The original New Super Mario Bros. came out six years ago, and is the best selling game for its system. It brought back the side-scrolling last seen in Super Mario Land 2 and proved that side-scrolling still works today. It was a simple game (but pretty challenging on its first play-through) that one can jump in and play, not to mention that it was fun and introduced many new concepts. It was only natural that a sequel would come, I was just surprised it took three years. New Super Mario Bros. Wii came out three years ago and to date is one of the best selling Wii games. It took the concept from the first one, added Yoshi, and many new power ups and concepts like the Super Guide, which would later be carried into future games in one form or another. Plus it had four-player co-op, which was fun. (Not to mention enraging for veteran players teaming up with rookies, or when one of your teammates purposely makes you fall into the lava.) Now with the 3DS, Nintendo decided to unleash the 'true' sequel to NSMB, New Super Mario Bros. 2. The thing about this one is the emphasis on coins. (Look at the pretty golden box-art.) Take out the New in the title and put in old, there is virtually nothing 'new,' it has a lot of the same everything. It's pretty much a placeholder for New Super Mario Bros. U.
This is one of the easiest Mario games I've ever played, I literally speed blasted it in three days. If you've been playing these games for a long time, this will be a walk in the park. You can literally speed blast almost every level. The challenge comes in looking for the Star Coins. Before anything else, know this, I'm not saying this is bad game, it's a really fun one. It's just that after two entries, this does nothing to change the formula. It's not a cash-in on the name, but it's close. Like almost an insult to the fans, the music is lifted from the Wii one, with very little modifications. The Ghost House theme? Check. Fortress? Check. Castle? Check. The exact sound files, they couldn't bother to do new music for this game. To even further insult the fanbase, the story is the exact same thing from the Wii game, minus the clever use of cake. That's right, if you love Bowser's bratty Koopa Kids, then you're going to love the story. (Though strangely Bower Jr. is nowhere to be seen.) They use the Clown Car and *gasp* kidnap the Princess. It's a joke because all Peach does is yell for help, yet she has enough room to fight to back, she doesn't even try to slap them. It's a joke. This is what twenty-eight years of Mario gaming have come to? I really thought Galaxy would set the tone for future games.
I just want to say that I think it's a little silly to have to 'unlock' Luigi. It New Super Mario Bros. It should be like in Mario World where you freely switch between characters. Let's talk coins. Unlike the previous games, this one puts a strong emphasis on them. Your goal is to collect a million of them, which I personally think is a cheap way for replay value. Fans of Super Mario Bros. 3 will be happy to see the Racoon Leaf back in action. It plays great here, it really should have been in the Wii one. (Guess the Propeller Mushroom took its place.) By far the most exciting power-up is the Gold Flower. Basically it's a souped up version of the Fire Flower, instead of throwing little fireballs, you throw large goldenballs, which gets you coins from the enemies and blocks it hits. The final battle isn't bad, but it should only take you two tries. It's not as good as the epic final Bowser battle in the Wii game. For the Star World, they re-use Dry Bowser. You beat him, and that's it. Nothing special happens.
The music is great but since 99% is lifted from the Wii game, can't really praise it all too much. (I do like the tweaking of the Atheltic Theme, catchy.) The part that gives the game challenge and replay value is collecting the Star Coins. This is by far where it's hardest to find them. On one level I want back over ten times cause I couldn't find one, they're smartly placed. Unlike in the previous game, the worlds are downgraded to six as opposed to eight. Yes, there are two secret worlds, but that's beside the point. This game really needed the two extra worlds for when playing through the game for the first time.
Overall, you probably think I truly disliked the game. That isn't the case, I enjoyed it. I just had to point out that this is barely New Super Mario Bros. If this is your first Mario game, or first game in the New series, then you would definitely give this a 9/10. But for the majority of the fans, people like me, who have been playing these games for years, I have to give it a bump down to an 8/10. It's a really fun Mario sidescroller, it's worth the buy, but it borrows too many things from the previous two games to stand alone as a true successor. I expect the WiiU game not to not follow the same mistakes.