New Super Mario Bros. Wii Hands-On
While checking out this year’s Big Apple Comic Con, upon our arrival to our surprise we found enormous Nintendo demo area. In it were some recent games, along with upcoming titles as well. Titles like Wii Sports Resort, Wii Fit Plus, and Punch-Out!!, were on hand to represent titles already out on the market, while New Super Mario Bros. Wii and The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks were on hand to show off what’s to come from the big N.At first we were a bit hesitant, especially considering that the demo area looked exactly like one would expect a Nintendo demo area to look like…basically a Chuckie Cheese with kids that seemed to have chopped up and sniffed a couple lines of sugar before they got into the convention. So instead, we floated around the show floor for a few hours while the crowd of screaming children cleared out. We then discovered they were serving beer at the event and decided to have “a few” before getting our hands dirty with New Super Mario Bros Wii.
We didn’t bother with the Zelda title simply because there were 4 of us and we knew that if we had stopped to play a Zelda game, we would have been fucked and probably accomplish nothing for the rest of the day.
For those of you who don’t know or aren’t familiar with it, New Super Mario Bros Wii is a console take on the super (no pun intended) addictive gameplay found in it’s handheld counterpart New Super Mario Bros on the Nintendo DS.Right from the first couple of seconds, Yaris, Al, Rob and myself all had euphoric smiles on our faces, like a bunch of school kids checking out a nudie magazine in the schoolyard during recess. You know exactly the look I’m talking about. Now I’m not sure if the beers we drank gave us exceptional game playing abilities (just because at this point we were all a little buzzed) but I for one didn’t see what all the other sites have been talking about lately. Many sites have been saying how hard the game is, and I have to say that not only do I disagree, but it also makes me question the skills or integrity of many gaming journalists out there who seem to be more journalists than gamers. But I digress.
The platforming aspect of the game, which is the dominant element found in any Mario game, is pretty much on par with its handheld counter part. That doesn’t necessarily make it hard, just a little challenging. So, like any Mario game to come before it, and any Mario game to come after it, it’s all about the jumps and the timing involved of such jumps really.
In this console rehashing you will find some tweaks to the traditional gameplay, such as the ability to float up into the air. This is done with what we at DualShockers (during our beer-induced rampage with the game) refer to as the “special-ed helmet,” It’s the best we could come up with in such short time, since we’re unsure what it’s really called. What it appears to be is a baseball-batting helmet with a mini propeller attached on the top, making it possible to explore high-elevated areas. The way it’s done is in usual gimmicky Wii fashion by jerking your Wii-mote up and down, as if giving a handy to horse.
Another obvious and major difference is your ability to run through levels with up to 3 of your friends, or in my case selfish bastard friends. You see, the way this title sets itself apart from previous platforming iterations of the franchise is that this one is competitive. It’s all about who can rack up the most points in the end while you pummel bad guys along your way through the map. Not only do you lay the smack down on the baddies, but you can lay the lumber on each other as well. At one point Yaris (I still don’t forgive him for this), was riding on his Yoshi and thought it would be funny to swallow us (insert filthy joke here) and then spit us out either into a) a cavern where we’d be falling to our deaths, or b) straight into enemy plants. In other words being that it is competitive; the game quickly turns itself into New Super Mario Bros Scumbags, as you’re all set out to ruin one another.
As far as the game being exceptionally hard, or the Wii game for a “hardcore” platform game audience, I wouldn’t read too much into that. What might make it hard for some, is just how much stuff is actually going on when there are 4 people on the screen wrecking havoc. It can get a bit confusing, especially trying to keep track of your character. A lot like what happens when you play Littlebigplanet with 4 people on the same screen. One thing is for sure, that just like any Mario title, the nostalgia factor is extremely prevalent and it has the ability to make any gamer all happy and warm inside. We look forward to reviewing this next month, so stay tuned!