I've seen a lot of interesting mixed reactions to Nintendo downloadable content. Some people claim that the company has gone too far in keeping up with their competition, and crossed a line by offering up DLC -- claiming that they've sacrificed their integrity for the almighty dollar.
Others (such as myself) are of the opinion that as long as Nintendo keeps trying to mix things up, for a nominal fee, their idea of DLC is inoffensive. At least it is at this current point in time.
For the most part, each DLC wave has offered at least one, if not two solid level packs that you can cherry-pick from. This wave may be the weakest yet, but it follows the same sort of philosophy, so it's by no means a failure.
New Super Mario Bros. 2 Coin Pack Set #3
Release: December 5, 2012
MSRP: $2.50 per pack (2 packs), or $5.00 for the "bundle"
Pack #1 -- Coin Challenge Pack C ($2.50) - 10,000 coin goal
When you first boot up the pack, you'll be greeted with the first level that's a gauntlet of items. Challenge room-esque obstacle courses are presented one after another, each with a unique item and test. Tests like running over an obstacle course of spikes with a star, or getting every coin possible with the raccoon suit.
You can also opt to not get every power-up in the level, and use different power-ups from different rooms to gain access to secret areas. The designers could have gone a lot further with it, but it's still pretty fun.
Little touches like the mini-mushroom state having an effect on the second level are neat, and should probably be more implemented in these packs (as one usually just opts to amass gold flowers). The concept of having to utilize Mario's entire repertoire of power-ups is a nice notion, but it's not really explored as much as it should have been.
The third level, which I refer to as "the one with the Meteor Cage" is probably the longest level in the entire game, including the base package -- in a good way.
Coin Challenge Pack C is a really cool set, but the 10,000 goal is super easy to get, and I'm not sure how fun the first few levels will be when tested with repeated play.
Personally, I loved it, but since it's fairly easy to just figure out the required tricks and ace the goal after a few playthroughs, I'm not sure if I'd recommend this pack to absolutely everyone.
Pack #2 -- Platform Panic Pack ($2.50) - 15,000 coin goal
The gimmick of this pack is that each level features shifting platforms that can take the form of a train or a roller coaster. If you've played NSMB U, Donkey Kong Country 2, or Super Mario World, you'll be familiar with the roller-coaster mechanic. The idea is that you have to keep moving, and at some points, stop moving, so momentum doesn't throw you into the pit of despair.
The first level features a tricky roller coaster made entirely out of ghosts, which are content in slipping you up from time to time as they separate. In some ways, the first level compares to the nerve-wrack pack in terms of difficulty, even if it's rated one star less; especially if you're going for every coin possible. Sadly, the other two levels are significantly easier.
Level two is a pretty straightforward affair with those green (they're brown in Super Mario World) snake block platforms. You'll get two raccoon suits at the beginning of the level, which you won't really need, as it's super easy.
The final stage has the opportunity for greatness, but kind of stops short. You'll ride a giant Dry Bones train through lava (I hope you like lava levels!) as you collect coins on it. There isn't much diversity here, and since the train moves slowly, you don't really have to worry about missing anything.
While the second and third levels don't really present too much of a challenge, getting the overall coin goal through all three stages does. Despite the promise of a challenging 15,000-coin goal, the pack itself isn't very original, and the gimmick can get old after just a few playthroughs.
Both packs do some pretty interesting things, but it's hard to recommend either as a "must buy." While the first pack is really easy to master, the second pack offers more of a challenge, and has the harder goal, so if you absolutely must buy one, I'd say the Platform Panic pack is a good bet.
If you're waiting until everything is out before you plop down some cash on these however, you might want to put these two near the bottom of the "maybe" pile, and get a few of the other packs first.
Past reviews: DLC #1, DLC #2
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