Mario is one of Nintendo’s most long lasting characters; in fact he was one of the first. Now that Nintendo are working on catching people’s interest in the XL version of their DS handheld system it can be argued to be more of a coincidence that a new Mario is coming out in the form of New Super Mario 2.
With a focus on gold coins, and lots of them Nintendo are hoping to give gamers something that feels new and of course give them a reason to buy it. The question is though can gameplay based around coins be enough of a change for a character that bases most of his attacks on jumping on monsters and squashing them?
For the old school fans the typical gameplay for Mario is still there. He runs, he jumps he bounces on Kooper Troopers heads and throws their shells around, and he shoots down pipes to secret areas to gain access to more coins. There are also mini-bosses to fight which are now the Koopalings, Bowser’s children but this is nothing new to fans of Mario.
The problem here is there really is nothing new, other than the emphasis on gold coins, in fact there are coins everywhere. The game even tracks your current score on coins throughout the game, which means they are not dependant on the level you are in. Also if you get to a hundred coins you get an extra life, so it’s not long before you get quite a collection of lives to play with.
One way you would think that Nintendo could have been innovative in gameplay is to come up with new worlds to explore, the problem is that there is little changed from previous games here. You have an ice world, ghost house, desert, tropical and undersea worlds with levels based in them, all in 2D. This of course goes back to its old school feel. It would have been nice to see something different, for example if this game is obsessed with gold, why not include a Gold world?
One thing this game does do well though is secrets. The game itself feels fairly short but if you are a gamer who desires perfection in fully completing the game this one will take you awhile as there are plenty of secrets to find and explore.
The problem with the game is that Nintendo seem to be relying on the fact that Mario fans like an old school feel with a twist, that twist being the new coin system. This may not be the case though as this version of Mario is in fact one of the easiest so far. It’s so easy that if you die too many times you are given a special invincibility suit to get you through that level, the real challenge is finding all the games secrets.
Even though the game is too easy one of the most important things though this is typical Mario fun, more hard-core fans may complain about it being too easy but for fans of the old school Mario and more casual game players this is a pretty solid game, Mario in its basic form is a simple and easy game to play and is very easy to get into. If you are just looking for the same old reliable plumber then New Super Mario 2, it’s just not that new.