As if there was ever any doubt, this is Kaiju… Like millions, I can’t help but love Mario. Despite my fondness for the plumber that defines gaming, I don’t always find myself making day 1 Mario purchases. The promise of 4 player co-op and a return to classic 2D Mario gameplay were enough to pull me in. Grab a mushroom and follow me down the green pipe.
The Title Screen. Hit The Start Button!
At this year’s E3, when Nintendo announced New Super Mario Bros. Wii, the world was struck with awe. Gamers were pulled back in time to the days of classic 2D Mario gameplay. They saw images of themselves searching vainly for that Star block their friends had told them about on 1-1. They saw themselves pulling up turnips as Princess Peach in Super Mario Bros. 2. They recalled their amazement at the ‘giant world’ in Super Mario Bros. 3. They smiled at the recollection of meeting Yoshi for the first time in Super Mario World. They sighed warmly at the thought of New Super Mario Bros. in their DS. It was a time of reliving, and rebirth for the Nintendo gaming community. Well, here we have what Nintendo promised us all those months ago. Was it worth all that reminiscing?
Super Mushroom! Players Ready?
Gold. Nintendo has struck gold. The classic 2D Mario gameplay with other players is more fun than anyone could have imagined. There’s always been something lonely about beating the Mario games with only Luigi in the back somewhere, waiting for his turn. The other player would always be secretly hoping you died so that he/she could get their chance. It was enough to turn siblings against one and other and, in a few isolated cases, divorce between spouses. Well, no more!
Get yourself two, three, or four Wiimotes and you’re set! You and your family or friends and sit down on the couch and rush into the Mushroom Kingdom as a team of Mario, Luigi, and two Toads. Unfortunately the Wii remote is your only control option- no Classic Controller or GameCube Controller. For those that prefer an analog, the Nunchuk is compatible. Furthermore you’ll have to settle for local play only- no Wifi. While that is disappointing, this game was made for gamers on the couch next to one and other!
The game itself plays like a classic Mario game. You run, you jump, and you shake the remote for special actions- like the Spin Jump. Well, that last part is more a ‘Wii’ addition, but it does add a bit of freshness to the formula. Speaking of the Spin Jump and Wiimote shake, it’s surprisingly well-done. It’s sensitive enough to get the job done, but not enough to make you accidently do it.
1-Up! Difficulty Set!
Many feared this would be a gimped Mario game because it was geared toward multiplayer. Thankfully Nintendo didn’t allow that to be the case. NSMB Wii can be played alone and just fine. The challenge is much greater and some of the goodies are harder to reach, but it isn’t in any way game-breaking. If you’re a lonely gamer that doesn’t have someone to sit down and fill in for Luigi, you’ll be just fine.
The game itself, number of players ignored, is fairly easy at the start. Super Mario connoisseurs will have no trouble breezing through the first four levels are so. After that the challenge ramps up steadily. You go from smirking at your superior ability and casually dodging enemies to bucking it for the end level flag. Nintendo made sure that both novices and experts would have something to treasure in the game.
The game itself looks great- it’s really something to marvel at. The visuals have been vastly improved since the E3 demos and the sound is a real treat for any the love the Mario series.
Fire Flower!The Experience?
During the GC era of Nintendo, Legend of Zelda: Four Swords was seen as both a masterpiece and a disappointment. Here you had something that everyone had dreamed about- a four-player co-op Zelda adventure. The game had crisp, beautiful graphics, the power to display tons of enemies and environments, secrets beyond counting, and that good old Zelda magic. However, not all was grand in the land of Hyrule…
Three things held Four Swords back from being the most cherished Zelda experience ever. Least of its problems was the lack of an over-world. Some fans didn’t respond well to the loss of freedom to simply come and go- to explore freely. Yet to support the co-op function, this was necessary. Number two in the list of three was its reliance on multiplayer. Gamers that tackled LoZ: Four Swords on their own simply didn’t get the experience meant for them. The final and greatest problem… Mandatory GBA connectivity. It crippled an otherwise amazing game. You and your friends each needed a GBA and a GBA to GC connector cable. It was a headache that few could overcome.
Thankfully, Nintendo mended this issue with much more powerful Wii. No DSs are needed, no extra accessories. All you need to play New Super Mario Bros. Wii are some willing friends and a few Wiimotes. It’s a real breath of fresh air to have such a liberating experience after the disappointing aspects of Four Swords. Now if they could just get to a GBA-less version of Four Swords for the New-Play series… Hmmm.
In NSMB Wii you have new power-ups (the propeller suit & penguin suit), 8 worlds with 74 levels, 4 Player co-op, the return of the Koopa kids, awesome remixes of classic Mario music, Luigi! (Luigi is awesome, don’t deny it), 3 different game modes (Main, Free For All, and Coin Battle), and so much more content packed into it that you should be pleased. The Super Guide feature, die 8 times and you get the option to let the CPU play for you, isn’t anything to get flustered about. Considering how hard the last worlds are, it becomes a welcome feature for newcomers and some experts alike.
When the game was announced, some skeptics feared that they were simply being tricked into buying a more expensive version of New Super Mario Bros. DS. Put your torches and pitchforks away- Nintendo wasn’t out to cheat you. NSMB Wii is the real deal- fully worth the price tag and your time. Strange creature, traitor to the world- this has been Kaiju.