Published on June 25th, 2012 | by Cameron Woolsey
Going Gold Farming: Hands-on with New Super Mario Bros. 2 Coin Rush
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Release Date: Aug. 19, 2012
It’s a known fact that New Super Mario Bros. 2 is hot and sweaty with coin lust, featuring new enemy types and power-ups that reward players with those shiny golden discs. Coin Rush, however, is the top of that shiny gold mountain. The mode takes three slightly altered maps from the campaign and challenges players to earn as many coins as possible. Sounds easy, huh?
Oh, did I say you had to run through all three levels with just one life? Yeah, I guess I should mention that.
The object of the game is quite simple, really. As Mario you rush through each level collecting as many coins as possible while dodging enemies and deadly traps. At the end of a level you get graded on how many coins you collected and how fast you made it to the end, as every second of the remaining clock time is rewarded as coins. You get bonus coins for getting through each mission quickly, so finding a balance between speed and safety is key.
When I sat down with the game I made a couple of mild errors while I getting used to the controls. I must admit, it had been a while since I’ve played my copy of New Super Mario Bros. in some time. OK, that was a bit of a fabrication. I just didn’t want to admit that I died pretty much straight out of the starting gate. Yes, rushing through a Mario level–which was complicated enough to be a level situated half way through the game–while dodging enemies, both spikey and flying, and collecting as many coins as possible isn’t as easy as one would think.
Coin Rush certainly is challenging and it kept me on edge all the way through. Much of the pressure to win will come from within, but the levels themselves will also give you a run for the money, literally. There were also several situations where I had to choose between reward and safety.
One such moment was hopping up moving platforms while collecting red coins, which increase in value as acquire them. If I was confident enough in my platforming skills I could have jumped down to the lower platforms before they moved out of sight, but I wussed out and moved on.
Special power-ups are available to greatly increase coin production. The Gold Flower turns Mario to gold, so instead of fireballs he shoots large golden balls that turn bricks, enemies and more into precious coinage. Hell, even some enemies exist solely to increase the amount of coins earned. Other power-ups include one that temporarily gives Mario a brick for a head that spews out coins as he runs.
Some examples of those include golden Goombas which give extra coins when jumped on, and golden Koopas that spit them out. In one scene I watched as a gold Bullet Bill streaked across the sky leaving a line of gold coins behind him. The coin production between suits and enemies is massive, and that doesn’t even cover secret areas or pipes with their own special collecting challenges.
During my run I was reacquainted with my old friend, the Raccoon Suit. With it I was able to fly through the air and discover some hidden floating platforms housing nothing else but—more coins. To be honest, I’m glad Nintendo decided to bring back the classic suit, and it works very well in New Super Mario Bros. 2.
Bringing the level to an end is a traditional boss fight. I was honestly expecting Nintendo to pull a shady move and force me to fight the Hammer Bros. or at the worst, Bowser himself. But, it was just a couple of rhinos on a rotating device with four platforms. For the sake of speed you can kill off the rhinos by hitting the platform on which they stand, or wait and hit the other two first for some last minute coins.
When thinking about it, you may ask, what’s the point of Coin Rush? While I felt that the experience was pretty fun on my first go around, I don’t see it as something that most people will really focus on when they buy New Super Mario Bros. 2. But it was, like I said before, a lot of fun, particularly when most of the enjoyment coming from the rush was felt by narrowly avoiding many instant death moments.
Those who really go for Coin Rush will be able to compare their scores with friends via StreetPass. After some clarification during the Nintendo Direct Feed just the other day, we saw that there will also be new levels added down the road.
The game plays just as well as the previous title in the series, and with the return of Raccoon Mario, the inclusion of campaign co-op, and Coin Rush, New Super Mario Bros. 2 is shaping up to be another great Mario game. We will know for sure when it ships for Nintendo 3DS this August.