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3DS XL and New Super Mario Bros. 2 game review

Incoming! They’re arriving just in time for your last summer trip (and just before school begins). The 3DS XL and New Super Mario Bros. 2 have been released at the same time.

3DS XL

NINTENDO 3DS XL

Pros: Bigger 3D screen; slightly better viewing angle; longer battery life.
Cons: Plastic shell looks cheesy; viewing angle could be wider; price is high.

Is Nintendo’s reimagining of the 3D system worth saving up $199 for?

On the surface, the 3DS XL doesn’t look as cool as its smaller sibling, the 3DS. My red XL case doesn’t shine with the same metallic sheen as my blue 3DS. And the buttons under the hood are plastic and cheaper looking. The same goes for the plastic stylus, which no longer retracts.

But don’t judge a book by its cover. The 3DS XL has about a 90 percent bigger screen. Now, the screen is nearly 5 inches when you measure it diagonally.

And that makes so much difference with the effect of 3D without glasses. Bigger is better when it come to seeing the lushness within, say, The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time in three dimensions.

You might think that magnifying the size of the 3DS graphics for a bigger XL screen would result in games with jaggies. But that’s rarely the case. The graphics aren’t perfect, but they border on being excellent.

Also, the speakers sound clearer and crisper on the XL. Maybe that’s just because they are placed wider apart for better stereo. Whatever the case, I like it.

You’ll be happy about the extra battery life. One charge gives you six to eight hours of play, a definite plus.

More good news: When you play the 3DS, you have to look at the top screen head on — without moving — if you don’t want to lose the 3D effect. With the XL, there’s a slightly wider viewing angle. That cuts down on the neck- and headaches you might have experienced with the 3DS.

While I like my 3DS, the XL will be my platform of choice to review Nintendo DS games on. In this case, bigger is better — most of the time.

NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. 2
(Nintendo for 3DS, 3DS XL)

Gameplay: 8.6
Graphics: 7.7
Sound: 8.5
Replay Value: 9.0
Overall Score:8.5

Pros: Raccoon Mario; tons of coins to collect; smart level design.

Cons: Could use better story; backgrounds need more detail; not enough varied powerups.

NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. 2

New Super Mario Bros. 2 might not have been the best choice to release in tandem with the 3DS XL. The graphics on the side-scrolling platform game are sharp enough. Mario is detailed, right down to the mustache, and so are his friends.

But when you try to enhance the 3D effect with the depth slider on the right of the XL, the clearest 3D comes at about a third of the way up. If you move it to full 3D, the backgrounds get all fuzzy.

And while the backgrounds are always good in the Mario games, they never have been as rich and detailed as those in, say, the Zelda games.

CHARMING AND CHALLENGING

Other than that, New Super Mario Bros. 2 is a charming, challenging game that will often delight you with its details. Sure, it’s the same deal you see within all the Mario games: Princess Peach has been abducted, this time by Koopalings in a weird kind of balloon that has a propeller stuck in the bottom.

But within the first five minutes, you know this is a special game. As the catchy Mario music plays in the background, one of the turtles takes a moment from coming at you. He hears the music, and he likes it. So he pulls off a dance move — exactly in rhythm to the music that’s playing. It’s just one moment in the 80-stage game that is really very cool.

COOL RACCOON AND MODES

You’ll also enjoy the new flying Raccoon Mario powerup. His bushy tail whacks into bricks to open up areas you can’t get into without this new suit. And when you find a hidden leaf, you’ll get a White Raccoon Mario, which makes you invincible for the rest of the level.

As for different ways to play, there’s co-op mode, which lets your pal play as Luigi. And there’s Coin Rush, which asks you to collect as many gold ducats as you can in a short period of time. It’s frantic!

Yet I think there should be a more well-rounded story here, some really engaging narrative. And those background graphics should be better detailed.

However, the gameplay is balanced, tough to win and creative. It ramps up in difficulty smoothly. And if you think about the puzzles you encounter and the different ways you can solve them, you’ll feel awe. The gamemakers aren’t only smart, they’re really imaginative.

110 Comments on 3DS XL and New Super Mario Bros. 2 game review

  1. I have a DS but I don’t have the game

  2. I beat the whole game 2 days ago!!

  3. I have the app on my 3DS. did you know when you get on to world six, if you want, you can press the “l” button to turn into luigi.

  4. I have always hated mario games except for mario kart wii. I played this game and i loved it. I also thought the 3ds xl had bigger screens then any ds. Including the dsi xl.

  5. its cool

  6. i have it. its pretty cool

  7. i already passed the game in 3 days

  8. Marshmellow829 // September 3, 2012 at 8:55 am // Reply

    White raccoon is awesome! It can run through enemies! So totally cool!

  9. I can not play because I don`t have a DS/DSi or 3DS

  10. how do you enter?

  11. I cant afford it also but I just need $4 to get new super mario bros 2

  12. The new game looks cool and all,but I only have a dsi!!!!

  13. I’m going to get a 3ds XL and soon get New Super Mario Bros. 2!

  14. Shadowthehedgehog101 // August 31, 2012 at 8:02 am // Reply

    cool!

  15. NintendoBoy2401 // August 31, 2012 at 7:24 am // Reply

    Best Mario game since Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, Super Mario 64, and Super Mario Galaxy.

  16. Can’t wait to get this game.

    This review reminded me of IGN’s review: with the 3D slider up, the backgrounds are blurry, the returning favorite powerups like the Raccoon Tail and Mega Mushroom don’t make enough appearances, and the game is pretty short – maybe 7 hours maximum.
    All in all, it looks like a good game.

  17. i can’t play i have a DSI

  18. I wish I could play New Super Mario Bros 2, but I got a DS lite instead.But I might get a 3DS for Christmas.

  19. I can’t aford new super mario 2 because I only hav a DSI

  20. TELL ME I’M COOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. i want to download it to get 100 coins from club nintendo[no afence boyslife] oh I almost forgot the game looks awsome!

  22. shaw8,762CT // August 27, 2012 at 9:43 am // Reply

    i think this game should be 4 ds’ dsis and dsixls

  23. kinda like mario // August 27, 2012 at 8:22 am // Reply

    I…WANT…A…3DS!!!

  24. THIS GAME IS AWESOME

  25. coolestsoccerboy // August 26, 2012 at 7:44 pm // Reply

    i have a 3ds and this is in the nintendoeshop.And I have it!XD

  26. What’s the big deal it’s just another game fella’s sheesh!!

  27. i love this game!!!

  28. mario kart 7 is better

  29. firestorm44 // August 26, 2012 at 7:56 am // Reply

    i am entering contest for the 3ds and i am homeschooled i have got to win!

  30. i got star world but u need 90 star coins to play

  31. That sounds like a really cool and fun game.

  32. Better than yours // August 25, 2012 at 2:41 pm // Reply

    1. They’re not turtles, they’re called Koopas.
    2. If you haven’t played the original NSMB, then you wouldn’t know that most enemies “dance” to the music. This is normal.
    3. Be more specific. The “hidden leaf” you mentioned is called an Invincibility Leaf, and only appears if the Mario Bros. lose the level 5 times conscecutively.
    4. The Super Leaf originally appeared in Super Mario Bros. 3, which you failed to acknowledge.
    Overall, this was a poor review. No thought given in your review.

  33. Bowserduede729 // August 25, 2012 at 12:43 pm // Reply

    The Super Leaf reminds me of Super Mario Bros. 3. Also, it’s called the Koopa Clown Car, not the weird balloon.

  34. girls rule-boys drule // August 25, 2012 at 8:51 am // Reply

    BORING!!!!!!

  35. Only making it for the 3DSXL

  36. If my family gets a 3DS; I would love to get this game.

  37. I shall get both! no matter what my parents say…

  38. Zidane Tribal IX // August 22, 2012 at 3:35 pm // Reply

    Graphics: 7.7? You mean 9.5! This is a 3DS game, not a Wii U game.

    And comparing an action/adventure with a 3D side scrolling platformed is not fair, I would be like comparing Tales of Symphonia with Mario Golf toadstool tour.

  39. I don’t know if i should get this game or Super Mario 3d land would anyone have any opinions on which i should get?

    • eagle scout 173 // August 24, 2012 at 1:52 pm // Reply

      This game is nice if you like classic sidescrolling mario games. 3d land is fun since you get 360 degrees of turning on a handheld, but it is extremely easy.

    • I have played super mario 3d land and its amazing.But maybe super mario bro.2 might be better.

  40. i got them and they are awesome!

  41. it cool

  42. I don’t think it looks very good. You can download the game or buy it at retail, so it must be a small game if they can fit it into downloadable size, Also, just FYI, it’s called the tanooki tail, not the racoon suit.

  43. second. I am looking forward to purchasing the game but the 3ds xl does not really appeal to me. I mean why buy it if you already own a 3ds?

  44. I would like both

  45. Harry Potter Fan #1 // August 21, 2012 at 3:39 pm // Reply

    I have a 3DS and I really want this game. I don’t think I will be buying a 3DS XL.

  46. pokmon trainer201 // August 21, 2012 at 2:12 pm // Reply

    New Mario game cant wait

  47. Video Game Man // August 20, 2012 at 8:37 pm // Reply

    I wish I had the game, but I think it is A good Game To Play. Want To Know Why Because I Have Played New Super Mario 1 That Just Came Out 2 Years Ago So There’s Your Answer. Thanks For Reading It Sincerely, Video Game Man Thanks.

  48. awesome

  49. 1st one to read woohoo!!!

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