Review: New Super Mario Bros. 2

The 2D New Super Mario Bros. titles have proven to be enjoyable nostalgic treats since the first one debuted on the Nintendo DS a few years ago.  Now the first direct sequel hits the Nintendo 3DS providing more of the same fun, but with a coin-collecting twist.

New Super Mario Bros. 2 retreads familiar ground in many regards.  Mario must rescue Princess Peach after she has once again been captured by the Koopalings, making his way across an ice world, a desert world and all the other areas you have traversed before.

The gameplay mechanic at the heart of the series remains, as do many of the power-ups that you collect along the way.  In fact New Super Mario Bros. 2 feels a lot like its predecessor.  While New Super Mario Bros. 2 is enjoyable to play it is a shame that for the most part it feels like you've been there and done that.  Nostalgic hints to the past remain but it is a shame that Nintendo didn't include more new stuff along the way.

The biggest addition in New Super Mario Bros. 2 is the focus on collecting coins.  The expression “going for gold” has been batted around a lot during the recent Olympics and it seems that Nintendo is doing the same, as New Super Mario Bros. 2 is littered with golden goodness. No longer are coins just collected for points and extra lives, now they provide an ongoing challenge.

New Super Mario Bros. 2Coins feature much more prominently than ever before, scattered along the levels and also hidden within blocks that can be unlocked with the new Golden Flower power-up.  Enemies can also be turned into golden versions of themselves and provide even more coins when you defeat them.  Coins are so prolific that the challenge of earlier Mario titles has been removed as you no longer need to worry about lives.  

A running tally of the coins you collect keeps the ultimate goal, 1 million coins, in your mind as you progress.  In order to collect 1 million coins you’d have to play the levels repeatedly, which is something only the most dedicated player is going to do.  The levels provide classic platforming fun, but when compared to some of Mario’s other outings they feel uninspired at times.  They don’t detract from New Super Mario Bros. 2’s enjoyment, but it certainly does add to the feeling of this being ‘just a sequel’.

The Tanooki power-up returns and this time you can once again use it to fly, adding a sense of verticality to the game.  In fact, this power up helps to create new challenges not found in New Super Mario Bros.  as players can now take to the skies, encouraging you to really explore the levels.

The coin-collecting focus introduces a new power-up, the coin-dropping Golden Block that can drop up to 100 coins as you walk or run.  The Golden Flower returns as well, and once again using it is optional but can help you out of a jam.  Besides this the rest of the power-ups are what you’d expect from a Mario title.

New Super Mario Bros. 2New Super Mario Bros. Wii focused on co-operative gameplay and this has been somewhat replicated with New Super Mario Bros. 2.  Most people will probably play alone, but if a friend does join you for the local 2-player mode you can play as Mario and Luigi and collect coins together, providing you stay near to each other as you do.  If you venture too far away from each other you're confined to a bubble and made to wait to be freed by the other player.  

Nintendo has introduced a new Coin Rush mode, a coin-collecting challenge that gives you just one life and a limited amount of time to collect as many coins as you possibly can.  The main game may feel easier than previous outings, due to being able to collect many lives, but Coin Rush provides a challenge worthy of the most experienced gamers.  Players that enjoy getting high scores, or just besting their own, will become addicted to Coin Rush and with the ability to share scores via StreetPass you can boast about your high score to anyone you come near.

New Super Mario Bros. 2 isn’t so much ‘new’, but it is definitely still ‘super’.  The coin-collecting challenge adds a new twist, but it’s not a game changer and a mechanic that probably won't be seen again any time soon.  The title feels a bit like Nintendo intending to keep fans happy and reap the financial rewards but New Super Mario Bros. 2 is still a very fun game to play.  It may not be the most challenging or longest Mario title in existence but it sure is worth picking up.

N-Europe Final Verdict

New Super Mario Bros. 2 is certainly fun and worth picking up, but don't expect anything too new here. The coin-collecting adds a twist but at the end of the day that is all it is, a twist on the beloved formula.

  • Gameplay3
  • Playability4
  • Visuals4
  • Audio4
  • Lifespan3
Final Score



Coin Rush is a good challenge
Two player co-operative mode
More of the Mario gameplay we know and love


Not much is new
Easier than previous titles

© Copyright 2024 - Independent Nintendo Coverage Back to the Top