Author Topic: New Super Mario Bros. 2 Impressions  (Read 5277 times)

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Offline MegaByte

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New Super Mario Bros. 2 Impressions
« on: July 28, 2012, 02:16:45 PM »

Go for the gold.

http://www.nintendoworldreport.com/impressions/31173

New Super Mario Bros. 2, more aptly represented by a discarded name, New Super Mario Bros. Gold puts a Midas touch on the traditional Mario formula. There are gold versions of everything, and everything has the potential to leave trails of gold. The renewed focus on coin collection might seem more apt for a Wario game, but the game has many shades of Super Mario World.

While New Super Mario Bros. 2 doesn’t seem to do anything significantly new on the platforming side, its focus on coin collection changes the game’s dynamics for perfectionists and completionists. The game is even more so about the journey than the destination than prior games. Level design isn’t compromised and actually seems improved.

The usual Mario staples are here; you’re again trying to rescue Princess Peach from the clutches of Bowser and the Koopa Kids.  The usual Mario power-ups are back, punctuated by the return of the raccoon power-imbuing leaf. The P-meter-indicated raccoon power in New Super Mario Bros. 2 is something of a fusion of the same power from Super Mario Bros. 3 and the cape from Super Mario World. Players do not need to repeatedly tap the button as in the former game; you can hold the button to smoothly fly upward and hold it again to slow your descent.

One of the gold power-ups, the golden Fire Flower, turns Mario to gold and his golden fireballs turn everything else to gold. The classic 10-coin block now turns into a gold block if you reach the 10-coin goal. Hit the block again and it humorously attaches itself to Mario’s head. The faster he runs around with it affixed, the more coins that will spill out of it.

Coins are scattered everywhere, even where you can’t see them. Various places within the levels appear bare until you get near them, after which coins fly in for you to collect. In its quest to have players scouring every part of every level, New Super Mario Bros. 2 seems to “break the rules” more than usual with lots of hidden areas found in pits and under quicksand.

The sheer number and variety of coins within the game means lots of trial and error to find the optimum paths in each level to maximize your coin totals. And beyond this, some platform twitch skills are necessary since many of the coins move quickly or erratically. And with things like the coin roulette boxes, precision timing or a little luck is also required.

Coin rush mode is the major selling point of the game above the usual Mario adventure. The mode gives players one life and an initial 100 seconds to complete three levels. These levels are chosen at random from different sets of stages (e.g. the Mushroom coin rush takes stages from the first three levels). Extra time is awarded at the midway point and at the end of each stage. Hitting the top of the flagpole doubles your current coin count, so you can rack up major totals by completing each stage.

Coin rush mode utilizes StreetPass to trade runs. You can compete against other players coin totals, and you’re awarded an extra 1000 coins. There are 15 slots, but you can pin your favorite sets of stages so that they don’t get overwritten by future StreetPasses. You can only save one of your own runs at a time. Packs of coins rush challenges will be made available as add-on content, but pricing hasn’t been announced.

Additionally, the game includes a mysterious million-coin goal, which includes the total of all coins ever collected in the game, as well as a SpotPass-powered global coin total, though Nintendo hasn’t revealed what happens when the goals are reached.

The stages in the first worlds were very easy. The biggest difficulty came from finding all of the star coins and major coin caches. Thankfully, the levels are more non-linear than the original New Super Mario Bros. meaning that you’ll have to search in all directions for the coins. Additionally, many paths are one-way, meaning you’ll have to redo the level if you miss certain coins. So you’ll especially have to take note of the best places to collect coins for Coin Rush runs.

Each world seems to follow the classic progression. The first world is “grass land,” the second is a desert world, the third a watery island. However, there are at least two secret worlds, accessible from Worlds 1 and 3. There are the usual mushroom houses, which involve some minigames, though I don’t understand why they still award 1-ups when you can get so many from the coins. Alternate paths are unlocked not from finding secret exits, but by spending your collected star coins.

Cannons act like those in the original game, but the cannon in World 1 unlocked a glittery pink World “Mushroom.” The cool thing about the cannon is that it’s an actual stage. Once shot out, Mario can’t stop running, so all you can do is jump to collect coins and avoid enemies and pits. If you’re playing as Raccoon Mario, then your P-meter can activate while running, which makes it a bit different than a simple Canabalt level.

Two-person local multiplayer is supported, and unlike the previous handheld iteration, it is available for all stages. When playing multiplayer, the coin count is shared and automatically doubled at the end of the level, which can help in reaching the million-coin goal more quickly. One player is always the focus of the camera, and if the other player gets too far away, he or she will be encased in a bubble and brought back onto the screen. Player focus switches if one player ground-pounds the other or if a player goes down a pipe.

While the art is pretty generic, the background is purposely blurred to enhance the stereoscopic 3D effect. The music seems like Nintendo is trolling critics of the New Super Mario Bros. series’ music, recycling the tired tunes of the prior games and replacing the regular instruments with the synth voices. It’s a shame that the game’s design creativity didn’t extend to sound design.

When the game was announced, the generic name and art didn’t inspire a lot of enthusiasm. However, that changed after playing it at E3 and again at Nintendo’s offices. New Super Mario Bros. 2 provides an interesting twist, and a hook that has the potential to provides an inordinate amount of replay. The level design is solid and the experience, while not completely groundbreaking, is distinctly Mario. And as a Super Mario 3D Land time trial veteran, I look forward to many future StreetPass challenges!

Aaron Kaluszka
Contributing Editor, Nintendo World Report

Offline famicomplicated

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Re: New Super Mario Bros. 2 Impressions
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2012, 01:36:52 AM »
It's a shame the amount of StreetPass data you can keep is limited, i would have preferred a "StreetPass Box" and a "All Collected StreetPass Stages" rather than them being the same thing.
Also I'm assuming that when DLC gets activated that's a whole different set altogether, as you shouldn't have to delete paid content to make room for more. (assuming that make more than 15 sets I guess)
Then again, this is the company that gave us fridge cleaning!


Either way, can't wait to get in on some the StreetPassin' action, one of the great hidden features of 3D Land was the "Rival Level Times" feature. The coin/item trading feature - notsomuch.
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Offline MegaByte

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Re: New Super Mario Bros. 2 Impressions
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2012, 01:43:28 AM »
Yeah, it's not clear how DLC will work. I assume it will be entirely new stages rather than just subsets of the existing stages. I also couldn't get a clear answer on how many StreetPass slots there are (hopefully way more than SM3DL's paltry 3).
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Offline Pixelated Pixies

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Re: New Super Mario Bros. 2 Impressions
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2012, 02:36:26 AM »
NSMB 2 sounds ok I guess, but I just can't find any excitement for it. Based on these impressions and others it seems like the coin collecting concept changes up the gameplay more than I would have given it credit for, which is cool, but everything else about the game seems super generic and boring. It's almost as if Nintendo are going out of their way to put as little work or thought as possible into the graphical and audio elements of these NSMB games. Up until the first NSMB Nintendo put tons of work into their Mario games to give players a distinctive and pleasing art style and soundtrack. Remember Mario Bros 3? Remember Yoshi's Island? Remember Sunshine? Remember Galaxy? What is it about the NSMB series that makes Nintendo negligent when it comes to making a game look and sound pretty?
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Offline Killer_Man_Jaro

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Re: New Super Mario Bros. 2 Impressions
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2012, 02:47:43 AM »
It's not like I wasn't going to get the game, because I'm always up for some more 2D Mario action, but you're absolutely right in saying that the enthusiasm was tempered by it's unremarkable presentation at E3, so reading these impressions is a big pick-me-up.
The presentational shortcomings (i.e. plastic-y visuals and recycled music) are kind of disappointing, but I've just come to accept that it's the established style of the NSMB series, and there are other Mario games to satisfy in that arena (including New Super Mario Bros. U, which to it's credit seems to be advancing significantly on that front.)
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Offline Link-San-VII

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Re: New Super Mario Bros. 2 Impressions
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2012, 08:41:04 AM »
Nice post. I am wondering about the DLC. When will it come out?. How many will be released?, and How much will it cost?
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Offline NinSage

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Re: New Super Mario Bros. 2 Impressions
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2012, 11:15:36 AM »
Wow.  Great write-up, Aaron!  Sounds like, contrary to some early predictions, this game not only maintains the usual quality standard but also adds a lot of new facets to the franchise.  I have plenty to play for August so I probably won't pick it up at launch, but I'm lookin' forward to when I do!
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Offline tendoboy1984

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Re: New Super Mario Bros. 2 Impressions
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2012, 02:58:58 PM »
Quote from: Link-San-VII
DLC


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Offline bhurak

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Re: New Super Mario Bros. 2 Impressions
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2012, 11:22:09 AM »
Great impressions. This upped my interest in the game.

But:

Quote
The music seems like Nintendo is trolling critics of the New Super Mario Bros. series’ music,

Why has Nintendo gone this terrible route with the music.  Does anyone like this music style?  Is Koji Kondo OK?  What's going on?

Offline tendoboy1984

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Re: New Super Mario Bros. 2 Impressions
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2012, 03:33:51 PM »
Great impressions. This upped my interest in the game.

But:

Quote
The music seems like Nintendo is trolling critics of the New Super Mario Bros. series’ music,

Why has Nintendo gone this terrible route with the music.  Does anyone like this music style?  Is Koji Kondo OK?  What's going on?


Koji Kondo only composed the main theme of New Super Mario Bros. The rest of the music was done by a different person.
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Offline TJ Spyke

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Re: New Super Mario Bros. 2 Impressions
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2012, 04:37:01 PM »
But he did supervise the rest of the music. I have no problem with the music. It may not be memorable, but it's not bad.
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Offline C-Olimar

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Re: New Super Mario Bros. 2 Impressions
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2012, 10:24:33 PM »
Hmmm. I played this game at Comic Con, and tbh you could have told me It was New Super Mario Bros. 2, 1, Wii, 3, U, 12, X or 455 and I would have smiled and nodded. Coin collecting has always been a major part of the Mario formula and the new focus on it just cheapens it for me. At least Wii and U have new power ups/ Yoshis, but all this has is a golden re-skin of the fire flower... *yawn*
IMO, of course.

Offline UncleBob

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Re: New Super Mario Bros. 2 Impressions
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2012, 11:42:58 AM »
Million Coin Reward has been reached and revealed.

Not going to spoil it here, but... I will say this (which some of you may think is a spoiler, so if you're one of those people, don't look!) It is nothing exciting or really useful in any way, shape or form.
Just some random guy on the internet who has a different opinion of games than you.

Offline Pixelated Pixies

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Re: New Super Mario Bros. 2 Impressions
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2012, 01:00:09 PM »
Coin collecting has always been a major part of the Mario formula...

Really? With the exception of Mario Bros. for the arcade I've always considered collecting coins to be completely trivial to the Mario experience. It can be fun to hear the sound effect but other than that it's pretty redundant. I suppose you can get lives that way but there are far easier ways to do that than collecting 100 coins.
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Offline TJ Spyke

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Re: New Super Mario Bros. 2 Impressions
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2012, 01:09:49 PM »
The last few entries have had you collecting coins to get stars, pretty important part of the game.
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Offline Pixelated Pixies

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Re: New Super Mario Bros. 2 Impressions
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2012, 02:30:47 PM »
The last few entries have had you collecting coins to get stars, pretty important part of the game.

If you're referring to the stars in the Galaxy games which required you to collect all the coins, I personally dislike those.
 
If you're referring to the Star Coins in NSMB then I guess they're somewhat useful, but for me Star Coins are only important in so far as they unlock additional levels. For me, it's the more complex platforming of these additional levels that is important and interesting, rather than the shiny things I needed to collect in order to unlock them.
 
I've been playing Mario games since I owned a NES, and as a result I've become pretty awesome at them. Over the years, therefore, the way I play Mario games has changed quite abit. I now tend to play pretty fast and loose, enjoying more the challenge of playing levels smoothly and quickly rather than methodically bopping blocks and collecting coins. To a certain extent NSMB 2 seems to embrace this speedier way of playing as it seems to reward players for completing a level quickly, but I'm still not completely sold on the coin collecting idea.
 
In any case, coin collecting in Mario games has never been important to me before. If they somehow manage to make that meaningful without detracting from it being a platformer, then all power to them. I'll reserve judgement until after I've played it.

 
« Last Edit: July 31, 2012, 02:36:05 PM by Pixelated Pixies »
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Offline TJ Spyke

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Re: New Super Mario Bros. 2 Impressions
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2012, 03:35:19 PM »
Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine also have stars that require you to collect coins (red stars). Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island required you to collect 20 red coins in a level to get a perfect 100 score.

Luckily it seems you don't HAVE to collect the million coins. It's an optional thing.
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Offline Luigi Dude

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Re: New Super Mario Bros. 2 Impressions
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2012, 06:28:40 PM »
Million Coin Reward has been reached and revealed.

Not going to spoil it here, but... I will say this (which some of you may think is a spoiler, so if you're one of those people, don't look!) It is nothing exciting or really useful in any way, shape or form.

Don't worry, I'll do it instead.

The reward is a gold Mario statue appears on the titles screen and that it

So there you have it, anyone that doesn't want to collect 1 million coins doesn't have to because it doesn't unlock anything new gameplay wise.  People who just want to play the game normally can still do it because your coin total isn't required to unlock any levels.  The million coin goal is basically something entirely optional just for people who want the satisfaction of doing it.
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Offline Kairon

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Re: New Super Mario Bros. 2 Impressions
« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2012, 07:00:35 PM »
It's... it's... an ACHIEVEMENT!!! @_@
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Offline MegaByte

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Re: New Super Mario Bros. 2 Impressions
« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2012, 09:09:21 PM »
NSMB coin collecting -- the Coin Rush mode kind -- is a different kind of coin collecting than previous games. As I mentioned in my impressions, the sheer number, ways they can appear, and randomness means that you can't ever actually collect all the coins, so you have to form a plan to maximise your collection, which also involves skilled platforming as well as exploration. It's more fun with a concrete target to beat.
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Offline tendoboy1984

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Re: New Super Mario Bros. 2 Impressions
« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2012, 07:12:07 PM »

Million Coin Reward has been reached and revealed.

Not going to spoil it here, but... I will say this (which some of you may think is a spoiler, so if you're one of those people, don't look!) It is nothing exciting or really useful in any way, shape or form.


Don't worry, I'll do it instead.

The reward is a gold Mario statue appears on the titles screen and that it

So there you have it, anyone that doesn't want to collect 1 million coins doesn't have to because it doesn't unlock anything new gameplay wise.  People who just want to play the game normally can still do it because your coin total isn't required to unlock any levels.  The million coin goal is basically something entirely optional just for people who want the satisfaction of doing it.

See that's just stupid. Nintendo should have done this instead:

  • Collect all Star Coins and have over 300,000 Coins - Unock "Mushroom World"
  • Collect all Star Coins and have over 500,000 Coins - Unlock "Flower World"
  • Collect all Star Coins and have over 1 million Coins - Unlock "Star World"
How's THAT for challenging?
« Last Edit: August 01, 2012, 07:17:37 PM by tendoboy1984 »
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