The way I see it, people usually welcome a new Mario game with open arms, no questions asked. they play it, they love it, and they continue to play it as much as they want. But sometimes for whatever reason, people will begin attacking a new Mario game that plays different from the rest of the games. The two notable examples of this are Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Mario Sunshine. In my opinion, those two games are really fun and are easily make it in my top 10 Mario games. But again, despite the fact that critics loved the 2 games and have sold well enough, the gaming community (AKA the internet) would not care, or even worse openly hate the game. With New Super Mario Bros. 2 out, people are already questioning the game, but this time people are criticizing how similar it is to the other games over how it is different. Before the game is out, people begin to wonder whether or not the Mario series is becoming stale.
First things first, I was quite surprised how fun and addictive NSMB2 was, the coin collecting gimmick was pretty damn fun and I feel as though there's a lot more going on with the level design in this game compared to its "new" predecessors. The level design doesn't feel as empty as the other "new" games. I'm gonna be quite honest, I hated the first NSMB game for the DS, It felt bland, uninspired and insultingly easy. NSMBWii was a step in the right direction (and by step in the right direction I mean the Koopalings are back!), it was a much more rounded game with very fun multiplayer and a better difficulty. Now with NSMB2 I think it was yet another step in the right direction believe it or not. For starters it's about time we had a flying power up again, getting your P meter up to speed rewards you with flight and secret areas filled with rewards. The Mega Mushroom is used the right way as a really rare item to help you increase your score and giving you many more coins along the way, you never feel cheap using it. The level design doesn't feel as empty as the other "new" games and there's much more obstacles and alternate paths to take. Other than that the only criticisms I have is that the music is a copy and paste of NSMBWii and the difficulty took a drop this time around. also the coin collecting gimmick isn't fleshed out fully enough, You can easily clear the game without going coin crazy. maybe there should be a toll on the map like how many coins are needed to advance to the next level or have item houses that act as shops so you can buy the items you want. Instead of it being a game where there's coin collecting, how about a game where it's ALL ABOUT coin collecting.
I consider NSMB2 the best of the "new" series despite it's title being very contradictory. But I don't think that's how the game is gonna go down. I think people will instantly call the game out for it not being as "innovative" as others. The NSMB series has never been innovating to begin with. The only thing that was close was the simultaneous 4 player in NSMBWii. I think in the future NSMB2 will become the third black sheep in the series, the other two being Super Mario Bros 2 and Super Mario Sunshine (Why is it always the twos!). Super Mario Bros. 2 is a black sheep because it was originally supposed to be another game, "Doki Doki Panic" and for having different game play elements. There's also a Japanese version of Super Mario Bros. 2 that has very hard levels and plays more like a traditional Mario game.
Then you got Super Mario Sunshine introducing the water pack, FLUDD. FLUDD gives a new twist to the game allowing Mario to pull off new jumping tricks and it allows him to hover. Super Mario Sunshine is also the only Mario game to attempt full on voice acting, which sounded awkward (plus how can you hate a game that has yoshi's you can ride on). NSMB2 may not be as loved as much either. It may be doing well in review scores and sales, but I think it's reputation will live up to standards lower than what it was meant to be. People will call it out for being unoriginal and tiresome. I just don't get why it takes only two Mario games in 1 year for people to call the series out for being stale or going old, because I don't think it's stale. It's still providing a lot of very fun and imaginative game play, and New Super Mario Bros. 2 is proof of that.