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New Super  Mario Bros. 2

Something happened in the last  few years that got me all excited for Mario games again. I was never a big fan of them when I was a kid (besides dominating at Super Mario Kart), and I completely missed the hype train for the Nintendo 64. 

The Nintendo 3DS and the call of stop-and-go portable gaming are what brought me back to Mario. I am a terrible completionist, so a game that lets me gather collectables but also gives me a chance to put it down at will is highly appealing. I still enjoy absurdly long role-playing titles and the occasional Civilization V campaign, but since I am almost always on the go, bite-sized fun is perfect.

With this in mind, New Super Mario Bros. 2 presents an annoying quandry for me. It provides the same simple objectives as the DS original and Super Mario 3D Land, but it also comes with an ever-present goal: getting 1 million gold coins. 

Unchecked obsessive-compulsive tendencies are almost unmanageable when presented with such an infinite-feeling task. I like "get all three star coins in this level and the golden flag" objectives because once I do that I feel I can break free from my 3DS for a while. NSMB2 provides those smaller goals but the idea that I could continue to work toward 1 million coins is paralyzing. 


I've only had the game for two days but I've already had internal conversations along the lines of "you have other things to work on and play, many of them for your job. If you pick up your DS, you won't stop playing." I freely admit I am a bit insane, but it is uncomfortable to deny myself an enjoyable pastime because I feel compelled to grind coins to meet an inflated goal. 

For my own good, I am vowing to set New Super Mario Bros. 2 aside, not because it isn't enjoyable or that the coin mechanic isn't inticing. No, It is too inticing, and I enjoy sleeping, being productive, and thinking about other things more than I enjoy spending countless hours completing an objective that is ultimately unnecessary. 

So, a word of warning to anyone who suffers from similar compulsions: Don't pick up New Super Mario Bros. 2 unless you are absolutely certain you want to dedicate your life to coin collecting. Or, a couple of weeks. 

After two days I'm at 30,000 coins. No. I need to stop calculating exactly how long it would take me to finish this….