The lights are on
A little note to those of you who have chosen to read this review: this is a serious review (although at times it may not look like one) and a serious 10/10. I'll make my case for NSMB2, but I don't think you'll find anything here that you haven't read about Mario games yet. Anyway, thanks for stopping by.
So, there's been a lot of whining about New Super Mario Bros. 2: it's too much like its predecessors; it's too short; it doesn't bring anything new to the series; it won't suck my c**k if I say so. Well boo-f***ing-hoo. If you're bummed when a game doesn't bring anything new, then surely you shelf games forever after you've finished them. What I'm saying is, new elements do not necessarily mean more fun - and if you just sit back and turn NSMB2 on, you're in for a great deal of it.
2D Mario games are all about Bowser kidnapping Peach just so you'll have an excuse to enjoy dozens of stages filled with platforming joy. The original NES series was like that, World was like that, and naturally so is the NSMB series - and they have all been incredibly fun games. Why the hell would you expect Nintendo to change the formula at this point? Also, why change? I don't need much more than a Super Leaf or a Fire Flower to have fun. I still like collecting coins. I still like finding secrets. I still like stomping those motherf***ing Goombas. I still like going down pipes and jumping on platforms. I still like pressing the button of the final stage to see the floor disappear beneath Bowser. And guess what? None of this is likely to ever change.
If you're a 2D platformer lover, chances are you love Mario. And if you love the guy, chances are you're going to love this game. Brilliant level design? Check. Upbeat catchy music? Check. Powerups? Check. Luigi? Check. Secrets? Check. A fairly-sized map, nine worlds, sharp controls? Check, check, and f**k yeah check. And it's not like Nintendo gathered all those elements and put it together in some sort of platforming clusterf**k - it's our same old Italian plumber, just as good as ever, sometimes even better. So what's not to love, people?
And the game looks gorgeous! NSMB for the DS already looked pretty good for a portable game, but this one is just ridiculous. Every element on the screen is colorful and full of life; the animation flows smoothly, as though you could sense what the texture of everything would be in real life. The only thing that hinders the game from displaying all its beauty is the 3DS's screen resolution - a few more pixels would make that thing nearly look like a home console game.
Is there anything to complain about? Well, no game is perfect, so yeah, there are a few things that could be mentioned: the boss fights are not particularly challenging; the game may feel like it's too short for experienced players; and the whole concept of collecting one million coins is not really attractive. But then again, seldom are boss fights in 2D Mario games particularly creative, and they are NOT the reason why you buy the games; also, going back to those stages and exploring every inch of them is a pleasure, so if you consider it short or maybe feel like collecting a s**tload of coins, it'll never become a bore. Therefore, these small shortcomings have absolutely no effect on the game's extra high awesomeness factor.
The Coin Rush is the game's main extra and it may appeal to some people. It also helps you reach your million-coin mark. I don't think it's that interesting or relevant, though. This side of NSMB2 is definitely a matter of what style of gamer you are, so if you like testing your speedrun skills, there's a lot in there - and Nintendo keeps releasing DLC for it, so stay tuned.
I think I've said all I wanted to say about NSMB2. It's definitely the 3DS's killer app, even though it doesn't require the use of 3D - you know, being a 2D platformer and all - or even has the endorsement of most journalists. Anytime you pick it up and play, no matter how many times you do, you'll have a lot of fun and it'll look good. Now do yourself a favor: buy it and play it. You can thank me (and Miyamoto) later.
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