It’s clear by now we’re not exactly smitten with New SMB Wii. But that doesn’t mean some of its finer points were lost on us. Take for example the music, which are mostly remixes of existing Mario tunes. Nothing special there, but if you watch enemies and parts of the background, they’ll actually dance in synch with the beat. Small touch, but it’s cute, and that helps ease the pain of trudging through yet another narrow, one-note level.
Then there are the 120 Star Coins, which can be spent on various hint movies. Most are meant to help you, either by revealing secret exits or how to rack up extra lives, but some are there just to floor you with expert playing. Here’s a great one:
Most of us fly through Mario games without a second thought. Others dabble for a few days, then move on. The elite few consider Mario “the” game to break down and destroy, birthing speedruns and unbelievable feats of platforming in the process. It’s cool to see Nintendo acknowledge the daredevil segment of its fanbase, even if the levels themselves are somewhat wanting.
New Super Mario Bros? Not really. Both suffer from simplistic level design, but there was more boss variation on DS and the controls didn’t feel as jittery. We expect more from a console Mario game; New SMB Wii feels like an upgraded DS port, not a true new game.
Super Mario Galaxy? No way. Galaxy is almost the complete opposite, bursting with ingenious new ideas, amazing visuals and occasionally breathtaking level design. It’s possibly Wii’s best game. New SMB Wii falls way short of that goal.
Mario Party 8? Yes. We make the comparison because, well, the four player mode isn’t too far removed from a party atmosphere, and the same crowd may be drawn to both games. But platforming is always better than minigames.
Nintendo saved the industry with games like this, so we’re sad to say the latest lacks the imaginative spark found in past entries. Easily the weakest of the 2D Marios, but even the worst Mario is better than most other platformers.
Nov 13, 2009