New Super Mario Bros. Wii - Cheat Happens Game Review
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New Super Mario Bros. Wii
Wii

Reviewed on: Wii

Developer:
Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Rated: "E" for Everyone



CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

   
   
   
Audio/Visual: 6
Gameplay: 5
Lasting Appeal: 5
Overall: 6
   
CHEATfactor: 6
   
     

I don’t think I have to tell anyone the importance of a certain stout plumber to the video game world. Mario (and sometimes his brother Luigi) has served as a gateway drug that has hooked millions of gamers.  Now, almost 30 years and 200 game appearances later (no really, look it up), Mario returns to his classic 2D roots, but is there still a place for him in an industry filled with ballooning budgets, death matches and online play?

The answer of course is an unquestionable yes. New Super Mario Brothers  is an incredibly fun experience that offers something for everyone. Casual gamers will love the ease of access it offers, while hardcore gamers will geek out over the countless throwbacks to past games. Sure, it doesn’t do much to revolutionize the classic Mario gameplay, but the additions that are here are welcome and make the game even more charming.

Of course, we all know the story here. Princess Peach has once again been kidnapped by Bowser and it’s up to the famous Mario Bros to save her. Again.  Seriously, doesn’t the Princess have body guards? Normally a game rehashing the same plot this many times would be grounds for a severe flogging, but come on – this is Mario. This is “your princess is in another castle,” wouldn’t it feel weird if you were playing a 2D Mario game and were not trying to save the princess? Sure, there’s a bit of difference here, as this time The Toads grant you special access to the kingdom’s secret weapons, that do offer some new gameplay experiences, but more on those later.

"...you’ll spend a good amount of time in nostalgic bliss remembering your Mario gaming past."

 
   

New Super Mario Brothers  is best looked at as a cross between Mario 3 and Super Mario World. The map looks like it was plucked right from Mario 3, complete with Bowser’s airship and toad’s houses and mini games. The inclusion of Yoshi and some of the maneuvers you have access to makes the game feel a bit like Super Mario World though.  There are references to the complete Mario history throughout the game and you’ll spend a good amount of time in nostalgic bliss remembering your Mario gaming past.

This is not a game that rests on its laurels though, as New Super Mario Bros offers enough twists on the established formula to keep things fresh. Let’s get this out of the way; yes New Super Mario Bros does include a bit of motion control, but the good news is that Nintendo was smart enough not to make them too in your face. In fact, much like Super Mario Galaxy, the motion controls make sense, and aren’t at all gimmicky. Give the Wii-mote a shake next to an object to pick it up, shake the wii-mote to make one of the new suits fly. You’ll still control the majority of the actions holding the wii-mote sideways, the motion controls aren’t abrasive at all and feel like second nature.

The true wonder of New Super Marios Bros is just how accessible the gameplay is. I’ve played thousands of video games, each with their own control scheme and rules but no matter what – Mario has always been the easiest to pick up and jump in to. This will go a long way towards endearing the game (and in other ways the franchise and the industry itself) towards wider demographics. The controls are accessible enough for new gamers to feel comfortable while those familiar with the series will of course feel right at home.

Don’t let that little Italian plumber fool you though – this game is far from easy.  In fact, a few of the levels border on masochistic. Channeling some of the best levels from previous games, New Super Mario Bros offers quite the challenging experience. You’ll often throw your controller down in fits of anger over failing at the seemingly easy puzzles multiple times, but you’ll always go back. You’ll always try again because that feeling you get when you finish a tough Mario level is one of the most rewarding feelings in all of gaming.

"...you’ll have your fair share of new suits and power-ups..."

 
   

Of course, this is a Mario game and you’ll have your fair share of new suits and power-ups (in addition to the classic fire flower and mushrooms of course) to help you rescue the princess. My favorite would have to be the new ice flower, which instead of shooting flames turns Mario’s suit blue and white and encases your enemies in ice. Since I first got my hands on a NES controller, I hated the swimming levels in Mario games – but they’re so much easier with the ice flower as you’ll be able to ice your fishy adversaries and swim under them as they float to the top of the water. A few of the other new abilities, like the propeller hat and penguin suit are nice novelties but you’ll question their usefulness frequently throughout the game. If I want to fly, just give me a feather or a cape damn it.

The biggest addition to New Super Mario Bros is of course the game’s multiplayer experience. Notice I did not use the term Co-op, as the game’s multiplayer suite is meant to be a hectic, free-for-all. Sure, you can play through the game’s main campaign with friends, but you’re going to end up screwing each other over quite often. Not that that’s a bad thing though. Full games (with four players as Mario, Luigi and two toads respectively) are unpredictable and loads of fun. Once you get into the later stages in the game though, things get pretty hectic and you’re going to curse the multiplayer as you’ll need precise timing and jumps – which get’s incredibly difficult when your friends are bopping on top of your head.

After all these years, Mario is back to prove why he is still the king of the platformer. It may not be the most innovative, but New Super Mario Bros is one of the most fun gaming experiences I’ve had not just this year, but in recent memory.  It’s fun and it’s nostalgic but at the same time it’s fresh and new. Over the last few years I’ve questioned why I own a Wii and this is the answer to that question. New Super Mario Bros is a great experience that bridges the gaps between our increasingly segmenting hobby. Go out and buy Mario’s latest adventure, it will remind you why you fell in love with the medium in the first place. 

 

CHEATfactor

CHEATS USED: Wii Trainer

Don't feel like letting Mario do all the work? Give him an extra boost with the new trainer from Cheat Happens. With the new unlimited lives feature, you'll be able to leap into canyons, run into shells and get squashed by angry faced stones to your heart's content. Combine that with the unlimited time feature and you'll be able to easily uncover all of the secrets throughout.

 

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