Perhaps reflecting what Nintendo's vaults will look like post-release, the world of New Super Mario Bros. 2 is crammed full of coins, with the aim being to make Mario into a millionaire by collecting a million coins during your travels in order to rescue the perpetually kidnapped Princess Peach. And so follows the tried and tested platforming formula of jumping on enemies heads, making death-defying leaps and battling bosses through increasingly challenging levels – it's nothing we haven't seen and done before, but sometimes that's a good thing.
But much like Mario, you'd need to be a millionaire yourself if you're considering downloading it from the eShop, as the game weighs in at a whopping £39.99. That's almost £10 more than most shops are selling it for at the moment (most retailers have it priced at around £30 at the moment), and in the shops, it'll likely only go down from there. With pricing like this, it's hard to see why anyone would go for the download version - unless the hassle of changing cartridges is genuinely worth an extra tenner – as for us, we'll probably get ourselves down to GAME/Gamestation stat.
But New Super Mario Bros. 2 isn't the only game to find its home on the eShop. Along with Mario's latest, you can also download last month's Freakyforms Deluxe: Your Creations Alive and New Art Academy, priced at a slightly more reasonable £24.99 and £29.99 respectively. As a brief introduction to each, Freakyforms is a game that lets your creativity run wild, asking you to assemble a variety of crazy creature from a selection of shapes, before taking it on a stroll around a planet to meet the locals, helping them out with quests and unlocking more bits to make more creatures as you go – you can find out more in our full review here. It's a suitably quirky expanded version of a £5.40 download title that unfortunately doesn't have five times the content to justify the £25 price tag. New Art Academy, meanwhile, expands on the original DS Art Academy title, letting budding artists create all sorts of masterpieces without the need for an entire studio of artist's accoutrements. While we have a feeling £29.99 is to the steeper end of what you'd want to pay for it, if you're serious about your drawing having it always there on your home menu for when inspiration strikes may be an advantage. Possibly.
But while there's nothing inherently wrong with digital downloads, it's worth remembering that they are a lot more restrictive for the customer than buying a game from a shop - the biggest of which being that you lose the ability to resell your game, or pass it round to your friends and family, while the publisher holds a monopoly over the price. With the publishers saving on the shipping, printing, and packaging costs, not to mention the hefty portion of the total price that retailers take for themselves, you'd expect that digital version of games should really be at a hefty discount - not with an extra £10 whacked on top for what's essentially a game with less freedoms. While a slight concession has been made, in that when you register your download on the Club Nintendo reward scheme, you'll get double the amount of stars you'd usually get, that doesn't really make up for paying at least £10 over the odds. Whether the prices of the downloaded games will depreciate at a rate relative to the shops remains to be seen – in the meantime, we remain sceptical, and will probably continue buying our games from traditional brick and mortar stores for the time being.