Game Reviews
New Super Mario Bros. Wii Review

When New Super Mario Bros. Wii was first announced, it was met with mixed impressions.  The screenshots and gameplay we saw made it seem like this was just a port of the DS version, or maybe some short, WiiWare cash-in.  Well after some more info leaked, and people found out this 2-D side-scrolling Mario game was going to retail for fifty bucks, many gamers went crazy.  Was all this initial hate deserved?  Absolutely not, after being so far into the game, I can safely say that this has been one of the most fun times I have had with a platforming game in a long time.

If you are familiar with the New Super Mario Bros. series on the DS, then you know exactly what to expect.  This game doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it sure as hell fine tuned it!  The biggest new feature is 4-player co-op, which is both fun and tedious.  The hardest part was that many times you will find yourself bouncing off of each other at the worst moments and dieing.  While it is easy to get frustrated at dieing in that way, the game has a certain charm that usually has you and your friends laughing hysterically, instead of throwing controllers.  A great new feature that I feel really lends it’s self well to the entire family jumping in, is the ability for players to pop into bubbles.  If a certain part of a level is too hard for somebody you are playing with, all they have to do is hit the A button and they will float around the screen in a bubble.   This is great for when you are playing with a younger sibling, and you have to keep going back and helping them…now they can just skip right past the hard parts.  Apart from the bubble feature, if you die a number of times on a level, you can enable the “Super Guide” , in which the level pretty much plays itself, to show you how to beat it.  So even though the game may seem a bit more difficult at times, these additions make it “idiot proof”, for the most part.

The Penguin suit is an interesting new power-up.

The story revolves around the Koopa Kids from Super Mario Bros. 3 stealing the princess, and flying away in an airship.  It’s your typical story from hear on out until you save the princess.  You know the drill; defeat a koopa kid at a castle, collect coins…wash, rinse, repeat.  While this may seem stale to some gamers, the original Mario formula is so solid.  In fact, I feel that NSMB Wii does a better job at capturing the feeling of the original games, more so than the DS version.  While the game looks more like Super Mario World with the level design and the inclusion of Yoshi, it takes a lot from Super Mario Bros. 3, with item huts on the map and the Koopa Kids, of course.  As far as difficulty is concerned, its ramped up a bit from the original DS title.  I know a lot of people that were pretty upset with how easy the original was, so it’s good to see more of a challenge this time, especially when you play co-op.

For young and old, alike, NSMB Wii is nothing but pure fun.  The game is so freaking charming that even the baddies will dance to the music, and it will leave you in stiches the first time you see it.  However, there are those people that didn’t grow up in the NES/SNES era’s, and this throwback may not mean as much to them.  The biggest gripe I have been having with the game, is just how much slower the pacing is with more than one player.  Remember, you will most likely laugh your ass off when playing with friends, but it may take you twice as long to complete a level.  While there is tons of fun to be had in this game, it may not be worth the fifty bucks for those who weren’t really impressed with the DS version, seeing as the improvements weren’t as big as they could be.  No online play, comes to mind when you think of missed opportunities, but to be honest, this is one of those games better played on a couch with family and friends.  Ever since the DS version came out a few years back, it’s been on the top ten charts every month; with New Super Mario Bros. Wii, I have a feeling history is going to repeat itself.