New Super Mario Bros.Wii

My gosh, it must be about 18 years since the last time Mario graced our home consoles in good ol’ 2D loveliness. (And I’m not going to include ‘Yoshi’s Island’ because a baby Mario on the back of a Yoshi just doesn’t count.) Now don’t get me wrong, I really love the 3D Mario games, but there is just something about 2D games that make them stand out from the rest and this game really does kick some Goomba ass.

The first thing is that it’s not a port of ‘New Super Mario Bros’ on the Nintendo DS, it’s a totally new game. It has the same graphical style as the DS game, with a whole new story. It just so happens to be Princess Peach’s birthday and it just so happens that the poor girl gets kidnapped by Bowser JR on her birthday too, in a ‘so happen-y’ type of way. So then Mario (and if you have 3 other friends playing) Luigi and 2 different colour Toads have to go though 8 worlds, (with around 10 levels in each) to rescue her. As a single player game you will play as Mario, and luckily not the Bob Hoskins variety (unless you’re a fan of back hair), and you set off on your journey to rescue the princess… again.

You use the Wiimote to do all your Mario-ness and this really does make you feel like you’re holding a NES pad again. There are only a couple of times when you need to tilt and shake the remote, and you get told when to do these as you come across them. The levels are laid out onto a map screen and it’s just like something out of Super Mario Bros 3 with the Toad Houses and those cheeky Kooper Troopers wandering around the map for you to walk into and have a fight with. As you go through the levels, you can collect giant coins, which you can then use to buy ‘Tip Videos’, or to put it another way, videos showing some sort of witchcraft and wizardry concocted by a Japanese Mario playing genius who will make you look at you fingers and thumbs as twitching, blubbery, useless lumps. Some of the ‘Tip Videos’ are so awesome and  impressive, they actually make you rather feel inadequate, but in a good way.  Like you’re looking at an awesome YouTube video, but on your Wii.

Also, an option you can have is that after dying again and again on the same level, a green box appears at the start of the level and if you hit it, the computer (who will play as Luigi) will do the level for you. You can’t get any extras like coins and power ups but you can watch what you had to do to stay alive and can either start the level from the beginning or take over from the computer so you can get past that annoying bit known as the wall and play the rest on your own (but then you won’t get any little stars against your save file… Microsoft had the right idea with achievement points).

Apart for your usual mushroom and star power-ups, this new game has the new to Mario 2D, slightly familiar to Mario 3D, Ice Flower (those pesky Dry Bones can now be stopped! Yay!).This is similar to the Fire Flower, except you can throw ice and, err, not fire… Also, another wardrobe addition for Mario to put next to the Tanooki and Frog suit is the Penguin suit. This suit not only allows you to throw snow balls, but it lets you slide on your belly over icy surfaces, break blocks and smack up enemies as you glide along and it also makes you swim much better. Much more useful than being able to turn briefly into a statue. And last, but not least, you also have the Propeller suit. On goes the slightly seventies styled red jump suit and propellered crash helmet and you are able to jump extra high, glide across the stage and churn up the white fluffy clouds that litter the sky.

As well as the single player option, you can have the 4 player co-op, that’s if all 4 players actually cooperate, of course. This is where the game becomes even better. I love most co-op games especially 2D Platformers and there really haven’t been many I’ve really enjoyed since the NES Game ‘Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers’.  This new Mario game brings back the same fun as my favourite Chip ‘n Dale adventure, but it also brings back the competitiveness that I loved about the classic NES game. It may not seem possible, but New Super Mario Bros.Wii can cause a lot of  bickering and possibly the occasional shouting match. But no frustrated stabbings that could ever be proved in a court of law.  You’ve been warned!

One thing that may cause grief whilst traversing through the Mushroom Kingdom is the A button. Yes, that’s right, the A button, harmless as it seems, the A button is your savior but can alternatively cause your tragic, tragic demise. The term I use for using the A button is called ‘bubbling-up’ and what this means is if Mario is about to fall off a cliff and there is no way of jumping back to safety, you can press the A button. This then puts Mario in a bubble and by shaking the Wiimote, the bubble encased Mazza will float over to one of the other co-op players – namely Luigi – and he can pop the bubble and out falls Mario. Only one player can be in a bubble at one time or the level will end. Now I would rarely use this option, but my co-op player liked to use it a lot… and even used it when I was about to fall off a cliff which then caused us both to die.  I died because they ‘bubbled-up’ when they didn’t need to and they died because… well, the poor sod just fell off a cliff.

This Mario game has everything for Mario fans of all ages. You can ride Yoshi like in Super Mario World, the castle bosses are the Kooper Kids from Super Mario 3. Lots and lots of recognisable music and sound effects from all the Mario games and all of which come straight out of the Wii remote speaker.  Which is just the right sprinkling of awesome on a superb pie.







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