Nintendo's New Super Mario Bros. 2 (creatively titled like only Nintendo knows how) will be coming to the 3DS this August. Even though the handheld console it'll call home is 3D-capable, NSMB2 will strictly reside in two dimensions like the platformers of yesteryear. Players ought to be pleased to learn that both the Power Leaf and Raccoon Mario will be returning to the new title. And Nintendo confirmed through their Facebook page that Luigi will also be making an appearance alongside his brother.
Don't expect too many surprises from the gameplay, though. Nintendo have a formula that works and they're not likely to stray from it. From the screencaps released into the internet so far, it does look like NSMB2 will have a pleasant ambiance, with rich, full-color backgrounds and softly cartoonish characters and objects. These aren't your grandfather's pixels, but they're also not so aggressively contemporary as to distract from the sweet nostalgia inherent in playing a Mario platformer. The visuals strike a perfect harmony between the classic and the fresh.
Looks like we've got some pretty diverse worlds to look forward to, too. Mario's leaping through a winter wonderland full of golden enemies in one screenshot, vaulting through a sand-colored dungeon in another, and climbing up giant spiderwebs in a lush forest in a third. Your traditional grasslands, clouds and castles all seem to be present and accounted for as well.
Will the new new SMB differ terribly from its predecessor or progenitor? Likely not, but who cares? You've already made up your mind whether you're going to buy it or not, because let's face it, those of us who still play Mario games aren't doing it for the innovations or the thrilling new storylines. But as far as cute rehashings of old classics go, this is one that ought to satisfy.