‘New Super Mario Bros 2’ game takes a 3-D trip down memory lane

Story by Joey Galvan • Staff Reporter

Familiar characters and breathtaking environments provide gamers with a fun twist to a beloved classic

Nintendo fanboys can rejoice as “New Super Mario Bros. 2” is released for the Nintendo 3-DS. Nintendo is hoping to attract loyal customers of the Mario franchise and catch the eye of new gamers as well.

Mario, as a character, evokes powerful memories in anyone who grew up with a Nintendo system in their household.

He is a welcoming icon used by Nintendo whenever they release a new console or game title the company believes in. In the sequel to “Super Mario 3-D Land” they continue to avoid tarnishing his image by putting out a product worthy of the iconic plumber.

The game’s objective beautiful in its simplicity: get as many freakin’ coins as possible and defeat some familiar enemies in the process. Attain large amounts of coins to acquire more lives and special Yoshi coins to unlock special items to aid your quest. The amount of gold coins thrown at you is ridiculous as it is not uncommon for a player to rack up over a hundred lives with a little persistence. The environments in “New Super Mario Bros. 2” are breathtaking much like those in its predecessor with levels bearing a strong resemblance to previous Mario titles spanning almost every Nintendo console.

You don’t have to go far to find familiar territory. The current desert levels look strikingly similar to the game’s older incarnations in the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) system and are rampant with angry cactus littered upon quicksand.

Most of the levels look like they have appeared in some previous fashion of a Mario release which is an important nostalgia factor for players. The biggest letdown after beating the eight worlds is that it can be done so quickly.

It’s not that the levels are too easy per se, but rather that the title ends abruptly and could use some additional content to provide a higher factor for replay.

The controls in this release are of A+ caliber. Often, controls in the game can severely limit the player’s experience by proving too difficult for average players to learn, which may result in them abandoning the game in frustration. If you have played the first few Mario releases for the Nintendo Entertainment System, the control scheme should seem ideal.

It adapts the controls from previous games like “Super Mario World” for the Super Nintendo and is so simple a novice could quickly pick it up. The simple joy of being able to achieve maximum speed and attain flight through use of your raccoon tail is not a hard feat, nor should it be.

The 3-D in this game is incredible. Nintendo pushes the envelope of what the 3-DS is capable of and at times the immersion can become intense. I recommend breaks be taken to avoid motion sickness. The action takes on a completely new dimension and plays one of the most intricate roles in making this release worth purchasing.

Two players can play together and basically trade use of the console between levels. Not many gamers have a 3-DS, so finding someone with the handheld console in addition to this game can prove rather daunting, but it is ultimately worth it.

The same problem exists with the Streetpass function of the console. Streetpass works when the 3-DS is in regular or standby mode with the two consoles trading in game items depending on which games you have set up to participate in this function.

It is recommended that this function be tried in crowded areas like shopping malls in hopes of the consoles recognizing the signal of another player which would then trade off the items automatically.

Not only is standby mode an extreme waste of battery power, the notion of hooking up with another player outside of a Nintendo related event seems highly unlikely.

Coin Rush is a playable mode with three random levels from each world with an objective of acquiring as many coins as possible under a lowered time limit.

If you die or run out of time, you cannot move on to the next of the three levels which contain more coins than regular in-game levels.

You get to keep the coins you get in this mode and use them in the normal game mode. Coin Rush is a lot of fun, but I recommend playing after beating the game and looking for more content.

As expected from Nintendo, “New Super Mario Bros. 2” is a solid release. It is loaded with nostalgia from characters, enemies and decadent levels from previous Mario games in vibrant colors upon a wonderful control scheme.

This game is recommended to anyone that is a fan of 3-D gaming or loves Mario based releases.