|Players||Up to 2|
JPN - May 25, 2006
USA - May 15, 2006
EUR - June 30, 2006
Wow, has it really been 15 years since the last major platformer, Super Mario World was made? Well, this year is Mario’s 25th anniversary since Donkey Kong, and what a way to celebrate the 25 by revisiting the old sidescrolling days of Super Mario Bros. New Super Mario Bros. may not be the innovative, brand new Mario game some were hoping for (you will have to wait for Galaxy for that one) but its rather, a tribute to the old days. If you never played a Mario Sidescroller, this is your chance. Just about any Mario fan should love this game. Very few people have hated it, and those who do, were disappointed with it. But I wasn’t. I feel that it lived up to the hype in just about every way. It’s a game that will go down in history as the game that revived the 2D Mario sidescroller.
Peach gets kidnapped and Mario has to save her. Nothing new here, just the same old story. But that’s all that was needed. Remember, this is a revisit to the older simpler times. Though it would have been interesting if they used one of the unused stories (see the NP Volume 203 interview).
Hey, its the old Mario gameplay, what else could you ask for? All the old elements as well as some new ones are in there. There are your typical Mushrooms, Fire Flowers, and Starmen, but this game features 3 brand new powerups. They are the Mini and Mega Mushroom, and the Koopa Shell. The Mini and Mega Mushrooms are pretty self explanatory. But the Koopa shell is my favorite power up. It lets Mario wear a Koopa Shell and he can slide around and move like a Koopa Troopa (Wish there was a Paratroopa Shell, that would have been awesome). Come on, we all know what Mario gameplay is about, get from one end of the level to the other. While that sounds easy, trust me, it’s not.
A mix of 2D sprites with 3D polygonal characters. Don’t let the 3D character models make you think this is a 3D game, it’s just a way of showing expressions and actions without having to draw a warehouse load of sprites. It’s a perfect mix that takes advantage of the DS’s 3D and 2D capabilities. The graphics actually add to the gameplay. There are a few little things that are neat (such as how Goombas dance to the music’s beat, and water splashes like in sunshine) but what really adds to gameplay is how the 3D is able to make every level unique in design. Not a single level repeats itself. While some levels may looks similar at glance, play them and you will find something, at least something that makes it stand out from the others. Level design is well designed and plays a key role in both gameplay and graphics.
Everyone loves the classic Jumping sounds and stomping sounds. Everyone also loves the classic music. Yep, it’s all here, as well as some new tunes as well. The music is catchy and feels new, while being similar to the older game’s music at the same time. Some may find it repetitive, but I just love listening to the music. The original pieces aren’t made by Koji Kondo, but rather the person that did the Tunes of Yoshi Touch & Go (forgot her name ). All the classic sound effects are in the game. Jumping, hits, growing, you name it. Plus for those who were annoyed by the voice acting of the characters will be pleased to know that the voice acting in this game is practically none existent. It’s very minimal, and only heard when you get a Mega Mushroom, finish a level (“That’s-a so nice!”) and when you start a level. That’s about it.
Three words my friends: addictive like crazy. This game has the addiction factor of every SMB game put together. The only problem is, is that the game is a bit short. Speedrunning through every level takes about 5 hours, but who speedruns through a Mario game only? You would miss more than half the game if you did that! Heck Worlds 4 and 7 can’t be accessed by traditional means (quite a twist for the Mario universe!) and have to be unlocked. The game is also filling with secrets around every corner. You won’t want to stop until you find every Star Coin, hidden world, hidden block, Pipe cannon (The game’s equivalent to Warp Zones) and Power Up in the game. Plus it’s enjoyable enough to go through again and again.
The only thing that doesn’t quite live up to previous Mario games is the challenge. The game is moderate difficulty, but once you get the hang of things, it’s very easy. This isn’t necessarily bad, but it may disappoint some who wanted a game as difficult as lost levels. Again, I am not bothered by this but this is just a heads up to people expecting a super hard game.
Not really too frustrating. Cheap deaths are kept to a minimum as usual. There are some frustrating levels but it’s not bad enough to make you stop playing. The most frustrating levels are usually fortresses and Ghost Houses (Familiar?) and even they aren’t that tough. But there are tricky parts that are very easy to die. No denying that.
A must own for all Mario fans. Oh and I forgot to mention, Luigi is in the game! Just hold down the L and R buttons while selecting a file and you have the lean green machine. Okay, so he is pretty much the same as Mario. But he isn’t a palette swap, he has his own model and sound effects. Plus if you have friends with a DS, you could give the multiplayer a try. I haven’t tried it yet but from what I heard, it’s similar to SM64DS’s multiplayer. Plus you can compete in minigames also.
Over, this is one of the best Mario games yet. It mixes old and new to create a magical and totally addicting experience. It’s a wonderful game that people of all ages should love. It’s got that same simplicity as the original, yet its challenging enough for most hardcore players (except people that can breeze through lost levels. If you can get through Lost Levels fairly easily, you could beat this game in just a few hours). While the difficulty isn’t as high as some of the previous games, the Gameplay is through the roof, with a game that mixes old, with new.
The game is great, great gameplay, lots of secrets, long tracks and more. The game will be cheap now and you will be able to buy it off eBay or a second hand store for really cheap, I got my copy for $5. Well that brings the end of my review.