The lights are on
I am an avid fan of the Super Mario Bros. franchise and have enjoyed Mario's many adventures across consoles. His latest outing in this format was found on the Nintendo DS, where gameplay and mechanics were apparently "New." I found New Super Mario Bros. Wii to be easy and a disappointing tribute to past Super Mario Bros. games! I'm having difficulty attempting to enjoy this game as much as the next guy. Let's see, the old school format is in place - Princess is captured and you have to traverse many worlds to save her. The presentation is identical to the DS outing except that the Wii's hardware really makes the game look pretty and bubbly. Controls are tight and responsive - a little more responsive than the DS game.Let's not forget, this game is not a port of the DS New Super Mario Bros. game. It's an entirely new adventure. Having completed the DS iteration and then playing this was a bit disappointing. Many stages or at least parts of the stages from the DS game are used and spread out. There are many instances where you will find familiar territory - because you encountered them on the DS!
4-Player multiplayer is very enjoyable but can be a bit bothersome. Whether you want to be cooperative or not, to end the stage requires teamwork in some way, shape or form. NSMB Wii pays tribute to Super Mario Bros. 3 for the NES. The Koopa kids are back, complete with remixed battle music from the NES days. If there is anything I like to see or hear in a game like this is some kind of homage to earlier games in the series. The boss battles are a bit redundant and I found some stages before the boss battles to be quite challenging compared to battling ANY of the Koopa kids.Unlike the DS version, before each stage you can access an item menu just like Super Mario Bros. 3 to prepare yourself and other players that are with you. One gripe I had with this is any 1 item will reflect all players. You cannot give Mario a Fire Flower, Luigi a Star, etc. I thought that was pretty lame.Speaking of items, I enjoyed the new abilities you gain such as the Propeller Mushroom, Ice Flower and Penguin Suit. I do however have one large complaint on the items in general. Unlike Super Mario Bros. 3 and the DS game there are ability issues. Let me put this in perspective. The Penguin Suit has the same ability to shoot Ice Balls like the Ice Flower. You can also glide on your belly and take out many enemies. From past Mario games, you would think, "Hey, I have the Penguin Suit so if I touch the Ice Flower, nothing happens because it shares the same ability, very much like the Tanooki Suit and the leaf!" Wrong. Touch the Ice Flower and you lose your Penguin ability. But in the DS game, If I'm Turtle Shell Mario and touch a Fire Flower, I'm still Turtle Shell Mario??? Yoshi makes an appearance in this game as well, complete with Super Mario World Yoshi sound effects. I enjoyed that very much but again was disappointed to find out that at the end of each stage, Yoshi doesn't follow you! Don't expect to see any special abilities either such as red shells shoot fire, etc. Although most of my review puts this game in a negative light, I do admit that the final stage of the game is very well worth it. Overall I think Nintendo did a poor job at attempting to implement past Mario game mechanics. New Super Mario Bros. Wii is still very fun and feels "New" but it doesn't have the same flare as it's older and better adventures. This is however one Wii game that shouldn't be passed up. But if you're looking for a challenging and inspired adventure, grab Super Mario World and Super Mario Bros. 3 off the Virtual Console service and you'll see the difference. *UpdateAdditional Complaints- The appearance of Yoshi is very disappointing. Yoshi is available on only a handful of the stages. I'd say about 1/4 of the game has stages with Yoshi. That's not enough.- It's too easy to gain 1-ups. The game practically hands them to you.- Annoying help bubbles. There are Red mushroom houses to gain items. You are presented with a help bubble before the minigame on how to play the game. This is the ONLY minigame where you obtain items. Why am I FORCED to read this "help" screen after the 20+ times I visit the mushroom house? This part of the game really makes me wonder who the target audience this game was really for. It's a similar trait found in Zelda:Twilight Princess where you obtain ruppees. I'm in no rush to play the game - it's just Very annoying.
- This game favors the Ice Flower. Very little attention is given to the Mini Mushroom.....no pun intended.
- NSMBW will constantly tell you what to press and when to shake or tilt your remote but won't tell you that it's safe to go in a tunnel without Toad - Toad will follow you out on the other side.
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