New Super Mario Bros. Reader Review
August 19, 2007 � Cancel your social life, unplug the phone and shut the curtains. New Super Mario Bros. has arrived. With stunning platforming, tough items to reach and a brilliant soundtrack, is it worth a purchase?
To sum this game up in a paragraph, your task is: run from the left of the screen to the right, reaching your home before the time runs out - all the while avoiding carefully placed obstacles and very angry enemies.
Old time gamers will recognise the control scheme which is almost perfect, let me tell you why it�s so great. The �B� button becomes Mario�s jumps, press it down and Mario will gracefully leap into the air but wait� the longer you hold it the higher Mario jumps. As you know, Nintendo�s games are simplistic to learn but ocean deep to master, an example is pressing �B� button while running with + will make Mario perform a long jump, but when he lands press
�B� again to make Mario do a double jump, advance players will tell ya that performing that action again will execute a triple jump. Holding down the �Y� button makes Mario run faster thus when you jump he will reach further. But even with all of these amazing controls you have over Mario, you must time your jumps like a ninja and land on the platforms, with all of the experience of a Olympic athlete if you wish to complete some of the harder levels.
To help you out of tricky situations there�s a multitude of items in your repertoire. The iconic red mushroom returns, the fire flower is back and so is the invincible power star. New editions are the blue mushroom which shrinks Mario down to the size of a flea � useful for entering tiny exits, a gigantic mushroom which turns Mario into a walking giant capable of crushing anything underneath him. Another new addition though be it slightly odd is the blue shell, collect this to transform Mario into a sort of turtle. Holding down while running real fast enables Mario to skid and kill any enemy in his path, but you have no control over Mario when he is skidding like this and you may accidentally press down � so it was a decent idea but not executed well. That is the only miss hap with the controls, that and the fact that �Y� controls Mario�s fire flower, picking up dazed enemies and run - so you may accidentally fire a flame when you meant to pick up an enemy and chuck it at something e.g. a block, blocking an exit. Also, you cant chuck enemies up anymore, which is a sad loss.
The level design is reminiscent of Mario games on the older systems, so you will have a grass world, a fire world, a water world and a beach level, you�ll have all of those but, later on in
the game you will discover a mountain top world and some brand new stuff, stuff that completely �out there�. So, it�s both nostalgic and new. Of course at the end of every 3rd level you have a castle boss to trounce. The idea behind it is excellent but the execution is poor. The bosses themselves are quite easy to defeat and can be whitewashed by just 3 jumps on their heads, yes that�s right � that counts for all bosses except Big Bowser. Having said or I should say typed that, they manage to be a good test of your skills and reflexes but nothing that cant be beaten on your 1st attempt the very most! Nintendo has included extras in this game as well. There are more then 15 mini-games ranging from reflex skills to thinking skills. The mini games that are included are absolutely fun � in fact Nintendo could have released a completely new game just containing these mini games. Another bonus is that some of the mini games can be played in 2 player mode with only 1 copy of the game! You connect up wirelessly with a buddy, each mini game won earns you a number of stars that you can alter, the person with the least stars selects the next mini game. After you accumulated a certain number of stars, also set by you, you win. This works in principle but it can be really annoying for the winner that they never get to select a mini game! Another 2 player mode is Shine Grabbers. You are placed in a world of either ice, cave, grass, pipes or a castle and scattered throughout the level is stars. Each collection of a star gets you closer to winning the match, you can alter how much stars determines a winner. You can also steal a star collected by your opponent, either by using an item from your repertoire or waiting for them to make a mistake and land on a flame or some other random death. This gives you the option of playing fair or playing harsh, opening up potential hours of multiplayer mayhem. The courses themselves in this mode however are pretty dull and actually after a while detract from the experience as their just so repetitive and life less.
As for the technical side of the game, the music is top notch! Every sound effect in the game fits it�s world, every song in the game sounds great. Here�s a side note by-the-way, enemies actually bounce, shake and hop to the music in the game, neat right? Just a little subtle inclusion that draws you into this games world.
Graphics? Well, this game is a hybrid between 2D and 3D. The backgrounds are 2D but Mario is drawn in like a 3D character. The worlds are bright, vivid and like beautifully designed, the game is presented with next to no loading times and easy menus to navigate through
Mario is back! Stunning level design fuses with amazing controls to create a game so finely balanced in difficulty, regardless of gaming experience you have, there is something in here for you. This is one of those games that gets under your skin, when you switch off the game your thinking of the next play session and how your going to collect that coin, this game has so much 1-more-go appeal. New Super Mario Bros. is a modern day classic that you will be playing for years to come. Enjoy!
9 / 10