Saturday, October 14, 2000

New Super Mario Bros. Wii | 9

Classic gamers will know what I'm talking about. This game is good, but borrows heavily from Super Mario Bros 3 for the NES. While not quite a "REMAKE", it shares most of the basic rules - map world where you go from level to level in a branching path, bonus mushroom houses where you can play a minigame in order to collect powerups that you can use before levels, etc.

While this is all good fun because Mario 3 was my all-time favorite in the series, New Super Mario Bros kind of dumbs it down a bit. There are about 3 new powerups (Propeller Head, Ice Fireballs and Penguin Suit), but are missing about 5 (or more) of the ones in Mario Bros 3 (Tanooki Suit, Frog Suit, Hammer Brother Suit, Raccoon Tail, P-Wings). While I'm sure this was to "mix things up", they should have thought bigger than smaller. Another thing that was downsized was the maps. Now there are about 4 or so levels before each castle - in Mario Bros 3 there were often 6 to 8 levels before each castle - meaning less levels and less gameplay in each world. In short, they updated the graphics, took out half the powerups, added a quarter more of new powerups, cut down the length of each world, and added 4 player multiplayer.

The biggest difference between New Super Mario Bros and Mario Bros 3 is that in this game you can have up to 4 people play simultaneously. This is probably the best and worst part of the game. Don't get me wrong, I love multiplayer, but the implementation of this multiplayer has its annoyances. First of all, you can't walk through eachother and you can bounce on eachother's heads. Now this may sound innocuous enough, but believe me, you will commit dozens of unintentional murders of your co-op buddies when hopping from platform to platform. I had a big share of this problem even with only two players - so you can imagine what it would be like with 4!

That is not to say this is a bad game - far from it. It is simply a "remix" of Mario Bros 3 with a mixed-results addition of multiplayer. The Mario Bros 3 formula remains great still to this day, but I feel that this game really shows how much Nintendo is relying on their old game ideas and nostalgia to market and sell their new games. I would have liked to see a game that took this formula to a new level, but this game seems like its on par and actually behind gameplay-wise, which, if released 20 years ago, I would have loved it. But we're talking two decades after Mario Bros 3! That's the time difference between Pac-Man and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare!

Again, I liked this game. I just wanted to point out the faults under the hood for the gamers who have been around the block a bit. A good buy, but I'd wait until you can get it for a bit less than $50.

gameplay 9
sound 7.5
graphics 8
replay value 10
overall 9

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