New Super Mario Bros. Wii
We've spent a healthy amount of time with New Super Mario Bros. Wii in
the last week, and it's proving to be a serious challenge reminiscent
of the series' hardest levels. Whether you're going solo or with three
friends by your side, there's a wealth of new gameplay elements,
enemies, and platforming challenges to ensure you'll be clamoring for
every 1-Up you can get.
While the game is chock full of throwback levels and familiar enemies, it's by no means a simple nostalgia act. One area has you jumping from giant manta ray to giant manta ray, desperately trying to get some sort of footing to prevent a quick death. Another has giant floating bubbles that require the player to seamlessly alternate between swimming and platforming. Later levels are possibly the hardest platforming challenges in the series' history, with Bullet Bills, cannonballs, and lava geysers filling the screen. One such stage incorporates motion control, requiring the player to tilt the Wii remote to guide a platform along a rail. It's insanely difficult, and if you're playing four-player it's almost a guarantee that you'll accidentally kill a friend by jumping on their head at the wrong time.
Most of the enemies will be familiar faces like Goomba, Koopa Troopa, Boo, and Wiggler, but there are several new and revamped baddies entering the Mushroom Kingdom. You may remember Fuzzy from Super Mario World (not the "Touch Fuzzy, Get Dizzy" version from Yoshi's Island), but he's much more of a threat this time around. Instead of one or two of these creatures on a rail, they'll sometimes appear in giant groups, often with super-sized versions in the mix. Cloud enemies will try to blow you off of platforms, Crowbers will swoop down at high speeds, and the sky will sometimes be littered with parachuting Bob-ombs.
Thankfully, Mario isn't without a new bag of tricks to help him on yet another Princess-saving, Koopaling-stomping adventure. You've probably seen the ice flower, penguin suit, and propeller helmet in trailers, and these are all welcome additions to Mario's ever-growing power-up library. Even when you don't have a propeller helmet, your character can grab special propeller blocks to temporarily give him an airborne boost. Both propeller methods are great alternatives to previous methods of flight (Raccoon/Tanooki suit, cape), and allow for far more precise movement when planning an accurate Koopa head-stomp.
We're only a couple weeks away from New Super Mario Bros Wii's release, and all signs are pointing towards a fantastic mix of nostalgia and pure platforming challenge. Keep an eye on the site for our full review.