A decent addition to the Mario library, but seeing this for a fourth time is truly beyond repetitive...
Just like NSMB Wii, you can choose to have up to four players playing at once. To be honest, one or two players would be the definitive way to play this game. Three or four players, on the other hand, there is just far too much activity on the screen at once, and it can become increasingly frustrating on the more platform heavy levels.
The music is a little bit of everything. It's some old school remixes, along with some original pieces. Some of the castle pieces are pretty much ripped straight from NSMB Wii. That's a little lazy on Nintendo's part, but it's nothing I will lose sleep over.
Last is the overall presentation of the game. It is in high definition, which is awesome. There are new enemies other than the usual koopa and goomba. There are original level gimmicks. All of these are refreshing additions to an already great franchise. But, a great game isn't without its flaws. For one, the game is extremely easy and generous when it comes to extra lives. Second is the lack of characters, the same problem I had with NSMB Wii. Finally is the fact that we have to rescue the princess again. Nintendo, this formula is getting to be extremely repetitive. Why not change it up a little bit? Have Mario complete some kind of objective or rescue somebody else at the end instead of rescuing the princess every time. Since you guys rely heavily on nostalgia, why not go the Super Mario Bros. 2 route, and have different gameplay styles for each of the characters. Why don't you finally introduce Wario and Waluigi into these sidescrollers, instead of playing as just two different colored toads again? The fact that all of the characters control exactly the same is just boring and monotonous. Just like the Wii game, you can't take the Yoshi you're riding on with you after you complete a level. Why not? Yeah, Yoshi can be a game breaker at times, but so what? He's fun to use, and everybody loves Yoshi. You can take a Baby Yoshi with you after completing levels, they each have new abilities, which is great, but why can't you take a fully grown Yoshi with you? The boss fights are good, I just wish they were more challenging. Boom-Boom makes a return from Super Mario Bros. 3. His running pattern is more erratic than last time, and fighting him with four players is tedious, but fighting him in single player is easy. Just like almost all other Mario games, Bowser is the final boss. To me, it's just getting to the point of "been there, done that" with him. You know what would be more of a terrifying threat? Giga Bowser. It's time to bring Giga Bowser into a Mario game. That would be epic.
Overall, it's a good game, don't get me wrong, but I've seen this before in the previous three games of the series. The music, power-ups, new level gimmicks, and different ways to use Yoshi are great. However, there is still much to be desired. Make all the characters control differently. Increase the difficulty, not to Lost Levels standards, but you know what I mean. Four player co-op isn't the rage anymore, Nintendo. Stop treating it like an innovation. Change is good. Minor tweaks won't hurt on occasion.