It was announced shortly after Super Mario 3D Land came out that there was to be another Mario adventure on 3DS, and that it would specifically be a 2D title. And while we had big ideas for a hypothetical Super Mario 4 or a new Mario idea altogether, the truth seemed disappointing at first – New Super Mario Bros. 2. Sure, the original Nintendo DS game wasn’t bad by any means, it seems iffy to make a sequel (though it makes sense, the game sold almost 20 million copies). Until it was truly shown off at E3 2012, I myself was a little skeptical of making the title work on the 3DS specifically. Afterward, it was clear that this time around, Mario is going for the gold. With the casual darling that the original game was, this is the gold medal that the 3DS still needs.
What’s with all the gold puns? Well, a neat gameplay element that’s being added to the traditional Mario formula is the coins. While in the series’ past, you’d just collect them to get more lives, the central goal in New Super Mario Bros. 2 is collecting as many coins as possible. But, they don’t just have various coins dispersed throughout the level. You’ll have power-ups, changing environments, even enemies that will drop you all kinds of coins. There are even variations of classic Mario items like the fire flower where instead of fire balls, you’ll fire blasts that change everything into coins.
Speaking of the return of classic Mario items, the tanooki suit had its comeback in Super Mario 3D Land, but it didn’t really act like the tanooki suit we remember from Super Mario Bros. 3. Sure you could glide down in a similar fashion, but in a 3D game, it simply wasn’t the same. Our cries haven’t fallen on deaf ears, as the tanooki suit is back, and plays just like Mario 3.
While the overall goal of the game seems to be to reach one million coins, that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. Rather than having a simple co-op mode or battle mode as previous Mario games have, the entire New Super Mario Bros. 2 campaign is playable with a friend, so you can have your Mario adventure with Luigi the entire time. Another mode, Coin Rush, makes the player collect the most coins they can in three random levels.
New Super Mario Bros. 2 releases on August 17, in stores, and for the first time, on the Nintendo eShop.