Raccoon Mario Returns! New Super Mario Bros. 2 Coming to 3DS.

Classic 2D Mario gameplay is coming to the 3DS this summer, and it looks like the Raccoon Suit is making a return.

Earlier tonight, Nintendo announced, via Nintendo Direct and later through Twitter, that New Super Mario Bros. 2 will be released in August in North America and Japan. No word yet on a release date for Europe. Few details have been provided, but a number of screenshots have been released. What we can glean from these screens is that the game will be drawing at least some of its inspiration from Super Mario Bros 3. In addition to the Raccoon Suit we also see some bolt blocks and a P-Wing meter in the bottom corner.

I am always excited for new 2D Mario, but I’m a little disappointed that the art style hasn’t changed. The “New” series seems so bland and muddy, the music is mediocre and the world maps are linear and uninspired. However, it’s the gameplay that matters, and both NSMB games have been a lot of fun to play, so we will have to see what NSMB2 has to offer. Expect more to come at E3.

…but I still have my fingers crossed for Super Mario Bros. 4 on Wii U.