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Author Topic: Review - New Super Mario Bros. (Wii)  (Read 4031 times)

Mark

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Review - New Super Mario Bros. (Wii)
« on: December 17, 2009, 07:11:21 PM »


A long time ago when Tina and I started dating she told me about a hacked Super Mario Bros. game she played with her cousins back in Taiwan.  Apparently, it was modified so that two players could play at the same time.  Ever since she told me about that, I longed for a version of Super Mario Bros. that we could play together.  That wait has finally ended.

Let me clarify that this is not a remake of a previous version of Super Mario Bros., not even the recent New Super Mario Bros. for the DS.  This is an original game based on the gameplay of the old school games that we loved for so many years before 3D became the standard and everyone started doing things from the 1st person (more or less) perspective.

Since everyone has played the original Super Mario Bros., I'm not going to go into too much detail on the basic gameplay.  It's still the same.  Side view.  Run, jump, stomp enemies, hit coin bricks, and hop as high as you can to the flagpole at the end (hitting the top gives you a 1UP).

The most important difference of course is that you can play up to 4 player cooperative (local only).  Player 1 always has to be Mario.  The other folks can pick from Luigi, Yellow Toad, and Blue Toad (the mushroom guys).  Why they force P1 to be Mario and why they didn't include more characters to choose from, I don't know.  It's not a big deal, but it does leave me scratching my head.

The game will ask you how many players to start, but you can also add and remove players at any time between levels on the map screen.  The game is played with the WiiMote sideways "NES" style.  Motion controls are unused other than shaking to pick up something or to do that silly spin move (also, on some levels you can also control moving platforms with tilting).

While this game is designed as cooperative, you can wreak havoc on your friends intentionally or not throughout the game.  Characters cannot pass through each other, so a person might block your path to safety or step on your head as you try to jump a chasm.  You can also pick each other up and throw each other at will.  This provides many helpful and harmful opportunities depending on who you are playing with.  I love picking Tina up to help her across a difficult jump or to hit the top of the flag simultaneously.

Also keep in mind that while the screen zooms out to some extent as you separate, a player that drops too far off screen will die instantly.

When a player dies with lives left, he will respawn in a bubble and float towards another player.  The bubble can be popped by players and enemies alike.  Hopefully not while standing directly above a lava pit.  As long as there is one active player, the level does not start over.  This actually makes coop very helpful.  Players can also choose to go into bubble mode at any time without costing a life which is nice if a person is having a really tough time in a particular section of a level.

Coin collection is pooled and when 100 coins are attained, all players get an extra life (even someone who was temporarily out of the game due to losing all lives).

There are also three star coins on each stage which provide an additional optional challenge to find and collect.  We played through the game once quickly and are now on our way to collecting all the coins in each world.  It's really quite fun to find them and figure out how to get them.  Although they aren't 100% necessary, there is definitely some good motivation to collect them.

Aside from the coop, there are also a couple new suits.  There is the helicopter suit which allows the player to jet into the air, even during a jump.  And there is the penguin suit which allows for belly sliding across ramps and superior control on ice and in water.  

Yoshi can be found on specific levels and he doesn't carry over once you pass the stage.  He's a lot of fun - able to hover in the air and eat enemies (and poop out items once you eat enough).

In addition to the regular stages, of which there are plenty, there are bonus stages for items and lives as well as challenge areas that have you scrambling to collect mushrooms while avoiding some area-specific obstacles.  Also, if you are playing single player there are stages with a hostage toad that you can try to bring to safety for extra lives.

Summary:

This game is excellent.  On it's own as a standard single-player Mario game, this game is already a 9.25.  As a coop game you can play with friends, this game is a 9.75.  Easily the most fun we've had playing anything in 2009.  And we're still playing it in 2010.  And plan to play it for a long time to come.  A must have if you are a fan of coop and old-school SMB gameplay.

I give this game the CoopGamer.com GAME OF THE YEAR award for 2009.

« Last Edit: January 11, 2010, 12:29:31 PM by Mark »

Mark

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Re: Review - New Super Mario Bros. (Wii)
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2010, 07:14:15 PM »
This review is now complete.

Onikazuya

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Re: Review - New Super Mario Bros. (Wii)
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2010, 01:27:49 PM »
Wow, game of the year. Yeah, I really liked this game as well, the Wii for me is finally starting to get some real AAA titles.

Nice review Mark, but you didn't mention what you thought of the graphics, and the music...
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Mark

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Re: Review - New Super Mario Bros. (Wii)
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2010, 12:46:29 PM »
That's a good point.  I love the graphics in this game.  They are very crisp and have a very clean and cutesy look to them.  It's pretty much everything you would expect from a 1st-party Mario title.  Seeing Tina as the mushroom kid with the propeller suit on just makes me laugh.

I know you mentioned not liking the music because it was a little *too* old school in its MIDI quality.  Personally, I love it.  It really gives me a nostalgic feel and some of the songs are so catchy that I find myself humming them on a regular basis.  I don't know if you noticed this, but enemies react to the music.  That one song with the vibrant "ha" here and there prompts enemies to swing in dance for a split second.  It's funny, but it also throws off the timing for head stomping.

I think what really makes this game stand out as a great coop game is that you can take people of completely different skill levels and they can still have a good time together.  As it stands, I'm hovering at 99 men with 0 continues and Tina has roughly 65 continues under her belt.  Yet we always have a blast.  I think there was only one stage where I really felt I had to go it alone (I think it was 7-6) purely because the entire stage is nothing but brutal, perilous jumping on small moving platforms (bugs) and I was having a pretty rough time with it.

Speaking of that stage, I think that's the one time I really hated the motion controls.  There were at least 3 times (out of around 15 attempts) where I was nearly done with the stage and I accidentally jerked the controller a tad too fast, triggering that damned spinny move and falling to my death.

Jude

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Re: Review - New Super Mario Bros. (Wii)
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2010, 07:32:51 PM »
I think that's the one time I really hated the motion controls. 

The controls are my only complaint about the game, actually.  I accidentally spin jump all the time, and after about thirty minutes of playing my palms are sore from the corners of the Wii remote digging into them.  This would be the perfect throwback title if only I could use the classic controller.

Mark

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Re: Review - New Super Mario Bros. (Wii)
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2010, 12:04:35 PM »
That reminds me of one other controller irritation.  During the game I'm basically holding down the "1" button 95% of the time.  Occasionally, I turn myself into a bubble because I hit the B button with my left hand.  I pretty much only do this when Tina is in a bubble too, so basically the level ends and we start over.  At first I didn't even understand what the hell was going on.

The game is just so damned much fun though that I can look back at all this and laugh.

Onikazuya

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Re: Review - New Super Mario Bros. (Wii)
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2010, 08:03:17 PM »
I know you mentioned not liking the music because it was a little *too* old school in its MIDI quality.  Personally, I love it.  It really gives me a nostalgic feel and some of the songs are so catchy that I find myself humming them on a regular basis.  I don't know if you noticed this, but enemies react to the music.  That one song with the vibrant "ha" here and there prompts enemies to swing in dance for a split second.  It's funny, but it also throws off the timing for head stomping.

Actually, I think I may have been a little too hard on the music, it really grew on me. I especially liked the music in the first stage of world 8, the underwater music, the castle themes, and of course the remixed airship theme from Super Mario Bros. 3. There were just a few tracks that sounded a little too midi-ish...
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Tina

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Re: Review - New Super Mario Bros. (Wii)
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2010, 05:42:05 PM »
I LOVE this game!  Although I am horrible with jumps and die all the time but I still have a lot of fun.  And on very hard stages where you have to jump everywhere I would die but I love to watch Mark play.  Even our son 19 month, likes the music and likes to watch us play =)  And I love the music and graphic.  I do wish they have more characters though.

tina

 




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