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The Short Version:

Any type of gamer will enjoy New Super Mario Bros. Wii, especially if you have any nostalgia for Mario games in general.

The Long Version:

How much you like New Super Mario Bros. Wii is gonna depend on how much you like older games in the ridiculously popular Mario series. Now don’t get me wrong, I think everyone is going to enjoy this game, but some more than others. My girlfriend can’t stop playing it and she has no prior Mario experience. I played them a lot as a lad and enjoyed almost all of them. I am of the generation of kids who’s first video game experience was the Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt cartridge that came packed with our (Regular) Nintendos. In the classic Fred Savage/Beau Bridges/Christian Slater/Rilo Kiley flick THE WIZARD revealed Super Mario 3 during the climactic videogame battle, I, like just about every other kid, was frothing at the mouth with anticipation. Super Mario World, the next game in the series and the pack in game for the Super Nintendo, is probably the game I played the most in my whole childhood. Mario 64’s graphics and large levels blew my mind. The games that followed were quality for sure, but continued in the style of Mario 64 3D landscapes and gameplay. New Super Mario Brothers Wii’s 2D gameplay is a welcome step back to the older games styles.

One of the aspects of the game that I find to be spot on, is it’s level of difficulty. Just challenging enough at first to make it fun, increasing steadily as you progress until you really have to work at it in order to finish. Along with the normal mission of beating levels in order to reach the end there are lots of other things for you to do as well. There are special coins to collect in each level, alternate level exits to find, warp cannons that shoot you to worlds that are yet to be reached, as well as missions that have you go back through levels you’ve beaten already in order to save Toad, who is hidden in the level somewhere.

Another aspect of the game that I find to be pretty awesome, is that its a sort of mish-mash of all the games that came before it. The map area where you navigate to the levels you want to play is pulled from Mario 3/Super Mario World, there are some jumping and manuvering controls that are pulled from Mario 64, POW boxes from Mario 2, and enemies culled from all of them. Along with this mish-mash are a wide array of new aspects that fit in perfectly and feel quite natural amidst all of this. The new power-ups are a good example of this. Theres a propeller hat, ice flower power, a penguin suit, and a mushroom that shrinks you down to tiny size, which makes my girlfriend keep going on and on about how cute the character is.

One new feature of the game is the simultaneous multi-player. There are advantages and disadvantages to playing through the game with 1, 2 or 3 friends and for the most part its a blast. One thing about it that I was disappointed by however was the selection of characters for multi-player. You get Mario, Luigi, Yellow Toad, and Blue Toad and they all control exactly the same. This is pretty boring to me. I would have liked it if you could have chosen between Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Princess (or someone else since I guess Princess is captured by Bowser in the game) and, just like in Mario 2, they would all have different jumping abilities or something. I feel like this was a missed opportunity to make the multi-player something quite special. Despite this, it is still fun.

Overall, I think this is a fantastic game that I would recommend to anyone, but especially those who grew up playing the other games in this series.

For Cheats, and Hints for New Super Mario Bros. Wii, IGN has a very helpful page:
IGN Cheats


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