First question of the day: What, pray tell, is Nintendo pitching to be the driving force behind a sequel to New Super Mario Bros. 2? Judging from what we've seen these past couple days, that can be pinned on the appeal of having the Midas touch. Almost admitting outright that there's little else to differentiate itself from its 2006 counterpart, the key theme behind all of this seems to be the collecting of coins; because, you know, that's something that Mario knows nothing about. I will give it to them that the appearance of the gameplay suggests that coin-collecting has not been approached in the sheer volume that it is in this release. But if that's the main shtick that they're rolling with, you really have to wonder the sort of impact this will have on gameplay. Wouldn't this automatically diminish the difficulty factor? With all these coins will come easily-gathered 1UP's, and even if Mario doesn't have the same death prerequisite as Sonic with having an empty pocket before getting knocked out, the level design will ultimately determine just how much they can get away with having this as a running theme.
Stemming off that element, soon after New Super Mario Bros. 2 was shown in action at Nintendo's E3 on-stage presentation, I thought to myself maybe Wario was cheated out of the opportunity for a new game. Think about it. Wouldn't this theme be much better suited for Wario, a character who has built up a reputation for being money-hungry? When Nintendo announces a new Mario game, I shouldn't think to myself that a style of gameplay would be better suited elsewhere, let alone within another side-property that they themselves support! Within that revised context, it might not seem as much of a feeble attempt of producing what could already be predicted as a paint-by-numbers sequel. But for whatever reason, Nintendo insists tying this gimmick will be enough to justify a sequel to the best-selling game.
I think you'll agree, whether you're a huge fan of Mario or not, that my reasons for being concerned about New Super Mario Bros.' sequel are warranted. Not just the fact that the theme they are working with does not reflect a good grasp on the role a sequel should ideally serve, but I should have faith in Nintendo that they wouldn't let things like a greatly minimized difficulty factor just slip through the cracks. Sadly, I don't have that, and until I see evidence to the contrary, New Super Mario Bros. 2 has not yet made me a believer.
E3 2012 >