New Super Mario Bros. 2 Is All About the Money

Posted by at 12:02 pm on June 12, 2012

The new emphasis on collecting coins in New Super Mario Bros. 2 may seem like an insubstantial change for the series – after all, there have always been coins everywhere, and it’s always been a good idea to collect them. But I think that this subtle shift in goals subverts the nature of Mario more than it seems to.

The chief goal in Mario games has always been survival. You’re expected to traverse the level, defeating as many enemies as possible along the way, so that you reach the end without death. Coin collection, along with discovery of secrets and acquisition of points, have always been secondary goals. Now, coin collecting is front and center (well, still behind not dying) and those background elements are among the most important.

NSMB2 increases the importance of coins by keeping a running count through your whole game. It also makes sure money is on your mind by putting coins absolutely everywhere.

There’s even a new powerup that’s all about coins: a gold Fire Flower that causes everything in its explosive path (enemies, blocks) to turn into coins. The other powerup new to NSMB is the raccoon tail, which works just like in Super Mario Bros. 3.

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