New Super Mario Bros. - 91% Release Date: May 15th, 2006 Review Date: January 30th, 2007 Developer: Nintendo Publisher: Nintendo Platform(s): Wii Completed: Yes
Nintendo deserves some kind of award for their ability to keep Mario games fresh, yet manage to include enough nostalgia to remind you of the series’ rich history. New Super Mario Brothers is aptly named, as it is very reminiscent of the original and wildly popular Super Mario Brothers game for the NES, which launched back in late 1985. The basic 2D gameplay has retained its classic simplicity—jump with button A, run with button B—while allowing for a few new tricks such as wall-jumping and power stomps. There are also a few new power-up such as growing to a giant version of Mario (awesome!), becoming a turtle shell that can slide through enemies, as well as a mini-mushroom that will shrink you to a miniscule size. Gimmicky? Sure. Fun? Absolutely! The overall graphical presentation is extremely well done—you’ll visit an ice-laden world, a desert world, an underwater abyss, as well as several other areas. In fact, there are eight worlds altogether, but you can finish the game completing just six (not that you would want to). The enemies are what you would come to expect, and the main adversary is Bowser Jr. He’s the boss of every level, and rarely provides much of a challenge—especially if you have fireballs. The overall sound has a definite retro influence, everything from the musical score to the in-game actions, and is very polished. I finished the game in about eight hours, and enjoyed every minute of it—none of the levels dragged on. Once the single player game is complete, you have two more modes to explore: Mario vs Luigi (race another player to gather the most stars within a level), and tons of single-player side games that are actually difficult to describe (think Wario-esque). I can’t imagine any fan of the Mario franchise would be disappointed with this game. Bottom-line: A nostalgic adventure that feels new, and is over all too quickly. Beautiful graphics, varied levels, intuitive controls, and familiar characters help make this one of the top DS titles to date.