Nintendo’s ramping up its publicity for New Super Mario Bros. 2 already, as just two weeks after the end of this year’s E3, a new array of promotional art from the upcoming 3DS sequel has arrived. Headlining this latest wave of imagery is an attractive panoramic scene of Mario and Luigi happily hopping their way through the new gold-washed Mushroom Kingdom. We’re going to break it down piece by piece to extract whatever new details about the game we can.
Reading the image from left to right – since it’s laid out as a traditional side-scrolling Super Mario level – we see some good old staples of the Mario series. There’s a Koopa Troopa, a Goomba and a Spiny. There’s a hovering Question Mark Block and a green pipe. There’s a Super Mushroom and a vine climbing up into the sky. All standard stuff.
The trio of blocks with rounded corners in the center is new for New Super Mario Bros., though – they’re drawn from the NES Super Mario Bros. 3, where white-colored ones famously let Mario hide “behind” the scenery and discover hidden Toad Houses. No word on whether or not that feature will make a return, but continuing on in the image reveals three more encore elements from SMB3 – the P-Switch, the bouncy Note Block and the Super Leaf, which transforms Mario into his Raccoon Suit. That transformation has been confirmed to return, as our hero will once again have the power to take to the sky by shaking his rear end around.
The last part of this segment worth pointing out is the color transition in the background, with everything suddenly taking on a golden hue past the right edge of the vine. We know that New Super Mario Bros. 2 has our heroes going coin crazy, with gold fever taking command of their minds as they race to collect a total of a million coins. But could the Mushroom Kingdom itself actually be transformed in some way, to explain the coin focus? Mario games aren’t too big on plot, but perhaps this gold-wash background effect is a clue that the very environment will change in the new game’s open moments.
Next up we have Mario and Luigi themselves, now caught in the middle of a full-on golden world. Look at this – it’s coin madness! Coins are everywhere. Everywhere. Wario would have a heart attack at the sight.
So coin collecting as the focus of the game is firmly reinforced, yes, but the art gives us a few new clues about gameplay elements to help us grab that cash. A special pipe is literally erupting with money on the left. A Golden Bullet Bill is leaving a streak a coins in its wake in the sky. A Golden Goomba appears – worth extra cash when stomped – and the world’s gone so nuts that the pictured Lakitu has apparently just given up trying to stop the Mario Bros. from advancing, swapping out his arsenal of Spiny Eggs for, of course, even more coins.
We also get a look at the Golden Fire Flower power-up, which we know transforms our favorite plumber into a fire-fueled, metallic King Midas nightmare when grabbed. There’s a whole lot of gold going on here.
Finally we have the rightmost edge of the panoramic image, and this piece of the puzzle is packed with even more details. First, front and center, we’ve got the seven Koopa Kids happily joyriding in Papa Bowser’s Clown “Car.” We knew these classic characters would be coming back thanks to a single E3 screenshot from a few weeks ago, but this is our first official artwork of them in action in the new game. It appears that greed has gripped them as well – since Roy’s grasping two big armloads of coins – and it’s also worth noting that Bowser Jr. is not included in this group of seven. Has he been given the axe?
There’s a stack of Golden Goombas getting toppled by a kicked Koopa Shell here, confirming that these mean mushrooms will once again be assembling themselves in totem pole towers as they first did back in Super Mario 3D Land. (The Koopa Shell also left a streak of coins behind it, if you go back to look at the previous segment again.) And there are Red Coins drifting down from the sky via parachute, seeming all the more rare now that there are so many more gold coins strewn about everywhere.
Then finally we’ve got the good old POW Block, dating all the way back to the Mario Bros. arcade game. This block made coins rain from the sky when used in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, and no doubt striking it will activate an even larger avalanche of cash this time around.
And that’s the breakdown of the new New Super Mario Bros. 2 promotional panorama. You can see the full version just above, in one piece.
These panoramas seem to be becoming a bit of a tradition for Nintendo’s Mario games – New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Super Mario 3D Land had similar images released. Perhaps we’ll get another one for New Super Mario Bros. U later this year, and perhaps this one will be adapted into a new StreetPass Mii Plaza puzzle sometime soon.
And Nintendo didn’t just send out this panorama image alone. We also got new artwork of the Golden Bullet Bill and Golden Cloud Lakitu separate from the larger piece, as well as fresh looks at Mario’s as-yet-unnamed “blockhead” transformation and what looks to be this new game’s version of the player-assisting Invincible Raccoon Suit that’ll likely appear when too many lives are lost in the same level. Check those out just below, and see everything at full size in our New Super Mario Bros. 2 image gallery.
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