A shot of "New Super Mario Bros. 2." (Nintendo )
Fans of the long-running "Super Mario Bros." series have now had about a week to explore the 80-plus stages and six worlds of Nintendo's latest addition to its popular franchise. Some, perhaps, have no doubt even bested the game's challenge of accruing 1 million coins.
Full disclosure: This reviewer is not one of them. But "New Super Mario Bros. 2" is a blast to explore regardless of Mario's in-game class level.
Games in the "Super Mario Bros." series -- whether they carry the "New" title or not -- have become staples of consistency. New editions aren't overhauled so much as tweaked, the core movements -- a run, a jump and a squat still about cover the controls -- haven't changed much in nearly 30 years since "Super Mario Bros." made its debut for the NES.
PHOTOS: Scenes from 'New Super Mario Bros. 2'
In a review last week of "New Super Mario Bros. 2", The Times wrote, "For all the tradition at play here, the 'New Super Mario Bros. 2' (3DS, $39.99) feels decidedly current, largely due to one simple addition. To survive these days, the working-class plumber must now scramble for money at every turn.
"'Super Mario Bros.' veterans may note that the mission isn't all that different, but it has been altered. There's that thing about rescuing the oft-kidnapped Princess Peach, sure, but the underlying goal of 'New Super Mario Bros. 2' — one re-enforced by Mario's every move and every in-game power-up — is to collect 1 million coins.
Now that everyone has had a little time to play, the question is a simple one: Do you agree that "New Super Mario Bros. 2" is a worthy addition to the series, or do you find the coin-hunt a tired attempt at refreshing the ol' standby of a brand? We've even seen rumbling from some corners of the Internet that the emphasis on wealth accrual is little more than a marketing gimmick.
The Times will hold a Google+Hangout at noon PDT with video game critic Todd Martens and video game business reporter Alex Pham. We invite you to join in on the conversation by posting comments below or on The Times' Facebook and Google Plus pages or on Twitter using the #asklatimes hashtag.
Five choice recent video game soundtracks
Review: Money is what they want in 'New Super Mario Bros. 2'
Playstation's 'Sound Shapes' brings Beck and more into the game