News Article

Talking Point: The Possibilities of New Super Mario Bros. 2 DLC

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

More Mario per system

We’re well aware that some of you may read the headline and tagline for this article and immediately think that we’re losing our minds, foolishly allowing ourselves to be suckered into paying more and more for our Mario fix. That’s a danger of course, which we’ll come to, but with this week’s first batch of New Super Mario Bros. 2 DLC we can’t help but think that it could be the start of something rather good, though there are provisos to bear in mind.

Let’s get the big negative out of the way first. DLC – downloadable content – can be used as a rather manipulative, cynical ploy by developers and publishers to strip content away from a full-priced game and simply bolt it on with an extra cost later down the line. The most controversial examples actually have DLC on the disc, basically meaning that the content is already finished and in your game, but you have to cough up more money to unlock it. It’s a battle of wills that’s currently going on, as publishers desperately try to recoup their investment and consumers demand value for money, and balancing a fair amount of day one content with add-ons both desirable and at affordable prices is a challenge.

This is an issue that’ll be familiar to gamers on non-Nintendo systems, with a lot of HD system games featuring extensive DLC for practically every major release; Nintendo gamers will be aware of DLC, but it’s not been a major feature on their consoles to date. Tentative early steps have already been made on 3DS before now, but these New Super Mario Bros. 2 packs are the most high-profile DLC so far offered by Nintendo, so significant that the company felt the need to broadcast Nintendo Direct Minis to make the point.

So, are these three individual packs value for money? We’re just getting our thumbs around them now – a mini review will be with you soon – but the content seems to be decent value, if not mind-blowing. For one thing, we are at least given nine brand new Coin Rush stages to play for a combined cost of £6/$7.50/€7.50. Nintendo is also catering for all audiences, with a basic set for less experienced gamers and, at the opposite end of the scale, some downright cruel levels to test Mario experts. The middle pack, presumably designed to try and attract players of various skills, even has a high score leaderboard that’ll be updated on the title’s official website, though having that in-game would have been preferable.

There’s more coming, too, with plans to introduce more packs – and we assume new stages — in late October and again at the end of November so that fans of the game will, in theory, have a couple of World’s worth of new levels to play in the next couple of months. There’s also a great deal of sense in these being Coin Rush packs, too, as they open up possibilities for more online contests and will no doubt be heavenly fun for gamers who love to perfect stages and score big points.

What this early DLC does suggest, meanwhile, is that the days of waiting multiple years for more 2D Mario may be a thing of the past. Perhaps this is reassuring, especially in light of recent comments from Satoru Iwata that Nintendo only plans to make one 2D Mario per platform.

We only create a New Super Mario Bros. title one per platform. I think we'll probably go ahead and continue at that pace. That being said, that's probably [Mario creator Shigeru] Miyamoto's choice, so I can't give you a 100% guarantee that that's the pace we'll continue at.

Despite the get-out-of-jail “ask Miyamoto” comment, it’s a trend that Nintendo has followed, with this year’s double helping of NSMB2 and the upcoming New Super Mario Bros. U both wrapping up Mario’s 2D exploits early in the lifespans of 3DS and, especially, Wii U. Perhaps DLC can soften that blow, giving Nintendo’s most bankable asset an even stronger extended run on each system. Beyond level packs for one specific mode, perhaps in the future we’ll see new themed Worlds released, providing some extra secrets, star coins and challenges to defeat – assuming that the functionality on the game card isn’t restricted to Coin Rush updates. If Nintendo produced a new World every six months for around $5-8 – depending on its size – would we really complain after the cynicism has faded? This could be particularly important for New Super Mario Bros. U, after all, if Shigeru Miyamoto sticks to the ‘one per system’ policy.

Of course, the issue highlighted at the start of this article will inevitably rear its head. At what stage is DLC a welcome extra worth paying for, and when does it become a lazy tactic to grab more money from gamers with a minimal amount of effort, while giving less and less content in the main game? One bonus for avid Nintendo gamers, perhaps, is that the company’s slow and gradual steps into DLC mean that the past 5-6 years have still been all about day-one content. We’ve got a good sense of how much a Nintendo game should give us right out of the box, an understanding of the value to expect before DLC enters the picture. If our 2D Mario games give us a fair amount of stages, Worlds and platforming fun right off the bat, is there harm in getting even more for a price?

This’ll be an interesting couple of months for Nintendo, and it’ll no doubt be watching the reaction to and sales of its NSMB2 Coin Rush DLC very closely. Gamers will ultimately decide whether they represent good value, and if they succeed we wouldn’t be surprised if future DLC flows regularly and with more creativity. If the decision is made to introduce new Worlds as extra paid content, for example, then it could mean a consistent flow of New Super Mario Bros. content on 3DS and Wii U, probably with pleasingly economic development costs for the big N. It’s not as if we need to unduly worry about DLC upsetting the story too much: Mario always rescues the Princess.

What do you think? Is more 2D Mario DLC an exciting prospect to scratch the itch, or do you worry that too much Mario can indeed be a bad thing? Let us know in the comments below.

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User Comments (56)



Kirk said:

Now, I actually think this DLC is a better idea than rushing out new Mario games just to give us our Mario fix.

That being said, I really would like Nintendo to have put a bit more effort into really pushing the boat out with a game like NSMBU for example.

Then, once that amazingly polished game comes out they could just reuse the stunningly realized assets to keep providing us with continued DLC content for a long time.

At least the visuals in NSMB2 somehow just look a bit better realized and more suited in the 3DS game for some reason.



AlternateButtons said:

I've always hated DLC. The original game you paid for is all you should get. This add-on crap while can be good and is very tempting is just a ploy to get more money out of a game you've already bought. I REALLY hope this isn't going to the be the case for NSMB U but who am I kidding? it's bound to be at this rate. It's just too much to ask for for a single game. By sinking 9 extra dollars into NSMB 2 you're essentially paying on a scale for the Wii price range. It's just unessecary and my wallet certainly doesn't appreciate it.



paburrows said:

I love this idea, we can continue to recieve new levels and not have the burnout of too many games. I really hope they do seasonal levels like a Halloween level a Christmas level, etc.



Minny said:

Most of the DLC is already up on various web-sites and youtube. Looks fun, but nothing out of the ordinary.



crazyangrygamer4 said:

im sorry for being off topic but Is Rollercoaster Tycoon for the 3DS NOT Comeing out in 2012 they said october and they also said may of this past may now i don see it in the upcoming games and its funny i was able to preorder this i preorder a big freaking scam was this game sopost to be a Joke or is it just being post pone



3dsisthebest said:

i´d like to have new worlds via dlc...but for that i need more money...the rest of the year my wallet needs to suffer a lot ...



Mk_II said:

im confused... do these DLC packs contain new levels or just Coin Rush challenges?



Beta said:

I am not really sure on this matter... but I have occasionally (if not always) thought of DLC as just a rip-off, you know, quick buck. I have also always been confused since the incident* from that point I always think "is it really worth it? Why didn't they just put in in the game itself?" and more like that. But if Nintendo is not gonna turn greedy green I guess it's alright... I just want faith in who I will put my wallet into >.<

*the DLC on disk incident



Haywired said:

I'm not sure how having Mario games that keep expanding and never bloody ending alleviates the problem of Mario overkill...

DLC... Can't a game be a complete, finished piece of work anymore rather than just a load of vaguely connected bits that some people have and some people don't?

Also, for those who somehow "can't wait" for sequels to come out, have you tried playing other games? There's loads of them.



Moonhillwat said:

I really like this idea, to tell you the truth. Gone are the days when I have to wait forever for a sequel (like I did after getting the first NSMB and had to wait years its handheld sequel), and instead I can get my fix with DLC!

If you ask me, this is a very smart move! It will also give these newbies lots of experience for developing future Mario games!



WesCash said:

Not a fan of DLC unless it's either free or is a significant chunk of game at a reasonable price.



Ecto-1 said:

I am not a big fan of DLC in most cases (although I loved the DLC scheme for Forza Motorsports 4 on Xbox 360). I would have rather these levels also been incorporated into the regular game so that I could thoroughly explore them without the fear of the timer running out. It also would have been nice to be able to play them with a friend in Co-op, but I can kind of see why Nintendo wouldn't want that (that is, unless the friend had purchased them too). In the end, I may try one of these packs and I would be interested to see what DLC adds to Nintendo's future releases.



Gridatttack said:

The DLC on some games is acceptable. Like in fighting games, they have the DLC in the disk since when you play multiplayer and you dont have those characters, you can still fight against the people who have it. A certain mortal combat game had this issue, as online matches were crashing is you played against a character who you didnt have, since the data wasnt on the game.

Also about NSMB2 DLC, I will only get it if they are more stages, but not if they are only for coin rush.



UnseatingKDawg said:

The way I see it, there are two types of DLC. One type is well worth your money, and not required to finish a game, but help enhance it instead. Examples of these would be Guitar Hero/Rock Band songs, or additional level packs for certain games, like Sonic Unleashed (360). That game has about 40 levels. DLC for that game contains harder versions of the Acts, as well as brand new Acts entirely, which helps out some areas like Empire City (which only had 3 Acts, not counting missions). If you download all six of those packs, you roughly double the amount of levels available in your game, with records for all levels. That's my opinion on that type of DLC. The other type is the one that sure as hell isn't worth your time. A prime example of this is the outfits/toys/gadgets you can buy for your Xbox 360 Avatars. They're more or less there for show. Can't really do much with them (someone correct me if I'm wrong) except look at them, right? I guess another example would be the DLC-on-disc titles, but I'd say it would depend on the title in question.

Overall, as some comments above say, some companies overdo the DLC bit, while others can use them for the greater good. It all depends on which game you're buying for, and which company you're buying from.



alLabouTandroiD said:

I really want them to get creative with DLC. Take a few more risks than you would with a retail title. Maybe then i'd even be fine with new worlds.
If it's only more levels with the tried and true formula this could really be worse than having multiple 2D titles per platform. At least these slightly vary in items and modes. I doubt you'd get that with DLC.

When it comes to the recent Mario DLC i think it's only attractive for competitive players. I can't imagine getting much satisfaction out of just beating 'em. It's only interesting if you're hunting for high scores imo.



RedYoshi999 said:

DLC can work. Nintendo is on the right track here, but I feel like they could add more for the price they charge. It also helps when you release DLC a while after the release of a game, not a month after like NSMB2. I look forward to how DLC develops into the future though.



Wheels2050 said:

I don't have a problem with DLC, per se. My main problem with it is that often there is no guarantee of it being available into the future due to the account-based systems used to verify it.

For example, I've got Dragon Age: Origins on PC. I can play that game without ever having to go online, which means I can play it indefinitely. However, one needs to go online to authorise purchased DLC which means that when (and it is a when) the authentication server goes offline, your DLC is gone too.



Bass_X0 said:

The original game you paid for is all you should get.

You don't have to get it. You only want the original game, fine. Someone else willing to pay more, fine. You want more but don't want to pay for more, thats your problem.

I have DLC for various WiiWare games. When I transfer the games to my future Wii U, I expect the DLC I paid for will be transferred too. And when I transfer my WiiWare games from my Wii U to its successor, I expect the DLC will continue to be transferred.



AyeHaley said:

I bought 2 packs and I think its great Nintendo is doing this! Enough value for money I think. Although 2€/pack would be nicer of course.



yobucky said:

hmm I think it's not a completely bad thing. If it means we don't get a 2d mario title every year which would cheapen the brand, then I say go for it. Those who want to play new levels can pay a bit extra to keep the game alive, those who don't want to don't have to. As long as the base game is a full game with good value for the full price and the DLC is similar to the map packs on a FPS game (offering new levels to those who want them, but the game isn't broken without them) then I say go for it, more money for nintendo means more games for me in the long run.



grumblebuzzz said:

Even though I'll be picking a few of these up, I do wish it weren't just coin rush stages and was full, actual new worlds in the solo play game, that way I wouldn't have to just run through them like a bat out of hell and could take my time and actually explore to find secret blocks and star coins.



Intrepid said:

Another possibility through DLC would be to play as other characters, such as Peach or Wario. Maybe even use your 3DS Mii assuming there is a system update or something.



Emaan said:

I think its a nice thing for those who want it. So far, the NSMB2 DLC Coin Rush packs look fun, and the game itself had plenty of content to begin with, so it doesn't feel like less of a game with add-ons. I like the idea much better of having less main Mario titles, and more DLC to keep the games relevant over the course of a few years. I'd rather have only a few Mario games per system, so as they don't try and rush them every year, like I feel they have been. This will keep the quality of the releases at a consistent high, and also the playability of the games extended.



idork99 said:

I'm really on the fence about the Mario DLC. I've yet to go through all the stages so I may hold off for a while. Personally, I guess it all depends on the game. Odds are that one is likely to spend the money on DLC if they really love the game. I love Mario but I guess we'll see how much.

@drunkenmaster76 My thoughts exactly!! I'd happily give $10-15 for more tracks. Shoot, I think I'd pay $40 again to have another 32 tracks added!



Bass_X0 said:

Yes, I would like DLC courses for Mario Kart. 32, with half being old courses just isn't enough these days.



Capt_N said:

DLC, I fear, will be something Nintendo might abuse, even if it's not @ the present, but eventually. The temptation is just too high (to/not to). I watched the Nintendo Direct mini this morning on Youtube, & purposely looked for comments against the dlc. I don't know if my facts are right, but if there are give, or take, approx.(imately) 80 lvls(levels) in NSMB2, then @ approx. $40, that's again, approx. .50 per lvl. If the total of dlc are 9 lvls, only available in one particular mode of the game, then the price should, in my opinion, be more reasonably along the lines of $4.50-5.75 tops. Since my equation is based on others' presented supposed "facts", & is full of approximations, I'd say that figure of $4.50-5.75 is a good estimate.

If I get the game, I don't know about d/ling the dlc. Like I said, the temptation is just too high for any co. to not exploit it.

DLC is best free, & as glitch fixes/patches.



SwimyGreen said:

The only DLC I've ever bought was the Wipeout HD Fury DLC, which added 2 game modes and doubled the amount of courses for only $10.

The only time I would buy DLC if it was a game 'expansion' or addled levels that were equal to ones in the game. Ex. Buy an extra galaxy with 3 stars for $2 would be a good one.

I'm not interested in the NSMB2 DLC because:
A. The game is an utter dissapointment to me
B. They're only coin rush levels that cost more then they are worth.

I really wish they'd roll out 3D land DLC. Buying a world for $4 wouldn't bother me.



Cranky said:

I'm not a big fan of the idea. I want a game to be as good as it can be when it is released, not half of a game with the other half added as DLC over time.



Chunky_Droid said:

I think this kinda DLC is ok, though I would have liked it more if you could play it NOT in Coin Rush Mode.

There's two kinds of DLC that annoy me though. When they ask you to pay a quarter of the game's original price for a small piecer of game (ie. The Force Unleashed), or when they ask you to pay 2-7 bucks for a new skin for your character.

I liked it when all we had to do was find all the hidden items to unlock skins, instead of just paying for them!



Bass_X0 said:

I liked it when all we had to do was find all the hidden items to unlock skins, instead of just paying for them!

Now the games have far better graphics with more characters and stages playable from the start. And they're actually in many cases CHEAPER than those old favorites.



sinalefa said:

I like that DLC is optional, but devs should always strive to give enough content in the main game. I am not buying any new song in Theatrhythm, but you get a pretty decent amount of songs in the base game. So if you like the game so much as to pay more, then more power to you.

Still, I seldom get DLC, so I am not that interested.



Marioman64 said:

@sinalefa not buying ANY of them? not even Otherworld from FFX or FFX's battle theme? Otherworld is my favorite song to play in the whole game btw
also FFVIII's The Extreme is pretty amazing



WaxxyOne said:

So far Nintendo's take on DLC has been what it should always be on every platform. They have respectfully informed their audience ahead of the game's release that they are planning DLC packs for it, rather than surprising them with it after release. They have stated that they do not believe in charging you for content that should have been on the original cart and are avoiding that as best they can. They are asking a modest price for what is clearly add-on content that was not part of the original game. Most importantly, nothing they're releasing is going to give players an unfair advantage in any online arena. (Of course, that last one's because this game doesn't have online play at all)

I believe there is nothing inherintly wrong with DLC. When done right, it's like mini-expansions that you can buy or pass over if the particular content doesn't appeal to you. There have been plenty of games I finished and thought "That was great fun and worth the value, but I wish I could play some more." Before DLC, you had to wait for full expansions or a sequel, but now you can get level packs or extra goodies a few months after release. Nothing about that is a problem.

It's when the system is abused that the dark side of DLC rears its ugly head. When EA sells online play as a DLC and includes a code in the retail box, that's abuse of the system. When that code has an expiration date, that's downright underhanded. When Ubisoft strips the ending of their game off and sells it as DLC a few months later, that's bullcrap. When a game ships with game content present on the disc and then sells DLC to let you unlock what you've already paid for, you're ripping off your customers. As long as Nintendo remembers that, and continues to treat their customers with dignity and respect, they can release all the DLC they want as far as I'm concerned.



Candy811 said:

It doesn't sound to interesting for me. Not getting it. I only play coin rush mode if a streetpass challenge is available. Other than that I am not competing for the worlds highest coin score or anything like that.....



Voodoo said:

I've been a avid gamer since the days of ATARI and have owned pretty much every console to come out in America with the exception of the XBOX 360 so I've experienced all there is to know about DLC and this is my take on it. There is good DLC and Rip off DLC and some of the best examples for DLC can be seen in games such as Red Dead Redemption. To date, I think their DLC is #1 in both quality and value. The Undead Nightmare DLC alone was big enough to be sold as a stand alone title on its own and I think it sets the stage for what DLC should be. Most value in DLC will be had in games that offer online game modes and is a big example of why COD and Battlefields DLC sells like hotcakes. You get new maps, weapons, camos, events and vehicles (with Battlefield 3 anyway) and there is an infinate amount of use that can be had with this DLC. I like the idea of companies offering season pass type packages that offer discounted material for buying every DLC that comes out in one type of pre order package like Battlefield 3 did with its premium member package but the company still has to handle the DLC well for these season passes to be a good value something that Call of Duty knows nothing about. A horrible example of DLC would be Metal Gear Online. Their DLC content was rather good but the fact that they charged $14.99-$19.99 for content that was good but had a LIMITED life as Konami have pulled all the online servers for metal gear online making ALL their DLC useless in this day. That is pretty much the ultimate Horror out there for Online DLC. Games having endings seems like it can be a big issue at times when it comes to DLC so maybe developers should make titles with no endings kind of like World of Warcraft as they are built to be DLC driven and seem to have the smoothest transition and in NO way am I emplying that they charge a monthly fee to play as this could kill the entire video games industry with the economy in the shape its in. As far as Nintendo products go, I cant have anything but good faith in them as they have far exceeded any of their competition about giving value to their fans. Take the big 3 for example, out of MS,SONY and Nintendo, Nintendo is the only company that gives back to their fans through their Club Nintendo program offering physical goods with your favorite characters as a "Thank you for supporting us" type of program. Sure SONY and MS could do something like this but it would be oh so bland... Without characters (mascots) you'd be stuck with something that just plain says "SONY or Playstation 3" Nintendo just has that magical charm that allows them to master this. Nintendo has always been a company that takes care of its customers. This is a big one to me as with the Wii, there was an ongoing problem to where the Wii drives wouldnt read some dual layered discs such as super smash bros. but even if you had a system well out of its warranty, nintendo still fixed the systems that was doing this to consumers free of charge and on top of that, gave you a brand new warranty upon fixing it! Still to this day if you have a launch Wii system from 2005 that wont read one of those discs, Nintendo will gladly fix it for you at this very moment just as if it was still under warranty. Now lets talk about the others. You've heard of XBOX 360s RROD (red ring of death) They cover that flaw as long as you send them 2/3 the full price of what you payed for the system. SONY? Playstation 3s had 2 huge issues one in witch the blu ray diodes just wore out and wouldnt read your game discs or blu ray movies and the other being the YLOD (yellow light of death) witch SONY would gladly fix for you as long as you sent them 140.00 or you could just go and buy a new system... Im on my sixth playstation to date since the launch fat system. Nintendo is the ONLY company out there that truly takes care of their supporters and to me, that means the world and if I only can support one company you better bet its going to be Nintendo all the way!!



GamerZack87 said:

Yes please! Give us Mountain World and individual full-size Ocean and Jungle Worlds, Nintendo!



Samholy said:

while i agree with you, i must say Sony is finally delivering goods this year for psplus members.
the service is rather cheap for what it offers npw. since a couple of months, they give me free games, some are really good.
for 17 dollars,3 motnhs membership, i had:

  • double dragon neon (awesome coop play!)
  • little big planet 2
  • warhammer 40k space marines (must play, it really surprised me)
  • just cause 2
  • awesomenauts with a free dlc (nice dlc too!)
  • renegade ops
  • tons of minis
  • outland (top notch sidescroller)
  • bloodrayne
  • ratchet and clank all4one (14gb of download!!!!)
  • scott pilgrim the game (still playing it, its damn fun)
  • a weird zombie game i dont recall the name. it was bad hahaha
  • many games discounts
  • a grafiti sidescroller i dont recall the name . it was...ok
  • squaresoft psone final fantasy for cheap!!!!
  • and much more games that just dont pop in my mind right now.

saying sony doesnt give things to his fans like nintendo is WRONG

as for dlc, dragon dogma delivers them almost on a weekly basis. didnt tried them yet,but theyre all over the place.

Where I agree, is that it took them long before it came out like this, it started in 2012.... just like if they fear nintendo's WiiU.
Anyway, i love both companies, one for its home consoles (sony) and one for his exceptional handheld systems. (nintendo). vice-versa isnt an option here. nintendo just cant make competitive home console since the N64. (the gamecube almost made it. almost, but not quite) and sony's VITA is simply BAD. the PSP is simply pathetic.



Pupito said:

I wholly support this enterprise. I also appreciate it took Nintendo so long to get to this point because they err on the side of delivering a fully polished game first. Nevertheless there are consumers who have completed the challenges of the game and are willing to purchase more content. And here's why its awesome: Nintendo can now cater to different audiences. By offering the 3 packs they offer levels for beginners, intermediates, and Mario All-Stars! I for one am thrilled because from a larger business perspective I understand why Nintendo has kept the difficulty of its 2D Mario games down, but talented Mario players are now given the chance to take on true "hardcore" challenges via DLC. This is a win win situation for everyone. Day one buy. Now if we could only get new Mario Kart 7 courses....



technotreegrass said:

@UnseatingKDawg Some 360 Arcade games (like Joy Ride Turbo, Uno, and others) use your avatar in the game rather than a character exclusive to the game. The outfits are still just something to look at, they don't affect the game at all, but it's something at least.



Bass_X0 said:

I've always hated DLC. The original game you paid for is all you should get. This add-on crap while can be good and is very tempting is just a ploy to get more money out of a game you've already bought. It's just too much to ask for for a single game. It's just unessecary and my wallet certainly doesn't appreciate it.

Well you don't have to get any DLC. Be happy with your retail game. If there was no DLC, your retail game wouldn't have more content. And I don't see whats wrong with paying for more content for a game that you enjoy. There are many games that I would be glad to pay for more content,

You're one of those people who'd rather buy two crappy games than DLC for a great game just because two is more than one, aren't you? What happened to quality over quantity? It shouldn't matter that its still only one game as long as you enjoy it and is worth the cost including DLC.



Link-Rogers said:

@Marioman64 I want the FF VIII The Extreme, and the FF VIII Force Your Way sounds pretty amazing. I have FF 9 Battle 2, FF 7 Boss Battle, FF 7 Cosmo Canyon. I want:
FF5 Battle 1
FFX Battle 1
FF4 Battle 2
They need to add:
FF8 Battle 1
FF8 Winhill Village
FF8 Balamb Garden
FF9 Chocobo-Riding Theme
I'll tell you more in the Theatrhythm section



Grodus said:

I'm fine with DLC, as long as your'e not missing out if you don't get it, and it has a reasonable price. For instance, DLC in Theatrythym was fine, since it
a. was absolutely unnecessary
b. had a pretty low price
I think songs would be better priced at $.50, but eh. Waddayagonnado.



TimboBaggins said:

BTW - I love the idea of having a new world to conquer every 3-6 months. They could do that for the entire life of the system and I would be in heaven. It also keeps people from saying they are wearing their prized mascot out. Instead of releasing two 2d games for the Wii U, they can just keep adding downloadable content to expand the game indefinitely. AWESOME!

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