I think “New” is a Misnomer

Originally Published 19 June 2010

Earlier this week, I beat the final boss of New Super Mario Bros. Wii. I didn’t actually end up beating all of the levels because I had skipped one world entirely due to finding the warp whistle equivalent.

Gameplay wise, NSBW is nearly identical to the NDS version of New Super Mario Bros. that came out a few years ago. The main new bits are a few new suits and the fact of it being on the Wii.

The platforming itself is relatively solid, though I think the wiimote makes a rather terrible controller for this sort of game. You really only have three actions available: jump, run/shoot, and spin. Unfortunately, they decided to bind spin to the “shake the controller” button. This means that precision spinning is mostly impossible.

The game gives a handful of new suits, but the main one of interest seems to be the “propeller helmet” suit. I say “main one of interest” because so many of the levels and challenges become trivial when using it. It seems like the “propeller helmet” is as important in this game as the “mini-mario” suit was in its predecessor given how often level designers chose to include things that are there specifically to appeal to it. Unfortunately, that means that some of the other new suits were heavily overshadowed. For instance, I never once got a penguin suit. I don’t even know what it does and I’ve finished the game.

From the perspective of someone who played it single player and who had actually played the NDS game to completion, I can’t say that there is much here. I would say that it might be worth it to the two or three people who haven’t yet played the NDS iteration. It might also be good for people who want to experience the multiplayer–something that I’ve not done. Mostly though, I just didn’t care at all. The game never engaged me to a level where I was either impressed with it or angered me to the point where I was beating it to beat it. Perhaps the best thing that I can say is that, when I stopped playing, it was because I reached a save point almost every time. I played it just long enough to get to the next checkpoint and then didn’t care enough to keep playing.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii: 0

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