News Article

First Impressions: New Super Mario Bros. 2

Posted by Mike Mason

Master of coin

New Super Mario Bros. 2 feels like any of the other games in the New sub-series. The look of it, the audio, the themes of the worlds – they're all safe, familiar comfort blankets that hit the same beats as the rest of the family. That is, until you encounter the central focus that Nintendo is betting its coin on: this time, Mario really loves gold. There's a decent chance that you will, too.

The demo began with a fairly pedestrian romp through a seaside world. You run left to right, jump about a bit, smash some blocks – the usual. It's fun as ever, and if you've ever enjoyed a 2D Mario title before it's probable that you'll like this too. But with a new emphasis on money come changes that alter the way you play.

As well as the familiar red coin-summoning crimson rings, there are also golden hoops in the air. Dart through one and all enemies turn shiny for a limited time, with scores of coins trailing behind Cheep-Cheeps as they splash in and out of the water. Suddenly it's not just about killing enemies any more; it's also about following their movements to collect as many coins as possible.

Elsewhere, get a bit too excited when smashing a certain concealed block and you end up with the brick stuck squarely on your head. It spills out coins whenever you walk, even more when you dash. The endless jingling of coins is more satisfying than you might first think.

The best new power up, though, was hidden amongst the Egyptian pyramids of the second demo level. By grabbing a golden flower, Mario can plate himself in the precious metal as casually as clipping on a raccoon tail – which you can also do here – or chomping down on a size-doubling mushroom.

It all goes a bit Super Midas Bros. after this; by hurling out fireball-like projectiles, you can turn every destructible block or enemy around you into heaps of golden coins. Keep hammering the button and the screen soon fills with more money than you could ever hope for. The combination of utter chaos as parts of the world collapse into gold and the very ground becoming your own personal bank vault makes you feel like a million dollars.

Without these additions, it'd be pretty difficult to reach the goal of one million coins that you're supposed to be stretching for. In the third level, a vertical climb up through a castle tower, there were blocks that cycled through different coin amounts; you had to time your jump to get the most money out of it, all the while dodging Dry Bones and navigating snaking green platforms that were constantly on the move. At the very top of the tower lurked a boss battle against returning enemy Reznor; two of them span in a circle on question mark blocks, and it was very easy to dispatch both by jumping into the ground beneath them.

A recent Iwata Asks article revealed that New Super Mario Bros. 2 was worked on primarily by younger staff while more experienced team members put time into New Super Mario Bros. U. The coins aside, it seems quite close to the other New Super Mario Bros. titles so far, but perhaps with an injection of new talent it'll reveal itself to be a fresh experience in full form. Thankfully we won't have to wait too long to find out if the new designers have the golden touch to make New Super Mario Bros. 2 stand out.

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User Comments (99)



Nintonic said:

@Mike, is the hub world just like the one in new super mario bros wii or is it something different?



Miroku said:

I'm not getting the eshop version. There is no account based system; what if something bad happens to your 3DS (breaks, gets lost or stolen)? You'll have to buy it again. Nintendo'll never learn, will they...



Slapshot said:

It sounds like there's a bit of potential that there could be some originality buried inside the game. I hope so, as I've just not gotten excited for this release at all.



Aviator said:

It just doesn't seem like there is anything new to justify a purchase.




Jumpman said:

I'm still getting retail.
That gold cartridge is MINE ALL MINE!!! MWUAHAHAHAHAHA!!!



hYdeks said:

I think I already played this game, it was called Super Mario World back than though

Ok, all seriousness, I ain't getting this game because it's just bringing stuff I played as a kid back, and I already played Super Mario 3 and Super Mario World, so I'm good on this game.



Mok said:

I'm not sure about this game. It looks great but I just think gold collection and money mania are the traits of Wario. It's probably very easy too which I didn't like about SM3DL.



hYdeks said:

@Mok agreed, I loved Super Mario 3d Land cause it was a 3D mario game on a handheld, but it was WAY too easy of a game (yes, I have beaten it 100% )



triforcepower73 said:

"It all goes a bit Super Midas Bros. after this..." Is that going to be a spin-off of mario bros. or something? If so that would be awesome!



KaiserGX said:

Level design is top in this game. There's all sorts of secrets in the levels too. Think of it as Gala><y 2.



TheDreamingHawk said:


To be honest, I hope the main mode is at least challenging. NSMBW's Special world was insanely hard. And I'm still getting it for multiplayer so I can torture my friends with THE EPIC BUBBLE POWER



rjejr said:

So, will this "demo" be on the eShop before the game launches? It's only 3 weeks away. Will you guys have an actual review up before launch? Is Friday a normal release date in the UK? Will you do a comparison between retail and eShop DL to see if there are any differences? I don't expect any, but I wouldn't be surprised to see some as far as saving, loading etc.



Miroku said:

@rjejr I doubt there will be any differences other than you not owning a case for the digital download and you being able to get 100 coins on Club Nintendo.



EvansLegends said:

I hope they can balance the rate at which we earn coins throughout the stages so we won't end up playing the same levels again and again, and I also hope they add fun new gameplay mechanics so the game won't feel like a grind. Other than that, I think the coin collecting will be a fun new way to play.

Also, maybe coins can affect the progression of the game, and not just be a hiscore type of thing, or just some extra task.



grumblebuzzz said:

There are gameplay videos up from Japan now on YouTube. It seems fun and all, of course, but yeah, nothing really all that "new" here to warrant that title anymore. The stages are also very weirdly designed to me, giving them a "New Super Mario Bros Wii Remixed" feel to them. They look pretty hard too honestly. Given this and the fact the music is almost exactly identical to NSMBW, this feels like SMB: The Lost Levels modern day counterpart. Nothing really wrong with that, but nothing really outstanding about it either. I'll buy it and probably play the hell out of it, but I'm not counting down the days till I hold it my hands or anything.



grumblebuzzz said:

@LordOtakWiiU Yeah, I mean it is kinda good in a way. Since the stages look tough, that will keep the people who are always crying that Mario games are too easy happy (only probably not really because those people are NEVER satisfied). Extra challenge is always nice. I just wish they'd have switched some stuff up about it besides throwing the coins in there. A new soundtrack (or even a more thoroughly remixed one) wouldn't have taken much effort.



grumblebuzzz said:

3D Land isn't a bad game, nor is it "too easy" like most people say. Try getting every star coin in the game and completing it 100% without using the tanooki suit. I assure you it's tough.



nickcarney said:

If this was only a level pack, I would still buy it. Can't wait to get my hands on a new Mario!



grumblebuzzz said:

@Miroku Because that's where the challenge is. You can zip on through any Mario game, not pick up any collectables or go through the stages in order and beat it in an hour. That's not really changed in over 20 years.



Miroku said:

@grumblebuzzz Who cares about the collectibles? What entertainment does that bring? SM3DL is mario galaxy for toddlers. I'll stick to mario bros 3 and super mario world, and new super mario bros because that's the only modern one worthy of being called a Mario game



grumblebuzzz said:

@Miroku (shrug) Well, if you feel that way. Me personally, I've been playing Mario games since the NES era and I like 3D Land a lot. I also like to complete my Mario games 100% because to me, having played every single game in the series and beaten every single one to that degree, that's part of the fun for me.



grumblebuzzz said:

@Miroku Well, we might not agree on this issue, but we do agree that getting the digital version of NSMB2 without some sort of account-based system in place is risky at best so I, too, will be going physical with it.



Alienfish said:

You know, I do like gold, but I think it goes better with other things as well, like silver, bronze, and definitely gems. Here's hoping the game contains a little more color than the signature yellow.



Hokori said:

Being a compleatest I still haven't technically 100% 3D Land, I still have to finish the final level and get 1100 Lives



grumblegrumble said:

Can't wait for this I'm a sucker for Mario titles, even if they are kinda the same as other ones lol There's always something new in each one, I've found, and its enough to keep me interesting, shelling out $40, and playing



GuardianKing said:

I don't know about you guys, but I get this "chaotic" feeling about this game (in the way were so much stuff flies at you kinda thing.)



grumblebuzzz said:

@GuardianKing I definitely can see that. In most of the videos I've seen there's like a billion enemies on the screen at once in almost every single frame. Top that with all the coins scattered about and the abundance of switches, rings, blocks and power ups and this game can definitely be described as "chaotic".



FluttershyGuy said:

Thank you for the impressions thus far! One question, if I may. Is there much new music? Everything I've heard on trailers is rehashed from the other two NSMBs. Read a rumor that... (possible music spoiler below...)

The Super Mario World boss music is back, however.

What can you tell us about the music? Thanks again.



TheDreamingHawk said:

@Miroku Main mode? Yes. Special world? No. That was hard. I just want the return of secret exits.

And from youtube videos from japan... THE FRIGGIN MUSIC IS THE SANE AS THE DS ONE. Oh, and there are also only 6 main worlds too.



NintyMan said:

While this game sounds like more of the same, there's some new things in it such as the coin collecting, new enemies, and returning bosses that are enough to warrant me to buy it.

I really wish that the soundtrack was different, though. If this game's soundtrack was all new like 3D Land, I would be much more excited. It's too bad that besides the higher-pitched "las" in the main theme and a few extra "las" in the towers, the NSMBW tracks haven't even been remixed.

But I'm still looking forward to the game. If it can deliver the same platforming charm as the past 2D Mario titles, then it will still be fun.



sinalefa said:

That "Mario is too easy now" debate is something we will see from now on with every Mario released. Nostalgia has a lot to do with this, since playing the old Marios now show you that they are really not that hard, and that we thought them hard because we lacked the skills. Games like Super Mario World only have a handful of really tough stages, namely the Special World, and recent Marios do exactly the same. The only exception being the Lost Levels, which goes to show ultratough Marios are not a fan favorite.

I enjoyed 3D Land, although not to the extent of the Galaxy games. This one looks interesting but I am not dying to get it.



kyuubikid213 said:

I'm getting this. I can't wait until it comes out! I've been playing Super Mario Bros 3 to prepare for the anticipated challenge.



grumblebuzzz said:

@sinalefa I agree with every single thing you said in your post. All of it. In 15 years, the 20-something-year olds will be saying, "Give me Mario 3D Land! That game was HARD, not like this new Super Mario Blackhole Supernova stuff! They've made Mario WAYYYY too easy."

As far as the Renzors returning, is it just me or does that seem super tacked on? The reason they were in SMW to begin with was because the game had a dinosaur theme to it and this one doesn't. They're just randomly there, like the developers said, "Hmmm, well, we've brought back the Koopalings and Boom Boom. Who's left?" And honestly, they were always kind of lame to begin with, being just generic triceratops enemies with no special design to them whatsoever. I'm all for nostalgia — I freaked out when I saw the Koopalings return in NSMBW — but only if it makes sense and only for stuff that I don't have to be like, "Oh, yeah, I remember those guys... I think."



grumblebuzzz said:

@Miroku Why, because it's very colorful? I don't get this whole "toddler" obsession you have with the game? What's so childish about it?



Miroku said:

I'm not talking about nsmb2, that game looks okay but 3d land is far too easy



FluttershyGuy said:

That's what I was afraid of. I'd hoped the recycled music in trailers was just placeholder music, but apparently not. It's not a deal breaker for me by any stretch. I reserved my physical copy at GameStop yesterday! But, this sure strikes me as EXTREMELY lazy.

New music is something I've looked forward to in Mario games for decades now, with good reason as Kondo created many masterpieces over the years. Things like this make it seem so long ago that Kondo & Nobuo Uematsu ruled the video game music scene. Only Nintendo sequel I can remember rehashing music like New Super Mario Bros. 2 is doing is OLD Super Mario Bros. 2 Japan (bitter irony there).

For now, I'll take solace in one of my all-time favorite boss themes returning after a 20+ year absence, and hope for at least a couple of new tunes, like in the final castle & ending theme.



WaveBoy said:

Hmmm....I think what's going to make NSMB2 far more exciting is getting it bundled with the XL and 'playing' it on the XL for the first time. I can't say I'm too excited for the game itself in general. I hate the NSMBWii series, well just the plastic minimal boring visual style, the recycled music and genericness of it all. But the platforming is still good fun. Rezner and The Racoon tail make me happy.

but i fear this is going to be another unchallenging romp through the mushroom kingdom. When i lose all of my lives i want to start back at the beginning of the world SMB3 style. I don't want all of these stupid 1-ups thrown at makes going to the mushroom houses feel pointless not to mention collecting coins to earn 1-ups in the first place. NSMB has been casualized for a broader audience and it's sad to see that there are zero consequences...

The 'only' real challenge is getting or finding some of the StarCoins, especially in the Special Worlds.



StarDust4Ever said:

My preorder for "Mario's Gold Bonanza" has been confirmed at Game Stop. Not really the actual title, but it should be. Either way, this will be a fun romp, and I hope there's a huge incentive for grabbing 1,000,000 coins!



WaveBoy said:

Mario's Gold Bonanza?More like NSMB2: Imagination out the Golden window.
That, or New Super Mario Cash-in Bros. 2



gundam00 said:

This is a definite buy for me! I read the Iwata Asks the other night for this game, and it just solidified my purchase even more. I highly recommend reading the Iwata Asks if you're interested in why they made the game the way they did.



Ernest_The_Crab said:

@WaveBoy The world reset wouldn't matter in this game anyways. In Mario Bros 3 you couldn't replay levels after beating them (unless you game overed).

Pretty much every Mario game afterwards has the ability for players to redo levels including the fan favourite Super Mario World. The fact is people would just find a way to farm shrooms; it wasn't difficult to do in World and nothing has changed since then in this regard.

If anything, the hardest Mario games in recent times were both Galaxy games, and quite frankly both were on a home console.



WaveBoy said:


I found Super Mario 64 to be more challenging Than Galaxy, there was more of an emphesis on actual 3D control, where even the sightest movements could completely destroy your chances of slowly walking across a thin strip to get to a star. You don't see any of that brilliant INtense type of stuff in galaxy, because the analog sensitivty for the analog controls has been completely stripped down to nothing, or at least in comparison to the full range of impressive 3D control you had in 64 which i still find pretty mind blowing with the N64 stick.

But ya, Galaxy definitly had it's tough points. I just wish the game were more quicker and zippitier in the controls department like every other mario game before it. It's just a different beast though in terms of gameplay, and for that i welcome it because it's different. Galazy 2 sure looks amazing though, even IF it's considered an expansion pack by many. It just looks more 'in tune' with Mario, and much more colorful, vibrant and imaginative. What did you think of SM3D Land?



TimboBaggins said:

I for one loved SM3DL. I feel like they were finally able to translate a 2D mario game into a 3D world. Super Mario Galaxy is awesome, but very unlike a typical 2D Mario. I agree with many who say if you think SM3DL or NSMBW are easy, try collecting all the coins and getting to 100% (without the white tanooki suit). The star coins are a very real part of the game, and if you don't like collecting them then I think you might not like mario games that much. In any mario game you can pretty much ignore everything and jump your way to the end, but where is the fun (or gaming finesse) in that?



Electric said:

I hope the reward for the 1,000,000 coins isn't just a picture and a letter like they usually pull off. BTW, I preordered this game. I don't care if it's too easy or too hard, as long as it is Mario, and it doesn't suck, I'm happy.



Freeon-Leon said:

I wasn't really excited about this game but this article has made me doubt a little about buying it. That frenzy of coins just looks great D:

sorry TBD



DaJusticeyJDude said:

@Miroku How is it for toddlers i dont get that, 3d Land is one of my favorite mario games and I say it was wasn't that easy collecting the star coins and thinking you beat the game but you were only halfway done so i dont really think 3d land was for toddlers.



DaJusticeyJDude said:

I want this so bad played NSMB and NSMBW and loved them both so cant wait for this to come out. But I so not buy the one in the eshop ddent have the same features as the cartrigde and I keep hereing a rumor that the cartrigde will be gold, that would rock it does.



eleven59 said:

It does seem to fit wario more and kinda bummer it isnt a new super wario game. He did start on a portable after all!!!



Nanoline said:

Has anyone else seen the video of the final castle and boss fight for this game yet?

You literally never hit Bowser. You run and dodge for 5 minutes and then step on a switch, except that it's on a very slow auto-scroll vertical stage instead of at least giving you something to do like Super Mario 3D Land did. As for "new final castle music", it's the same WAH WAH in every other spot (and yes it actually has WAHs all through it).

What happened to the days of actually attacking Bowser or whatever the final boss is? You had to do it in World, World 2, 64, in Sunshine, in Galaxy, now it's just step on a switch and they instantly die, for FIVE games in a row (NSMB, NSMB Wii, SM3DL, NSMB2, and no doubt NSMB WiiU)! There's a reason they retired that method after the FIRST FREAKING GAME (not counting Japan's SMB2, which ended up not received well anyways due to basically being a harder romhack before they knew what romhacks would be).



Olaf-symbiote said:

@StarDust Let him download it if he wants to. I'll also download it.

I really hope NSMBU will have a more diverse soundtrack. It's really sad if Nintendo really thinks that a Mario game with a new soundtrack that doesn't have those BWAHs in every theme doesn't sell.



grumblebuzzz said:

@Nanoline I agree that the final boss is very, very lackluster in this one. Honestly, if I weren't such a huge Mario fan, after seeing extensive video of the game in action, I'd probably skip it. It just seems so half-hearted and rushed.



grumblebuzzz said:

@Olaf-symbiote From what we heard at E3, NSMBU seems to have an entirely new soundtrack. Even the main theme is different. There's "bahs" in it, but the music is completely different, which is good.



Nanoline said:


You climb a tower, dodge attacks, never actually do any attacking, and hit a switch to instantly win.

Comparing this to NSMBWii does not help the case of these games basically being the exact same game (levels, music, graphics, and all) with one minor tweak if that each - NSMB is itself, Wii adds multiplayer (which should have been there from the start), 2 adds flying (which should have been there from the start since it was in SMB3/World), WiiU adds...more multiplayer...

And Nintendo is wondering why they're in a rut lately. Maybe if they'd stop releasing the exact same game over and over...they've even done it within single games in a way, Skyward Sword's sales were a lot lower than planned and the biggest complaint was that you basically played through the same three areas three times over. At least with SS we only got charged once to do it, they're hitting you guys up for $40-$50 a pop and you'll willingly pour the money into their pockets like water.



Ernest_The_Crab said:

@Nanoline The switch is a throwback to the original Super Mario Bros. In the original Mario Bros you jumped on an axe, which collapses the bridge he's standing on. You literally just dodge until you can get to the axe.



Nanoline said:

@TheSolarKnight I'm aware of that. The problem is that they've now "paid tribute" to that for four straight games with no variation from the dodge-dodge-instant-win method.

No swinging Bowser around by his tail, no smacking his head with Mechakoopas, nothing. There's a reason that they only did the "step on axe to win" method for one game, at least stateside, and SMB2 Japan didn't do so hot because people were bored of it after just two games.



grumblebuzzz said:

Given that Nintendo seems to be on a HUGE SMB3 nostalgia kick lately, it would have been nice if the final fight with Bowser had echoed that game with Bowser trying to stomp you and eventually crashing through the floor. And what about that Koopa Clown Car his band of brats have been riding around in lately? How come dad always lets the kids take his ride out for a spin but he himself never drives it anymore?


The ONLY thing I did like about the Bowser battle in NSMB2 was when he starts tossing those huge hammers during the first phase. That made me grin a little bit since Bowser hasn't wielded a hammer since the original game so that was a nice throwback. Still yet, the battle itself is very ho-hum and has been done to death at this point. People can say what they want to about 3D Land, but that final boss battle was EPIC and AWESOME, even if it was another instant deathswitch kill. Getting to that switch was just nerve-shattering.



Pyotr said:

Have you completed the hidden level at the end? I find it hard to believe you would call SM3DL an easy game if you had. Admittedly, the game starts off deceptively easy but the difficulty ramps up in the special levels and that last, hidden level is fiendish. I would say it's one of the hardest levels on any of the games I've played.



Araknie said:

Jumping this one.
If feels like a Wario Land for the coin system and i don't like in a Mario game, because sure they don't do labyrinthian levels like in the Wario game in Mario so i don't get this game.
On all levels.



dntmn said:

@WaveBoy Hey! I was just wondering how those SNES replacement parts worked out for you, been trying to find a review of them. I have a few controllers who've had a few clicks too many over the years which I'd love to fix. I don't know if you're getting any pings or e-mails notifying you (or me if you reply) on this site so I'll just check this thread for a couple of days, haha. Thanks!

I apologize for drifting off-topic but I couldn't find any way to PM users on here. Cheers guys!



Phle said:

I might get this. I don't have any of the earlier versions, actually this will be my first handheld Mario game.



GameLord08 said:

If only you could cash in all your collected coins at your nearest ATM, this game would have some sort of replayability appeal.



Medicham said:

No, I am not getting this. Collecting the million coins is actually a major disappointment so don't look forward to that. And why must Mario always work with Luigi? How about Mario work with Wario or Waluigi? Sheesh.

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