Review by SMuffinMan
"The New Meets the Old in a greta collaboration"
Once again the Italian-Japanese plumber from Brooklyn must set forth on an adventure in the Mushroom Kingdom, and Nintendo really had the fans in mine when they created this game. They also made it new enough so that newcomers to the series could be roped into this ever-addicting series. New Super Mario Bros. Wii doesn't disappoint, no matter which side of the fence you're on (newcomers and old fans). It was hard for me to put this game down until I finished it. It gets addicting fast and there's plenty to do. Here we'll be talking about what makes this game so great and sets it apart from the others.
Story: 10/10: Princess Peach is holding a party at her castle in the Mushroom Kingdom and has baked a special cake for Mario. Mario gets to the party and as if on cue, Bowser and his koopalings show up and Bowser kidnaps the princess. Mario must yet again venture through the Mushroom Kingdom and defeat the evil Bowser, king of the koopas to rescue Princess Peach. What made me so happy here is that Bower's children from the days of old have returned, as well as his namesake, Bowser Jr. From the opening scene, I was hooked. Bowser's kids made the perfect bosses in Super Mario Bros. 3 and they're all back. It's essentially the same story formula as Super Mario Bros. 3, with the addition of Bowser Jr. Along the way, Mario will run into his old friends, the little denizens of Mushroom Kingdom, the toads. There are eight worlds in total, and a ninth unlocked if the player meets certain conditions throughout the game.
Gameplay: 10/10: They really went all out in this area. Much like Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World, you're given an overworld map to play on with pathways slowly unlocked as you complete a stage. The Mushroom houses from Super Mario Bros. 3 make a return, giving you the option to earn extra items and lives by playing mini games, one of which is a variation of the old N-Spade card game. For that one, you have a grating to climb on ala Super Mario World, and have to punch question mark tiles. Each one holds an item on the other side of it. Matching up two of them will grant you that item to select from when you open the sub menu before entering a stage. There's also a game with balloons to pop open by shooting through a cannon. You aim the cannon by tilting the Wii remote and pressing a button. The more balloons you have lined up and can shoot through, the more extra lives you'll get. Also returning in this game is the iconic fire flower upgrade, and the invincibility stars. There are a couple of new power ups though that you'll need to get through the game, such as the ice flower and the penguin suit. Both allow you to shoot iceballs to freeze your enemies, and the penguin suit will allow you to slide across the ground on your belly just like a penguin! Just like the original Super Mario Bros., you'll be jumping to the top of a flagpole at the end of each stage. The higher you jump on the pole, the higher score you'll get.
The controls are like that of the original Mario games on the NES with a new twist. You hold the Wii remote sideways and use it just like a regular NES controller. However they still managed to make use of the motion controls. There will be some platforms that you have to stand or run on and tilt the Wii remote so you can get up to a higher platform. There's also a helicopter hat that will require you to shake the Wii remote to make Mario fly up and slowly make his way back down, though this process can be sped up. And like I mentioned, with the cannon mini game, you have to tilt the Wii remote to aim it. So the gameplay here is all sidescrolling and there's plenty of hidden areas to explore. Some of these hidden areas will hold what are known as Star Coins. There are three in each level and getting enough of them will unlock an extra world for you to explore. The game supports up to four players at a time and can be a great party game if you're not like me, who prefers single player so that I won't be held back by a friend because they're so slow. Still, it's a pretty cool feature nonetheless and can make for a good time if you're just in it for the fun. Overall the game's a little on the easy side, especially if playing alone. They provide enough free lives for four players and if you're the only one playing, you'll be reaping the benefits yourself, resulting in an extreme amount of extra lives. Game overs shouldn't be a problem.
Graphics: 10/10: The visuals for New Super Mario Bros. Wii are fantastic by Wii standards. The backgrounds and characters, enemies, environments, are all in 3D while still maintaining a 2D, sidescrolling environment. All of the character and enemy designs are great, looking just like updated versions of the old enemies with no drastic and radical changes to character design. The graphics are smooth and the environments are beautiful, which helps add to the fluid feel of controls and gameplay. It felt like they gave the environment it's own personality with this game, as everything moves, even the flowers! Overall, graphics-wise, it's one of the best looking games on the Wii yet and definitely deserves some recognition. It's not HD, but it still looks great for what it is. The Wii's strongest point has never been graphics, and it's really not fair to compare it to something as powerful as the Playstation 3 or the Xbox 360.
Audio: 10/10: The sounds are the clear and the music is absolutely excellent. In this game you'll find that the soundtrack is just littered with nostalgia. Even the airships have the same song as they did in Super Mario Bros. 3. So you'll hear a lot of the old songs returning, some with remixes that sound just plain awesome. A lot of the levels have a song that actually has what sounds like a small choir singing and overall it's pretty peaceful and it really helps set a good mood. Ths boss music from Super Mario Bros. 3 also makes a return! Like every other area of the game, Nintendo had the fans in mind when they created the soundtrack and the did a fantastic job of keeping our old favorites fresh.
Overall: 10/10: Nintendo outdid themselves with this one in my book. All together it feels like they took the best of Super Mario World and Super Mario Bros. 3 and meshed them into the same game while still managing to keep it fresh. This game is most certainly a must own for any long time Mario fan, even if you've only played the old ones. It can also make for a great party game and makes it so everybody can enjoy the game at the same time instead of having to take turns. An online multiplayer version would've been nice, even if it was only the mini game from Super Mario Bros. 3 where it's you against another player. Still, this game is by far one of the best in the series and you shouldn't miss the opportunity to play it. So what are you waiting for? Get off your PC and go buy yourself a copy now!
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 03/30/10
Game Release: New Super Mario Bros. Wii (US, 11/15/09)
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