Alright everyone, we've got another Mario game on the docket, and not just any Mario, New Super Mario Bros. 2. Ultimately, that's exactly what it says on the box. We've played New Super Mario Bros. and we've played New Super Mario Bros. Wii, this game didn't bring much new to the plate.
So, in case you couldn't tell, this game is really pushing its coin-centric theme. It has lots of levels that are oriented around getting as many coins as possible. Among the features these stages have are gold rings that will briefly give all the enemies coin abilities; for example, Koopas will leave behind a trail of coins when you kick their shells and Lakitus throw coins instead of Spines. The big thing, though, is the Gold Fire Flower, which is wildly overpowered and just as underutilized, which is a nice balance. These stages are cheerful and vivid and pleasantly fun. Other stages can really make you think and take quite a few lives to get right. But with the massive emphasis on coins, that becomes a moot point.
Even with the sunny attitude throughout the game and the coin stages, so much of the rest of the game feels... recycled. It's New Super Mario Bros. with some shiny stuff attached. I haven't gotten a chance to try co-op, but if it's as fun as NSMB Wii was, I'm sure it's fine. Really it wasn't until world 6 that I really felt like I was getting anything new. However, what was new was freakin' excellent. There's this one stage with a Dry-Bones Boat that dips in and out of lava that is totally rad, as is the final conflict with You-Know-Who. If we want to hop back on coins, there's Coin Rush which wants to be another coins thing, but really emphasizes the rush and gives you three stages from the game and gives you almost no time to finish them. They can be really challenging and fun, though I wish it didn't take coin rush to make the game feel so good.