Up Up Down Down: New Super Mario Bros. Wii
Last week on Up Up Down, we took a look at New Super Mario Bros., one of the best entries in the series, and one of the best 2D platformers to bear the Mario name. This time, we're going to jump ahead and witness both the glorious victories and perilous fumbles of that game's successor. New Super Mario Bros. Wii may not be as mind-blowingly amazing as the game that came before it, but it undoubtedly comes close. In addition, it's one of the best Wii games and arguably trumps the “newer” Super Mario games that followed suit.
Up Up: Once again, the game looks and plays great
Unless you've been living under a rock, you're probably aware that Mario games have this unadulterated charm to them. New Super Mario Bros. Wii both has a pretty visual style to it and delivers addictive platforming. This is yet another example of Nintendo turning out a worthwhile game. Not to mention the fact that it's is on the Wii, which at the time of its launch could be considered a reason to pick up Nintendo's previous console. Even now, New Super Mario Bros. Wii is worth checking out if you're looking for great 2D gameplay.
Down Down: New Super Mario Bros. is still a better game
Take nothing away from this Wii title, but it's impossible to deny that the original New Super Mario Bros. is still the superior game. Even now, the handheld gem trumps its console successor. Aside from the sheer novelty, the DS original also packs a higher quality in its level design, which is really saying something considering just how great the stages in New Super Mario Bros. Wii are.
Up Up: Multiplayer in a 2D Mario platformer?! That's kind of cool!
The Mario Party series, Mario Kart games, and Mario sports titles were always reserved for multiplayer mayhem. That changed with New Super Mario Bros. Wii, which boasts a four-player co-op mode. Up to four individuals can team up and take on every level cohesively. That also means that you can totally mess with your buddies and sabotage them as they attempt to make a death-defying leap over a pitfall or lava lake. Heck, you could be the one getting pranked!
Down Down: Except it's not really all that cool
Wait a minute. You can actively cost your friends a difficult jump or snag power-ups they desperately needed, and they can do the same to you? That's no fun at all! In fact, it's actually kind of annoying. If you get four players in the mix, it's even worse. Sure, the idea of co-op in a Mario game is definitely novel, but it wears thin if you're playing the game seriously. Things get especially infuriating when you factor in how important precision and timing can be in a platformer.
Up Up: A formidable and rewarding challenge
Speaking of precision and timing, New Super Mario Bros. Wii is rife with crazy jumps, perilous hazards, and familiar enemies. The game is quite challenging, but that challenge is more rewarding than it is tedious. People like to say that Nintendo makes games solely for kids, but New Super Mario Bros. Wii provides a daunting challenge that will trump even older players. The game gets tough right away, too, so expect to die a lot even early on.
Down Down: The Super Guide makes you realize you're a loser at everything
As is often the case with 2D platformers, you're bound to encounter some frustration. That would actually be okay to some degree if it wasn't for the Super Guide. Die eight times in any given level, and Luigi's green ass will pop up to show you how it's done, clearing the level for you and even allowing you to skip it entirely. It's kind of funny that Nintendo chose to make players feel like pansies by having one of the biggest pansies in the series show you how to beat a level. That's insult to injury at its finest.
Left Right Left Right: It's impossible to deny the pure charm of New Super Mario Bros. Wii
If you play New Super Mario Bros. Wii, you'll find yourself enthralled in the 2D platforming romp. The game is expertly designed and offers a high difficulty that's largely satisfying. It's not as novel as the original New Super Mario Bros., co-op can be a mess, and the challenge may make you feel like a pathetic cretin. All of that aside, however, it's just impossible to not fall in love with this lovely run-and-jump adventure. Besides, Yoshi makes an appearance, which is pretty cool.
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