It's been eighteen long years since Super Mario World was released for Super Nintendo and believe it or not, that was the last Mario side-scrolling game released for a home console. After that, along came the 3D Mario 64 and it seemed as though the old games were a thing of the past. Fortunately, the wait is over. Nintendo has brought back every bit of nostalgia from the old Super Mario Bros and combined it with exciting new features that make Super Mario Bros for Wii one of the most anticipated games of the year.
One reviewer called it a "greatest hits" album of games, because the final product is a combination of many previous Mario Bros. games. It is also said to be much like the New Super Mario Bros. that was released in 2006 for the Nintendo DS.
It follows the basic story of the old Super Mario Bros. World game. Peach is kidnapped, Mario and Luigi must save her while fighting Koopa Kids, Fire Chomps, Shy Guys, and Goombas along the way, as well as some new enemies such as giant caterpillars and flying monsters. But one major difference is that you can play the game with four players on screen at once, sort of like Mario Kart or Smash Bros. That said, a number of reviewers have said it falls flat as a single-player game.
The 3-D graphics (on the 2-D game) and the ability to zoom the camera in and out so that players can play different parts of the same level are pretty nice additions. While the multi-player aspect can be tons of fun, it can also be tons of chaos. Another player can knock you into a bottomless pit or accidentally kick a turtle shell at you, unexpectedly. You can play with or against your friends. A cooperative mode allows you to work together to pass levels, while a competitive mode (Coin Battle) has each person working to find as many coins as possible.
In cooperative mode, when a player dies, he floats back to life in a bubble and his fellow players must pop it to release him. If everybody is dead, no one can pop the bubble and the level fails. And since it's aimed more at being a multi-player game, levels are more open and linear than previous Mario Bros games so that each player can find their own personal space.
The game is also said to be fairly difficult. This should be great news for old-school gamers who were looking for a new challenge where Super Mario World left off, but not such great news for the casual gamers who are just looking to waste a little time. However, once a level is failed several times, a Super Guide appears and plays the level for you, allowing you to move on to the next one.
Sing-player mode can be fun, but it's nothing like Super Mario World or other games from the past. The game also requires motion at some points, which means using the Wiimote on its side. Something a number of reviewers say makes the game slightly uncomfortable and adds nothing to the overall experience.
All in all, it seems to be a fun game to play with friends but if you're wanting to spend hours alone, unwinding with a challenging game, this may not be what you're looking for. Either way, this $50 game is sure to find its way under many Christmas trees this year, as gamers look to appreciate that nostalgia that is the 2D Super Mario Bros. franchise.