New Super Mario Bros. 2 – When Saving The Princess Doesn’t Matter

By Spencer . August 13, 2012 . 2:10pm


Oh noes! Bowser, probably because Mario was too busy thinking about his tennis tour, nabbed Princess Peach again. New Super Mario Bros. 2 treads familiar territory and begs the question where is the Princess’ frying pan?


All of this is a setup for Mario to jump around the Mushroom Kingdom and stomp on the Koopalings. World 1 is a grassy area, World 2 is a desert stage, World 3 has swimming, and, of course, there is an ice area. New Super Mario Bros. 2 has most of the elements from Super Mario Bros. 3 including the Super Leaf which lets Mario fly. Mario needs to get a running start and since the game has tight controls you might find yourself sprinting through one of Bowser’s forts. Frog suits and Hammer Bros. suits are unfortunately out of fashion.




But, rushing through levels isn’t what New Super Mario Bros. 2 is about. You can rescue Princess Peach is one afternoon. This unlocks additional challenges, but the true challenge is earning 1,000,000 coins. (I think Mario has been hanging out with Wario too much…)Since the goal of the game is "mo’ money for Mario" you want to find caches of coins in the sky instead of trying to clear the board in record time. Unlike collecting star coins, pocketing coins doesn’t require as much finesse. Players need persistence to scrounge each gold coin hidden inside pipes and inside question mark blocks.


There are some "skill" based ways to fatten Mario’s piggybank. Gold Blocks let reward Mario with coins when he runs or jumps. Touch a Koopa Trooper and Mario drops the block, with a potential fortune with it. Certain levels have Gold Blocks for players to find and every once in a while a Gold Block appears overhead for Mario to grab. Gold Rings turn every enemy gold and give Mario five or more coins for defeating them. Assaulting Cheep Cheeps with fireballs is one way to use Gold Rings, but since the game multiplies the number of coins you earn for stomping enemies in a row you want to find a group of goombas. You can also get up to 50 coins from a coin roulette block that acts like the card block at the end of the stages in Super Mario Bros. 3.





The Gold Flower gives Mario the Midas Touch by turning each defeated enemy into at least five coins and regular bricks into coins too. The downside is the Gold Flower, much like the Mega Mushroom, only appear in specific levels and you can’t save one in the main game. The Mini Mushroom is in New Super Mario Bros. 2, but it’s rarely used in levels. The Silver Tanooki suit of shame is in the game too, but compared to other 2D Mario titles, New Super Mario Bros. 2 has fewer traps and gimmicks. Airships that push players across a stage full of pits aren’t in the core worlds.




I spent most of my time playing Coin Rush mode, which gives Mario one life to complete three random courses. Nintendo piles on the pressure by shrinking the clock down to 100 seconds and rewarding players with a coin bonus for speeding through a stage. You also get a Gold Flower in your item block to use at any time too. Since the stages are random, it’s possible to get a group of levels with a Gold Flower in them too. Nintendo threw in multipliers like a x2 overall coin bonus for reaching the top of the flagpole on any level and another x2 bonus if you complete a Coin Rush course. If you want to farm coins – this is the fastest way to do it. Best scores can be shared via StreetPass, but I think New Super Mario Bros. 2 should have had online leaderboards or at least SpotPass score sharing.


It’s interesting to see Nintendo transition Super Mario Bros. from a time attack game into a score attack game, but New Super Mario Bros. 2 doesn’t feel like it has much "new" compared to other Mario games. I’d say New Super Mario Bros 2 to New Super Mario Bros. is like the upgrade between the original Super Mario Bros. and the original Super Mario Bros. 2 better known as The Lost Levels in the West.

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  • Jirin

    Nintendo put so much effort into these coin collection modes it makes me wonder if there’s anything for players who haven’t the taste for such carrots, and would rather complete a challenging level than scourge it for coins.

  • More like Scrooge McDuck. Let’s be honest saving Peach hasn’t been important since the first game. That girl has a deep down thing for bad boys. She gets bored with Mario once every 3 years. Then needs to hang out with the Koopa Clan for some excitement.

  • There is so much backlash for the game it is starting to feel weird seeing Mario like this.  He is usually the golden boy of the genre (pun intended) with only games like Mario Party getting hate.

    It has been hit and miss with NSMB for me.  I didn’t like the DS but I liked the Wii.  I think the coin collecting parody is awesome, but not sure if I’ll like the game…  I’ll find out since my sister wants the game.

  • Bakuryukun

    Come on Nintendo, I know you can do better than this. I’ve seen it.

  • Solomon_Kano

    I’m actually pretty disappointed by this. I’ve actually consistently liked the main Mario games up until now and I enjoyed NSMB a good deal, so it’s kinda disappointing to hear this one is so focused on collecting coins.

    • LittleMofreaky

      Why can’t coin collecting be fun?

      • Solomon_Kano

        Who said it wasn’t? I said I’m disappointed that it’s the focus of the game.

        • LittleMofreaky

          I was just curious.

  • AlteisenX

    It was nice getting a 3D Super Mario game similar to the 2D ones, but I don’t see why we needed this game. I would prefer if they spent their time creating something akin to Mario 64 where levels are playgrounds and you have the freedom to get stars in the order you want, and etc.

    If I want to play 2D mario, I’d go back and play it on the NES/SNES… And yet here I am going to buy the game… Such a hypocrite I am.

    • James Beatty

      I’m not really sure about the mario 64 thing, but i did love galaxy although it’s a lot more linear. It was more fun to me though. Maybe combining the gameplay and charm of galaxy with level layout of mario 64 with amazing visuals on the Wii U would make an outstanding game. The main mario team is more than capable of that

  • James Beatty

    3D mario games are where it’s at, but this game along with the other “New” games are probably your safest bet when it comes to quality and gameplay. They just haven’t changed much…well at least not this one, which is weird because it’s made by an entirely new rookie team…but that might explain why it’s getting more backlash than other mario games (it’s still getting around 7+ average though) 

    • Vampiric

       the average is around 8.5

  • Vampiric

    Mario ds I hated
    Mario wii I loved

    This 3ds 2d one, I am not sure about

    And mario U looks absolutely incredible


    Mario U is the main 2d team

    mario 2d 3ds was made by a team who never made mario before 

    • kylehyde

      With the sole exeption of mario DS, I agree with everything.

      • Vampiric


  • Andrew Austin

    All you get for collecting a million coins is an alternate title screen. Considering how hard Nintendo pushed this whole “collect a million coins” thing, you’d think they would have taken the time to reward players with something more substantial.

  • Göran Isacson

    … My God. I got it all figured out, I know how this will end. At the end of the game Mario will confront Wario as the final boss, as Wario will try to steal away all of Mario’s gold. But while this struggle is going on Bowser is kidnapping Princess Peach again, and Mario has a choice- save his princess, or save his cash?

    And if Mario chooses the cash, reasoning he can always save Peach later… after finally beating Wario black and blue, Mario starts going after Bowser… only to find himself limping. But why is he doing that when he didn’t hurt his leg, while he DID burn Warios with a fire flower? Wario simply stands up, despite his heavy injuries, and tells Mario to take off his cap. Mario is suddenly frozen on the spot, refusing to go hear Wario out, but Wario just insists… take off your cap.

    So Mario does. And he turns it inside out. The underside is yellow, and has a purple W as its mark. mario looks at Wario, and Wario is suddenly completely pristine, not a scratch on him. The camera zooms out to reveal Mario suddenly being beaten black and blue instead, and he slowly sinks to his knees as he realizes what just happened.

    There never was a Wario. it was all him, all along.

    But now that even the “Mario”side has chosen money over love, Wario simply walks up to Mario and tears the cap from his hands, putting it on with a wide grin. And so Mario limps towards his pile of cash, his laughter suddenly dark and cackling. He no longer needs the silly girl who’s always getting kidnapped… for he has one million coins to keep him company.

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