on November 16, 2009
I have been playing video games since the Atari 2600, and was a kid during the Nintendo Entertainment System era. Some of my fondest memories involve one iconic set of characters: Mario, Luigi, Toadstool, and Princess Peach. Over the years, games have changed (some changes for the good, and others...not so much), but I love that the Mario series have stayed true to their roots. Every Mario game that I can think of has stood the test of time, and has served as a model to countless other games. However, despite being one of the best game franchises around, one component was always missing: multiplayer. Sure, previous SMB games had a "2 player" option, but all you were able to do was pass around the same joystick, or take turns using 2 joysticks. The idea of 2 characters on screen at the same time seemed strangely impossible for these games... and why Nintendo wasn't able to make this happen sooner than 2009 boggles the mind. But, having spent 7 or 8 hours playing New Super Mario Bros yesterday, I don't care why or how they were able to finally do it...because this game is an absolute blast to play!
As soon as the game starts, you start to get an idea of just how great this game is going to be... especially if you have played Super Mario games before (and cmon...who hasn't?!?). Everything looks very familiar, but in a good way. The game really feels like they took some of the best ideas, bosses, levels, and music from each of the Mario games and retooled them for NSMB Wii (New Super Mario Bros Wii). In fact, it feels mostly like Super Mario World and Super Mario Bros 3 rolled into one, with a little bit of Super Mario Galaxy thrown in as well... and that, my friends, is an AWESOME combination! Like I mentioned earlier...I have played hundreds...maybe thousands of video games in my time. And this game ranks right up there with the best of them. It is, in my humble opinion, on par with Super Mario Bros 3, which has been rated by numerous gaming sites as the best game of all time. Playing the game for the first time, there were lots of "oohs and ahhs", plenty of mischievous giggles, lots of punching and name calling (see multiplayer), and even several times where one of us paused the game just to point out how great this game is. I hate to gush over this game, but it really is a work of art. It's easily one of the best games I have ever played, and certainly one of the best available on Wii. Here are some of my observations about it:
Old Skool SMB: Mario games are good, and they work. Period. This is one series of games that doesn't need to be retooled, revamped, updated, or changed dramatically in order for it to compete with the likes of Modern Warfare 2. In fact, there really is no competition for Mario games. Historically, they sell, are highly rated, and have a long shelf-life. This game is no different. It is classic Mario at his best. There are some updates that make the game fresh and interesting, but it is mostly classic Mario 2-D action, and that is a good thing.
Music: Mario games have always had great music. Who hasn't found themselves whistling or humming one of the iconic Mario tunes? This game has some really cool new music, as well as some remixes/revamps of classic Mario music. When I found myself in the first of the Koopa Kid castles and I heard the original music from Super Mario Bros 3(??), I was ecstatic.
Multiplayer: For the life of me, I couldn't tell you why Nintendo was never able to incorporate some genuine multiplayer in a Mario game previously. But, add it they did, and it is great. The multiplayer component of Super Mario Bros Wii is really well done. There are some competitive modes where you and your friends (or opponents) are running through a level and competing to get the most coins, and it is really fun. But where multiplayer really shines is when you are actually playing through the games with a couple of your friends. All of you are on screen at the same time. When you hit one of the "?" boxes, 3 or 4 mushrooms may come out... or maybe 2 mushrooms and 1 Penguin suit...and you have a choice: Will we all go scrambling for the penguin suit? Or will the most skilled player just take a mushroom suit and leave the penguin suit to the others? Or, will I scramble and get all of the mushrooms and the penguin suit, leaving my teammates out in the cold? I tried all of these scenarios, and it was pure joy to see the look on my friends faces either way! You see, the multiplayer can be either competitive or cooperative. There will be times where getting a big coin or a 1-up will require that you cooperate...maybe I will need to pick up one player and hold him over my head, and then another player will bounce off his head to get the 1-up. Or, maybe there will be a player that I want to give some grief... so I can pick him up and throw him down a pit or in the lava... or I can throw a green shell at him. There will also be times where you are all trying to accomplish something (like jumping across a lava pit), and because we are all scrambling and trying to save our own skin, one player will bounce off the other's head, giving themselves a boost up and over the lava, but sending their friend to their death. As you can imagine, the cooperative multiplayer would FREQUENTLY and unexpectedly become competitive, and there was no shortage of amazed/shocked looks back and forth (i.e "Dude... I cant believe you just did that!!"), punches in the shoulder, name calling, calling "dibs" on power ups only to be disappointed, and laughing ranging from a mischievous giggle to rolling on the floor in stitches. When we were playing, one guy even got really upset and went home! LOL. It was one heck of a fun afternoon! Once the sore loser left, we started cooperating more and competing less, and it was equally fun. Almost equally anyway...
Difficulty: I hate easy games, and I hate short games. I especially hate short and easy games. This game is neither. From what I have experienced so far, this is one of the most challenging Mario games I have ever played. It isn't necessarily HARD...anyone can pick up New Super Mario Bros Wii and begin playing. That is the case with every Mario game. But it is challenging. You will die...a lot. Especially when playing multiplayer, since frequently one of your teammates will do something that sends you to your end on accident. Plus, the difficulty really starts to ramp up in some of the later worlds/levels. Also, there are 3 hidden achievement coins in each level, as well as these special "star" coins that you can go out of your way to find...and getting to some of these can be a real challenge. I estimate that it will easily take 20+ hours to complete this game... and even once it is done, it will be a blast to start over and play again. And the truth is, Mario games are always long and fairly difficult... I never did beat Super Mario 2! I think this game is going to have a long shelf life at my house!
I will spare you any more gushing details about this game. Clearly, I enjoyed it immensely. If you own a Nintendo Wii, you should own this game. If there was ONE Wii game I would recommend you buy, it would be this one. If you are considering buying a Nintendo Wii because you like this game...I guarantee it will be worth it. This game is destined to be a classic, and it would be a shame to miss out! Here is my personal rating for the game:
Lasting Appeal: 9/10
on November 15, 2009
It's a blast from the past. In the 80's you probably played Super Mario Brothers on the original Nintendo Entertainment System. Over 19 years have passed since the last 2D-side scrolling installment of the Mario Brothers Series was released on a gaming console, Nintendo now brings you New Super Mario Brothers Wii.
This game is based off of what Nintendo started in 1985. The game play is very similar to Super Mario Brothers 3 and World (SNES). There are One to Four players. This time around Nintendo has you all playing together (cooperative or competitive) - alternating version is not available - no need to wait for your turn to play. You can play as either Mario, Luigi, or 2 different Toads.
This game goes back to Nintendo's and Mario's roots for what jump started the video game industry. If you are familiar with the series you will find many things reminiscent of past mario games, for example:
8 Worlds : SMB, SMB2, SMB3
Flag Ending: SMB
Riding Yoshi: SMBW
Maps for World: SMB3, SMBW
Item House: SMB3
Saving Princess Toadstool: SMB, SMB2, SMB3, SMBW
Pipes: SMB, SMBW
Half Way Save Point: SMBW
Koopas Castles: SMB3, SMBW
Items: Mushroom, Firepower, Star
All the characters are back from Bowser to Goomba's, Bullet Bills, Chain Chomps and more.
Game play is the same from earlier versions of Mario Bros series.
New things include:
Add or remove multiplayers while you are playing a game -- no need to quit because someone is tired of playing, add them back in when they want to play or when people come over.
Propeller mario -- shake wiimote to propeller into the sky.
Penguin Mario: Move more freely in water and on ice -- shoot ice balls. Belly slide on snow to kill enemy's.
Ice Mario: Freeze enemy's and use them as a block to jump on.
Star Coins: Use these to unlock hints for each level in Peach's castle.
Super Guide: Die 8 times in one level and watch how to beat it or let the computer beat it for you and move on.
Multiplayer Mode: New as you can lock yourself in a bubble if your friends can not get through a tough section -- and you unlock yourself out of the bubble when you want to play again.
If you die, you come back if you have remaining lives to help the team.
New Modes: Coin Battle -- battle in a level to get most coins.
Free for all -- play any course with your friends.
All in all this game is great if you are new to the Mario Francise, a casual gamer, fan of the original Mario series, multiplayer gaming, and want to have some old school fun. I recommend this game to everyone who owns a Wii. This is what Mario Should have been the first time around. Simply Amazing.
on November 15, 2009
The only really bad thing about New Super Mario Bros. Wii is the excessively long title. Nintendo could have been justified in simply calling this game Mario Bros. 4 or Super Mario World 2, because it fits right in with the legendary series of 2D games from the NES/SNES era.
Mario is one of a very few characters who survived the jump from 2D to 3D. Mario 64 was revolutionary, and Super Mario Galaxy even more so. So it might seem odd that Nintendo would go back to a traditional side-scroller in the midst of 3D gaming. I for one am glad they did. Yes, there is something to be said for the nostalgia factor: the game goes out of its way to reference previous games in the Mario series, from the enemies to the music. But make no mistake, this is a NEW game with NEW, very CHALLENGING, levels. It may come as a surprise to those who were introduced to Mario via Galaxy or New SMB on the DS just how much harder this game is compared to those. NSMB Wii has a difficulty level on par with Mario 3 or Mario: The Lost Levels (aka Mario 2 in Japan). This game is relentless with agressive enemies, tricky platforming, and those classic secret areas that you can often see but can't fathom how Mario can reach them!
The gaming community has been very nervous about this game's new feature that allows you to "skip" a level after dying eight times. Will this create a culture of gamers who cheat and don't get to feel the sense of accomplishment that those who stick with the game for hours upon hours honing their skills? To that I say, relax. If you don't want to use the feature, you don't have to. Further, the feature doesn't show you how to reach all the secrets in the level. It's not an instant "I Win" feature. Anything that allows game designers to make creative levels without fear of holding back because they might make the game to hard is a good thing.
The multiplayer feature of this game is frantic and fun. It's an interesting mix of collaborative and cooperative play that works great. Added games like Coin Battle and Free for All make this a very complete package.
This game should herald a new beginning for 2D games. With a market saturated with FPSs, I for one am glad that there's still a company making "traditional" platformers and realizing that the gaming past can still influence the future of gaming.
on November 18, 2009
My wife and I have played through worlds one and two, and we are both really enjoying the game. The game is a very good combination of challenge and fun, and we've found ourselves laughing out loud at the fun and intensity of the experience more than once.
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. It is loaded with so many references and uses of enemies, items, and mechanics that it brings a smile to my face everytime I play through a level.
Playing the game is really quite simple. First there are three modes of gameplay; the main story in which up to 4 people can take control of the characters (Mario, Luigi, and two toads), and progress through the levels (even with more than one player, the levels can be progressed through and unlock more). There is a free for all mode in which everyone is competing for score, and a coin battle mode in which you compete for score. Free-for-all and coin battle only work on stages that have already been cleared.
The game is essentially easier with one player for one doesnt have to worry about other players pushing them into obstacles nor do they have to worry about what the other players are doing or the number of powerups they take from you. There are some benefits such as being able to ground pound simultaneously to clear the enemies off the screen, or jump on each other to read greater heights. It can be fun with more people if everyone is on the same page and not just throwing each other around and pushing obstacles into them (and its a great crutch to use since it essentially equates to at minimum of 5 lives per player on screen if a level is that hard). For single players there is a super guide function which has Luigi take over and complete the level for you, if you die eight times on a stage.
Control wise, there are two styles of play, single wii-remote and wii-remote and nunchuk. Controls are easy to grasp and I wont go into detail here, but there are what I consider waggle controls (shake the Wiiremote and the character will spin to go a little bit further when making a jump, shake it to move closer if you are floating on a stage, and lastly, shake it to lift obstacles). The controls are easy to grasp and not too difficult.
Presentation wise, the graphics are excellent for the game and get the job done. Sure it isnt a game that is graphical defining on the Wii but they do look crisp and clear for a game set in the Mario Universe. Most of the good looks here is the chance to see nostalgic enemies and environments in a new 480p light. Soundwise, nothing new hear in terms of sounds for the Mario universe, Mario and Luigi appear to have the same soundbites (Toad sounds just the same as they were in Super Mario Galaxy), songs sound either remixed from their classic counterparts or are all memorable. Nintendo seems to have delivered a great experience in terms of presentation here.
The bottom line is that NEW Super Mario Bros Wii is an excellent addition to the Mario Universe and brings back the feelings of odd with the series. The gameplay is excellent, being able to play with friends on these levels is a great experience (locally, though the lack of online co-op for this is questionable though not worthy of scrutiny) but doesnt leave people who have no one to play with lacking the ability to complete the game, and the presentation Nintendo offers us here in terms of music and graphics is worth its weight in gold. For those who havent bought a Wii game since Super Smash Bros Brawl (yes there are a few of us) as well as for those who are looking for an excellent single player and multiplayer experience on the Wii, New Super Mario Bros is a game to get.
Note: The Red case design and boxart is amazing and I hope Nintendo does more like it in the future
on November 30, 2009
We've had a Wii for about 2 years now and have never had this much fun playing a game on this system. Granted, we are not what you would call "gamers," but we do like to sit down and play some video games every now and then. I bought this for my fiance because she's loves all things Super Mario. She hasn't been able to put it down for longer than one day. She talked me into playing multi-player with her and now I'm addicted and can't stop playing.
The game is reminiscent of the Super Mario's from NES and Super Mario World, but with a few added twists/extras. With this game you can get a penguin suit and you can shoot not only fire balls, but ice/snow balls at enemies...oh yea, Yoshi's back too! There are also several challenges and mini-games throughout the game's levels that will keep the game relevant even after we beat it. The thing I like best about this game is that you can have up to 4 players at once on the screen. It gets a little chaotic, but is not overwhelming once you get the hang of it. Multiplayer actually makes the game more exciting and fun for all.
I'm keeping this review as short as possible, so overall, get this game if you are looking for a good video game that is just pure fun. I can think of one "flaw," and that is no online capability. It would have been fun to play with some friends that are far away over wi-fi, but the game is still worth the price of admission.
on November 3, 2010
Nintendo markets this game as a "family game" which is deceiving in my opinion.
It's a fantastic game. Beautiful, creative, and very challenging. But it's far too challenging to be considered "fun for the whole family", unless your whole family are expert gamers. The game is challenging for one experienced player, but when you add more players the difficulty spikes as players get in each other's way strugging to reach the goal.
I'm a "hard core gamer" so I love this game and I continue to play it, but the rest of the family threw in the towel before we reached the second world. This is "old-school Mario", brutal and unforgiving. A better choice for a family game on the Wii would be one of the Mario Galaxy games, or Kirby's Epic Yarn, but unfortunately they only support two players. If only Nintendo could have toned down the difficulty it would have really been "fun for the whole family".
So if you're an expert gamer, read my review as a 5 star. If you're a family of casual gamers looking for a fun title you can all enjoy together, then either rent this first, or steer clear of it.
on December 16, 2009
I have to say, this is the most enjoyable game I've purchased in a long time...and I purchase a lot of games.
While I have not yet finished the game, I believe I've played enough of it to give an accurate review.
I purchased this game as a more family-oriented title, believing it to be something my wife (who has not played a video game since the Super Nintendo) might enjoy. As I would describe myself as a "hardcore" gamer, I had low expectations as to how much I would get out of the game. I was pleasantly surprised.
The true charm of Super Mario Bros. Wii is that it brings something for everybody to the table. My wife enjoys the simplicity of the controls. Her first observation was "I love it! I can play a game with only two buttons." I, on the other hand was happy to find the game to be fairly challenging, despite my wide range of experience with platformers.
While the single-player mode is basically what you would expect from a Mario game...a challenging but straight-forward platformer, where the real excitement comes in is when you start up multiplayer. With more than one player, Super Mario Bros. Wii will have you completely frustrated, yelling and laughing all at the same time. Even if you have completed a level a dozen times in single-player mode, it becomes a completely different challenge when another player is on-screen, constantly getting in the way.
We find ourselves pausing at the beginning of a level to strategize exactly how we will attempt to get past a particularly daunting obstacle. Should we both go at the same time and risk bumping into one another, or should one of us take the lead while the other holds back and waits? Often the constant disarray devolves into a game of Super Smash Bros...we lose focus on completing the level and instead try to knock the other person to their death out of pure malice...content on completing the level individually after ridding the screen of the added obstacle, "Player 2". Because of this, even the "Co-Op" game can become a competition of sorts.
In conclusion, I would highly recommend this game to "casual" and "hardcore" gamers alike...you will certainly get plenty of mileage out of it. It's fun to play with friends, family, or alone and is challenging without being frustrating.
on December 4, 2009
I'm 31, meaning I played every Mario ever since SMB.
Pros (Pretty much what everyone else has said):
good old memories,
etc etc etc
Cons (Please, people of Konami, Capcom, Sunsoft, Acclaim, Midway and NINTENDO, READ):
They should release a whole new generation of 2D Games for Wii. I'm totally up and enjoy nowadays technology of the newsest and latest games, but some straight forward side scrolling games are needed too: say a new Contra, a new Super C, a new Castlevania, a new Megaman, TMNT, Ninja Gaiden, those classics. Maybe not Zelda, because Zelda is definetly a game that evolves and needs to evolve along with the console's evolution.
That being said, cons about the game itself:
TOO Easy, the game gives you too many resources (or I've gotten better at playing since 1991).
TOO Short, prolly like 1/3 of Super Mario World (or I've gotten better at playing since 1991).
These two reasons are why I give it 4/5 and not 5/5.
And lastly, at first, in gameplay the Mario charcter seemed a bit "heavier" than other Marios. It seemed that in SMB, SMW, etc, Mario was "lighter" and could run and sprint faster, but maybe that's just me.
Other than that, fantastic game. A lesson on the fact that sometimes sticking to the old stuff also works too.
on November 28, 2009
To be completely upfront about my experience with this game, we rented it from BlockBuster to try it before I sunk $40+ into a new game. We are over our 7 day rental and are still playing it if that tells you anything! My review will hopefully be beneficial for families with young children and those who are not big gamers.
I purchased our Wii last Christmas in hopes that we'd be able to play 'family games' together besides our two boys watching the clock for 'their' game time turn and my husband being holed up in his office playing his game. Other than some strategy type PC games for my husband, educational games for our 5 and 8 yr old and some (non gory) strategy war games for our 8yr old, we are non gamers. So after a year of Wii Play, Outdoor Challenge, Go Diego Go games, Zack & Wiki, Space Chimps, Lego Star Wars, we're ready for some new games for the family!
What I LOVE about this game is that it's CLEAN FUN!!! There is no gory violence, no borderline inappropriate language for the kids....it's colorful with cute animation and with exception of my husband who complained about it being stupid and boring - yet asks for his turn to play and will CONTINUE to play when he gets his turn :-), we all enjoy this game - especially our 5yr old and myself.
The first few levels of the game IS mostly easy enough for our 5yr old to play on his own although he DOES need help in some areas. It was however, very frustrating to him for about the first day or two since none of us have ever played Mario games so we weren't familiar with the good & bad guys and the functions of what we had to do until we figured out that their is a quick tutorial on the basics of the game. Keep in mind that this game DOES progress in difficulty to entertain teens and adults (great for us but not so good for a 5yr old on their own).
Aside from it being a bit pricey - (keep in mind I think that ALL games over $30 is overpriced!! AND ALL new games are always in the $45+ - $50 range), I think it's a great game overall. MY ONLY HUGE complaint about this on a Wii Platform is that I personally don't think that it incorporates the Wii benefits & functions as much as it COULD. ie: my whole intent of buying the family a Wii console is so that we can play together (in which you CAN in this game - you have to have a controller for each person but you can play up to 4 players or simply play a 1 player game) is that we'd get off of the couch and be ACTIVE while playing. ie: Wii Play, Wii sports, Outdoor challenge, DDR etc. With all of the walking, jumping and flying in this game, I REALLY would have hoped that we could incorporate the Wii Mat or balance board AND / OR the remote to play. Besides shaking the Wii remote when we spin or fly, SO FAR, I haven't seen an area where it encourages the player to have to move.
YES, I acknowledge that if I really want my family moving, that I should get them outside...we DO but I was hoping that with the wonderful graphics and all, that my kids and I would be jumping right along with Mario & Luigi in order to move in the game. It would really be nice if we had the CHOICE to either use the Wii mat OR the hand remote!! If I am wrong about this assumption and we CAN use the Wii mat for this game as a controller, please leave me a comment and I'd be more than happy to change my review. :-)
YES, this game is GREAT for the entire family! (Our 5yr old LOVES this game and I found myself stealing a few minutes on this game while hubby took the kids on an errand - so grownups like this too!) I would think if you are a Mario fan at all, that you'd LOVE this game!
YES, it's good, clean fun. You can let your kids play without worrying if there will be something questionable come up where you feel you have to monitor it.
YES, most parts are easy enough for a 5yr old to play HOWEVER, as you advance in levels, it's really challenging for me so it's not too easy where you'll be bored soon.
NO, (as far as I know) it's not an 'active' type of Wii game if that's what you are looking for for your family. You only have to shake the Wii remote on occasion otherwise, you are fairly stationary with exception of your fingers on the Wii remote. (GREAT, FUN game for those who are stationary but can utilize their hands and arms!)
YES, I do recommend this as a fun game for the entire family! Although I wish it were priced closer to $30 or so...with that said, I've been looking at purchasing Mario games for my family for an entire YEAR and their prices are RARELY discounted AND they keep their value so with that in mind, I do think it's a good buy!