There’s something utterly charming about the way in which the Super Mario franchise has kept refreshing itself iteration after iteration. It’s been a long time since the first release of Super Mario Bros on the NES in the mid to late 80s and since then to the present day we’ve had a more sequels, prequels and spin offs more than I care to mention. Nintendo have been beating a dead horse for years, why hasn’t anybody called the RSPCA yet for goodness sake? While every Mario game boils down to the same things at a fundamental level, you are guaranteed to play a Mario game with slight tweaks, changes and small additions that serve just enough to keep things fresh. Hence why everybody’s favourite plumber as been around for so long. He has survived console generations, technological advancements, trends and continues to do so, and is widely loved by the gaming community.
Take the recently released New Super Mario Bros 2 on the Nintendo 3DS. At its core is still very much the same as every other 2D Super Mario Bros before it( and will probably be the same as those after it) but what’s the point in drastically changing the formula when it works so well and (more importantly to Nintendo) it sells? It seems contradictory of me to say such a thing since I’m constantly harping on here about things needed to be fresh, exciting and new but just shut up for a second and hear me out…
Even though New Super Mario Bros 2 is essentially the same as all the other Super Mario Bros titles it still manages to make it a worthwhile purchase through the tweaks, changes and additions I mentioned earlier. They don’t change the game at its very core but they do keep it fresh and they do pose new challenges for even Mario veterans like myself (not that I’m bragging or anything). So, with that in mind here’s some cheeky little advice and tips I’ve found useful in tackling Mario’s latest platforming adventure.
Patience is a virtue
Not necessary a piece of New Super Mario Bros 2 specific advice but quite frankly I’m sick of people of people doing this. It annoys me. Immensely.
Unless you are attempting a speed run (in which case KUDOS, godspeed and good luck!) play with patience. Mario platformers aren’t meant to be played by pressing down run and constantly moving forward and jumping to avoid obstacles. That’s how you play a certain blue hedgehog’s franchise of games. If you do this you’re doing it wrong.
Instead be patient and cautious. That way you’ll find yourself losing less lives (although they come in abundance.. i’ll get onto that in a moment) and you’ll find more success. Sure, there’s levels in which you have to escape from things and therefore the rush tactic needs to be implemented but most levels give you plenty of time to finish, and who the hell bothers with the time based bonus points aside from speed runners anyway? Seriously, STOP RUSHING!
Grow some balls
Seemingly contradictory to my last point but New Super Mario Bros 2 is based around coin collection more than any other title in the series. I know it sounds weird but there are coins scattered EVERYWHERE. And as you make your way through the worlds there’s more emphasis on collecting coins, which in turn means you’ll inevitably gain more lives. Most will fob this off for the game being too easy – and maybe they have a point – but MY point is that coins = extra lives and you can use these lives carefully, investigating harder to reach secret areas and collecting coins seemingly out of your reach. Make the most of the fact you have more lives than normal. Don’t throw them away needlessly rushing your way through levels. Use them wisely.
Look with your eyes
Actually whilst we’re on the topic of secret areas, New Super Mario Bros 2 is full of them. What Super Mario in 3D Land did in terms of bringing a sense of discovery to handheld Mario by being littered with secret areas and passages everywhere, New Super Mario Bros 2 continues by bringing that great sense of exploration to a more traditional Mario platformer.
Along with the aforementioned coins, there’s secrets hidden all over the place ranging from traditional beanstalks and green pipes to hidden nooks and crannies that on first glance you wouldn’t notice. So, the advice is simple: PAY ATTTENTION! Keep your eyes peeled and observe as you progress because discovering these little hidden areas are not only part of the games magic but also yields oodles of power-ups, coins and the ever important star coins. Speaking of coins…
Star coins – or whatever the name is for them – like you, I can’t be bothered to read the manual either – serve a slightly different role in New Super Mario Bros 2. There’re still three in every level to collect however, at first they aren’t exactly essential to progress. Instead you spend them yourself, unlocking levels and bonus games along the way.
But because we are human, and by defaultprobably a bit thick, it’s far too tempting to spend them willy nilly, recklessly unlocking areas of the world map at the drop of the hat, thus being incredibly wasteful. Think before you spend. As star coins become harder to collect and the amount in which unlocks cost increases, conserving your star coin total is key. It may seem natural to unlock guaranteed power-up area at every opportunity but if you’re already powered up and have a power-up in reserve, what’s the point? Once they are spent, they are gone. Those star coins would be far better spent unlocking other levels containing, yes you guessed it.. more coins (including those of the star variety). That way you’ll spend less time faffing around collecting power-ups you don’t need and more time actually progressing through the game.
Sharing is caring
Aside from progressing through worlds, in New Super Mario Bros 2 your main aim is to collect a total of a million coins (oh yeah, I forgot to mention that didn’t I?) Turns out collecting that illusive million total is actually quite the feat despite being constantly surrounded by coins throughout the game. That’s why the 3DS’ Street Pass is your best friend.
Often overlooked by 3DS users, the inclusion of Street Pass in New Super Mario Bros 2 is actually quite vital. As much as its fun to play the same levels over and over again in a bid to collect more coins, even Nintendo realise that it does grow old eventually and thus have added the brilliant and arcadey, Coin Rush mode (think time attack, coin based, arcade Mario) which counts towards your entire coin total. There’s also the promise of paid for, downloadable levels on the way but to get back on point, the ability to share your coin total with your friends and the world via Street Pass is an opportunity not to be ‘passed’ up (I maed an pun LOL!!!!1111). Simply upload your coin total and be updated with the entire globes coin stash or simply help a (Super Mario) brother out by linking you and a friends 3DS’, together to share your coins.
Don’t fob it off and ignore it. Get out and spread the wealth around, it’s a great way to easily increase your coin total without feeling like a total cheap, cheating so and so.
Annnnnd that’s your lot. That’s all you’re getting from me. Remember, at its core New Super Mario Bros 2 plays like your typical Mario game. But it does throw some pretty neat new things into the mix. Hopefully my words of wisdom have proved useful. If not then feel free to drop me an email of complaint () and I’ll gladly refund you the minutes you’ve spent reading this. But for those of you who I have helped, happy coin collecting.
-Written by Kieran Roycroft