Review by buruburu1

"Fun On Your Own, But More Players = Fun Multiplier"

Graphics (24/30, judged by era)- Very clean, colorful graphics make up this visually nice title. Given that the game can handle up to four players, this clean aesthetic definitely helps keep things clear and visible. As always, the series is bright and cheery. Beyond that, the locales are interesting, and there are nice little touches here and there. Enemies are largely your typical fare, however there are new additions, with new enemies even being added post-finish in the extra worlds, which not all players may access.

Some of the nice touches include players' legs and feet changing angle when on a swinging platform which creates incline or decline. As well, the camera gets special mention. Seemingly taken from the Smash Brothers series, it does a fantastic job of expanding the play field to reveal more when multiple players spread out, while limiting of course the amount that can be seen, then tightening in when players get near each other again. You stop noticing it after awhile, and it just works.

Sound- FX/Voice (6/10) Sounds are largely crisply reproduced and feature no voices beyond the usual few words Mario or Toad speaks; it satisfies the ear while largely not being needed to enjoy the game—you could just as well play with mute on. It might be a lot less fun, because the sounds are pretty fun themselves, but they aren't necessary to know what's going on.

Sound- Music (7/10) Given that the series has spawned some of gaming's most memorable tunes, it's interesting to note how each game in the modern era might only have 1-2 of those unforgettable numbers and a lot of otherwise decent tracks. Here is no different. There are a couple of largely new and very good tracks, the rest is either remixed or re-used from prior games. It's presented in clear and bright stereo audio and makes for a good background to the levels.

Game play- Length/Replay (12/15) It's entirely possible to breeze through the game to the “end” in a fairly short period of time. Going through and finishing all the levels that are available will take significantly longer, going through and finding the hidden levels and collecting the 3 gold coins in each, even longer. All told, getting 3 coins on every level, watching some play-movies in the in-game cinema, and some multiple player fun added up to a decent 31 hours.

Game play- Game Design (32/35)- Following pretty closely to the original NES-era formula, this title is bold in its retro-feel, and it largely succeeds in bringing back that old style with new presentation. The level design is largely good, often on the easy side but occasionally quite tricky, and for those who find the whole package easy in terms of reaching the end-of-level flagpole, the gold coin collection often proves quite challenging.

As a multiple player affair, the game is fantastic. I played most of it through with a second player, and the teamwork and occasional mess-ups we'd cause for each other both meant a lot of laughing and enjoyment. As mentioned, the game accommodates multiple players well in terms of visuals. However, with some of the levels being fairly chaotic, it would be hard to imagine playing this game with four players. Though not the fault of the game, we sometimes found ourselves watching the opposite player, especially weird since I played as Toad, my friend as Mario. It's not like they look alike. But add in four players and you get two toads differentiated by color, and Mario with Luigi, again largely differentiated by color more than shape.

This title doesn't wow with high-resolution textures and lots of special effects, but it creates a great visual package in terms of function over form, and manages to be visually appealing still.

**Final Thoughts: If you dig 2d platform games, this is a definite purchase. If you have friends of siblings to play with, it's a must-buy.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 10/15/12

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


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