Mario arrives! First impressions

Thanks to the eShop download going live across the U.S. at 12:00 AM Eastern Time, West Coast Mario fans could purchase and download New Super Mario Bros. 2 at 9:00 PM last night. It was odd and fun to finally see a full retail Nintendo release sitting there on the eShop virtual shelf!

Price: $39.99
Download time for me: about 45 minutes

First impressions: Instant fun. The short opening cinema is silly beyond belief (a good thing in Mario titles). No surprises in game layout, menus, or interface — but I love the little music clip that plays when you initially okay the game’s Streetpass function.

The use of 3D is unique; the distant background is blurred in 3D, but comes into focus if you switch to 2D. Some reviewers have complained about this, but I love the contrast in focus. It gives the game a unique style I haven’t seen in a Mario title before.

The coin collecting emphasis instantly gives the game a more replayable, mobile-gaming, open-ended feel. Coin Rush mode is very challenging and a welcome addition.

Love the new enemies and obstacles. Great Giant Boo animation. Awesome lighting effects. Best new power-up: The Gold Flower — Possibly the most fun-to-use power-up in the series’ history.

So, Infendo readers, how are you enjoying Mario’s latest adventure? What are your favorite new features? Least favorite? If you bought it in the eShop, how did your download time compare to mine?