New Super Mario Bros. Wii Review

Nintendo showers us with enough brotherly love for quadruplets. Does the first 2D console platformer staring Mario since 1991 live up to the legend?

By Rupert Higham, November 20, 2009

The 16:9 display accommodates four characters wonderfully and the early courses are designed as playgrounds to experiment with each others’ lives in preparation for the chaos that ensues in later courses. When tackled by a lone plumber there is little to challenge experienced gamers – the plentiful supply of lives and approachable difficulty level mean that death will typically come out of greed rather than fiendish level design. Throw another three players into the mix however and the profanities fly as thick and fast as the mushrooms as each platform becomes a battle for territory and each power up (despite the fact that they are distributed fairly) becomes an opportunity for thievery.


Platforms like this can be controlled by tilting the Wii Remote and require a steady hand.

Like Four Swords Adventures before it, if played by four obliging individuals it is a smooth ride, but inevitably it will descend into complete anarchy, and is all the more fun for it. Polar extremes aside, the ability to carry other players and the relatively minor penalty for death (floating around in a bubble until you’re popped back into the fray) does make NSMBW perfectly suitable for Nintendo’s new and perhaps less experienced audience, with more skilled players able to hand-hold beginners through the game’s tougher sections when required. Some have bemoaned the lack of online multi-player though NSMBW was intended to be enjoyed locally, and judging by previous attempts take timing-sensitive Wii games into the online arena (yes Super Smash Bros. Brawl, I’m shaking a disapproving finger at you), it would have been largely redundant.


Jostling for position on a safe platform can be hazardous with four people. There will be plenty of death.

There were pre-release fears that the focus on multi-player would lead to a hollow single player experience, though thankfully these appear to be unfounded as NSMBW offers a single player mode that is as rewarding as any other Mario title before it. Following the formula of the DS game, each of the eight worlds feature multiple routes, each filled with three giant gold coins that often require skilful manipulation of the game’s mechanics to grab. Collect all of them and you open up a ninth world where the difficulty is cranked up, though still some way short of the the benchmark for Mario game difficulty – the exclusive new levels in the GBA port of Yoshi’s Island.

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One Response to “New Super Mario Bros. Wii Review”

  1. Edwin says:

    “This isn’t the end of all civilisation as the Nintendo hardcore feared…” – Nintendo still has a hardcore following then? :p


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