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Long read: The beauty and drama of video games and their clouds

"It's a little bit hard to work out without knowing the altitude of that dragon..."

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New Super Mario Bros. dated

Sort of.

Rather like the "New Surgery" I lived in a flat above 22 years ago, take a look at New Super Mario Bros. today and you'll be able to bask in the warm familiarity of its locations, characters and atmosphere, except everything will be fatter and more up to date.

Speaking of which, Nintendo has leapt into our inboxes AGAIN this week to tell us that the game whose name they're trying to make us capitalise is due out in "early summer" in Europe.

That'll come as a bit of a blow to those of you who'd been hoping for a release around the same time as the US version, which is out on May 7th. But what with DS games working regardless of region you can always spend a few extra quid importing it.

As to why you should - it's the first proper 2D handheld Mario game that Nintendo's made afresh in ages, after the GBA brought us almost nothing but recycled 8- and 16-bit platformers.

This one will bring us a range of new worlds done in lovely, Mario Bros.-style 2D with big bulging 3D characters, and on the gameplay front we can expect the DS's relatively powerful hardware to give us all sorts of entertaining sights and sounds the NES and SNESerati couldn't experience, while the brothers themselves have gained new abilities like a triple-jump and a wall jump.

There'll be more though, obviously, including new power-ups, and four-player multiplayer options on specially designed stages, where players compete for stars or go at it in touch-screen mini-games using DS Download Play.

We'll bring you out thoughts on NSMB as soon as we can. Given that it's out around the time we'll be over in the States for E3, we'll probably pick it up and hide in hotel rooms playing it instead of going out. It's the way we are. [You thought I was going to let you go outside? - Ed]