I remember the first time I saw the original Super Mario Brothers and that memory is burned forever in my brain. As Mario entered the pipe for World 1-2 and the color palette of the level changed to a darker tone, I was hooked. I've been playing Mario games since that point and quite enjoy that Nintendo is continuing to create games in the traditional 2D platformer style under the New Super Mario Bros. series. It started with New Super Mario Bros. on the DS and then then New Super Mario Bros. Wii and I finally picked up the 3DS version I'm playing now called New Super Mario Bros. 2.

New Super Mario Bros. 2 takes everything that worked about the previous games and continues to do that while focusing on coin collection. You have a running tally of coins you can collect that unlock things in-game making progression tied to coins and continually completing stages. The focus on coin collection means that I actually collect coins playing the game, something I've never really done much of in Mario games. This focus on coin collection and the game giving you many more opportunities to collect them means that as of World 3-5 I have over 106 lives! The New Super Mario Bros. series never felt too punishing but if you play the game like it intends and don't rush, it's not that difficult and YOU TO can have way too many lives in reserve!

So far New Super Mario Bros. 2 is Mario platforming at it's best but after playing the first two games in the series it doesn't feel as fresh as it should. I suppose the New Super Mario Bros. series should stick to basics but I feel more could be done here. Don't get me wrong, the platforming is some of the best in the series and getting the Raccoon suit back is incredible but so far.. it just feels like another fun game in the series. Which if that's what you are looking for, you're gonna find it in spades.