New Super Mario Bros. Wii Review

by Ben Salter Featured

49 Comments 40 Votes 25167 Views 13/11/2009 Back to Reviews

New Super Mario Bros. Wii Review

Nintendo show us how to relive a classic

By Ben Salter

New Super Mario Bros. is one of my favourite games on the Nintendo DS. It brought back my childhood of spending countless hours in front of the NES playing the original Super Mario Bros. This was during the mid-nineties, and while everyone else was flaunting their SNES, I was content with a then 10-year-old game, a game that has gone down in the history books as one of the greatest ever made. I was over the moon when New Super Mario Bros. Wii was announced at E3 this year, and even more excited when a November release was confirmed. I had a few concerns with the direction of co-op and super guide, but I can safely say that New Super Mario Bros. Wii is the perfect way to relive a classic series.

The best thing about New Super Mario Bros. Wii is that it takes the best aspects of past games in the series, and using a 25-year-old formula it feels fresh. It feels like the original Super Mario Bros, combined with SMB3 and Super Mario World. The best aspects of the DS version have also been retained, and the game’s big hook, 4-player co-op, is the new kid on the block. In a way it almost feels like it has been 25 years in the making. With every new Mario platform game Nintendo tweaked something different, and made slight adjustments. It's hard to believe Nintendo developed the last side-scrolling Mario 15 years ago (well two if you count the DS version of the same game, but we're talking consoles here for effect). If we didn't know that we'd say they made them every day. But it's been well over a decade since Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island and here, in 2009, with a wealth of experience Nintendo has crafted a masterpiece.

Super Mario is the reason platform gaming exists today, and why it was so popular last decade. Your aim to get from point A to point B within a time limit in a side-scrolling 2D world. Along the way you’ll encounter a range of different enemies and acquire interesting power-ups to use against them. The world itself is one big puzzle with traps, warp pipes, bottomless pits and giant metal spikes just a few of the environmental issues you’ll have to find a way around.

New Super Mario Bros. is played with the Wii remote on its side to replicate a NES controller. Most of the game is controlled using the D-pad and the 1 & 2 buttons. A small amount of motion control is used in conjunction with one of the two face buttons; pulling the Wii Remote up with certain power-ups will trigger a spin attack, while the same motion while holding down the 1 button will pick up a nearby item. The motion controls are simple, and exactly how they should be. They don’t over complicate the otherwise basic control scheme, which is perfect for a game that requires you to make split second decisions. If you’re dashing through a stage at full speed the last thing you need to worry about is which button(s) to push, when you have less than a second to judge if Mario can make the jump. Due to the NES-like style of the Wii Remote and the basic motion controls New Super Mario Bros. Wii feels a lot like the original NES/SNES games, and that’s exactly how it should be.

The level design is a great example of Nintendo at their finest. The first few worlds seem easy enough for veteran players, but towards the end of the game even the most experienced Super Mario players will be pulling their hair out while playing solo. The jumps start to become just that bit longer and require you to really think about how to tackle them, while moving platforms and giant metal spikes smashing into each other call for perfect timing. That’s the beauty of the varying levels. Some are best played at full speed, while others will involve studying the environment briefly to pick the perfect time to make your move.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl has been the flagship multiplayer title on Wii ever since it was released. Actually it’s probably held the title ever since it was announced. While other multiplayer gems have come and gone New Super Mario Bros. Wii is here to stay. It’s by far one of the greatest multiplayer games on the system, and arguably the best 4-player co-op splitscreen game this generation. Multiplayer changes the gameplay drastically but in a good way, it makes it a lot more accessible to “casual” gamers. Unlike Brawl, however, it’s still a fantastic game in single player, and one that you’ll keep coming back to when alone. As a more serious Super Mario gamer it’s a lot more challenging when you go it solo and certainly more rewarding, but that isn’t to say you won’t have fun with 3 mates.

To be fair, Super Mario has always had multiplayer. Back in 1985 player 1 and player 2 had to take turns. Now players 3 and 4 have been introduced, and everyone plays along side each other. At first we were a little disappointed to see two toads as the characters along side Mario and Luigi, but when you quickly discover that each character has exactly the same abilities it really doesn’t matter. The big difference in multiplayer is how death becomes almost meaningless. In single player you’ll have to start the level from the beginning or the checkpoint, but with 4-players only one has to remain alive for the level to continue. If Luigi meets an untimely demise by running directly into a pit of lava he’ll respawn in a bubble amidst the action. One of the remaining characters does have to break that bubble for him to resume playing, so if you’re getting a little bored of the lack of death you could turn against your mates and choose not to revive them.

Co-op is the idea in the main game, but that doesn’t stop counter-operative play becoming an interesting factor. Halfway through a level you can turn on your mates by attacking them, and even picking up and throwing them to their death. Maybe that says something about the group I was testing out co-op with, but once we figured this out co-operation went out the window until the levels started to become really challenging. Fortunately Nintendo thought of this, and included a 4-player race across the level mode. It gives you permission to work against each other, and with no time limit it can almost turn into a mini-brawl. Coin Battle pits players against each other and other enemies on a single screen stage; the player with the most coins at the end of the affair is crowned the winner.

Super Guide was the one thing that didn't sit right after first hearing about the game. The Super Mario Bros games are meant to be challenging, especially during the last few worlds, but then again this is no Super Mario Bros. 3. It’s the first game, I can think of, that actually plays itself. If you die 8 times in a level a green exclamation mark will appear when Mario respawns, along with a rather annoying alarm tone. If you choose to activate it Luigi will take over and show you how Nintendo intended the stage to be played. At any point you can choose to resume playing, although, the words “super guide” will remain on screen. At the end of the level the game will ask if you want to try it again, doing it all yourself, or if you want to move on. The good news is it’s actually a decent system and makes the game a lot more accessible to less-skilled players. I mentioned that veteran players will face a much greater challenge when playing solo, but so will newbies. Super guide helps them pass difficult areas so that they don’t get stuck in one place, in the hope that they can move forward and improve their skills. It works a lot better than I thought it would, and can simply be ignored if you want to do everything yourself. On a side note: strangely enough there are heaps of bundles that sell the game with a strategy guide. These have been made almost completely redundant, and are clearly aimed at easily influenced consumers who knew little about the game before purchasing it.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii continues the graphical style from the DS game, by placing 3D characters on primarily 2D backgrounds. There’s the occasional 3D set of spikes, but most of the environment looks very similar to Super Mario World. The simplistic graphical style is almost a tribute to the early games, and is as bright and vibrant as ever. The 3D character models are kept fairly simple, but they do come across a lit rough around the edges in some areas. Maybe it’s just in contrast to the nice crisp backgrounds, but they could have been a little better.

Super Mario sounds as good as it ever has, the composers certainly earned their money. Many of the tracks will not only have you bopping along, but if you watch carefully the koopas can’t help but bust a move when they really dig the tunes. The sound effects, and some of the sound track, have been restored from the original NES and SNES Super Mario titles. These tracks have been reused in other games (like SSBB) but they really feel at home here, and are as good as they were back in 80s/90s. Powering-up sound effects also come through the Wii Remote’s speaker, which is a nice touch.

The game can be finished within 8 hours or so, which is by no means long, but it’s the type of game you’ll keep playing until you’ve clocked over 100 hours and it still won’t feel old. Fans of Super Mario Bros 3 will know what I’m talking about. After you’ve finished it once you’ll want to do it again, and again. The ability to save at any point subtracts from this a little, but the multiplayer more than makes up for that. The only gripe we really had is the lack of online. We know Nintendo are miles behind Sony and Microsoft when it comes to playing online, but there’s no support for it at all here. Even if they didn’t want to lessen the social experience of co-op, by making it online, a leader board would have been nice. Considering you earn points for everything you do in each level it would have been great to see our results compared to the rest of the world.

The Final Verdict

New Super Mario Bros. Wii is the perfect example of taking a classic game series, finding the best from each instalment and putting it all together to make something special. The single player is exactly what veteran Super Mario fans have been waiting for, while the multiplayer is great with a couple of mates, and even better for gamers new to the series. New Super Mario Bros. Wii is a must have for any platformer fan, and the must have Wii game this year.

Gameplay

9.5
This is how to make a platform game. Who said the genre was dead?

Graphics

7.5
The simplistic style is great and perfect considering the game’s roots. But, the rough edges around some of the 3D character models let’s it down at times.

Sound

9.5
Mario has one of the greatest videogame sound tracks of all time, and it’s back as good as ever.

Value

9.0
It won’t take that long to finish the game, but you’ll want to do it in single and multiplayer, then there’s the fact that this style of game is perfect to play over and over again.

Overall

9.5
New Super Mario Bros. Wii is a must have for any platformer fan, and the must have Wii game this year.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii

Platform: Wii
 
Vote for this article Log in with Facebook

More Info on New Super Mario Bros. Wii

New Super Mario Bros. Wii New Super Mario Bros. Wii New Super Mario Bros. Wii New Super Mario Bros. Wii New Super Mario Bros. Wii New Super Mario Bros. Wii New Super Mario Bros. Wii

New Super Mario Bros. Wii Review Comments

Leave a comment Log in with Facebook
This game is the best in multiplayer <3
Aaaargh, I so want it now.
Great game, my one gripe is that you need to beat a castle to save, but otherwise it's awesome!
It's up early

TheDarkBJ said: Great game, the one gripe is that you need to beat a castle to save, but otherwise it's awesome!



Pause and you can 'quick save' anytime. Only difference is you can only load a quick save once.
Great Review ICC!
I totally agree!
Wow, you sure tore through the game and review quickly

Nice review, I very much agree with what's been said.
hmmm...this might just change my mind about this...

although...i haz no money...
Couldn't have said a better review myself. 5-
But I still don't get the fact that players 3 and 4 are toads. Couldn't there have been a better choice? Like wario for P3?
I might just get this now...

This now really intrigues me! Thanks!

Just one query though...

How many worlds does it have, and wasn't the last 2D Mario scroller Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island?

I wish they would do what they've done here for that game! i would buy it in a heartbeat!
Nice review, I'm only up to world 2 but I'm loving it so far.

ZArsenalZ said: I might just get this now...
This now really intrigues me! Thanks!
Just one query though...
How many worlds does it have, and wasn't the last 2D Mario scroller Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island?
I wish they would do what they've done here for that game! i would buy it in a heartbeat!



I can't believe I forgot about Yoshi's Island, it's another of my favourites.

Djstudios said: Couldn't have said a better review myself. 5-
But I still don't get the fact that players 3 and 4 are toads. Couldn't there have been a better choice? Like wario for P3?


Wario is an anti-hero.

LeishaChu said: This game is the best in multiplayer <3



Agreed. Love it!

=D
i really want that game
This is the only review I've read online who gave it an acceptable score.
How Many Worlds Are In This Game?
Great review, fair and descriptive!
Nice, I love this game! I can see myself visiting it more than I will Galaxy.



The propeller suit makes platforming a tad easy but it's so awesome and cute!
i kno i will love this one
I love it cant stop playing it.

Silence said:

Djstudios said: Couldn't have said a better review myself. 5-
But I still don't get the fact that players 3 and 4 are toads. Couldn't there have been a better choice? Like wario for P3?


Wario is an anti-hero.


he is also immortal
Oooh snowing Can't wait until I finally get to that world.
I need this game

sjt333 said:


Silence said:


Djstudios said: Couldn't have said a better review myself. 5-
But I still don't get the fact that players 3 and 4 are toads. Couldn't there have been a better choice? Like wario for P3?


Wario is an anti-hero.


he is also immortal



That didn't stop him getting an ass kicking by Mario in SML2...

Also Silence, Wario could have been in this game, ever played SM64 DS? He was saving Peach in that for absolutely no reason, could of worked here as well, along with Waluigi.
awsome game it rocks

TheDarkBJ said:

sjt333 said:


Silence said:


Djstudios said: Couldn't have said a better review myself. 5-
But I still don't get the fact that players 3 and 4 are toads. Couldn't there have been a better choice? Like wario for P3?


Wario is an anti-hero.


he is also immortal


That didn't stop him getting an ass kicking by Mario in SML2...
Also Silence, Wario could have been in this game, ever played SM64 DS? He was saving Peach in that for absolutely no reason, could of worked here as well, along with Waluigi.


Yes, I've played it. It doesn't mean I agree with it. Wario would only rescue Peach for a reward.

i died at that one bit so many damn times

Silence said:Wario would only rescue Peach for a reward.


Wario likes him some moneys
nice review ben im really wanting this game but i cant get it
Flipping awesome! Looking forward to actually playing it!
Great review. From what I've played so far, it's the same as what I feel. You can also play using a nunchuck if anybody didn't look at the back of the case and see the nunchuck symbol there
Honestlty, this game brings a new level of nostalgia to many Nintendo fans guaranteed..!

The Super Mario Bros formula is a series that never get's old and no matter how many Super Mario games are made they always retain the best 2D/2.5D platformer action ever created.

This goes on par with Super Mario Allstars and my beloved 16-bit era was revived by Nintendo once more with another side scrolling Mario game that kept me glued to it's 2.5D visual epic awesomess.

This truly lets us gamers know who set the standards for Video games.





Honestly in my opinion the whole Mario thing is being over killed so badly, Nintendo really needs to stop putting into Mario and start branching out a bit more. Sure, Mario makes money but it's getting a bit repetitive.

Yamaha said: Honestly in my opinion the whole Mario thing is being over killed so badly, Nintendo really needs to stop putting into Mario and start branching out a bit more. Sure, Mario makes money but it's getting a bit repetitive.


You're joking! Mario is fantastic. He never gets old, evidently in this game.
Excellent Review. I love this game too, it's quickly becoming my fave Wii game and one of the best Mario games for me
I got me that game last week at gamestop cause toys R freaking us to damn long! Need...to...play...more...new super...mario bros...WII!

dermy said:


Yamaha said: Honestly in my opinion the whole Mario thing is being over killed so badly, Nintendo really needs to stop putting into Mario and start branching out a bit more. Sure, Mario makes money but it's getting a bit repetitive.


You're joking! Mario is fantastic. He never gets old, evidently in this game.


i agree with you, you can beat those classics! but i do think nintendo needs new stuff; the same games all the time... its like pb and j everyday

TheDarkBJ said: Great game, my one gripe is that you need to beat a castle to save, but otherwise it's awesome!



Are the stages so epic and difficult that you need a save?

Until the N64 I dont think a mario had saves???

Haven't played this one yet (Santa is testing before i get it) so not sure.

But if it's more challenging than the originals and actually requires it me likey.

Juddanator said: How Many Worlds Are In This Game?



There's 9. There's 8 regular worlds, and once you've cleared them all, there's a secret 9th world which looks to be a newer rendition of the classic "Star World".

I'd like to point out that you CAN save anytime on this game once you've cleared World 8 and beaten Bowser. It unlocks the ability to save from the pause menu on the map.

Draggyn said: I'd like to point out that you CAN save anytime on this game once you've cleared World 8 and beaten Bowser. It unlocks the ability to save from the pause menu on the map.



You can actually do this at any time. I used quick save before I finished world 8.
love this game!
i'm getting this game
add m on brawl it on my page
i cant get past the first castle on world four

Banana15 said: i cant get past the first castle on world four


Is that the one with lots of wire to climb on (and has koopas climbing on some of the wire)?
Is so, there's some wires that have spin panels in the middle of them, press 1 while you're on that and you'll spin around to the otherside of the wire which is needed at some points.
If not, can you explain where abouts in the level you're stuck and help will come
This game was to easy, finished it in 2 days with just 1 player. My brothers and sisters have no skills at mario games so i do it myself. Honestly this game wasn't much of a challenge. How much did every one pay for it ( me $90.00 in Kmart)
69 @ target. and did you collect all the star coins? find all the secret stuff?

If you finished it in 2 days you definently didnt enjoy it to the game to its potential
world 9
Nobody eeeeeever wants to play this with me.
Great review!!
I also love being taken back to my childhood with this game.
The only annoying thing is when a player has used up all of their lives they can choose to annoy you by pressing the 1 & 2 buttons for either a clappy or honky sound [Rage]
As most of the time i'm playing with my two boys aged 7 & 8 and they love this feature.
When i'm playing wif other friends, i get evil & try to throw
shells or push them off cliffs, oh the joy!!

Djstudios said: Nobody eeeeeever wants to play this with me.


AWww, that's so sad. It's a shame they dont have a wifi type of feature on this game, then u'd neva have to play alone, i'd let you play this game with my boys ;)

Post a comment

Leave a comment Log in with Facebook
  • New Super Mario Bros. Wii
  • New Super Mario Bros. Wii
  • New Super Mario Bros. Wii
  • New Super Mario Bros. Wii
  • New Super Mario Bros. Wii
  • New Super Mario Bros. Wii
  • New Super Mario Bros. Wii
  • New Super Mario Bros. Wii
  • New Super Mario Bros. Wii
  • New Super Mario Bros. WiiNew Super Mario Bros. Wii Video
  • New Super Mario Bros. WiiNew Super Mario Bros. Wii Video
  • New Super Mario Bros. WiiNew Super Mario Bros. Wii Video

Recently Read

Featured Wii Content

Games of October: Your most wanted

Games of October: Your most wanted

06/10/2014 Polls 9 17
PS4 needs more casual games to fill Wii void - Sony

PS4 needs more casual games to fill Wii void - Sony

Gryllis 3 days News 1 6
Netflix officially launching in Australia in March 2015

Netflix officially launching in Australia in March 2015

Gryllis 4 days News 7 17
PAX Australia 2015 tickets go on-sale next month

PAX Australia 2015 tickets go on-sale next month

Gryllis 5 days News 2 9
Friendly Fire Show 76: Unity

Friendly Fire Show 76: Unity

Podcast 6 days Articles 0 4
Lame Game Marathon on today, raising money for UNICEF
Gryllis 15/11 News 9 18
Miyamoto isn't interested in storytelling in games
Gryllis 12/11 News 2 7
Call of Duty: Ranked from worst to best

Call of Duty: Ranked from worst to best

Tano 03/11 Articles 8 9
Big games of November: Call of Duty, Halo, Far Cry

Big games of November: Call of Duty, Halo, Far Cry

Tano 03/11 Articles 6 6

Community Content

Awesome Gaming Stuff Of Tomorrow, Today! Vol. 3

Awesome Gaming Stuff Of Tomorrow, Today! Vol. 3

02/09/2014 Blog 11 0

MMGN Updates

Status
Updating..
Username

Nikolca wants My Horse and Me 2

Nikolca 10 hours ago
Username

Nikolca got My Horse and Me 2

Nikolca 10 hours ago
Username

zurczner, K4ZMA commented on Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan) Season 2 Slated for 2016

zurczner 21 hours ago
Username

Blak's article - Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan) Season 2 Slated for 2016 has been featured by K4ZMA, great job!

K4ZMA 1 day ago
Username

Skidmark, kangle4, espi_band, Olly commented on New Nintendo 3DS (XL) review – Should you buy one?

Skidmark 1 day ago
Username

Gryllis added a photo - Blimp-on-Blimp

Gryllis 2 days ago
Username

Mik3y, Armige commented on New Nintendo 3DS (XL) review – Should you buy one?

Mik3y 2 days ago