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New Super Mario Bros. Wii

New Super Mario Bros Wii takes the classic Mario format into unfamiliar multiplayer territory. While we’ve had the occasional battle and race modes in previous handheld versions, this is the first time the game has been built from the ground up around a four-player competitive mechanic.

We recently got the chance to spend some extended time with the game and its ten varied levels. Naturally we explored every last nook and cranny, in both the single-player mode – that we suspect many players will use – and the headline multiplayer mode.

There’s a huge difference between the two. Although the levels, enemies and item placement seem to be identical in both modes, playing without two or three buddies makes NSMBW seem a lonely place. The camera is positioned quite a long way from the action to fit as much scenery as possible onto the screen, and a lone Mario is dwarfed by massive contraptions such as cogs, wheels and entire chunks of hillside that rotate to reveal secret entrances.

The scale of the levels means there are plenty of huge jumps and tall ledges, reachable only by getting flung into the air on a springy block or an inexplicable geyser of sand. Despite the gimmicky distractions it’s still a challenging game for one player, but it’s nowhere near as tightly designed as Super Mario World. There are a lot of areas that seem like filler, which is effectively what they are. But when you rope in some friends for a multiplayer session you’ll soon see why it was designed that way.

With the levels fully populated by human players, the open areas don’t feel quite so devoid of enemies. There are probably just as many Goombas, Koopas and other creatures wandering around as in any other Mario game, so maybe ‘empty’ isn’t the right word, but when you’ve got three or four people hopping around, bashing into each other and competing for hard-to-reach coins and items, the game would look busy even if there was nothing else moving in the level.

The competition is frantic. You can play co-operatively, helping each other over big gaps or giving somebody a boost to grab something that’s tantalisingly beyond normal jumping range, but no matter how we set out to play at the start of a round, that’s never how it finished.

26 comments

  • noofer7 - July 25, 2009 5:16 p.m.

    Hmmm... @Thegamingkid I agree, but if they made one it would probably be crap compared to Brawl...
  • fergfighter - July 24, 2009 11:51 a.m.

    :'( i wish my parents got me a wii for christmas, but noooooo. i get fucking overlord shittiest game of all time. i didnt even esk for it :( ReCAPTCHA: Rosenberg scared!
  • Spybreak8 - July 23, 2009 5:55 p.m.

    I'll stick with my Castle Crashers.
  • gmcb2011 - July 22, 2009 10:37 p.m.

    ^^^ No.
  • Thegamingkid - July 22, 2009 5:43 p.m.

    Why the hell did they make this, But not super smash Bros for DS!!!!! I HAS to come out! Imagine...Doing Final smashes with the DS Pen, Maybe They can add some DS excluseve charictors! Such as, That Dude from spetrobs! (I forget his name) And others, Maybe Baby Bowsar? Theres still more to come! I bet You all agree when I say, WE WANT SUPER SMASH BROS ON DS!!!
  • Unoriginal - July 22, 2009 3:31 p.m.

    And this needs to be on the Wii why? Im not seeing anything that couldn't be crammed on to a DS.
  • killerwhalen - July 22, 2009 3:11 p.m.

    I planned on buying this for single-player alone, but the multiplayer has me....intrigued... *Puts corn-cob pipe in mouth* Recaptcha: The Cabinet
  • Cyberninja - July 22, 2009 11:23 a.m.

    i was buying this anyway now i have more backround
  • key0blade - July 22, 2009 1:54 a.m.

    Saving $200 for Modern Warfare 2 (Prestige Edition, no shit) and some other stuff, maybe, maybe not, depends if some other stuff is good
  • big rudy - July 21, 2009 11:27 p.m.

    Hey, Luigi's my best character.
  • marioman523 - July 21, 2009 10 p.m.

    Hopefully there's more of a challenge in this one than in the DS version...
  • HungryBeaver - July 21, 2009 9:55 p.m.

    Looks pretty good. Doubt ill ever play it though - Fifth! haha
  • Kotsu - July 21, 2009 8:39 p.m.

    I think this would actually be a game that me and my sister would play together.
  • motang - July 21, 2009 8:36 p.m.

    I don't think this game really needs any preview. :)
  • Jellyjiggler29 - July 21, 2009 8:32 p.m.

    Looks pretty good, wish it was for DS though, and Galaxy 2 looks better but hey I'm always happy for a new Mario platformer.
  • looijee91 - August 17, 2009 3:46 a.m.

    looks crizazy mancant wait to get my hands on it! wooooOOOOOOO
  • Conman93 - July 24, 2009 5:42 p.m.

    This looks good, but it will be very very hard to beat smash bros as best multiplayer game on wii
  • crazyqazqaz - July 24, 2009 4:08 p.m.

    Woo!! This and Mario Galaxy 2! Maybe Nintendo aren't doomed afterall... Well I haven't played my Wii in ages, time to whack it out and get playing!! @ TheGamingKid, what u're proposing is crap, it'd be way 2 fiddly to move quickly from the D-Pad 2 the stylus! Are you mad!?!
  • infected123 - July 23, 2009 11:51 p.m.

    ooh a platformer. how lame.
  • RadarQJD - July 23, 2009 7:37 p.m.

    So you're forced to use Mario in Single player mode? Nooo! I want Luigi, damn it! Give me an answer , someone! I can't stand the grief!

Showing 1-20 of 26 comments

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