Let’s Play New Super Mario Bros Wii!
I’ve been a fan of the Super Mario bros series for a long time. Back in the 80/90’s it was either Mario or Sonic. Fortunately back in the 90’s me and my bro had both the NES, Snes and Megadrive so was able to play both.
When New Super Mario Bros Wii came out it was a game that caught my eye and one that I knew I wanted to play. The return to the old 2D platform game style (albeit in the 2d/3D style) was a nice change from all the games trying to be a 3D extravaganza. A return to an old-skool format was most welcoming. So with the emulator Dolphin correctly configured and my Wiimote paired with my PC I was ready to go.
So what’s the story of this game you ask? Well surprisingly Princess Peach is having a party and believe it or not she’s kidnapped by Baby Bowser and his minions. So Mario now has to set out across the Mushroom Kingdom to save her. When the over-world loads up this immediately reminded me of Super Mario Bros 3 yet the first couple of levels were very similar in design to the beginning levels of the first Mario game on NES – again all familiar touches but with a modern feel to them.
Taking a leaf out of other platform games the developers have tired to expand each level by including 3 secret coins in each level. These special coins can be used to view hint video’s in the princess’ castle so then you can learn where every secret that you might have missed are located. As much as these are a nice touch to expand the longevity of each level I do feel that the reward for collecting these special coins are a bit of a let-down. This is mainly because if you are purchasing hint-video’s for levels you’ve already collected. The coins don’t really add any value or a feel of reward; they are just showing another gamer doing what you’ve already achieved.
The control style of the game is a little different, I was expecting the developers to allow you to use both the Wiimote and the nunchuck simultaneously (Like you do in Donkey Kong Country Returns) but instead you turn the Wiimote sideways so then you can use it very similar to a NES controller. Even though the D-pad on the Wiimote is a little small for me, it’s still usable and responsive which is quite surprising.
Taking advantage of the Wiimote unique features over other controllers, Nintendo have included new moves for our hero. Mario can now do a Spin-attack if you shake the controller, he also can change how certain platforms would lean depending on what angle you put the Wiimote at. If you are familiar with some of Mario’s other recent games then you’ll be happy to know Nintendo have also included some of Mario’s moves from these games such as his Triple Jump and doing wall-jumps. On the odd occasion these extra moves have helped me get out of sticky situation that could have ended up with me losing a life.
These little touches do a nice job of making a game that feels familiar also feel fresh at the same time. The one area that makes it a little difficult to deal with the Wiimotes features is when you to carry an object. By holding number “1” on the Wiimote and then shaking the controller Mario will pick up the required object. To me this is one feature that doesn’t seem as responsive and feels like Nintendo are trying to make use of too many functions that the Wiimote can do. What ever happened to the classic method of holding the “B” button like you would on the NES controller? That was more than enough.
Getting back to the level design, each level takes on average about 4 minutes to complete and they do a good job of varying the obstacles in each level to stop it feeling monotonous. Mario’s power-ups have also been updated as well one which made an appearance in Mario Galaxy (Ice flower power). The usual Mushroom, Classic Flower Power ups are there but with the added inclusion of a new power up – Mario’s Helicopter helmet. This power up is very similar to Mario’s Tanooki Suit which allowed him to fly, but in this installment it allows you to float to higher platforms with controls similar to how you’d think Nintendo would allow you to control a helicopter.
Overall the game does feel well polished and there is enough variety to keep my attention-span at bay so that I will continue playing this until I’ve finished it. If you’re looking for a game which offers a return to the platform games of yesteryear that you remember fondly then this is definitely worth a play
After the Break: Check my run of World 1-1