E3 2012: New Details – New Super Mario Bros. 2 (3DS)

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Nintendo briefly mentioned the upcoming 3DS sequel to New Super Mario Bros. during its E3 presser, teasing some new footage and confirming the release date.

Details about New Super Mario Bros. 2 (also known as “NSMB2”) have been few and far between, and Nintendo’s E3 press conference earlier this week did little to change the fact. Other than skimming over some very vague details about the game and setting up the release date, The Big N more or less neglected the upcoming sequel.

Back to the point, NSMB2 launches simultaneously in both retail and digital formats on August 19, 2012. For those keeping score, this will be Nintendo’s first simultaneous retail/digital launch for any major Mario title – in other words, it’s a big deal. That’s what makes the lack of details so perplexing.

Nintendo’s brief presentation of NSMB2 hinted at the importance of collecting gold coins, and ultimately “gold” in general – the footage depicts several clips of Mario collecting long strings of gold coins, and other clips show him avoiding gold-plated Goombas and Koopa Troopas patrolling the stage. You can see the trailer below:

How will this “gold” idea come into play in New Super Mario Bros. 2? It isn’t really easy to tell from the trailer above. With the lack of details causing a lot of concern amongst hardcore Mario fans, it would be nice to know more about the game, beyond the details that have been picked apart from the various screenshots and videos on the Internet. We know the Tanooki Suit returns to its proper form, we know that Mario can pick up speed and fill up his power meter to fly through the air – there are plenty of classic concepts returning, but what will set NSMB2 apart from its predecessors? How will features such as StreetPass and SpotPass be utilized? Will we see an extensive multiplayer component, or some sort of connectivity to the upcoming Wii U launch title, New Super Mario Bros. U?

With so many questions and such a lack of answers, it is harder than usual to keep the faith in Mario with this upcoming 3DS game – and with the simultaneous retail/digital launch of New Super Mario Bros. 2, a question comes to mind that has never really been involved with the Mario series: is it finally time to release episodic Super Mario games? Sonic the Hedgehog took that route, and it seemed to work very well – at least in the latest installment, Sonic 4: Episode II. Nintendo seems to be running out of ideas with the Mario franchise, and rather than releasing full-priced installments in the future, would it be wiser to consider smaller, cheaper entries – perhaps available through the eShop?

What are your thoughts? Are you excited about the release of New Super Mario Bros. 2? Do you have any interesting thoughts to share about the game? Let us know in the comments section, and stay tuned for more info whenever it finally comes around.