Culture & Conversation

Same Old World, Fun Just The Same

Mario, the Italian plumber, has been a fixture in our hearts and minds since the mid 1980s. With countless video games under his tool belt, New Super Mario Bros. Wii might be new for some, but certainly old for the rest of us. If you miss the good old days of moving from left to right, jumping on anything that stands in your way, in a world filled with mushrooms and pipes, then this might be the game for you.

The game starts off with Mario and friends at Princess Peach’s Castle celebrating her birthday. When the inevitable happens, Bowser Jr. and the Koopa Kids crash the party and kidnap Peach. It’s up to you to save the Princess once again. But you don’t have to go at it alone. In New Super Mario Bros. Wii, you and up to three of your friends can play every level cooperatively in your quest to save the damsel in distress.

Multiplayer can be a hectic mess for the uninitiated, but with the right people, the game can be nostalgic run, jump, and walk in the park. However, if you just can’t get through that one level, after one too many failed attempts, you get the option to watch an automated professional video game player go through the entire stage and skip ahead to the next level if you so choose. Add to that the new power up suits like the ice climbing penguin suit or the high flying propeller suit and you are sure to come out on top as you journey through 8 worlds collecting Star Coins and unlocking secrets.

The worlds are a mix of standard environmental staples. You get from the green hills and the craggy mountains to a sandy sahara and snow covered wonderland. Let’s not forget the obligatory waterlogged levels and lava pit infused castles – all rendered as detailed quasi 3D backgrounds as you jump through pipes to rescue the Princess. As you encounter wave after wave of Bowser’s henchmen, you’ll notice that these baddies have never looked better. The character models from flying turtles to lowly Goombas are very expressive and have that unmistakable Mario charm as they try to take you down while grooving to the beat. The soundtrack consists of remixed old favourites, but everything sounds new. Classic bleeps and bloops are used with full sweeping orchestral backing to create a classical, yet retro feeling to the music. The sound design is simply top notch; from every stomp and splash to the little voice work, all is done with care.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii is both fan service for Mario aficionados and a great starting off point for a new generation of plumbers. The game is a mix of new and old and thanks to it’s simplistic control scheme ensures fun for the whole family. Whether it’s your first or 10th Mario game you will surely have a blast in the Mushroom Kingdom.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii is out now for the Nintendo Wii.

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