Each Mario game comes with a new, game-defining power-up. For Super Mario Bros. 3, it was the raccoon suit. For New Super Mario Bros., it was the mega mushroom. So, of course, New Super Mario Bros. 2 has its own new power-up: the golden fire flower. As with the normal fire flower, this power-up allows Mario to throw fireballs—but now they are fireballs with an explosive blast radius. Moreover, each fireball can destroy brick blocks and even turn them into coins as it does so.
Another new power-up is the coin block hat. This turns Mario's head into a coin block, so that each jump he makes, turn he takes, or step he runs, gives Mario an additional coin.
For players not quite so adept at platforming, there is a special power-up that is awarded whenever Mario dies five times in the same stage. This power-up is a new version of Mario 3's P-Wing. It turns the player into an invincible form of raccoon Mario. Unlike Mario 3's P-Wing, however, it does not allow permanent flight.
New Super Mario Bros.2 also includes a Mario first in the form of an enemy debuff. Across the levels, you will occasionally encounter a golden ring. However, unlike the red-coin-making red rings of past Mario titles (which also return in New Super Mario Bros. 2), golden rings turn all enemies to gold for a short period of time. While golden, each enemy gives up five coins when killed and all their attacks become coins instead. Golden venus fire traps shoot coins instead of fireballs; golden hammer bros throw coins, not hammers; and turtle shells leave a trail of coins when thrown.
New Level Types
There are also two new types of levels in New Super Mario Bros. 2. The first are the special
canon levels that shoot you to special worlds. In past games, these involved little more than climbing into the canon; but now after being shot out of the canon, you play a level where you run non-stop at full speed. The other type of level is a rainbow stage that appears on the world map when certain conditions are met and are filled with nothing but coins.
New Super Mario Bros. 2 includes two new modes of gameplay. The first is coop through the game's normal campaign—much like in New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Unlike New Super Mario Bros. Wii, however, the coop is only two-player and not four-player. Also, this mode can only be done locally and not over the internet.
The other new mode is coin attack. In coin attack, the game chooses three stages for you. To win, you must pass these three stages under the time limit while collecting as many coins as possible. If you die, however, it's an automatic fail. There are two versions of coin attack, one that plays like the normal game and one that gives you super raccoon invincibility for your run. There is no online leaderboard, but you can compete against other players' high scores via street pass.
New Super Mario Bros. 2 was released on the 3DS in Japan on July 28, 2012. It will be released in North America on August 19, 2012.