New Super Mario Bros. 2 might have a limited lasting value, but the perfect controls and nostalgia make it a must buy.
Presentation - Again you don't expect a Mario game to have much of a story because Nintendo always focused more on the core game play. Anyways, the two brothers are hanging outside with Princess Peach, and Bowser uses his Clown Copter to capture her like always. Now, Mario and Luigi have to rescue her from a total of six worlds. Unfortunately, you can't play as Luigi until you defeat Bowser in World 6. This means that you're stuck playing as Mario for the majority of the time. However, after you beat World 6, you go to the file screen, press the L, R, and A buttons to play as Luigi. It would have been so much better if you can switch between the two characters from the start like you could in New Super Mario Bros for the DS. At least there are no more Super Guide modes like there was for the Wii version.
Like the Wii and the DS versions, you find three large coins at each level to unlock some Toad houses. I guess it's for giving you extra power-ups. Also, like Super Mario 3D Land, you can try to reach the top of the flag pole at the end of each level, but I'm still not sure if you need to actually complete that objective to beat the entire game.
Some of the power-ups have been omitted/added this time around. There are only a total of three different power-ups. Although the propeller power-up has been unfortunately removed, the raccoon power up from Super Mario Bros 3. gives you the ability to temporary fly in mid air and spin your tail to knock out incoming enemies. The fireball power-up and star invincibility remains from the previous games. The latest power-up is the ability to turn into gold to transform bricks and enemies into coins. Also, when Mario hids in the golden brick, more coins begin to appear and gives you the ability to collect them. In fact, the main objective in this game is to collect one million coins. Also, the IGN review mentioned that the Mega Mushroom and the Mini Mushrooms are used sparingly.
Finally, GameSpot has made an important announcement that if you die on the same level too many times, you have the option to use the white tanooki suit. Be extremely careful because if you use it at least one time, your profile will no longer shine.
There are two other modes besides the single player mode. In co-op mode you try to stick together with one other player. One person controls Mario and the other player controls Luigi. In coin rush mode, you try to complete three different courses and try to collect the most coins. You can also use StreetPass to be able to look at the other player's records from playing coin rush mode. Although the single card download is absent from the DS version, you can still use local play to play two player co-op modes. It means that the second player has to own the copy of the game.
Graphics- The graphics are overall polished, crisp, and clean like the Wii version. However, when you turn the 3D slider up, some of the backgrounds become blurrier especially some of the outside courses I encountered. It was also mentioned in the IGN review. Other than that minor flaw, the graphics look pretty amazing even if it's still cartoony looking.
Sound - The majority of the music themes sound exactly the same from the Wii version especially the main menu screen, certain levels, and map over worlds. Some of the music has been remixed from the DS and Wii versions. At the end of each mini-boss dungeon, the theme music was straight up from Super Mario World. The character voice samples have been reused from the Wii version.
Game play - One of Nintendo's strengths is that the controls are usually one hundred percent accurate, and it also applies to New Super Mario Bros 2. It controls simple enough for beginners and not too complex for experienced/hardcore gamers. Perfect controls make the game play intuitive for anyone to play.
Lasting appeal - With only three game modes, two player co-op, and no online play, the lasting value has decreased somewhat. It can still be fun to play with a friend, but the lack of single cartridge download play slightly hinders this title. I still
highly recommend New Super Mario Bros 2. to all old school fans.
The good - perfect controls make game play simple enough for anyone, crisp and clear graphics, elements, music, and power-ups are nostalgic enough for old school Mario fans
The bad- can't play as Luigi in single player mode until the end of the game, no single cartridge download play and online play, certain backgrounds become blurry when 3D mode is on, multiplayer mode limited to two players and very few game modes
Game play- 10
Lasting appeal - 6
Overall 8.6 out of 10 GameSpot Score 8.5 out of 10