Release Date: August 17 (Europe), August 19 (North America)
Platforms available on: Nintendo 3DS
Developer: Nintendo EAD
Last year's Super Mario 3D Land overflowed with new ideas and innovations, and perfectly showcased the 3DS's extra dimension. New Super Mario Bros 2, on the other hand, is very much one for traditionalists.
Harking back to the good old days of side-scrolling platforming action, Nintendo's latest provides a master class of level design, and is packed with content and bursting with secrets.
Unsurprisingly, the game begins with the kidnapping of Princess Peach by Bowser and the Koopalings - Bowser's junior generals who made their debut in Super Mario Bros 3. What follows is 80+ levels of side-scrolling action as Mario once again attempts to rescue a Princess who by now should really consider a restraining order.
Each level is packed with alternate routes and shortcuts, worlds end with boss battle, and there are secret coins aplenty, which unlock additional stages once all is done.
If all of this sounds familiar, that's because it is. For the most part, this is very much the same side-scrolling Mario game you've been playing since the 8-bit era, which admittedly isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Users are guaranteed a game that's perfectly paced, wonderfully designed and outrageously addictive, albeit not as memorable as a Super Mario Galaxy or fellow 3DS adventure Super Mario 3D Land.
One of the game's more unique features is the coin collecting, which plays a huge role in New Super Mario Bros 2. The aim is to collect one million coins, and the game introduces a few new items and power-ups to make this possible.
Coin-related power-ups include the Golden Flower, which turns everything Mario shoots at into coins; golden rings, which transform enemies into gold; and wearable coin blocks, which leave a trail of gold in Mario's wake.
There's something strangely satisfying about going after all that gold, especially with the game giving status updates after reaching milestones.
While besting the main campaign proves relatively straightforward, especially with all of those extra lives, Coin Rush is much more difficult.
Collecting as much coin as possible with one eye on the clock and another on staying alive proves tricky, which makes Coin Rush one of the more addictive and entertaining inclusions, and certainly the best reason to revisit once you've uncovered all of the game's secrets.
While the Wii version of New Super Mario Bros focuses heavily on co-op play, it feels that it's taken something of a backseat in the 3DS release, perhaps because it requires an additional copy in order to play.
New Super Mario Bros 2 is another excellent entry in the Mario franchise. With more than 80 levels, lots of secrets, a ton of collectables and an utterly addictive Coin Rush mode, it's a game that will provide hours of entertainment.
In some respects, however, New Super Mario Bros 2 is a victim of the series's success. Despite the title, there's not really enough 'New' in the latest Mario, although there is plenty that we consider 'Super'.
The game isn't as innovative as other recent Mario efforts and not as novel as previous New Super Mario releases. It's still one of the best 3DS games on the market, however, and we strongly suggest saving some of your own coins in order to buy it.