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"When I get older, losing my hair..."

I have been playing Mario games, both traditional and sports/karting/party games, since I was 4 years old.  Needless to say, I'm a huge fan of the Mario series and it remains my second favorite series of all-time (only behind Gears of War, that is).  Super Mario Galaxy 2 is even my favorite Wii game ever and, even more impressive, in my top 3 games.  I have been faithful and loyal to the series and, since 2007, have been picking up the Mario platformers on their respective release dates.  So, yesterday, I picked up New Super Mario Bros. 2.

I had seen previews of NSMB2 which, due to commentaries, made me lose faith in this unexpected sequel.  I loved the original on the DS and the Wii NSMB is a blast, so I, even though disappointed due to the commentaries, picked up NSMB2 because more Mario is more pure fun.

Before getting the game, I was aware of this new "collect 1,000,000 coins" mechanic, which sounded refreshing.  Now I would actually have a reason, possibly, other than extra lives and higher level scores, to collect as many coins as possible.

Starting the first level, I was familiar with the mechanics.  It was almost second-nature to me.  I didn't have to get reacquainted with anything, I just started playing it, and it played exactly like the other games, which I, personally, found nothing wrong with and was having a blast, but there was little I noticed that was entirely new.

As I got further into the levels of the first world, I realized that there was a little more depth to the game, as in it did separate itself from the other NSMB's due to the new "1,000,000 coin" mechanic, plus new power-ups and new old power-ups, referring to the Tanooki Suit from Super Mario Bros. 3.  

The Golden Coin Flower, or whatever you wish to call it, is a power-up where, much like the Fire Flower, you hurl balls of fire, but instead they unleash coins via destroying goombas, blocks, etc.  There are also other new methods in collecting coins as well, such as a block which fits on Mario's head and as Mario hops and runs along, coins come out of it.  So you can't say there isn't any innovation here.  There's just disappointingly little to be found.

I'm an optimist.  "Don't fix it if it ain't broke" I believe is the term that would fit this game, or future Mario games for that matter.  I think that there is absolutely nothing wrong with more New Super Mario Bros. games, including this one.  There is little new to be seen here, which, as many have said, is its huge downfall, with which I would agree.  New Super Mario Bros. 2 is a great game and I recommend it to Mario fans and casual gamers alike.  While not the crowning achievement for the 3DS, it is a game to quench the 3DS gamer's thirst for more 3DS games, as some of the other notable titles won't be coming out for a while.  I really enjoyed the game, despite its lack of innovation, but I'm not sure if this bodes well for New Super Mario Bros. U.  Now that game better do something else different entirely if it wants to separate itself from the pack.  Already being on the Wii U does separate it, but it needs more than that.  Beyond that, though, Nintendo needs to either really reboot the series or just let it cool off.

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