By Spencer . June 8, 2012 . 11:34am
The first thing I noticed when I played New Super Mario Bros. 2 is the coin counter had four digits and that’s because coins show up everywhere. Jumping through a gold ring made Cheep Cheeps carry a trail of coins when they hop out of the water. Bouncing on one of the flying fishes rewarded Mario with five coins. Shooting a Piranha Plant with a fireball gave Mario another five coins. New coin blocks rotate between a five to fifty coin bounty just for hitting them. Collect all eight red coins after hopping through a red hoop and you’ll get a gold mushroom worth another 50 coins. Extra lives shouldn’t be a problem in New Super Mario Bros. 2 if 100 coins equals a 1up, but for the demo players only had one life.
So, I was more careful than usual when I went through the second level, a sand area and a showcase for the Gold Flower. Hidden in an underground area, the Gold Flower lets Mario shoot fireballs that turn blocks into coins. This level had a Star Coin hidden behind bricks that I had to break using a gold fireball barrage. Defeating enemies with gold fireballs also gives Mario a coin bonus too. Still want more coins? If you touch the top of a flagpole you get a 2x coin bonus. By the end of the second level, I was pretty close to the 1,000 mark.
The third stage was a fortress area, which scaled vertically and had new skeleton goombas waddling around. I skipped past most of the obstacles by flying up the fortress with the raccoon tail. Like Super Mario Bros. 3, you need to get a running start, but can run back and forth to gain enough momentum to fly.
Remember Super Mario World? Reznor is back. These tiny triceratops stand underneath question mark blocks. Players have to bop the blocks to defeat him. After clearing all three areas, I got another double coin bonus.
I played New Super Mario Bros. U earlier this week and the block creating Boost Mode is designed for exploration or speed runs. New Super Mario Bros. 2 felt more like it was geared towards score attack gameplay where players will compare how many thousands of coins they can earn from each level.
New Super Mario Bros. 2 is slated for release on August 19 in North America.