DLC? In my Nintendo games? What is this madness?!
Although New Super Mario Bros. 2 is not the first game on a Nintendo platform to feature DLC (Theatrhythm and Rock Band Wii take that honor), it is the first Nintendo developed title to ever contain DLC.
The good news is, all the DLC released so far is not a huge chunk of the game, so you're not going to feel like you've missed out on crucial content if you don't pick it up. The real question is if it's worth your hard earned cash.
New Super Mario Bros. 2 Coin Pack Set #1
Release: October 2nd, 2012
MSRP: $2.50 per pack (3 packs), or $7.50 for the bundle
These packs are only usable in the game's Coin Rush mode, meaning any multiplayer options are strictly asynchronous, and they are not playable off the game's world map.
You'll find the option to buy these packs in-game, under the "Shop" button on the bottom of the Coin Rush main menu.
Pack #1 -- Gold Rush Pack ($2.50)
I'll just be upfront here -- this pack is essentially buying a cheat code. The target score here is 30,000 coins -- 30,000 coins, folks!
Once you learn the ropes you'll easily start picking up at least 20,000 per run (provided that you hit the top of the flagpole every level and double your score). That's pretty filthy considering that means you only need to run this pack fifty times to get the fabled, coveted one million coins.
But that doesn't mean it isn't fun. In fact, this pack is damn fun! The first stage is essentially a coin jamboree, with constant coin rings, an abundance of gold enemies, and practically unlimited gold flowers. Although it's super easy and not really possible to fail, racking up a ton of coins in a short amount of time will give you a pretty good rush, especially if you've been struggling with other Coin Rush runs.
The pack also features a coin cruise complete with your own personal boat, and of course, a ton of coins in tow, plus a castle-type level that's super easy and takes around thirty seconds. All in all, you can run through this pack in a scant few minutes.
As is the case with all of the packs, make sure that you want to attempt high score challenges over and over before you buy it -- it especially helps if you plan on challenging friends with StreetPass, due to the lack of online leaderboards. In fact, this pack actually made me realize how amazing leaderboards would have been, as it easily would have influenced me to try and get every single coin possible.
Maybe next time Nintendo?
Pack #2 -- Coin Challenge Pack A ($2.50)
This is easily the weakest pack of the bunch. It features a 10,000-coin target, which isn't going to get you a lot of scratch, like the first pack, and it doesn't feature a decent enough challenge, like the third pack.
Because Nintendo tried to mix the two together, the level selection just feels too unwieldy. The stages range from slight homages to one particular Mario 3 map, to an unfun castle run complete with Giant Hammer Brothers blocking your every path (not in a difficult way, but in an annoying way).
My suggestion? Avoid this pack if you can -- especially given that the bundle does not net you a discount in any way. If you note the "A" in the title, this is an obvious hint at more DLC in the pipeline.
Pack #3 -- Nerve-Wrack Pack ($2.50)
This is the pack you'll want to buy if you don't care about your overall coin count, and just want some semblance of a challenge.
I'll tell you upfront, though -- if you're just looking to run through this set once and never play it again, it's probably not worth it, as the pack isn't that hard on its own. The real challenge is attempting to get the highest score possible without making a single mistake. It's not that hard to just beat the levels, going through and making sure you're super careful, but it's another thing to recklessly attempt to pick up everything you can.
My favorite level in the pack features what is basically an entire floor of lava coursing through the entire stage, forcing you to jump on Koopa Troopas' heads to traverse it. As you can imagine, making one simple mistake here is fatal, so grabbing coins while trying to get across the stream is a pretty fun experience.
The last stage is an endless runner dash stage (the ones with the blue cannon) that tasks you with using an armada of Bullet Bills to avoid falling to your doom in a cloud-based setting. It's very similar to the lava level, but you can't stop running. As you can imagine, this is also super hard if you're going for all the coins possible: otherwise, I beat it on my first try merely going for completion.
All in all, this isn't the worst DLC offering in the world, but it easily could be better. You're better off buying the first and third packs so long as you're willing to go for broke over and over and obsess over those fat-stack high scores -- otherwise, considering you could run through all three packs in ten minutes, you'd be better off saving your own coin. If you have to choose just one pack, I'd recommend the Nerve-Wrack.
Stay tuned in late October and November for further impressions of the next two planned packs!