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Fun to Play. Difficult to Master.

  • Nov 17, 2009
  • by

Everyone knows Mario.  The happy go lucky Plumber that saved the gaming industry once and redefined gaming several times over.  In 2006, Mario finally returned to his original 2D platforming roots with New Super Mario Bros.  The game itself, while great, was pretty short and easy.  In spite of that, that title has sold nearly 20 million copies worldwide in three years.  Whether it was because Nintendo had nothing better to do or because New Super Mario Bros DS is still flying off shelves, they decided to bring it to the Wii.  But keep in mind... this isn’t a port.  This is a brand new game.  More of an expansion of what you already get form the original DS title.  So the whole, “New” thing might be overstepping things a bit.  On the other hand, I will say that it is nice that Nintendo gave us more than one solid Mario game in one generation.  New Super Mario Bros Wii. doesn’t match up to the majesty that is Super Mario Galaxy, but it’s better than the original DS title and even has some good multiplayer.

You should’ve known the story of New Super Mario Bros. Wii even before it came out.  Princess Peach is kidnapped by Bowser again.  You have to admire Bowser’s persistence.  After twenty five years of kidnapping the Princess he’s still failing.  Bowser is a great bad guy for persistence alone.  If there’s ever a “Top Failure’s List,” in gaming, he should be the number one villain on it.  If you were honestly picking up New Super Mario Bros Wii for any kind of story the only question I can ask is where have you been within the past 25 years?  Mario has never been about story, it’s been about gameplay.  Likewise, there is no story.  Just eight worlds for you to press through.  Eight very difficult worlds.

You'll play the game holding the Wii Remote like a standard controller.  The motion sensor controls are there as well, although for the most part they're kind of useless.  You can waggle the Wii Remote to do a spin jump, and you can also titl it on certain platforms to manipulate them.  They're not used a lot at all, really.  Over time they actually seem quite useless in many respects.  The game would, I'm sorry to say, be better without them.

As far as platforming goes, Mario hasn’t changed much in his 2D adventures.  Almost everything great about 2D was exhausted in 1991 with Super Mario World.  All a 2D Mario game can hope for now is to have well designed levels.  That’s where New Super Mario Bros Wii does manage to be good.  There are a lot of well designed levels, and a lot of variety in them.  Each and every level is a different experience, filled with it’s own variety of platforms, enemies and traps.  New Super Mario Bros Wii doesn’t add a whole lot to the Mario formula.  There are a couple of new suits such as the Propeller and the Penguin suit (which allows you to throw snowballs which freeze your enemies) but aside from that New Super Mario Bros. Wii doesn’t really do that much different than it’s older brother on the DS.  Luckily, the levels are all very well designed to keep you going and they throw in a lot of challenges.  New Super Mario Bros. Wii is no walk in the park.  You might think things will go pretty smoothly because the first few levels are pretty easy in and of themselves.  But the difficulty builds up over time.  Especially halfway through the game. 

Luckily, the boys at Nintendo have inserted a “Super Guide” feature.  If you die on a level eight times, you’ll unlock a Super Block.  Upon bumping it, Luigi will go through the entire level for you automatically.  At first sight this actually seemed like a bad idea.  After all, what’s the fun in a game if you can’t play through it and have fun?  On the other hand, it ensures that you’ll be able to complete the main campaign.  However, the Auto-Pilot like function will not uncover any secrets for you, and there are quite a few secrets to behold in New Super Mario Bros. Wii.

Every level consists of three Star Coins you can find, which finding all of them is a much better reward than in the original DS title, and other levels contain hidden exits and pipes that take you to more goodies and alternate routes.  Utilizing the Super Guide feature skips over all this.  It’s just watching Luigi go straight to the end.  The good news about the Super Guide function, though, is that it’s completely optional.  You don’t have to bump it, and as such if it takes away from the experience of the game... well... you bumped it, genius.

All of this is great, but you don’t have to go at it alone.  Multiplayer is nothing new to the Mario franchise, but doing it simultaneously is.  Depending on how you game and how you play, multiplayer with four people can be frustrating or downright hilarious.  People are able to jump in whenever they want and drop out whenever they want.  The flow of the game can sometimes be disrupted, of course.  If only because in some of the game’s faster moments moving around with four people isn’t always the best.  The multiplayer doesn’t feel tacked on, but it’s quite clear the game was designed with a single player in mind. Just the same... that's also the best way to do it.  Multiplayer is fun, but you'll get the best out of the campaign going at it alone.

There are times when working with a partner can be frustrating.  You’re going to get in each other’s way.  A lot.  There are going to be deaths caused by total accidents at times and other times when progress in a level will be slowed down because one player happens to be in another character’s way.  And this is a little nitpicky, but it might’ve been nice if there could’ve been diversity in who is among your ranks in multiplayer.  Mario and Luigi are expected, but the other two characters will both play as two generic Toads.  No creativity there.  Probably won’t bother anyone in the long run, but it might’ve been nice to see Nintendo come up with something else. 

Other times multiplayer can be a blast.  If you’re with a good group of friends you might have fun just picking each other up and throwing one another around or you might even have fun just finding ways to screw one another over.  In short, it can be as much fun to slug through a level as it is to kill and humiliate your friends within them. 

If there was anything about the multiplayer that does kind of suck it would be that there’s no online mode.  Period.  Sure it’s not a big deal (and the inclusion of it probably would’ve resulted in using those tedious friend codes) but it still would’ve been nice to try and go through the challenges with a friend elsewhere.  It’s no surprise, however.  Nintendo has hardly shown any desire to take online gaming seriously in the slightest.  They’re just lucky that it doesn’t really hurt New Super Mario Bros. Wii.  It just would’ve been nice to have.

The game itself looks about what you’d expect.  It looks better than the Nintendo DS title (obviously) with smoother sprites and animations... as well as just filling some levels with a lot of awesome design.  It doesn’t look as stellar as games like Super Mario Galaxy or even The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess, but what you get is golden nonetheless.  The music on the other hand, is mostly music that’s been ripped and remixed from other games.  You’re not getting any new tunes here.  And yes, Mario does his yelps and screams, but they’re not really annoying. 

It’s a great title to get a hold of... for nostalgia primarily.  If you enjoyed Mario’s past 2D outings you’ll feel comfortable here.  There are even some levels thrown in there that’ll make it worth playing for those who have fallen in love with the 3D games.  It’s fun, it’s challenging, but still quite addictive when you realize how much skill it really takes to fully master the game.  In the end it’s a really good game that will satisfy those looking for a challenge, as well as those who are just looking to have a good time.

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November 17, 2009
Only played Mario in the SuperNintendo system. I am kinda happy that it is making a comeback, the Wii is a fitting console for it; party on!
November 17, 2009
How does the game use the Wii remote? Is it like a normal video game or do you use it as a wand?
November 17, 2009
It's used like a normal gaming pad. I should put that into the review, actually.
More New Super Mario Bros (Wii) reviews
review by . February 21, 2011
posted in Siliconera Bounce
New Super Mario Bros Wii is an experience that every fan of the classic 2D Mario games may want to purchase and play. It features the same sort of game style that we have come to expect from all of those classic Mario games and combines most of their mechanics into one game. It uses mechanics that were seen in Super Mario World 2 with the ability to ride Yoshi, some of the music choices from those games, some of the level designs and mechanics from Super Mario Bros 1, 2, and 3, and uses their music. …
Quick Tip by . March 16, 2010
It's Mario ... Just like you remembered and loved it. Only now it takes full advantage of the Wii's motion controls.
Quick Tip by . March 04, 2010
A refreshing new look and feel to the addicting NES classic that started it all.
review by . December 01, 2009
We Love it, love it, love it. The gangs is all back - Mario, Luigi, Princess, Yoshi and Toad. I originally had the DS version of this game and was hooked on it till I finally completed the game. Now I am able to play it on the Wii on my 56 inch HDTV and have up to 3 more players play along with me as a team. Our family spends hours and hours playing and laughing, arguing, joking around, complaining and just having the time of our lives. New Super Mario Bros is a great family game.     Nintendo …
Quick Tip by . November 30, 2009
This is the first game I've seen that makes me kinda want to get a Wii... Must resist...
About the reviewer
Sean A. Rhodes ()
Ranked #7
I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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Developers at Nintendo have dreamed of creating a simultaneous multiplayer Super Mario Bros. game for decades. The Wii console finally makes that dream come true for everyone with New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Supporting 2-4 players in side-scrolling co-op and competitive platforming action, and featuring a mix of fan favorites and new characters, new powerups and various input options via the Wii Remote, it is destined to become an instant classic in one of the most beloved game franchises of all-time. dent { list-style: inside disc; text-indent: -15px; } table.callout { font-family: verdana; font-size: 11px; line-height: 1. 3em; } td.vgoverview { height: 125px; background: #9DC4D8 url(http://images.amazon.com/images/G/01/electro...ail-page/callout-bg.png) repeat-x; border-left: 1px solid #999999; border-right: 1px solid #999999; padding-left: 20px; padding-right: 20px; padding-bottom: 10px; width: 250px; font-family: verdana; font-size: 12px; }
'New Super Mario Bros. Wii' game logo
2-4 player simultaneous multiplayer in 'New Super Mario Bros. Wii'
Co-op/competitive simultaneous multiplayer.
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Classic looking Super Mario Bros. underground level in 'New Super Mario Bros. Wii'
Classic environments with a twist.
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The Penguin Suit power-up in action in 'New Super Mario Bros. Wii'
Wacky new powerups
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New Super Mario Bros. Wii, like all the previous releases in the Super Mario Bros. franchise is a side-scrolling platforming game where players collect coins as they attempt to make their way through progressively more difficult game levels using their ability to time jumps over obstacles and avoid a slew of enemies. But although the game contain several well-deserved nods to ...
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Number of Players: 4
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Console: Nintendo Wii
Release Date: November 15, 2009
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