Four-player fun in a classic 2D side-scroller
Format: Wii Dev: Nintendo Pub: Nintendo Out: 20/11/09 Players: 1-4
The world’s most famous plumber is back, but the only tool you will need is a Wii Remote or two, or maybe four. That’s right, Mario returns to our consoles in traditional 2D form with his loyal brother Luigi, Yoshi and two Toad companions to aid him in his quest. You know the drill: Princess Peach has once again been kidnapped by Bowser’s minions and hauled off in an airship (you’d think Mario would have beefed up security by now, right?) and, of course, Mario sets off on a journey through a set of differently themed worlds in order to rescue her.
As is the nature of most Wii games, you do not have to play this game on your own. The option is there to play with up to four players who take the roles of the aforementioned Luigi and two funky looking Toads. Aside from the obvious fun factor, playing with others allows you to perform cooperative moves, such as throwing each other, jumping off each other’s heads and carrying each other around.
Multiplayer actually makes New Super Mario Bros. Wii slightly more challenging due to the fact that having more players jumping all over the screen can be quite distracting at times. Although, it has to be said that the benefits outweigh this. For instance, if one of the players ‘dies’, they enter a bubble and float around calling out for help. The player in the bubble simply shakes the Wii Remote to return them to one of their companions and, upon touching them, the player is returned to the action – a handy life preserver, indeed.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii is similar in many ways to New Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo DS in terms of style. Both games represent the traditional 2D Mario gameplay with updated twenty-first century graphics. Therefore, this game by no means reinvents the genre or pushes the boundaries of physics – and it is not at all required to do so. But it provides us with what we expect: classic Mario, and that is what we have been given.
All of the nostalgic sound effects are present alongside familiar power-ups, such as mushrooms, invincibility stars and those red plants that enable you to throw fireballs – awesome! New power-ups have been introduced including a propeller hat and a penguin suit. These are both pretty cool. The propeller suit in particular, which allows you to shake the Wii Remote when jumping and be thrust vertically into the air. This comes in handy when trying to avoid groups of enemies or tricky platforms perched above pit falls. The penguin suit gives Mario the ability to swim better, slide across icy surfaces on his belly, throw ice balls and prevents him from slipping on the ice when standing up – obviously, an essential piece of gear for use on the ice world.
So, along with the new additions you will find everything that is familiar to a Mario game here. There are ghost houses, Bowser’s minions waiting for you in a castle in each world and little Toad houses that provide various rewards, including handy 1-ups and power-ups. Another new feature worth mentioning is the super guide. If you fail a level eight times or more a green box appears within which is contained Luigi. Upon hitting the box he comes out and completes the level for you. You can jump back in at any time or let him do it all. When it’s done you can either try it again yourself or skip it completely if you’re finding it impossible.
In conclusion, New Super Mario Bros. Wii employs the classic traits that made the franchise what it is today and brings it to a new generation of gamers. What’s more, it is sure to delight fans of the original games. Definitely an essential addition to your Wii collection.