AVAILABLE ON: Wii, Wii U (Virtual Console)
RELEASE DATE: November 12, 2009
After the great success of Super Mario Galaxy, Mario creator and producer Shigeru Miyamoto went on to recreate a classic Super Mario Bros. game for multiple players. He had toyed with the idea several times in the past, as far back as in the Nintendo 64's heyday, but found it impossible to create a fully functional game of such premise until Wii had proven its capabilities. Miyamoto's hand-picked "Team Mario" basically remade New Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo DS, heavily revamping the level design to accommodate a 4-player game, the new power-ups and their advantages, and finally the motion detection feature of the Wii. The result, arguably a far more exciting platformer game than the first New Super Mario Bros. title, and another remarkable entry point to Mario's adventures in the 21st century alongside its sequel, the previously reviewed 3DS iteration.
20-something minutes into New Super Mario Bros. Wii - my first touch to a classic Wii game in seven years, I might add - I had made so many observations, that I had to pause the game every now and then to write it all down on paper, it's all very essential review stuff, in better and worse. First and foremost, most importantly, I have to explain my discomfort - in lack of a better word - with this particular series of games, 'cause now it's clear as day. Mario games have always been about something new. Every Mario platformer I've ever played has been notably different from all the others. Even the international version of the NES trilogy was comprised of three totally different games, and I think it was the huge, somewhat unexpected success of Super Mario Bros. 2, that prompted Miyamoto and his followers to strive for a completely different game every time they took on a new Mario project. When we have a game called New Super Mario Bros., we expect it to live up to its name. In the first game's case, all it needed to be was an entertaining platformer. It turned out a bit boring (on my personal account), but it was a Nintendo DS game; it had certain limitations, so everything's OK. When a Wii iteration came along - let's just pretend I cared back then - the expectations were much higher. Those expectations were certainly met, but what we had here was basically a remake of the Nintendo DS game. Oh well, maybe it was all part of the plan. Then came New Super Mario Bros. 2 for the Nintendo 3DS - the same. Then, New Super Mario Bros. U - up next for a more thorough gutting - basically a remake of a remake. Namely, this game. With two fantastic, not to mention, hella inventive 3D-branded adventures in the between, for the 3DS and the Wii U, one has to wonder why this repetitive series is still widely considered superior. (I'll not even start with Super Mario Galaxy's alleged superiority to just about everything.)
|Yoshi's back, but not as much more than a gratuitous cameo.|
Koopa Party Poopa
|Move and tilt the platform by moving and tilting the 'mote.|
I'll surely return to this subject soon enough.
|Another motion-based level where the direction of the|
spotlights depends on the 'mote's position.
The level design could be better, but then again, it IS already much better than in the previous DS game. It's not just one identical level after another, there's a lot of shuffle going on constantly, and even in the twilight of the game, there are plenty of levels that are thrown in as peacemakers after lengthy stretches of absolute insanity - or elaborately, levels that are easier for a 2D Mario veteran to cope with. I think that fixed statement hit the target much better, after all New Super Mario Bros. Wii is NOT, under any circumstances, an easy game. But it is a fun game, which will please veterans and newcomers, single players and multiplayer enthusiasts, alike.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii is a great platformer, a huge improvement over the first game in the New Super Mario Bros. series. Instead of going into more detailed stuff as to how it still lacks the excitement of the very best in the Mario franchise, and how I and the developers still have some slight differences in the creation of entertaining level design, I'll just bow my head, thank the developers for their fine work in recreating a classic Mario game for us who appreciate them over any Sunshine or Galaxy, and take my leave to work on the next one. Thank you.