Video Games

Kickin’ It Old School: New Super Mario Bros Wii Review

Super Mario Bros. Back in the early 1990’s, Super Mario Bros. dominated the platform game market, and for good reason. Super Mario Bros. 3 was and still is the most successful video game to have ever been released, spawning a generation of competition that could not even come close to its dominance. Super Mario Bros. 3 was the most sold and highest reviewed NES games to have ever been released, this game has even the dubious honor of having one of the first product placement movies ever to be its launch pad.

The Wizard, a film starring Fred Savage of “The Wonder Years”, soul purpose was to announce Super Mario Bros. 3. The film stars Savage who find his brother in a mental hospital. He is there due to the traumatic mental damage caused by witnessing the death of his sister. Savage, who is a run away, breaks his brother out of the facility only to meet another run away who all embark on this journey that somehow lands them in another product placement, Universal Studios Florida. It is there that they are all involved in this “Video Armageddon” video game tournament. During this train wreck, but cheesily good for some reason movie, Savage’s younger brother turns out to be a Super Saiyan of gaming and completely dominates all of the competition except for one, another character they meet during the movie. The culmination is an all out battle in an unreleased and unannounced game. There were lots of games and accessories announced in this movie but only ONE thing was successful. This movie introduced the Power Glove….enough said. Super Mario Bros. 3 had a movie announce its existence, and to this day that is all this movie will be known for.

Logo: http://i46.tinypic.com/1z688zt.jpg

Super Mario Bros. 3 was the biggest NES game ever made, maxing out the technology for the NES and even keeping the NES afloat until the launch of the SNES in the USA. Super Mario Bros. 3 alone outsold anything and everything on the Sega Genesis, Turbo Graphix 16, Neo Geo, and so forth. Nintendo could have rode that success for the long haul but instead choose to use that games success to fund there 16 Bit Terror known as the SNES. Gamers everywhere waited for Super Mario Bros. 4, only not to get it. Instead we all get Super Mario World. Using the same platforming style but with on a much larger scale, Super Mario World was successful but not on the same level as Super Mario Bros. 3. Thats just the problem for Super Mario World, Super Mario Bros. 3 exists.

The same can be said for successful movies like The Terminator and Star Wars, Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines was a good movie but very unnecessary since Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a classic. Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi say an end to a classic trilogy, but it was Empire Strikes Back that drew up all our memories of classic cinema. Point being, if your after a classic, your living in it’s shadow. Same goes for Dragon Ball GT, while enjoyable, it wasn’t on par with anything Dragon Ball Z had. Great Scott, Back To The Future Part 3 was fun to watch just like Part 2, but its the first movie that was the instant classic. Making me and many others think that perhaps maybe its best to leave classics as are and not make a direct sequel, being original is just as successful. Terminator: Salvation is a great movie, Revenge Of The Sith is amazing, and the original Dragon Ball series is fantastic…but they live in the shadows of there previous/future counterparts. So where do I place New Super Mario Bros. Wii? Its a mash up of SMB 3 and SMW, its an awesome experience.

Boxart: http://i50.tinypic.com/2dv4u8p.jpg

World Map: http://i48.tinypic.com/2c0uxk.jpg

From the start, your playing classic Mario right out of the box, you can use the classic two button Mario controls, or you can add the nunchuk to further enhance the controls. While you can use the attachment, you cannot really utilize the Wii’s motion gestured based gameplay although there are some motion based elements to this game. For example, as normal Mario, you can wiggle the Wii remote to make Mario or whomever your character is to cause that character to do a spin jump. This jump doesn’t go very high but if you have a power-up, you throw Ice or Fire depending on which power-up you have in both directions of your body.

This is helpful when your in a hurry but you can only do this while your on the ground, you cannot do this while in midair, there are other attacks that can be done from a jump such as the classic ground pound. You can also use the Wii remote gesture I mentioned to pick up objects on the ground or blocks of ice you create from the Ice Flower or Penguin Suit. You can use these blocks to mow down enemies in the way or as a platform to reach higher areas. There are classic power-ups such as the Mushroom, Fire Flower, Star Men, the return of the POW Block from Mario Bros. Arcade fame, and the Mini Mushroom from New Super Mario Bros. DS, this game introduces 3 new power-ups: Penguin Suit, Ice Flower, and the Propeller Suit. Each can be used by any of the 4 characters you play as in the game and all have there own unique usefulness and weaknesses.

Penguin: http://i47.tinypic.com/2py8395.jpg

Propeller: http://i48.tinypic.com/1yl1k7.jpg

Lets start off with Penguin Mario since it is the most popular and the coolest lets be honest, running around in a Penguin Suit would get you committed in real life so where else can I do this? The Penguin Suit gives you so many abilities then all of the power-ups in this game can, it gives you the Ice Flower’s ability to freeze objects as well as the ability to swim quicker and more agile, the belly flop, as well as the ability to walk on Ice much easier, however, due to your flipper like arms, walk jumping can be an issue and there are some instances where you can be a little too fast while swimming. Ice Flowers give you the reverse of the Fire Flower, nothing major here but it is a useful power-up. And lastly, Propeller Suit allows you to blast off into the air and either land or glide for a brief period of time.

There are no projectiles associated with this power-up but the great thing about it is that you literally can escape any pitfall if your really good at your timing. Also with this suit, you can clear clouds in your way to uncover hidden items and Star Coins. Star Coins are different from regular coins and Red Coins which give you extra lives. Star Coins are hidden in each level, three in each. These coins are collected to unlock a hidden World in the game, also they give you an extra life or a power-up once all are found. The game centers around a world map scheme being that you travel from level to level by moving your character like a piece on a board game. You can play any level as much as you like and in some instances you can play levels in any order you wish. Be warned though, the further you get, the more difficult the levels will become. Also in some instances, you cannot travel to specific locations in a world without completing a level previously.

Each level you complete will create a path for you to follow, creating ladders, bridges, as well as mountains and even lakes will spawn up from the world you are on and you will travel to those new levels to complete the task at hand. Each world had 8 levels and 2 castles and some have an extra level which is the Air Ships from Super Mario Bros. 3. There also exists many hidden warp zones through out the game that can only be unlocked by finding hidden exits from random levels. There are also Ghost Houses in some of the worlds that are from Super Mario World as well as ! Switches from that same game that create blocks in levels that had Boxes there were clear but had outlines, these ! Switches turn them into blocks you can use to reach hidden areas and access out of reach secrets or they can be even used to finish levels easier depending on if you know how to use the Propeller Suit wisely.

The World Map also contains mini games that can reward you with extra lives and power-ups that can be used while you journey through the world. The World Map is mostly based of the Super Mario World Engine since it has moving parts as well as many hidden routes throughout but it also has parts of Super Mario Bros. 3 in it since you can fight enemies that are on the map. Each enemy you run into will automatically bring you into a special area and you have to collect 8 Toad balloons to finish the mini game, if you die, you can try again but not instantly since the enemies move around like chess pieces. These mini games also reward you with more then items, you can also unlock hidden Toad Houses and 1-Up Houses that allow you to gain more lives and or power-ups. These houses are from Super Mario Bros. 3, they do not require you to spend any type of money or unlock any particular location to enter them, they do give you a game of chance that will determine what you unlock. Its a pick this box or that box affair.

Classic Gameplay: http://i50.tinypic.com/5vuk5w.jpg

Yoshi: http://i49.tinypic.com/2dgt5as.jpg

This games shear brilliance is in its insanely addictive gameplay, there is so much to do here, and it really picks up when you bring along friends or family members. You can play with up to 3 others in this game and the Co-Op engine is really well done, its only weakness is the abilities of the players you have with you. You can work together or work against each other in so many ways, biggest setback for this is the lack of online play with the Co-Op, Nintendo opted out of this since they felt that it would bring the game down in some regards since there maybe exploits people can find to finish the game without any effort. I agree with that, but at the same time, why would Nintendo introduce a new feature called “Super Guide” which is unlocked if you die 8 times in a single level. A green ! Box will appear and you can hit it or let it be, but if you hit it, a video will be shown to you on how to finish this level.

There are also videos that can be bought by using the Star Coins mentioned before that show you many secrets in this game that can give you infinite extra lives and many of the Warp Zone locations are shown in this video as well. While the Super Guide is a nice addition, I would still like to have seen online play anyone can go online the internet to find out these secrets the Super Guide and Star Coin Videos can show you. Its a nice addition to rookie players and veterans alike since these levels are challenging at times and it is nice to see Nintendo give a hand to new comers since the Wii is ringing in a new generation of gamers. There are 8 worlds all together with one hidden world which pays homage to the Star Road world from Super Mario World. Each world has its own theme wether it be Grass, Desert, Mountain, Ice, Fire, and even the classic BIG/small World themes all come into play here. There are classic enemies from both generations of Mario games including the classic Koopa Kids which are making there return to the Super Mario universe.

Old School Koopa Kids: http://i50.tinypic.com/314a681.jpg

New Look Koopa Kids: http://i48.tinypic.com/vpx5yx.jpg

The world maps have 2 castles each with star coins as well as hidden exits for the first castle. The first castle is the half way point, you finish up in that castle by battling one of the 8 Koopa Kids in the classic bounce on there head three times gameplay that made them famous in Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World. However, the second castle is the last stop in each world, with the exception of an Air Ship battle where you face off against Bowser Jr. from Super Mario Sunshine fame. The second castle is much bigger in scale and much more difficult and this time around when you face the Koopa Kid in waiting, he or she will have an advantage from Kamek, a Wizard Koopa, from Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island.

The advantage will be an enhanced environment which will benefit the Koopa more then you. The method to defeat this enemy in the second castle will remain the same, only this time around with so many factors in play, it wont be as easy. You can also use the Fire Flower to defeat the Koopa Kids as well just like you could from Super Mario Bros. 3. Speaking of which, another classic character returns to the scene….Yoshi! You and your teammates can ride on Yoshi and use his abilities from Super Mario World’s 1 & 2 to find hidden areas as well as make traveling a level much easier. Yoshi’s appearance is very brief and short lived, I would have like to seen more of him but I guess that since this game really emphasizes Co-Op with friends more then using Yoshi, thats why he is not in this game as much as he should be.

There are some problems I have with this game though, its fantastic but its not perfect like Super Mario Bros. 3. For starters, there is NO Classic Controller Support, meaning that nice Classic Controller you use for the Virtual Console is useless here. This is a disgrace since the game plays and feels like Super Mario World, it should use a controller that resembles the SNES Controller. Second, No Online Support in any form, not even stat tracking or level downloading. And lastly, it is a great game that tries too hard to be Super Mario Bros. 3, not that that’s a bad thing or anything. It takes so much of the great things that made SMB 3 awesome that it doesn’t really introduce anything new, it shows us 3 new power-ups and 8 unique worlds that inside contain objects and or platforms from previous games. Also, it is even easier to get extra lives in this game then it was on the DS game. However, this can be due to the fact that it is a Co-Op based game so that can attribute to the extra lives.

In the end, this is an instant classic regardless of which angle you look at it. Its a true addition to the Mario Bros. platforming family and is a MUST HAVE if you own a Wii. I’d be foolish to say anything negative about this game, these things I mention are shortcomings that could have been ironed out. Also, man was it hard finding this game in stock, it was sold out everywhere. New Super Mario Bros. Wii is now available for an MSRP of $49.99. Rated E For Everyone. Only On Wii.

Hits:

-The Return Of Classic Mario Platforming

-Insanely Addicting Gameplay

-Very Creative Co-Op

-Unique Worlds

-New Power-ups Are A Welcome Addition To Mario’s Arsenal

-Lots To Do, Lots To Collect….You Get The Idea

-Feels Very Old School In The Good Way, It Doesn’t Feel Dated At All

-Easy 2-Button Controls

-Lots Of Hidden Collectables

-The Return Of Yoshi!

-Lots Of Extra Lives

-Colorful With Very Good Graphics

-Classic Audio With A Remastered Soundtrack

-Penguin Suit Wearing Is No Longer Weird

Misses:

-Super Guide Is Helpful, But Feels Like There Holding Your Hand

-Too Easy Gaining Extra Lives

-No Online Integration At All

-Co-Op Is Only As Good As You And Your Teammates Are

-Yoshi’s Appearance Is Very Brief

-Levels Can Be Very Easy If Your A Veteran Mario Gamer

-No Classic Controller Support

-Tries To Hard To Be Super Mario Bros. 4
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Official Score:

New Super Mario Bros. Wii Rating – 4 Stars Out Of 5

Editor’s Choice Award
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Click Here to purchase New Super Mario Bros Wii.

Click Here To rent New Super Mario Bros. Wii from Gamefly.com.

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Official Site: http://www.mariobroswii.com

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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