Most people know who the Super Mario Bros. are. Even if they don’t know who Luigi is (poor guy), they know who Mario is. New Super Mario Bros. Wii fits in to that famous legacy perfectly.
I know I’ve got it around here somewhere….
I’ve been playing Mario games since I was a kid; my first time playing Mario Bros. on the Nintendo Entertainment System (the original, pre-Super Mario Bros. game) was well over two decades ago, and my love of the series has remained steadfast ever since. When most people think of the Mario series (excluding the Kart and Smash spin-offs), they think “one player.” New Super Mario Bros. Wii has brought the series into the multi-player co-op world for the first time since the original Mario Bros. with a great four-player experience that can be both exciting and excruciating at the same time. The game is a partial port of the New Super Mario Bros. game for the Nintendo DS, with some new additions and, disappointingly, some deductions (I speak of the giant mushroom). There are a few new power-ups available, such as the Ice Flower, which gives you the ability to shoot snowballs in much the same way the Fire Flower shoots fireballs, but with the added ability to encapsulate your enemies in a block of ice, the Penguin Suit, which gives you the abilities of the Ice Flower, as well as faster swimming, and an easier time on ice, and the Propeller Suit, which gives you the ability to fly for short, controlled bursts. Certain levels also give the player access to Yoshis, which is something that I have sorely missed.
Level selection is done via a world map similar to Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World. Each level contains a save point, similar to the original Sonic the Hedgehog with the red/blue balloon in the middle of a course. If all players die, and are booted to the world map screen, the level can be resumed at that save point. Additionally, the Star Coins from New Super Mario Bros. DS return, with three in each level. These can be used to purchase hint movies, but also have a much more important purpose. There are initially 8 worlds available for play. By collecting every single Star Coin in each of the 8 worlds, a new level in World 9 is unlocked. World 9 can only be played at the completion of the game, and can only be played if all of the game’s Star Coins have been found. I’m looking forward to gathering the rest of the Star Coins and giving it a try.
There have been a lot of…warnings…about playing New Super Mario Bros. Wii co-operatively with loved ones. The game has been called a marriage killer and a family breaker. This is both accurate and inaccurate. Players who are well coordinated and have strong communication skills should experience few problems with co-operative play. Players who ignore co-operative strategy and don’t communicate will become the target of the other player(s) ire. It is easy to either accidentally or “accidentally” kill your co-operative playmates. Something as simple as jumping from one ledge to another can become a heated argument about patience and consideration. Take, for example, the experience Lindsey and I had while playing New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Approximately 75% of my deaths in the game were caused by a certain someone’s impatience, lack of communication, lack of awareness, and lack of coordination when jumping or progressing through a level. Granted, I caused some deaths for her as well, but not nearly to the extent of the great Mario Massacre of 2009 (in which I play the role of Mario, being continuously slaughtered).
New Super Mario Bros. Wii is a fantastic game. The replay value may not be too high, but there are some replay sections, such as finding the remaining Star Coins and completing World 9. I’d say worth a purchase, especially if you’re a Mario fan.
-[insert revolutionary thinking here]