First impressions of New Super Mario Bros. 2's Coin Rush DLC

Is Nintendo's first-ever paid downloadable content worth the coins?

First impressions of New Super Mario Bros. 2's Coin Rush DLC

Yesterday, Nintendo welcomed its first-ever piece of paid downloadable content into the world. It took this bold step into an uncertain future with a trio of Coin Rush level packs for 3DS platformer New Super Mario Bros. 2.

We thought we'd have a crack at the three packs, and decide whether they're worth the £2 Nintendo is asking for each of them.

If you didn't know, the Coin Rush levels are an added challenge for Mario veterans. In each pack, you've got to get through three levels with just one life, while sticking within a tight time limit and trying to collect as many coins as possible.

Premium content

New Super Mario Bros. 2 does actually come with three packs, but they're all rather unimaginative. They use stages from the main adventure, and the only way to share scores is to bump into another player with StreetPass.

These premium packs are far more interesting. Each one has a unique theme, and each one has an all-new level layout that isn't present in the main Princess-rescuing caper.

Oh, and this time they actually have objectives. All three have a set number of coins to go after, so you're not just setting a random score for your pals to best. It gives them structure, and makes them more addictive in single-player mode.

Let's look at each pack, shall we?

nsmb2-dlc-1 The Gold Rush Pack - £2

The Gold Rush Pack is not joking around with the gold theme. These levels feature great cities of gold, gold-plated boats, and a fortress where hollow walls hide mountains of gold.

You're constantly given gold hoops - that turn enemies into gold - and golden fire flowers. It's a gold-splosion. A gold-gasm. It looks like King Midas just got all naked and rolled around on everything.

Getting 30,000 coins is tough, but a joy. Seeing the world shatter into piles of coins is just plain fun. And jumping on the heads of lines and lines of enemies until they explode into Mushroom Kingdom currency is even funner.

nsmb2-dlc-2 Coin Challenge Pack A - £2

Coin Challenge Pack A is a bit more run of the mill. The levels are interesting and varied, but there's no major theme tying them all together.

It's just a manic, random grab bag of stages. You do get to see lots and lots of Sledge Bros, though. You know, the tubby hammer-lobbing enemies that only appear once in the main game.

If you're feeling frugal, you could skip this one and just get the others.

nsmb2-dlc-3 Nerve-Wrack Pack - £2

And then there's the Nerve-Wrack Pack. Which has Bowser's evil mug as an icon, and a five-out-of-five-star difficulty rating. Think it's trying to tell us something?

Yes, all three stages in this pack are ultra-hard tests of your mettle - one single mistake will kill you instantly. These relentless stages really put forward the idea that these are levels to be learnt, and not just sampled once.

Because, well, that's the whole point of the Coin Rush mode of New Super Mario Bros 2. Here is a mode that offers something very different to the bouncy, knockabout thrills of the main campaign.

Instead, each level is a rigorous challenge where you have to learn where coins are hidden and memorise pathways to get through the level under the time limit, then put all of that recently acquired knowledge to the test in a final run.

They're a real challenge, designed for the most ardent Mario fan, and were sorely underrepresented in the main game.

So, if you've beaten everything New Super Mario Bros 2. has to offer (by no means an easy task) and you enjoyed the scant few Coin Rush levels on offer, these DLC packs are an easy recommendation.

£6 for the lot might be a little pricey (that's Nintendo for you), but any hardcore Mario fan will enjoy the added challenge.

Mark Brown
Mark Brown
Mark Brown spent several years slaving away at the Steel Media furnace, finally serving as editor at large of Pocket Gamer before moving on to doing some sort of youtube thing.