January 1, 2010

Review: New Super Mario Bros. Wii

So imagine a game that is a cross between Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World. If you can't imagine it, such a game would basically play like the two aforementioned games, with tight controls, challenging but fair stages, excellent secrets to be discovered, and fun power ups. Oh, and because it's 2010 and not the early 1990s, the game is basically all in 3D, so the graphics look nice.

But then imagine if the people who designed the game also invented a cooperative multiplayer mode. It would be unlike the ones in Mario 3 and World, in that instead of taking turns finishing levels, up to four people at once could play in the same level and help each other complete it. That sounds like fun, and it is.

That generally summarizes New Super Mario Bros. Wii. It is a classically fun game that is good when you play by yourself and great when played with others. The game has no problem handling up to four players at once, and is well designed so that even if you've never played a Mario game before in your life you can quickly pick things up and get started.

The game is not without its faults, however. If more than 3 players are playing, the only available 4th character is simply a different colored version of Toad (that is, the four characters you can be are Mario, Luigi, Blue Toad and Yellow Toad). This tends to get confusing during the colorful stages. Plus, a lot of times people will get in each other's way when playing together, though this is not so much a flaw since the stages are designed for it, but rather an element of multiplayer that makes the game more fun.

The only real criticism would be that the game might be too easy. Indeed, you have an unlimited number of continues, the bosses play much in the same way they did way back in SMB 3, and with 4 players all working together the game can be beat in the span of 10 hours without great difficulty. However, the fact that there is a secret world which requires a meticulous traversing of the other 8 worlds (sorry for the minor spoilers) to collect the 3 mega coins means that there is definitely an element of replayability to it, with the appropriate rewards.

Overall, if you own a Wii, you should definitely by New Super Mario Bros. Wii. It's one of those rare games that's good whether you like playing games by yourself or with others. I highly recommend it.

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