Review by ThePenguin56

Reviewed: 07/08/11

A decent game that's been slapped across the face by a lackluster storyline.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii was one of the most highly anticipated games of the twenty-first century. For some, this game, the first 2D platformer released in years, lived up to its atmospheric level of hype. But for those who aren’t fanboys of the series, this game was a disappointment, mostly because of its horrible storyline and frustrating gameplay.

STORY: 2/10
This has been a monumental issue with the Mario series for its entire existence. Once again, the story consists of Bowser, the series’ villain, swooping in out of nowhere and kidnapping the painfully oblivious Princess Peach (except, this time, in some sort of sorry attempt to be original, Nintendo made this abduction occur on Peach’s birthday – shocking plot twist, huh?). Mario (and three comrades if you’re playing with friends) then sets of to save her. This same basic storyline has been used in the overwhelming majority of Super Mario games, and, frankly, it’s becoming stale. This sort of bland unoriginality is like reading the same book twenty times in a row. The only true difference is the environment – two-dimensional, spanning across eight differently themed worlds, each dominated by one of the bosses from Super Mario World. In essence, this game is simply a rehash of the rest of the series.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii is a fairly easy game. While a few of its levels are fairly challenging, some others are pathetically straightforward and predictable. Play this with friends, however, as the option is available, and the effect is lessened greatly. The propeller power-up is one that I question particularly – doesn’t hovering around make platforming a tad easy, especially when the item itself is in such abundance? Each level contains three star coins, required for 100% completion and necessary to unlock the game’s final world. Hunting for these is tedious, yet mentally stimulating and fairly rewarding in the end. There is a bit of a beaten path as far as how the game should be progressed, but shortcuts through the worlds are plentiful – including secret exits that at times lead to cannons that vault you several worlds forward, allowing for speed runs – and thus there are multiple ways to beat the game. Controls, whether you’re using a sideways Wii remote or a Wii remote and Nunchuck, are solid, straightforward and easy to learn (and thank goodness there’s a button for increasing running speed!).

New Super Mario Bros. Wii’s graphics are excellent. The game appears very smooth and seamless, and a nice amount of detail is added to most items. The atmosphere is very positive and cheery, and the visuals reflect that perfectly.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii’s music is, for the most part, catchy and nostalgic. Some themes are re-used, like World 1 and World 6 having the same music, as well as each world’s main theme being used in each of its levels. Sound effects and voices can be rather annoying; the jumping noise that resembles a slide whistle is headache-inducing. Overall, though, sound effects and music are solid.

There are several ways to beat the game, and even if it gets repetitive, the option of four-player keeps the game entertaining for a while. If you’re going it alone, though, replaying the game is a pretty lifeless experience, so keep your game close and your friends closer.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii is well worth renting. Buying is a much more questionable endeavor. If you have friends who are willing to play along, by all means, dive in. If you’re a lone wolf, be weary of low difficulty and poor storyline.


Rating:   3.5 - Good

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

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