Nintendo’s podgy plumber’s latest obsession with pocketing vast amounts of golden coins is more than just the new feature in his latest 3DS outing.
It’s a metaphor, making light of the Japanese giant’s recent financial downturns and the fact that New Super Mario Bros. 2 has money maker written all over it.
New Super Mario Bros. 2 is your typical Mario – he hops, he stomps, he punches blocks all along a backdrop of familiar haunts of the Mushroom Kingdom in an attempt to once again rescue the princess.
It’s an adventure that’s sorely lacking in new ideas but is as fine-tuned as the last 25 years of Mario excellence pluming a back catalogue of familiar scenery that’s lovingly detailed and blurs elegantly as you inch the 3D slider up.
The biggest difference this time is that the road ahead is paved with golden wonders.
Punch a block enough times and it will become wrapped around the Italian’s head spewing a coin every couple of seconds. Pipes firing coins into the sky to rain down on Mario in golden showers. Another one of Mario’s money-making schemes is the Golden Fireflower, a power-up that grants him a Midas touch turning everything he touches in coins.
An interesting idea sure, but this is hardly a game changer.
In an age where platformers are gaining notoriety for their difficulty, New Super Mario Bros. 2 is an easy jaunt but then Mario has never been one to follow trends. Mushrooms, Fire flowers and the Tanooki Suit all play starring roles alongside the usual Goomba and Koopa fodder.
Seasoned players will plod through Mario’s latest in just a few hours with additional time given to track down hidden coins and seek out all eight of the Mushroom Kingdom’s worlds.
Borrowing a leaf power-up from his Wii outing, New Super Mario Bros. 2 introduces local co-op allowing a friend to share the game’s campaign as lanky brother Luigi. It’s a nice extra although the lack of a cart-share or even co-op via WiFi feels like a missed trick.
Instead Coin Rush is Mario’s redeeming asset, a mode dedicated entirely to his newfound hunger for coins. Pitted against three random levels with only one single life, players are tasked with beating all three as fast as possible picking up as many golden coins as they can along the way to top the StreetPass leaderboards.
With little in the way of ‘new’ ideas, New Super Mario Bros. 2 is a solid if a not all too safe entry in the plumber’s repertoire, lacking the spark of imagination and sheer joy conjured up by his 3D Land outing.