (which can destroy many enemies, blocks, and even rocks while giving you coins for everything destroyed by the spicy golden meatballs of death you fling), or turning enemies (such as koopas) into gold and kicking them away in which case they leave trails of coins for you. There are several more ways to earn quick coins but half the fun is in finding all the different ways the game will toss coins your way. Thar be gold in those hills!

Sadly the 1,000,000 coin goal falls relatively flat when you actually achieve your goal. You would think with such a hefty feat you'd be getting some amusing reward in return but the actuality of the situation will more than likely disappoint you. While I won't spoil the surprise I imagine there will be MANY facepalms when it comes time for the 1,000,000 coin revelation (there have already been for those who've spoiled themselves). Suffice it is to say that if you could deal with the disappointment that was Super Mario 64's completion reward then I suppose you could handle this well (hint, it's worse than that reward). I think the game may have been a bit better off without this "hook" but ultimately if you have fun playing for coins then the goal has arguably served its means.

Co-op, bros before toads:
I'm going to be honest, I'd always rather play a Mario game solo, NSMBW was no exception. Unless you liked trolling your friends or bumbling around the stages, more (than 2) players tended to feel like a chore in performance from my experience. That said NSMB2 jumps down from 4 players to just 2: Mario and Luigi. This works out well enough since on a smaller screen 4 player co-op would likely be very uncomfortable. When you play a co-op game (which mind you you can't do this over the internet) the host takes the role of Mario and the guest becomes Luigi. Mario (the player) will select one of their own files and both players continue from the Mario player's file. Luigi's player will not get any progress in their file but they will be able to bolster their coin count while in a co-op game.

The whole game is up for grabs in co-op so you can play beginning to end. The same mechanics in place for NSMBW are at play here, players can bubble themselves out of some situations in which case their partner can tag them back into safety. This can be used to cooperatively aid lesser skilled players through more tricky segments of the game, provided that the remaining player is never harmed. Should there ever be only one of the two players actively onscreen (non-bubbled) and they lose a life then both players lose and will need to restart the stage or at that stage's checkpoint. Another cooperative tactic one can use is sharing stored power ups. Each player can hold one reserve power up item should a situation go bad for them. Said items are called in and dropped above the owner's head but either partner can pick the item up provided they touch it first. On a co-op level, NSMB2 can still be a bit chaotic but it feels proper (and fun) at the 2 player count.

Graphics & 3D, itsa me! Familiarity!:
NSMB2 essentially matches NSMBW's graphics, but on a handheld. The game even retains NSMBW's solid frame rate consistently, even with 3D on. Character models are fluid and well done for the most part and the game looks as good as its predecessor. One can also argue that most of the game's assets literally feel directly lifted from NSMBW though. The character models obviously would be but the map designs/themes, stage designs, and so on literally make the game sometimes feel like it should be called NSMBW portable or an expansion to NSMBW. Much of what you'll see in the game will look familiar if you come from the previous NSMB title.

Meanwhile the 3D effect for NSMB2 is relatively minor. The 3D will amount to giving the game a bit more of a pop effect on the foreground layer and occasionally adds a touch to near foreground walls but otherwise 3D is not a big deal for this title (and it probably shouldn't be). However any time you are using the 3D settings in a stage the background will become blurred, detracting from details on background objects.

Sound, Bah! Bah bah...:
The same way the game graphically feels lifted from NSMBW the same can be said of NSMB2's music, though in this case it is immediately obvious. The game's soundtrack is literally NSMBW's but with more bah. If you had a problem with bahs previously, you'd best get over them for NSMB2 because this is a game that is all about the bah, and it's even heard in castle themes now. Despite the obvious lifting, cheery music is what makes any Mario game Mario and of course, musical enjoyment is subjective (I've actually had quite a laugh over the hostility some fans have for the added bahs though).

Overall, the million coin question:
Is New Super Mario Bros. 2 a rehash? As much as some defenders will relent to admit, it kind of is. The game's new gimmick never really changes much about how the game is played, the stages (and bosses) will look eerily familiar, and the music is immediately familiar. NSMB2 does have some of the criteria to be called a rehash. It may not do it on the caliber of other big named series but the point is, it does seemingly commit the crime regardless. The question is how do you feel about having more of something pretty similar (or the same)? I played NSMBW through for my nieces and while the best memories of my Mario days have been far behind me the game was still pretty enjoyable. I'm willing to pass the same judgment down to NSMB2 in that while it doesn't feel particularly mind blowing in any way, it is fun enough to be worth a spin. If you've for whatever reason never played a side scrolling Mario game though, this is a fun title to play. While the NSMB series never fully matches up to its roots, it's a fun homage to those titles that's even further accessible to newer/younger gamers.

- Co-op is fun and functional.
- If you really liked NSMBW or even side scrolling Mario games in general, you may like this.
- NSMB2 matches NSMBW's graphics, sound, and controls.
- The golden flower may be mighty but it's not the difficulty killer the helicopter mushroom from NSMBW was.
- NSMB2 is an accessible title to just about anyone given its difficulty.

- Not only does it match NSMBW's graphics, it literally feels like it reuses a lot of its assets.
- The music is barely changed, in fact it feels like they only added more "bah"s.
- The 1,000,000 coin gimmick does little to enhance the play, and its reward is truly underwhelming.
- This isn't exactly a game for challenge seekers like the original Marios, the game is way more forgiving than its source of inspiration (SMB3, SMW).
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The first thing you have to be amazed at is how great the game actually looks, while it doesn't come as a surprise it still felt like you were playing a console version game instead of the portable one. Also the wireless co-op is great fun when playing with a friend without the hassle of wire hookups and whatnot. While the game is just a portable version of Super Mario Bros it's still a blast to have if you're traveling by bus/train/plane/car and are looking for away to pass the time.So for any Mario fan who has a 3DS this is one game you must add to your library when you get a chance.
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Thank goodness my library had a copy because I am so glad I didn't buy this. Basically this game takes 6-10 hours to beat and unlock the extras. The comparisons to Super Mario Brothers 3 must be some sick peoples' ideas of jokes. At the very surface this has some similarities to SMB3, but they are superficial at best.

There is little challenge in this game. You will lose lives, yes. But when you have 200+ extra lives, it doesn't really matter. So you can be bold without worrying too much about having to restart. Extra lives are WAY too easy to come by.

The goal more than anything seems to be collecting coins. Even beating the game (both realms) seems trivial. There are 6 worlds with 6 stages (or so) each. Then there are 3 special worlds. Then there are the Rainbow Worlds to secretly unlock.

But all of this can be accomplished in an afternoon if one is dedicated.

Buy the much better 3DS Mario title: Super Mario 3D Land. It is by far the superior game. If you have access to this game either through a game rental store or site, or local library, or even a friend, then borrow it for a few days. You'll probably get bored quickly.

Update: There is new DLC for this title, but it involves more coin challenge games and such. I still think that this is not as good as the previous entry, New Super Mario Brothers for the DS or Super Mario in 3D Land. It's not a bad game, but on playing some more I just realize that it's far too easy to get extra lives, hence the risks of dying are not great. I would honestly rather play the original Super Mario Bros. 1 or 2 (the real SMB2 that we call 'The Lost Levels' in the US).
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on October 10, 2016
It's ok... Nintendo really isn't trying to compete anymore. It's like they have given up. This game is a revamp of an old game like many of their games. Innovation is going elsewhere I suppose. The wii was bad in my opinion, no dvd capability, opera internet engine, though this is not a wii game nintendo is clinging to nostalgia and I see it going the way of atari, sega, etc. The game is ok, it's a standard Mario 2d experience. Not worth the price tag at all. I'm a F2P PC gamer so I may be biased.
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on October 20, 2016
One of the best Mario games ever made and definitely the best Mario game on a handheld !!.... my favorite Mario game of all time is Super Mario World for the Super Nintendo. I would say this comes right after that for me. This game just has it all !! And the ability to turn into gold Mario made this game very unique. This game could easily justify the purchase of the 3ds alone. This really should be in any Mario fans collection.
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on August 20, 2012
Again if you loved NSMB on the DS or the Wii version then you will love this one. More platform action and I really like the coins theme. Keeps me wanting to achieve that crazy 1 million mark.

3D isn't really there but with a game like this it doesn't really matter.

Again if you like the other ones then don't expect something radically different. Just more old school platforming.
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on June 3, 2015
I have loved the New Super Mario Bros games for both the Wii and the 3DS.

This one was particularly special to me because it is one of the few true multiplayer games. My girlfriend and I played through the entire game together on separate 3DS consoles and it was very fun.

One *very* important note and downside about the multiplayer: both people need to own their own copy of the game to play multiplayer. You cannot have only one copy and share it with both consoles. Both people need to own the game to play multiplayer.

Another slightly annoying thing is that your partner can go off the screen and won't necessarily bubble back like in the Wii version, but this is a pretty minor gripe compared to how much fun the gameplay is.

The world is quite beautiful and the levels are challenging. If you are a fan of the New Super Mario Bros. franchise this game will not disappoint you.
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on September 13, 2015
Another fantastic installation of Mario! The game has a classic feel with modern gameplay. I wish it was slightly more challenging as I beat the game in one week...and that's with the little bit of playing I was doing with two toddlers! I'm a perfectionist with the game, and even going through and getting a perfect game took me no time. I loved the game. I just wish it had either been a bit longer or had another good challenge. The super leaf at the beginning of the levels when you die enough was a fun change. It made the Bowser fight too easy. I just kept killing Mario until the leaf showed up because I got lazy and didn't want to fight Bowser normally. Maybe I should go back and play without the leaf. Heh heh.
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