For a few weeks now I’ve been playing New Super Mario Bros. Wii, as I’ve gotten this for a Christmas gift.
The first question that came into my head was the same question that popped into everyone’s head – why should anybody buy a game for $50 that was in style 25 years ago (i.e. the side-scroller platformer)?
After popping in the game for the first time, I could see its appeal. It addition to being upgraded nostalgia, the game’s real greatness comes from its multiplayer capacity. Originally, you would side-scroll as a single character. Now, up to four of your friends can go through each level…all at the same time.
The game isn’t just jumping and moving forward either. You can run, do double jumps, triple jumps, wall kicks, pound-the-ground, pick up items to throw, etc.
The one problem is that momentum does not work like it should. Yes, I’m aware that all videogame superheroes can control their own momentum (anybody remember the backwards long-jumps in Super Mario 64 that people eventually found out how to exploit to go through walls?), but it’s really disorienting when you’re on a moving platform, and you jump…only to find that when you land the platform is already gone from below your feet. Hello?? It’s called transfer of momentum. If this was possible in the real world, nobody would die from car crashes.
Anyway, back to the multiplayer aspect. There’s a lot of teamwork, because you can “bubble up” if you’re facing impending doom, where you spontaneously float around in a bubble with the press of the button C. So if you’re jumping around, and falling into a bottomless pit, you can turn into a bubble and float toward your comrades.
On the other hand, when you do die, the screen freezes up, screwing up the timing of everyone else. It gets hilarious when one person dies, then the second person screws up his timing and dies, leading the third and fourth person to die in the split of a second later. You can also push each other into obstacles by accident, and bump into each other, making this game full of hilarious slapstick comedy. Playing with four players quickly becomes a four-star comedy.
As you can see in the above picture, timing is important. So when one of your comrades throw you off, there could certainly be some angry feelings.
To be honest, to the lone player (single-player mode), what this game offers is totally laughable as a fully-priced Wii game). But with friends (multiplayer mode), the game can rival the fun factor found in Mario Galaxy.
Now, if only they’d do this for Star Fox.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB for Comic Mischief.