Review by videogamer1030

"A blast of old school fun, but I still see missed opportunity"

After New Super Mario Bros. DS, my expectations for this game were probably lowered much moreso than if the last 2D platform game was Mario World. Which in a way is good for the sake of not being overblown by hype but at the same time the game also doesn't pack the same "wow" factor.

Many ideas from this game were adopted from NSMBDS but thankfully enhanced in Mario Wii. Mario retains all his old jumping and wall jumping abilities, but gains new ones as well. The new penguin suit is mostly a superior blue shell, and the new propeller suit is an actual powerup instead of a spring that appears in some levels of the DS game. The star coins reappear, but are more cleverly placed and also unlock a new world this time around. The music style and graphics are also a very obvious similarity, both of which were improved upon as well. Graphics are much shinier and crisper than those of the DS game. Though I wish there were more original music scores in this game, the ones that were chosen were generally good. It's just the main theme that becomes a bit repetitive after a while.

Ideas were also borrowed from other games in the series. For instance, Yoshi is available to use in some levels and Bowser's Koopalings are also bosses to fight. Kamek even plays a big role like in Yoshi's Island.

Mario Wii is a new game that pieces together all of the classic elements from other games in the series yet adds a newer feel to it. It retains difficulty from more of the earlier games and offers unique power ups.

The multiplayer is an obvious selling point to the game, and it works wonders, despite having no online capabilities. It's a blast to play with friends and it plays perfectly, despite all the chaos on screen. That's all part of the fun.

The game is also open to newcomers, offering hint movies and a super guide function to those that die 8 times in a level. Serious gamers will be still be satisfied with Nintendo's decision, as they're able to create harder levels as a result. The coins also cannot be accessed through Super Guide, so you will have to be good to unlock World 9's levels.

I also want to criticize the game a bit for being a little too by the book. While the game still succeeds in gameplay and control departments, my major disappointment is with themed worlds. The series still uses worlds with terrain themes like grass, desert and water. There also aren't any original themes this time either, like Giant World or Pipe Land from Mario 3, which is a shame. Despite sticking to more rigid themes and not branching out, I'm still pleased with most of the levels. However, there is a clear distinction of levels that can be enjoyable due to the world theme that was used. I was pushing myself through the desert world, and I can confidently say that the second half of the game has much better worlds than the first half.

Ultimately, I enjoyed the game because the level design is quite good, largely improved by the use of bosses (Koopalings!) and powerups (Yoshi!). I still complain about the level themes, I would have been thrilled to get some more unique levels, especially after playing Mario Galaxy and seeing all the cool and original space levels. Mario Galaxy is definitely the more unique and well made title, but Mario Wii has an old school charm that Galaxy does not have. The game is a great blast of nostalgia and good design, but there's so much more opportunity. Even so, the game is a Mario title that can even go toe to toe with Mario 3 and Mario World in many aspects. That alone makes it worth the purchase, or rental at the very least.

Graphics-8
Gameplay- 9
Audio-8
Lasting Appeal- 8 (but this depends on how many friends you have)

Overall (8.5/10)


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/29/10, Updated 02/02/10

Game Release: New Super Mario Bros. Wii (US, 11/15/09)


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