Cubed3 Nintendo gaming, Wii and DS

New Super Mario Bros Wii (Wii) Review

Review for New Super Mario Bros Wii on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

When Nintendo revealed New Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo DS, the squeals of joy from long-term followers of the Italian plumber’s antics could be heard reverberating around the globe. Sadly, despite still being an enjoyable romp, it certainly did not live up to the high expectations the legions of fans had set. Now it is attempt number two for Shigeru Miyamoto and his team, with a Wii iteration of the traditional 2D platform adventure. With glowing reviews across the board so far, including a perfect 40/40 from Japanese publication Famitsu, Cubed3 takes a closer look to see if all the hype is indeed justified.

Being a traditional style Mario adventure, Nintendo has stuck to the tried-and-tested storyline of Princess Peach being kidnapped by Bowser. Mario, Luigi, Blue Toad and Yellow Toad are all busy celebrating the Princess’ birthday, but have the unpleasant surprise of finding out the massive cake that just arrived is indeed a trap. Out pop Bowser Junior and the Koopa Kids, into the cake goes Peach and off they all fly in Bowser’s airship, leaving the Mario Bros. and Toads looking bemused. Can her royal highness of the Mushroom Kingdom be rescued? Well, that is where you, and up to three friends if desired, come in!

New Super Mario Bros. takes place across eight worlds consisting of numerous sub-levels, special Toad houses where items and lives can be collected, and even nifty shortcut cannons that launch the plumbing duo to another world, bypassing a whole slew of stages along the way. As with the old school Mario platform games from the NES and Super NES, players are faced with a top-down overview of the current world they are on, with Mario being moved from one location to the next, but limited in exactly where he can travel. Whilst there are times when a few path choices are available, generally it is a case of ‘complete a stage to move on.’ It may seem restrictive in this day and age, but it really is not too dissimilar to how the majority of other games handle unlocking content. The only difference is that there is no aimless wandering around involved to find the next area of progression.

Screenshot for New Super Mario Bros Wii on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Whilst the game will appear to be nothing more than a simple retread of past adventures for the most part, those yearning for the ‘days of yore’ when gameplay was far more straightforward, and arguably more fun, will find that Nintendo has attempted to lift the best elements from its history and mix them in successfully with a few new tricks. Therefore, amidst the usual running and jumping action, collecting items such as mushrooms to make Mario grow or grabbing Fire Flowers to throw fireballs and searching for large gold coins hidden around stages, players will spot a few new aspects. For instance, although the Wii Remote can be held on its side to mimic a NES controller, shaking it upwards will result in Mario twirling to gain some air (or float upwards where possible – more on that later) and in certain situations it is even possible to tilt the Remote from one side to the other in order to manipulate certain objects along a level (tilt platforms or change the angle of light in dark areas, for instance). These additions, whilst seemingly minor, fit extremely well into the standard platform fare, adding clever new touches that are perfectly complementary to the play of old.

Screenshot for New Super Mario Bros Wii on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

That is not all, though, as there are three new power-up items on offer. The original growth mushroom, special fiery flower and invincibility are all present and correct, along with the likes of the miniaturising mushroom from the DS New Super Mario Bros. Yet joining them this time round are a special propeller hat that allows Mario to zoom into the sky with a shake of the Wii Remote, floating slowly back down afterwards, a frozen flower item that lets the plumber unleash balls of ice that can freeze enemies so that can be used as steps to new areas or be thrown at other obstacles, and last, but not least, a penguin suit that grants Mario the ability to slide along the ground, picking up speed along the way to shoot across small holes in the ground or larger gaping divides when launching off a ramp. It definitely is pleasing to see Miyamoto and co. add some new features, rather than simply transposing the DS game across ‘as is’ and merely throwing in the multiplayer slant. Oh, and it should not be forgotten that Yoshi makes a welcomed return on some stages, adding a floating jump and the ability to gobble up enemies with its long tongue!

However, on the technical side, rather than go all out on the visual front, Nintendo has indeed basically taken the template of the DS game and given it a touch-up to look more acceptable for the Wii system. However, despite the various graphical tweaks and effects thrown in for good measure, the mixture of 2D backgrounds and pseudo-3D character models fail to impress as much as the cel-shaded work found in Nintendo’s own Wario Land: The Shake Dimension, or the simply gorgeous 2D art of Muramasa: The Demon Blade from Vanillaware and A Boy and his Blob from WayForward. As for the soundtrack, it consists of the usual mix of Mario classics, some of the original tunes from the DS version of NSMB and re-worked versions, plus the odd new piece of music. There is certainly nothing particularly wrong with that, yet after being spoiled by the splendid soundtrack in Super Mario Galaxy, expectations have clearly been raised.

Screenshot for New Super Mario Bros Wii on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Overlooking the presentational side, the main draw of NSMB Wii for many people, and the way Nintendo is promoting the game, is the multiplayer aspect. In principle it proves to be a fantastic addition, with three friends joining in the fun as you work through each of the levels available or face-off to see who can score the most points or collect more coins. However, this can very quickly become a highly frustrating experience for anyone playing with others than are nowhere near as adept at video gaming. Whilst in the fighting genre a combatant that is not quite as au fait at gaming can get by via trial and error, the concept of running, jumping over enemies, grabbing items and avoiding numerous other pitfalls that require a modicum of skill, can be truly baffling to even the smartest of folk. More often than not, the more skilled player will carry on as if playing solo, whilst others continuously lose lives left, right and centre, until they can no longer continue, meaning you may well find three people sat, staring at you until the end of a level. However, for those fortunate to have three talented gamer friends, it really is a fantastic option to have included, and for that Nintendo should be lauded.

Consideration for its new-found ‘casual’ audience has been given as well, however, since there is the inclusion of video guides that are unlocked during the game and show players how to work through a level in the simplest of ways. Stuck at a particular spot? Simply watch through and then jump back into the action after the frustrating obstacle has been passed by the computer. It may feel like a complete cop-out to veteran gamers, but to ensure newcomers to gaming are not totally alienated, Nintendo was very wise to include such a feature. New Super Mario Bros. may not be 100% perfect, but for Nintendo’s first home console 2D Mario platform game since Super Mario World on the SNES, it has managed to successfully create a product that appeals to all sectors of the populace!

Screenshot for New Super Mario Bros Wii on Wii- on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

This is pure Nintendo fun through and through, and proves to be the best new 2D Mario platform adventure for many years, easily surpassing the DS effort.

Graphics

Whilst the visuals are a definite step up from the DS version, that comes as a given and sadly the sharper graphics are not a patch of other 2D Wii games like Wario Land and A Boy and his Blob.

Sound

Chirpy, upbeat tunes are the order of the day, with remixes from classic Mario entries, as well as the DS NSMB. However, it never quite matches up to the grace and wonder of Super Mario Galaxy’s soundtrack.

Value

With eight tough worlds, a bunch of hidden extras and a range of multiplayer options, New Super Mario Bros. will keep gamers happy well into the Christmas period.

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

About this score
Rated 9 out of 10

New Super Mario Bros. for Wii is simply a joy to play, harking back to the days of classic Mario platform fun, taking the comparatively disappointing DS edition and bumping up the quality level considerably, adding in plenty new features, challenge, and even multiplayer antics for good measure. It may not live up to Super Mario Galaxy in some people’s eyes, yet when it comes to good, old fashioned platform action, Shigeru Miyamoto & Co. have conjured up quite the treat.

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05.12.2009

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Developer

Nintendo

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10 (509 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?

Im going to pick this up soon. I agree with the graphics score. I hate 2.5 design. If your going to do flat do flat. It gives it more character. What they have opted for is somehow lifeless. And your spot on: its doesnt touch some of the other 2d games out the wii.

The saddest thing is this is the biggest release leading up to christmas. The next biggest thing is miles behind it. Third party support for christmas is especially mean. Nintendo has to get on top of this. Its constantly happening to their console the last few gens. Third parties are clearly looking to cash in on the high def consoles.

Joj (guest) 06.12.2009 03:16#2

Hadn't played any actual mario in about 10 years...I have played mario kart wii and mario super sluggers. This game definitely takes me back to my child hood and I love it.

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Guest said:
The saddest thing is this is the biggest release leading up to christmas. The next biggest thing is miles behind it.

I agree with this, but Nintendo has gone from one extreme to the other. There was a time where it would seemingly build up a bunch of release and shove them all into retail around the November/December period, meaning games like Fire Emblem would be overlooked.

Hmm...

Anyway, it's great to see NSMB Wii managing to stimulate Wii sales when many thought the system was almost ready to croak. I wonder if the upcoming Zelda next year will also help. It'll also be interesting to see if the rumours of a Wii Music Plus are true...

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter
Staff Member

I should be getting this for christmas, I think it looks really fun to play, and you were alot more positive about the game than a few other reviews I've read Adam. The games master review was especially bad, Since it focused on nothing but the multiplayer, saying that the single player wasn't great (like he hadn't played it at all). And IGN said there should have been online, when there wasn't even a need to mention such a thing.

But your review was far better to read, and sounds alot better. I'm looking forward to playing it at christmas now.

Stuart Lawrence
Follow Me on twitter :: @Stulaw90 || My Youtube || Backloggery
NNID: Stulaw
Reality (guest) 06.12.2009 05:15#5

Smilie cubes 3 is beginning to sound like any other American entity or magazine biased. 40/40 from famitsu is just that 40/40. Here if you are paid of by ms let us know. The whole world knows this is a masterpiece. Moving on.

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Reality (guest) said:
Smilie cubes 3 is beginning to sound like any other American entity or magazine biased. 40/40 from famitsu is just that 40/40. Here if you are paid of by ms let us know. The whole world knows this is a masterpiece. Moving on.

Ahahahah. I can't believe so many people think this is the greatest game ever made Smilie

As a single player game this is just an 8 for me, but it's amazing fun in multiplayer.

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

I'm not sure why you're talking about the Famitsu review as if it isn't biased. Many people talk about how whenever Famitsu hands out four straight 10/10s (i.e. the magical 40/40 perfect score) it's purely down to how big the cheque was that the company sent to the publication.

There are bets now that the next 40/40 will definitely be given to Final Fantasy XIII, no doubt about it.

I gave NSMB DS 8/10 back when it came out and much preferred this Wii version, hence the 9/10 Smilie Playing the DS game again now, I may have given it a 7/10, but hey, hindsight is 20/20, right? Smilie

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

I got this game about a week after it came out, and it's brought out the inner rage that I get when playing classic Mario games. Fun yes, and a blast to play, but still a load of rage.


The former top user was Keven! You'd probably give birth to yourself 1000 times over until you sprout wings to fly away into the fading sun, that or you'd just turn into a lesbian. Who knows @_@ - L, 12/06/09

Nice review Adam. Certainly on my 'to buy list', just don't want to take the plunge...too much work to do!

Trying to think of a witty signature after 'Hacker-gate'...

SuperLink said:
Ahahahah. I can't believe so many people think this is the greatest game ever made Smilie

Because it's 2D Mario. You can't get better than 2D Mario, it's impossible. Einstein said so.

( Edited 20.11.2012 01:46 by jb )

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Modplan Man said:
Because it\'s 2D Mario. You can\'t get better than 2D Mario, it\'s impossible. Einstein said so.

2D Mario is just simple fun. That\'s not a bad thing, but there is no depth, no emotion.

The greatest game of all time needs to encompass ALL these things.

Honestly 2D Mario single player doesn\'t even rival the best 2D Sonics. Those were made over a decade ago...

( Edited 06.12.2009 16:04 by SuperLink )

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

SuperLink said:Honestly 2D Mario single player doesn't even rival the best 2D Sonics. Those were made over a decade ago...

Whoa, that's fighting talk in many places! Smilie Smilie

Personally I always found Sonic games to be extremely shallow and uninspiring compared to 2D Mario platformers.

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

jesusraz said:

Whoa, that's fighting talk in many places! Smilie Smilie

Personally I always found Sonic games to be extremely shallow and uninspiring compared to 2D Mario platformers.


Ah I suppose it's all opinionated... I don't find many things about 2D Mario particularly inspiring or memorable aside from nostalgia.

I can think of an infinitum of games I find more enjoyable than 2D Mario. I don't understand why it's such a crime to give it anything under a 10.

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Nice review Adam -- I\'m definitely getting this once I\'m back home.


Honestly 2D Mario single player doesn\'t even rival the best 2D Sonics. Those were made over a decade ago...

Smilie I beg to differ good sir!


Super Mario World > Every other video game ever made.

( Edited 06.12.2009 16:49 by Jacob4000 )

C3 Moderator
Senior ModeratorCubed3 Member

Mario games in general just inspire a big 'meh' from me. I like them, but they arn't my favourite games. I'll get round to them when I have time, but I can imagine better games to play (e.g. Muramasa) and they never seem to be on my 'must get naow' list. Maybe thats just me, same with SMG I loved it when I played it, but I haven't really picked it up and gotten stuck into it since, and most probably the same when SMG2 comes out, I'll get it,but not instantly. There are other games that catch my eye more in the future, mainly NHM2 and M:OM.

SuperLink said:
2D Mario is just simple fun. That's not a bad thing, but there is no depth, no emotion.

To be honest, methinks 99% of people who play videogames or want to play videogames don't care about "depth or emotion". The emotion should come from the enjoyment of playing, depth should be from re-playability.

I personally grew up on 2D Mario - my brothers NES and a copy of Super Mario Bros, and looking back, I've been able to remove nostalgia as the reason I like 2D Mario so much. It's bliss and perfection in ways a lot of modern games can only dream of, and mines out far stronger emotions and depth than just about every story driven game. Watching videos of it (the NES no longer works) and having gotten the original Zelda from the Virtual Console, the kind of arcade style gameplay is just far more timeless and doesn't age.

These are the games that created whole new swathes of gamers, and the return of NSMB on DS showed much the same (20 million sales). There's something much more widely appealing, and much more fun about those kind of games in general, especially proper 2D Mario.

All hail Mario!

I don't understand why anyone wants to give a mark to a game, movie, piece of music, painting whatever.

Hmm about that last example, I wonder if there actually are websites or magazines on paintings which get assigned a number?

*searches*

Good review. SmilieI\'ve actually already completed it. It\'s just classic 2D Mario, basically. Like the DS version but with different levels, multiplayer (decent but not amazing) added, and a couple of new items. Unfortunately the the mini-games have been taken out. Smilie

I\'m not sure it\'s worth £40 (luckily I didn\'t buy it), just on the basis that it\'s nothing new. Still, it\'s a great game. The final boss was awesome as well!

Anyone else think it was stupid to have an ice-flower when Penguin-Mario can also shoot ice?

Honestly 2D Mario single player doesn\'t even rival the best 2D Sonics. Those were made over a decade ago...

2D Mario is the best platform series there\'s ever been. EVER.

( Edited 06.12.2009 17:41 by Cheese on Toast )

Now on twitter, predicting celebrity death headlines! @thedaytheydie
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Cheese on Toast said:

2D Mario is the best platform series there's ever been. EVER.

It's a dying genre with almost no real competition, of course it is! Smilie

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery

It'll be a sad day when platform games die. Smilie

I'm still holding out on Crash Bandicoot becoming good again and DK:Jungle Beat 2 being made and being even better then the original.

Now on twitter, predicting celebrity death headlines! @thedaytheydie

Sonic is just a broken racing game really.

Guest said:
I hate 2.5 design. If your going to do flat do flat. It gives it more character. What they have opted for is somehow lifeless.

I beg to differ. A 2.5 D Mario is the perfect balance of modern and nostalgia. It's simple, yet challenging - end of story.

Cheese on Toast said:
It'll be a sad day when platform games die. Smilie

Hopefully that won't be for a long, LONG time. There's still a 2D Metroid in the works, so it'll stay around for a little while longer.


The former top user was Keven! You'd probably give birth to yourself 1000 times over until you sprout wings to fly away into the fading sun, that or you'd just turn into a lesbian. Who knows @_@ - L, 12/06/09

I remember how disappointed I was when Nintendo showed NSMB Wii at their E3 conference. Disappointment changed to curiosity after i played E3 Demo, then to excitement when Nintendo started releasing tons of new information and finally to absolute love when I played the full game.
I love this game!!! Level design is absolutely fiendish! There hasn't been a game of this caliber for a very long time. I think it's the best 2D Mario and one of the best 2D platformer right after Jungle Beat and Yoshi's Island.
I am glad that Wii reminded me how awesome 2D platformers really are and how much i enjoy playing them. LostWinds, LostWinds 2, Icarian, A Boy and His Blob, Klonoa and now this!

July Luis (guest) 08.12.2009 15:26#24

I was shopping online for a Nintendo game console for my son...He loves Mario bros...and found a site running a free contest this week for a free nintendo...ezwingame...wanted to know if anyone knows about this...thanks
July

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

July Luis (guest) said:
I was shopping online for a Nintendo game console for my son...He loves Mario bros...and found a site running a free contest this week for a free nintendo...ezwingame...wanted to know if anyone knows about this...thanks
July

Often times these contests are "too good to be true" and end up being either scams or a waste of time. If your kid really wants the game, its often best to just go ahead and buy it.

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