Are you looking for a great Mario platformer? Do you love collecting coins? Are you a fan of the "New" series? If you answered yes to at least one of these questions, New Super Mario Bros. 2 might be the game for you. With over 90 levels, tons of coins, and the brand-new coin rush mode, this just might end up being a game you'll like. Read my review on New Super Mario Bros. 2 to find out if this game is worth the coins or not.

     Story: The story that New Super Mario Bros. 2 has is the biggest area where Nintendo really messed up in this game. As usual, Nintendo put the same-old-same-old story that we've heard since the original Super Mario Bros. over 25 years ago: Princess Peach has been captured by Bowser and Mario and Luigi go on a quest to save Princess Peach. The story in New Super Mario Bros. 2 is very, very disappointing, and I really wish that Nintendo chose a brand-new story rather than recycling the same story again. If they chose a new story, like they did in Paper Mario: Sticker Star, then that would've been really nice. If you were hoping for the story in this game to be fresh or amazing, then think otherwise. The story in this game isn't good at all and Nintendo needs to create brand-new stories for future Mario games rather than recycling an over 25 year old story.

     Gameplay: If you played another 2D Mario platformer like New Super Mario Bros. Wii or New Super Mario Bros. (DS), then you should know what to expect gameplay-wise in New Super Mario Bros. 2. In this game, you will venture as Mario across nine worlds with 10 levels and some toad houses in each world. These levels are all 2D platforming levels as seen in previous Mario games. These levels vary from you playing on the land, in the ocean, or even you dashing across the level and trying to make your way past obstacles. The worlds also are the same worlds that we've seen in the past: grassland, desert, forest, snow, mountain, volcano, two special worlds, and world star. You can get to the two special worlds by playing the dash level in world 1 and 3, and you can get to world star by collecting 90 star coins. It would've been nice to see something new when it comes to worlds, but what they have in NSMB2 works just fine for now.

     To try and change things up for the "new" series' third entry, as you can see, Nintendo has emphasized on the fact that you need to collect coins. When I say coins, I mean lots of them. In order to help you do this, you'll find coins scattered around everywhere in each level you play along with coin-related power-ups to help you collect even more coins. The gold rings turn every enemy around you into gold, allowing you to get many coins from things like stomping on them or following them. The golden 1 ups don't actually give you another life, and, instead, they just give you a cool 50 coins. The golden block is a block you keep hitting until it goes in Mario's head, and, once it does, it will give you a massive amount of coins if you run very fast, fall from the sky, or even jump on the music blocks. In addition, you still will earn a life for every 100 coins you collect, meaning you'll get hundreds and hundreds of lives pretty quickly. To keep track of all of those coins you've collected, Nintendo's even put a nifty coin tracker that tracks every single coin you collected. When you reach 1,000,000 coins, you'll even receive a prize (a not so good prize, but it's a prize regardless).

     If you think that this game isn't a good game because Nintendo is "milking the Mario series," then you're dead wrong. The story mode in New Super Mario Bros. 2 is addictingly fun, and the levels and gameplay elements that are present are extraordinary. When I first got the game, I played the game for about 9 hours each day for almost a week after coming home from school because of how addicting the story mode was! The levels that are in this game are very well crafted, and the star coins that you need to find are very well hidden, too. Speaking of star coins, each level has 3 star coins that you need to find. It starts off being very easy to find the star coins, but it later becomes very hard to even find one. There are also 24 moon coins that you get in World Star. When you find all 240 star coins, the game adds a star on your profile. If you get 5 stars, then that means you have beaten the game 100%. You can get 5 stars on your profile by doing the following: defeating Bowser in world 6, collecting all of the star coins that are in the game, collecting all of the moon coins in World Star, never using the white tanooki suit, and getting 1,110 lives. Anyways, the levels are very fun and I really enjoyed them. The variety of levels in the game is healthy and the level design can be pretty challenging at times. The enemies in the game are all the same enemies except for 5 brand new enemies, which are nice additions to the game. The mini-bosses you'll fight are incredibly easy (they are rhinos that ride on blocks) while the bosses are a little bit more challenging although they are still very easy. To make things worse, the bosses are even the same koopalings that we all know of. Nintendo really should have had newer bosses in this game as they are desperately needed. Bowser and Dry Bowser are also a walk in the park and aren't really challenging at all. To recap, the levels in New Super Mario Bros. 2 are very fun and addicting while the bosses are pretty easy, and the game is also pretty challenging at the same time.

     The coin rush mode that is present in New Super Mario Bros. 2 is like the icing on the cake. This brand-new mode takes coin collecting and playing Mario levels to a whole new level. First of all, you will only be able to unlock coin rush mode after you complete world 1 in the story mode. When you do start, the mode will set you up with three packs: the mushroom, flower, and star pack. These packs take three random levels from two worlds each and have you play with 100 seconds (you can get extra time) to try and get as many coins as possible (mushroom picks three levels from worlds 1 and 2, flower picks three levels from worlds 3 and 4, and star picks three levels from worlds 5 and 6). If the level is too hard for you, you can even play the pack as White Tanooki Mario. To make you more competitive, Nintendo also lets you save your high score for sharing via streetpass. Sadly, you can't save a high score for each pack and you can only save one from one pack. You may also purchase other packs as DLC from the shop for $2.50 each. These packs come with three levels that aren't in the main game, and they make you play all three levels in order. Coin rush mode is a fantastic new mode that I truly love. The packs that Nintendo made available from both the shop and with the game are incredible, and it is so fun to play the coin rush packs that are available. The DLC packs that you can purchase also are excellently crafted, very fun, and don't feel like they are required to enjoy the main game at all. It's always fun to replay the packs, try to get a new high score that is worthy of your name, and collect tons of coins for your coin count at the same time. All in all, the coin rush mode is definitely something to enjoy and adds so much to the value of this game. Even if you hate paying for DLC, I highly recommend that you do for this game because the DLC available is outstanding!

     Graphics: While having a pleasant and subtle effect, New Super Mario Bros. 2 doesn't have a graphically heavy design that impresses, though it has something that looks pretty nice. The first and foremost thing that you'll notice is that the game has a very small 3D effect, making it look more two-dimensional than three-dimensional (it does have a 3D effect, though). Although this is the case, the game does look pretty nice in the way it is presented. The characters are very pleasing to look at while environments look very satisfying. New Super Mario Bros. 2, in a nutshell, looks very nice and you won't be dissatisfied from the graphics; it might seem bad when you look at screenshots on a computer or videos from the eShop, but, trust me, it looks great when you actually play the game. It certainly isn't a very graphically heavy 3DS game, but it does look great in its own special way.

     Sound/Music: If you have played another game in the "New" series, then you already know what to expect when it comes to music. As the other games in this series, the music soundtracks are basically the same thing. You'll be hearing a lot of the same 'wahs' that you've been hearing since 2005 when New Super Mario Bros. released. In music, there really isn't anything new to the table, which is a huge shame. Everything that you hear is exactly what you've heard from previous Mario games like New Super Mario Bros. Wii, which is a shame since it would've been great to hear something new. One sound effect that you'll be hearing all the time, though, is the sound when you collect a coin. It doesn't bother me when I hear it a lot, but it does blast out of the speakers constantly. If you wanted some new, catchy tunes in this game, then that's the opposite of what you're getting. The music you hear is what we've already heard in the past, and the sounds aren't that special, which really isn't a good thing.

     Replayability: When it comes to replayability, New Super Mario Bros. 2 takes big strides in the right direction, especially when compared to many other Mario games. If you have played any other Mario game (excluding games like Mario Kart or the original Super Mario Bros.), then you'd know that they have little-to-no replayability after you beat the game. All of the ambition is, basically, gone after you beat it and there isn't anything that will really pull you into playing it any more. New Super Mario Bros. 2, on the other hand, delivers a promising amount of replayability because of its incredible coin rush mode. It may sound like it won't attract you into playing the game more, but the mode makes you want to keep coming back to play more. There are already 10 coin rush packs that you can buy as DLC along with three packs that come with the game, so you'll have enough packs (if you buy some) to make you want to come back often and add some more coins to your coin count. I've beaten the game 100% months ago, but I still play it a lot to this day because of the coin rush mode. In all, New Super Mario Bros. 2 has enough replayability to last you for a while. A long while. This game certainly does an excellent job when it comes to replayability, and I'd love to see Nintendo implement more modes that will make you want to replay future Mario games as much as or more than how New Super Mario Bros. 2 does it.

Replayability: Moderately High

     Controls: As any other 2D platforming Mario game (or most platforming games in general), the controls in this one are pretty simple and easy to use. To move, you'll need to use either the 3DS's circle pad or the d-pad, which is the basic moving input for pretty much every game. You can also crouch by hitting down on the circle pad/d-pad, ground pound by hitting down on the circle pad/d-pad while in the air, enter a pipe in the direction of the pipe's entrance, enter a door by clicking up on the circle pad/d-pad, and climbing by holding on up on the circle pad/d-pad. It might sound like a lot so far but it's not hard to remember. You can also click on Y or X to dash and B or A to jump. You may also pick up an object when touching it while holding Y, hit a fence while on it by clicking Y, throw a regular/gold fireball with Y, and more. These controls are pretty simple although it may sound like a lot to process from what I'm telling you. The controls are pretty good and respond fairly well. Sometimes the game doesn't listen to what I tell it for some reason but that happens once every blue moon. For the most part, the controls are very intuitive and are very, very simple to use. You certainly won't have a problem with the control scheme that is present in this game.

     Saving: Saving in New Super Mario Bros. 2 is the exact same thing as when you save in New Super Mario Bros. Wii. When you start on your adventure to rescue Princess Peach, you'll be stuck with using a bad way of saving: quick save. Now, you might be thinking "what is so bad about quick saving?" Well, when you quick save, your quick save data will be deleted the next time you save. If something happens like you forget to save, then you will have to restart from your last full save. You'll get the opportunity to do a full save after you beat a mini-boss or a boss. After you beat Bowser, though, the game will allow you to do a full save anytime you want rather than the wretched quick save. When you play a round in coin rush, the game will save your newly acquired coins right after you die or complete the courses. While saving your progress in the story mode isn't very effective when you first start, it becomes pretty decent after you defeat Bowser and is great when you play coin rush.

     Streetpass: As I've mentioned when I talked about coin rush mode, New Super Mario Bros. 2 supports streetpass. When you take a look at what they did this time with streetpass, it looks very good. In New Super Mario Bros. 2, what you share via streetpass is none other than your high score that you save in coin rush mode. When you do streetpass with somebody, it will give you their high score and give them your high score. You can see all of the streetpasses you've done in the coin rush section. You will then be able to play the pack that they did and try to beat their high score. Remember, you won't be able to challenge their high score if it is from a DLC pack that you don't have. If you do beat their high score, you'll also earn a crown coin. Plus, you can favorite their high score so the game won't delete it if it doesn't have any more room to accept new data. How Nintendo implemented streetpass in New Super Mario Bros. 2 is pretty good, and it is fun playing against other NSMB2 players and seeing if you can beat their score for a crown coin. Nintendo did a great job with streetpass in New Super Mario Bros. 2, and this is definitely one thing that makes New Super Mario Bros. 2 a much better purchase.

     The Conclusion: Regardless of New Super Mario Bros. 2's flaws, this is still an addictingly fun game that is very enjoyable. It might seem like Nintendo is milking the Mario franchise but they're not; they're expanding upon a brilliant formula with the all-new coin rush mode and coin-related items. With a wide variety of brand-new levels and even the coin rush DLC, this is a game you'll definitely need to add to your 3DS game library. It certainly is worth owning and is an absolutely fun game.

New Super Mario Bros. 2 Official Website