Super Mario Bros. 2 for 3DS announcement features some answers, but raises more questions

new super mario bros 2 for 3ds will revisit old style level design nsmb2

Know this, oh ye fans: Nintendo knows you like that raccoon tail hanging from Mario’s butt. It knows you like that raccoon tail hanging from all kinds of butts. This is precisely why every Goomba, Koopa, and tree in last year’s Super Mario 3D Land had a raccoon tail on its butt. That wasn’t enough, oh no. Raccoon tails had to hang off the backs of go karts in Mario Kart 7 too. Now that people have gotten to run around a three-dimensional land and drive a motor vehicle with raccoon tails on their butts though, the only thing left to do is run left to right really fast while jumping on things with a raccoon-tailed butt. New Super Mario Bros. 2, coming out worldwide in August, will let you do just that. Rejoice.

Nintendo of America confirmed on Saturday that it would bring the latest side-scrolling Mario game to the Nintendo 3DS this summer following a Friday announcement in Japan. The press release was typically oblique, reading: “New Super Mario Bros. 2 is a traditional side-scrolling adventure game featuring Mario, Luigi, and loads of other favorite characters from the popular Mario series.” The selection of screens released alongside the announcement showed off the ubiquitous raccoon tail.

The inclusion of the tail does let us in on what to expect from the first portable 2D Mario game in six years though. At the bottom of the screen is a row of arrows followed by a “P,” which readers with long memories may recognize from 1990’s Super Mario Bros. 3. The arrows light up as Mario runs faster and when they reach the “P,” Mario can fly meaning that New Super Mario Bros. 2’s levels will be built around vertical exploration. The first DS New Super Mario Bros. and New Super Mario Bros. Wii both did away with the full flight powers that marked the Mario games of twenty years ago, making for games that felt more defined by the pull of gravity than defying it.

Other questions remain though. While Shigeru Miyamoto confirmed over a year ago that he was working on a New Super Mario Bros. game for the 3DS, it’s still unknown if it will have an emphasis on multiplayer like New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Also unknown is whether or not this game is related to the Wii U Mario game shown in prototype form at E3 2011.

One final mystery: It’s unusual, even for Nintendo, for a game to be announced just four months before its release, especially a sequel to as popular a game as New Super Mario Bros. (New Super Mario Bros. has sold more than 26 million copies in the past six years.) Why is New Super Mario Bros. 2 coming out before previously announced Nintendo 3DS games? Nintendo’s party line on all games according to one representative is that the company “will not release a game until it’s ready.” It looks like New Super Mario Bros. 2 got ready fast. Probably because all those raccoon tails were already lying around.

Product Review

'New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe' is 2D platforming wizardry

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is the latest Wii U game to come back from the dead on Switch. And wow, it’s much better than we remembered.
Gaming

Among hundreds of choices, these are the best 25 SNES games of all time

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System might be the greatest game console ever made, but what are the best titles for the system? Here are our picks for the best SNES games.
Gaming

If we get a Nintendo 64 Classic, it needs to have these games

The Nintendo 64 introduced a long list of top-tier games, but which were the iconic platform's best? From Mario Party to Ocarina of Time to NFL Blitz, check out our picks for the best N64 games.
Gaming

Who needs a Switch? These 25 games prove there's fun to be found on 3DS

The 3DS is home to a large library, including some of the greatest games Nintendo has ever published. We've compiled this list of some of the best Nintendo 3DS games currently available.
Gaming

Dataminers discover SNES games, more emulators for Nintendo Switch Online

Nintendo Switch Online may soon launch SNES games and more emulators, according to data miners. The list of hidden SNES titles include Breath of Fire 2 and Star Fox 2, while the other emulators may be the Nintendo 64 and Nintendo GameCube.
Gaming

‘RollerCoaster Tycoon 2’ ride takes 12 years to complete

A RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 player has constructed a coaster in the game that will take more than 12 years to complete from beginning to end, and is actually a tiny ride taking up a small portion of the landscape.
Gaming

‘Battlefield V’ adds Squad Conquest mode in ‘Lightning Strikes’ update

Electronic Arts and DICE have detailed what is included in the Battlefield V update Lightning Strikes. The update includes access to the mode Squad Conquest through the end of January.
Gaming

Here's everything you need to know to trade in 'Pokémon Go'

After literally years of waiting, Pokémon Go finally gives trainers the option to trade Pokémon with others. It's not easy, though, and the cost is quite high if you try trading with strangers.
Gaming

You're never too broke to enjoy the best free-to-play games

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially-popular League of Legends.
Gaming

‘Rocket League’ is the latest game to get full cross-platform play

Psyonix has announced that Rocket League now supports full cross-platform play across PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC, joining Fortnite as the only games to do so.
Gaming

Here's what you need to know about 'World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth'

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth is the latest expansion for the now 14-year-old MMORPG. It goes back to the roots of the Alliance vs. Horde conflict. Here's what you need to know.
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.
Gaming

Latest ‘Fortnite’ update channels Halo with a scoped revolver

The latest update for Fortnite, update 7.20, is now available, and it brings a new Scoped Revolver weapon to the game alongside the returning Glider item and a limited-time Snipers-only mode.
Gaming

‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’ will make Blackout mode free to play this week

Treyarch and Activision are offering Call of Duty: Black Ops 4's Blackout mode as a free trial download for a limited time. The mode will be available from January 17 through January 24.