At some point in the future, when we look back at the past, we will probably see a balance of the most remarkable stuff the actual console generation has brought to the fans. Undoubtedly, we will remember how the three big companies of the industry, Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft, introduced outstanding online capabilities in their respective consoles and the arrival of the high definition era will be marked in our minds.
Between so many complicated plots and expensive developments, a historic name emerges to shake up the whole video game industry and gives it a lesson in humbleness. As you might be wondering, I'm talking about Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of the main franchises of the big N such as "Donkey Kong," "The Legend of Zelda" and "Super Mario Bros." Trying to talk about Miyamoto-san is like trying to imagine the video game history walking lazily between the whole bunch of offices of the Kyoto building, where Nintendo forges the future of where it is going, dictating the how and when we will be able to enjoy our favorite hobby in the next months and years.
Chosen by the prestigious Time magazine as one of the most influential persons of the whole planet, Shigeru Miyamotoï¿½s almost thirty years of work in the industry have been so full of successes that it would be ridiculous to try to summarize them in just a few lines. I'll only mention that in 2007, he showed what the Nintendo Wii was capable of when you mix its hardware possibilities with a bit of imagination, creating "Super Mario Galaxy" as the final result, one of the best platform titles in history. In this fall of 2009, the home console receives "New Super Mario Bros Wii," a new title of the mustached plumber where the 2D simplicity and fun are its highlights.but this time for up to four players.
Those who enjoyed "New Super Mario Bros" on the Nintendo DS will immediately recognize the same main features in this new version for the Wii. Your mission is to rescue the princess once again, who has been kidnapped by Bowser Junior during a birthday party at the castle. Mario, Luigi and two Toads will be the ones in charge to chase the kidnapper and try to bring the princess back.
Even though in "New Super Mario Bros Wii" we won't see the same stages as the ones in the portable version, it copies the same format of its younger brother: you advance like it was a board game that consists of eight different worlds where each one has different stages that you have to beat, just like in the old-school games.
During the trip, you also find alternate routes, booths where you can get power-ups by playing minigames and a bit of backtracking to some stages that you have already beaten, in order to rescue some Toads who have also been kidnapped by Bowser's minions.
"New Super Mario Bros Wii" makes a revision of all the settings Mario has passed through in his 2D platform adventures. This is how you adventure into arid deserts, aquatic environments, frozen and slippery plateaus, blue skies with spongy clouds or even the Bowser family domain, represented by castles and flying fortresses. However, the game also includes original stages like the dark flooded caverns or the underground tunnels where the fearful giant worms will make your life impossible.
The design of every single stage has been plotted with that pleasure that Nintendo knows how to capture in its own titles. Proof of this is that, considering its limited graphic load, the game manages to satisfy us in a visual level at all times. However, all this optic delirium grows pale when we watch carefully how all the stages have been structured, such as the placing of every platform, enemy or precipice. Miyamoto knows the terrain he walks like the palm of his own hand and this is how he proves it.
Once again, Miyamoto and his studio warn us that to underestimate the technical capacities of the Wii is a big mistake. I can guarantee you that in this new adventure of the plumber brothers you won't miss the high resolutions of the other consoles, especially when the game shows us some cool special effects performed with such an efficient competence like the simulation of strong winds, the brightness and reflection in some textures emulating shiny seams or burning lava torrents.
In "New Super Mario Bros Wii," we deal with a whole concert of musical remixes based on all the classical tracks of the Mushroom Kingdom, just like in the portable version. It is inevitable that after some hours of having turned off the console, the classic bossa nova song that mixes perfectly with the main theme of Super Mario Bros will still sound in our heads. The varied compositions you listen to during the game perfectly agree with the atmosphere achieved on a visual level.
One feature that the veteran players will appreciate is that you hold the Wii remote horizontally to play the game, as if it was an NES controller. You'll use the arrows and the two buttons for the basic functions like the direction, jumping and running. With this simple way of playing you can perform a complete roster of maneuvers adding the new capacities that the new suits bring us.
"New Super Mario Bros Wii" is not an easy game and that's why the people at Nintendo implemented a new feature called the Super Guide, which appears once the game detects that you have lost an important number of lives. When this occurs, a message is shown asking if you want the CPU to finish the level for you. If you choose the yes button, then your character will start to be moved by the game itself but you can choose in which moment the CPU can stop in order to continue to play it again by yourself.
As if all these new features weren't enough, the most attractive characteristic of the game is the possibility of playing it with up to three friends on the same TV. It's not a regular multiplayer mode; instead you will be able to complete the main adventure with your friends, all in a fun dynamic that has a perfect combination of cooperation and competition between players. Unfortunately this mode is only available locally, which is a shame since an online mode would have given more positive points to this game.
Another thing that Nintendo should have given better attention to is the limited roster of characters. You will only be able to choose between Mario, Luigi and two Toads, all with the same skills. At least the company includes two different modes to play the main adventure. The first one is called Free-For-All, where it doesn't matter the order of the stages you want to play and the other one is the Coin Battle mode where your priority is to get the highest number of coins among your friends. In both cases, the availability of stages will be directly related to your advance in the main adventure.
Final Verdict - 9/10
Enjoying Mario in the genre that saw him born is always a great pleasure, even if you are not a fan of the platform titles. Nintendo returns to its specialty: to offer hours and hours of fun by giving us games with their own personality and a shellproof gameplay. It is really hard to imagine someone who knows the franchise and doesn't enjoy this game.