There’s a saying, maybe you’ve heard it before: “Don’t reinvent the wheel”. It is something Nintendo lives and swears by, and it is prevalent in many of their video games. Ideas and basic concepts are recycled over the years, usually brushed up with cleaner graphics and better co-op play. This strategy was a large contribution to the growth of the Nintendo legacy, and it really works. Set up a Super Mario Bros game on the original Nintendo, and people will flock to it, squealing, “EHMEHGERD, MERIO BERDDERS!”
New Super Mario Brothers 2 was released this past Sunday, and thanks to Nintendo’s endearing predictability, I already knew what kind of game I was getting: your basic side scrolling, koopa-stomping, 30 some odd levels full of Mario and Luigi fun. Bowser’s lackeys were up to no good (again), Princess peach had been kidnapped (again), and it was up to Mario and Luigi to save the Mushroom Kingdom (aaaagain). However, something was a bit different about this Mario Brothers game. As I progressed in the levels, I noticed the amount of coins was quite higher than in previous Mario games. We’re talking, falling from the sky, shooting out of bricks and boxes, even enemies would turn gold, then shoot out even more coins after you defeated them. The Mushroom Kingdom was in the middle of a bona fide gold rush.
It was at this point in time I gave NSMB2 a new name; “Get rich or die trying”. I made this homage to gangster Fiddy Cent because from what I can tell, Fiddy likes gold, and so does Mario in this game. At one point Fiddy said that a gangsta should accumulate as much money as one can before said gangsta perishes, and when I played as Mario, I desperately gathered as many gold coins as I could before either time ran out or I had no power ups left. I was going to get all the coins, or die trying.
And I died many times trying.
Straight thuggin’ aside, I am thoroughly enjoying NSMB2. Aside from the gold coins everywhere, the co-op is fantastic, the new levels are familiar yet fresh, and the new time trials give you a chance to challenge your friends to see who can get through a level the fastest, and with the most coins. Nintendo may not have reinvented the wheel, but with a classic as fun as Mario Bros always is, there really isn’t a need to.