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Monday, October 22, 2012

New Super Mario Bros. Game Review # 5

The New Super Mario Bros. series has been around for a while with games in the series being available on every Nintendo platform available since its first release with an upcoming Wii U entry in the series being available at its launch. By this time the New in New Super Mario Bros. isn't exactly as strong as it was when the first game was released but at that time it was the first side-scrolling game starring Mario in almost 15 years. This review is about that first game and why even today it still belongs in your game collection.

We will get the plot out of the way quickly. Princess Peach has been kidnapped and you must defeat Bowser to rescue her. If you were expecting a great story then the Mario platformers are not where you should be looking.

The gameplay is perfect. If you die you never feel its the games fault which is a sign of great gameplay. Mario has some moves from his 3D platform adventures which are now at his disposal for the first time in 2D. You are able to do a triple jump which allows you to go higher on the second jump and even higher on the third jump when jumping consecutively. You also are able to wall jump. The wall jump in particular has saved me from jumping out of bottomless pits where I would have died in previous 2D Mario platformer games. The mini-mushroom and mega-mushroom are two big additions to the power ups which have been seen again in future games. There is a good challenge in this game for all gamers. Advanced players will find fun in collecting all the star coins in each level of which there are three per level. Beginner players will still find a challenge where a game over means starting over from the last save which could send you back to the previous castle you beat unless you saved after spending star coins on a different route on the main map. For these beginners this will force them to improve on the levels they have till the next save spot until they are able to complete them or collect star coins from previous levels to get more opportunities to save. There are also cannons which can be used to skip levels which can be found which can help these beginners if stuck but the future levels will only get harder. There are also alternate worlds which paths to them can be found which can also be used to get further into the game.

In addition to the main mode there are mini-games which should be noted. If you don't own Super Mario 64 DS then there will be some mini-games that came with that game which are also available for this game. If you do already own that game then none of these will be new. Some are only single player and can be fun to try to get the top score. Others are available for local multiplayer against others where the other players don't even need to own the game themselves to play. Even more then the mini-games there is an extra mode called Mario vs. Luigi which also a local multiplayer game which does not require the other player to own the game. This mode is unique to this game and to me this mode is a huge selling point. When my original copy which was 100 percent completed was stolen I bought this game again just so that I could still play this mode. The point of this mode is to either collect a set limit of stars (which this limit is set before playing) or the other player must run out of lives (unless this is set to unlimited). This mode is perfect for those that want to prove their Mario skills over someone else. I've spent hours playing this mode. As an advanced player it kept me coming back to test out my skills against others. I also have seen beginners have fun with this mode. It may not look as intense but for two beginners having someone at their own skill definitely is a challenge in itself.

When it comes to the graphics they are what you expect from 3D graphics in a 2D platformer. They don't wow but they are definitely not ugly. There are no issues with graphics that would effect the gameplay either which the gamplay is the most important part for a platformer. The music is typical Mario. The main theme is memorable and has become important to the New Super Mario Bros. series. I felt the music was great but I'm not a big fan of the "wah" noises in every song which is a mainstay in this series. It is a nice touch seeing the enemies react to these "wah" noises though.

If you are an advanced player with other advanced player/s living locally that don't own this game then the Mario vs. Luigi mode makes this a must by. You will thank me. For everyone else I would still recommend this game. This series is fantastic but I do feel that the Wii and 3DS game is better for beginners (the upcoming Wii U also appears to be beginner friendly also) but if you don't have the ability to play those games then this entry still does not try to be too hard. For other advanced players without the need for the mode mentioned above then collecting all the star coins can make this game hard and I recommend trying to collect them all instead of just trying to complete the game as the game by itself does not have much challenge to it.

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