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Hands On: Is New Super Mario Bros 2 DLC Worth Your Golden Coins?

Posted by Ken Barnes

Should you download those Coin Rush levels? Read on to find out

Nintendo may have produced paid DLC before, particularly on 3DS, but it’s now taken its first steps into worldwide DLC on a big-name title. We are of course talking about the DLC for New Super Mario Bros. 2 for the 3DS, which comes in the form of three new content packs for the game’s Coin Rush mode. Each weighs in at a price of £2/$2.50/€2.50, and if you're in the UK and feel like grabbing a bargain you can corral all three in a single bundle for the discounted price of...£6. Oh.

Poorly calculated deals aside, these new additions do provide something new. Unlike the bundled Coin Rush packs that don’t really feature any objective bar score setting, each set tasks you with beating a set coin target based on the difficulty of the levels at hand. This extends the gameplay on offer nicely, as beating these numbers is generally a tough ask. The fact that these levels are all new and not based on those found in the standard game is also a bonus.

The first pack – The Gold Rush Pack - is relatively straightforward. Thousands upon thousands of coins are up for grabs, placed not-so-sparingly into levels that are relatively simple to complete. Gold mushrooms, gold fireballs, and enemies that explode into showers of coins are the order of the day, and getting to the end on your single life will be a walk in the park for veteran Mario players. But, beating the 30,000 (yes, 30,000 coins from three levels of play) target will prove tricky for some, at least until they remember that landing at the top of the flagpole when they complete a level will double their score each time.

Coin Challenge Pack A – the title of which confirms Nintendo's promise of more DLC to come – feels a little lacklustre after the rain of gold coins from the first pack. The Sledge Bros. are out in force here and rather than being tricky to get around or vanquish, they’re more of an annoyance that slows gameplay down as you wait for the right moment to proceed. The level design in this pack as a whole is pretty disjointed, poorly paced, and falls well below the quality of the other two packs on offer. The 10,000 coin target isn’t massively difficult to beat either, meaning that you won’t spend a lot of time with this one.

The granddaddy of the trifecta is the Nerve-Wrack Pack. Never in gaming has a title been so accurate, for this trio of levels will have you tearing your hair out. A missed jump or a dropped step here or there will kill you for certain, and there’s no way that you’ll even get to the end of the first stage on your first run, let alone to the end of the set. No, these three layouts are designed to be played repeatedly, with each playthrough helping you get a little bit closer to that final flagpole. Once you’ve finally set a score, you can go about aiming at that 15,000 coin target – although only the most skilled (or the most persistent) of players will hit it.

At £6 for the lot, the price for these three packs is a little high. When you consider that you can purchase entire games such as Virtua Fighter 5 on Xbox Live, or NiGHTS into Dreams HD on PSN for the same money in the week of this DLCs release, it seems even higher. But if you leave out the utterly forgettable middle pack of the bunch, there’s a good amount of entertainment to be had here for £4. Serious players should at the very least pick up the Nerve-Wrack Pack and settle down for some truly old-school twitch gaming at its best.

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User Comments (48)



RupeeClock said:

You think Coin Challenge Pack A is forgettable?! You have no idea what you're missing with that pack!

Lads, the fun in that pack isn't just aiming for that meagre 10,000 coin target, but going for the highest possible score: 30,000 coins!
Yes, it's possible and I have done it, and I challenge you guys to try it too!

The sooner you properly investigate the stages, and see all of the elaborate set-ups and tricks that make such scores possible, the sooner you'll appreciate it.

This example video I've made shows you what the pack has to offer, getting a score of 24,888 without doing any Koopa Shell tricks.

And for the record here's proof of my 30,000 coin score on the pack.



Adam said:

Getting nerve wrack pack and totally beating it on the first try.



6ch6ris6 said:

i still dont have any real interest in this game. and i love mario as you can see



AyeHaley said:

I got the first 2 only cause I know I ain't got time and my stresslevel isn't high enough to have fun while dying all the time. When I don't need morphine anymore I'll give the 3rd one a try.



RupeeClock said:

@The_Other_M How do you pay for your eShop goodies, with a prepaid card or by using a debit or credit card?

If you go to purchase anything in the eShop, or in this case the DLC 3-Pack, but have insufficient funds, it gives you the option to add the exact sum you need to your funds.
So you can pay just the 50 cents you need on top of the $7 you already have in your funds.



LittleIrves said:

@6ch6ris6 I was a skeptic too, once.... now NSMB2 is the 2nd most played game on my system, after Ocarina 3D. It's good. And if you have a decent StreetPass situation in your area, it's GREAT. Coin Rush is the best idea in a SMB game in decades.



RupeeClock said:

@LittleIrves It's thanks to the Coin Rush mode that I've been playing NSMB2 for well over 104 hours now.
It's added a ton of replay value as I keep challenging random runs or other StreetPass records and see how well I can fare.

These DLC packs have only taken that further! The amount of time I've put into Coin Challenge Pack A, as well as the novelty of the Gold Rush Pack and the challenge of the Nerve Wrack Pack, is well worth the price of admission in the end.

At least for me, some people only want to play through to the end once and be done with it, but something about NSMB2 has been truly captivating for me.



Burning_Spear said:

I was initially against the idea of "violating" the sanctity of Mario with DLC, but I bought all three and am totally hooked. Great way to implement DLC.



RedYoshi999 said:

I think these DLC packs are great! Gold Rush is perfect at helping me to get to 1 million coins. Coin Challenge is a bit meh but sill good. I love the idea behind Nerve Wrack Pack - creating 3 insane levels. I haven't even got past the second stage yet! I wish I could get some StreetPasses for this game though.



Jaco said:

I agree that lvl pack A is forgettable. There isnt the joy of grabbing thousands of coins or frustration of tje last one which makes completing it that much better.

Pack A was fine in terms lvls but compared to the others it failed



TysonOfTime said:

This DLC doesn't seem so much "extra levels" as is being said. You're buying levels suited solely for a score attack mode, which as far as the other opinions go, are good fun.

Let's hope Nintendo's DLC doesn't deteriorate to the extent of others.



warioswoods said:

These have been great fun, and I'll gladly buy more.

However, I'd also like to see DLC levels that aren't rush based, a bit more like the excellent eReader levels for SMA4. I love the Coin Rush mode in general, but it's not the best way to experience new Mario content; for me it's more of a second run kind of thing.



Linkstrikesback said:

These were good. Not great, I would have liked them either slightly cheaper (I feel like £0.50 per course would be my sweet spot, rather than £0.67), however, I'm absolutely going to buy any 4star or 5 star packs they release. Easier ones, maybe not, unless nintendo discounts them later.



shredmeister said:

The Gold Rush pack is a great booster for reaching that 1,000,000 coin mark. I went from 180,000 to 1,000,000 in about 4-5 hours. It's kind of upsetting that you can't go past the 30,000 coins, though. I was up to 24,000 before I reached the last flagpole. I got the 2x at the end and thought "48,000, alright!!", but only ended up with the 30,000 that was allowed. Still, it isn't that easy to get 30,000 in any other pack.



Grodus said:

I got the three-pack at "launch." I'm still trying to beat the Nerve-wreck pack, but mainly because I haven't been playing the pack enough. I The Gold Rush pack is a must for those either trying to reach 1000000 coins or 9999999 coins. And yes, there is a reward for maxing out the counter. Look it up.



Shane904 said:

I got all three. Gold Rush pack is the one I like the most, which I thought I would like the least originally. Still trying to hit 30k on that one!

Level Pack A is kinda challenging I think. Not impressive, but not bad.

Nerve Wrack Pack = aughhhhhh. Can't even beat the first level.



ecco6t9 said:

Still easier than the ordeal with Super Mario Advance 4 and the e-reader.



rippedwhiteguy said:

I got the twitch pack, but only for the challenging levels. As sonone who loved the couple levels in super mario world on snes star world that were extremely challenging, I love these levels. My one complain is that I cannot practice the levels on their own, I have only played the second level like 15 times and haven't seen the 3rd yet. I've only played for an hour, but I wish I could skip to level 2 or 3 of the pack just to practice them



RupeeClock said:

Actually that 30,000 score on the leaderboard is NOT mine, someone else did it too. I got pointers from him and got 30,000 thanks to his advice.

The 28,820 score you see on the leaderboard today is mine, but that'll be updated tomorrow and you'll probably see my 30,000 score then.
If not tomorrow then the day after, the updates are painstakingly slow and delayed.



shredmeister said:

One helpful tip for the second stage of Gold Rush: Don't lose the first koopa on the platform at the beginning. Grab his shell and let it run across the bottom platform of the boat. It'll go back and forth throughout the entire stage, taking out the flying cheep-cheeps along the way. Lots of coins to be made there.



SirSmugleaf said:

I'll probably get the Gold Rush pack, and maybe consider the others if I have any money to spare...



RupeeClock said:

Nah, the only thing that matters is just getting 3750 coins on the first stage, which is easy if you just keep jumping on the Goomba towers at the end without finishing them off.
They respawn when you move off the screen so you can just farm a few coins off em, any coins collected past 3750 are irrelevant since you only need to get all of the easy 2x coin bonuses after that.



jhuhn said:

Good thing about the DLC on these coin rush levels, is that no taxes were added to the price.



grumblegrumble said:

I'll probably end up getting this later this week, but I loathe the fact of having to shell out another $7 every few months or month... IT's just unthinkable. They should have made it a better deal, more levels per pack, etc. It's just not very consumer friendly.



Emaan said:

I'll be getting the Gold Rush pack to push me further along the 1 million coin goal. I'd also like to test out my Mario skills with that Nerve Wrack pack.



KAHN said:

i hope you were prepared to fork over the genius' advice to the comment section >:[
tell us... your friends...



RupeeClock said:

Basically everything you saw in the video I showed at the start, except you do the Koopa Shell trick to maximise your coins before time runs out.

On course 2 I just do it at the start by kicking the red shell against the wall repeatedly, where the Piranha plant once sat.

On course 3 however, this is where it mattered the most, you need to take a koopa shell with you to the checkpoint flag and use most of that time to kick the Koopa shell repeatedly.

That should allow you to reach the 15,000 coins needed for a 30,000 score after a successful flagpole mount.



KAHN said:

oh my god, what is wrong with me? i've played the gold rush DLC too much... if i play it anymore, there wont be anymore challenge in the million coin goal DD: i guess i'm selling the game now.



Pupito said:

I guess $7.50 is a touch pricey for 9 new levels, and, yes, Coin Challenge Pack A is indeed a little bland, but only because the Gold Rush Pack and the Nerve Wrack Pack are arguable better than anything else in the entire main game. The first level of Gold Rush could very have been the first level of the main game, and it would have been better for it. Nowhere in the game do you get to have fun with the Gold Flower in abundance but this pack really delivers, and with great design to boot. Coin Pack A is good, but doesn't have a a cohesive theme as the other two. The Nerve Wrack Pack takes the cake. I spent the whole weekend trying to beat it, and finally did late Sunday night. Great old school Mario challenge delivering exactly what the hard core fans have been clamoring for for years. Nintendo is on to something if they can deliver a main game for a wider audience and then pump out these super tough DLC challenges for all us All-Stars!



TheAmazingRaccoon said:

from the video the nerve wrack pack reminds me of the levels in rayman origins that you had to run the entire level after the chests



C7_ said:

Summary of the Packs:

  • Gold rush pack for easy coin grinding to up your total as quick as possible
  • Challenge Pack if you want to prove you can max out the score on the interwebs
  • Nerve-Wrack pack if you like some really difficult challenges and want to get above the target goal.

So far the Nerve-wrack one is the only one I've gotten a decent amount of playtime out of, the other two just feel very quick and easy money-grabs.



grumblebuzzz said:

I don't know if I'll be getting anymore of these now that I've gotten to the million coin goal unless there's some new one that is like 8 bit retro or something like that.

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