So we’re doing Wii reviews now are we, Tim? Our Mr Wilson, never one to stick to the rule book has written this review of the Wii SMB outing which passed most of us at AA by. Why should you give it a go? Here’s why:
Yo, Adrian! Gaming uncle? Me too!
I managed to grab from him a Super Nintendo with a trifle of titles. “Super Mario World”, was the first one I played, and shortly after – completed. It was the first real dive I had into the Mario franchise. Then reading the stack of Super Play magazines, STAR WORLD! Oh man, huge props go to ARP for giving me such a good deal for this bundle!
Like a handful of readers, I grew up around 2D gaming, and completely missed the N64 scene. Mario 64 at a friends house? Disappointment. 3D? Sure… But them levels, reused, missions, collect the stars… It just seemed, cheap? The quick play aspect of the earlier Mario titles were lost, it seemed. Then after many years of PlayStation gaming, the DS title.
When review articles cried “A blast to the past”, and “back to the good old days”, ears perked. Critics hailed it, and still sits at 89/100 on MetaCritic. Alas, all I saw was a far simplified version of the original Mario Bros, but with pre-rendered 3D models rather than a 2D sprite. Did the screen even scroll vertically? What were Nintendo even thinking?
In Japan, families gather for Christmas (believe it or not)- and we’d get out the Wii for a bit of a multiplayer bash. Favourites? Warioware, Mario Kart, and sometimes New Super Mario Bros Wii. Family members would fool about, but all I saw was New Super Mario bros… On the Wii.
It wasn’t until two years later- my daughter asked me to play it title with her. We had just finished Nino Kuni (PS3), and I’d rather relax on the fetch-quests this time round. Heck, why not? Surely it couldn’t be THAT bad. Minutes turned into hours… Which turned into days… How did I miss this?!?
I feel the game was definitely mistitled. Bad marketing department? (Hey, Wii-U! /me waves!) Emphasis on the multiplayer should have been in the forefront. I mean, as a single player, it could be seen as rather dull. Heck, a copy / paste of the DS version! But on MULTIPLAYER, this game SHINES!
First stages start off the player to an easy start. “THIS IS FOR BABIES” ran through my mind- AND IT IS. It’s ideal for very young players to get to grips. A team of up to four players can traverse the world, and quickly soak up the dynamics.
The game is split into 8 worlds, each with around 8 levels, with bonus stages, with mini-bosses littered around it. It is a pretty standard platformer, run from left to right, grab the flag at the end to finalise each stage. Every few levels we get a castle, with a boss at the end. Not a Metal Gear behemoth, but one of Koopa’s underlings where players need to stomp on them a few times.
A major addition that saves the game is the bubble. Hit the A button to jump into a safety bubble, which will slowly float towards a living player. Any other player can burst it, to release our bubble boy. Vast areas of danger can be skipped, but the trade-off is that if there are no players physically on the stage- it’s back to the map screen.
Mario and his buddies are gifted with the powers of….
Mushroom: Increase in size, “Super” Mario, right? Allows one more hit before dying.
Fire Flower: Throws fire!
Ice Flower: Throw snowballs to freeze enemies… ugh! (how cheap, am I right?)
Mini Mushroom: become micro-sized to jump… super high? Also can enter smaller areas.
Penguin Suit: Usual Cosplay, slide around on your belly, better grip whilst walking on ice.
Helicopter Suit: Fly up into the sky!
…. And friendship!! (unless you’re playing solo!- in this case, go play Mario 3/Mario World/Super Mario Frustration)
You know what? I’m going to leave it at that.
This one is gold, and it’s so frickin’ cheap right now on the used market, go pick it up!
Unless you have no friends. 🙁
… Thanks for introducing me to this fun title, Em!