Hello Dtoid community, my name is Dan. This is my first blog so I'll tell you a little about myself. After that, I'll get the train rolling with my review of New Super Mario Bros. Wii.
I started gaming as soon as I gained the motor skills that allowed me to do so. I was born in 1988, so right around the time I got into games was right around the time the industry was really starting to grow. Unfortunately my memory blurs that time and It's hard to remember what my first game was and things of that nature. The longest I can remember back brings up some interesting memories, like me playing Super Mario Bros with my father, or going to my friends (He had genesis and lived two houses down) to play games like Dick Tracy. I would also go to my cousins, he had Spy Hunter and Top Gun. Thinking back, the reason I liked games at this age had to be purely sensational. The bright colors and the interesting sounds, all at the command of my uncoordinated fingers. I never realized that Super Mario Bros was a better game than Top Gun, they were fun because of different reasons.
Then the SNES came out. I forgot who bought it for me or what occasion I recieved it on, all I knew is I had the newest game console, and I was ready to go. By now I was in school and talks of video games filled the classroom. Friends would come over to play, and I would do the same. I still didn't really grasp the full meaning and greatness of games, but I liked them none the less. Super Mario World, Final Fantasy, and many others filled my life with Joy. Once again, I can't vividly recall much of this time, but one story that sticks out to me involves The Lion King. The Lion King was the first game I ever hated. Was it because of the unrelenting difficulty? Of course not, it was because every time my parents brought me and my sister to rent a game, she picked out The Lion King...every single time. Being the slightly older and smarted person that I was, I would always try and make her pick games that I like, so I basically got 2 rentals instead of 1, she had none of that though.
Some more years pass, I grow older and much more sophisticated with my gaming habits. Up until now, there was no "side" to choose. Until that is, the ps1 and n64 loomed their ugly heads. Just about every one of the kids I knew got a Nintendo 64. I'm sure parents were more assured with Nintendo, since it was familiar. Me on the other hand, got a Sony Playstation. The first two games I got were Ridge Racer and Viewpoint(Both came in the most hideous boxes I've ever seen, early adopters of the playstation should know what I'm talking about)
I doubt anyone even remembers Viewpoint, but what I liked about it is on the back of the box it said "This game is Impossible to beat without cheatcodes"
It was glorious. All this 3d, these games blew my mind. This is when my passion for games hit full boar. During the ps1 era was also the first time I beat an RPG. Previously my attention span barely lasted long enough for a game of mario let along a 50+ hour RPG. That game was Legend of Legaia, a game I still consider one of my favorites.
Time rolled on, games got better, and then came the next wave of consoles. My dad brought home a game he rented for me(what a swell guy right?), I checked it out and realized it was a ps2 game(Oni). I looked at him with my gullible youthful eyes with a bit of disappointment. He apologized and took the game from me to bring it back to the store. Strangely though, he came back in the house 5 minutes later with a large box. He fooled me, and the ps2 was mine. Everything after that is your basic gamer's tale, I'm now a proud owner of the ps3 and a wii system and this "childish" hobby of mine is more time consuming than ever.
And that, my friends, is the very barebones story of my gaming career thus far. I hope we are a little closer now.
Now, I'll be reviewing NSMBW, but I'm gunna talk about how I want to review games first. I don't know if I'll do this all the time, but i'm gunna give it a try. I hate review scores, so those are out the window. I am going to have 2 parts of a review though, the first part is the short part. Here i'll have a summary paragraph where you will get the overall way I feel about said game. The second will be the long part. The long part will be a mix of what i like and don't like, but more importantly, my experience with it. So, shall we?
New Super Mario Brothers Wii
"I have never hated my friends more while playing a video game more in my life, and I wouldn't have it any other way" - me
NSMBW brings back classic mario platforming with the twist of 4 player gameplay. You run through 8 themed worlds in an attempt to rescue Princess Peach, all while grabbing powerups, collecting coins, and stomping goomba's. It's not exactly groundbreaking but the addition of 3 extra players on the screen creates an incredibly interesting dynamic of fun, frustration, teamwork, and spite.
There really isn't much to say about NSMBW that isn't already general knowledge by now. You run to the right, collecting coins for extra lives, dodging and jumping on enemies, getting to the castle, and defeating the boss. The bosses in this case being the koopa kids and Bowser Jr every once and a while. This all leads up to the climactic end against Bowser. So yes, It's a typical Mario game.
What's different this time is the addition of 3 other players(played by Luigi, blue Toad, and yellow Toad) all trying to do the same exact thing you are at the exact same time. Here's what an eavesdropper would hear if they were listening to 4 people play a level in NSMBW.
1: "Ok guys, let's try and be civil this time."
2,3,4: "sounds good!"
2: "Oh sweet, powerup block"
4: "Seriously, you didn't need ALL the mushrooms"
1: "Way to go asshole, you jumped on my head and now I'm dead"
3: "Stop running man the levels gunna crush me!!!! great....."
4: "I'm out of lives already."
3: "Get out of the way get out of the way get out of the way get out of the way"
2: "You killed me man!"
3: "YOU WOULDN'T MOVE!"
1: "Hey look guys I got to the top of the flag!"
This eavesdropper may think the 4 people in the next room all hate each other, but in reality they are experiencing a type of fun that is rare to find these days.
What makes NSMBW's multiplayer so great is the fact that there is no seperation between co-op and competitive. It's all rolled into one crazy package. Wanna get that star coin? Use another player's head to boost you up, whether he consents to it or not. Luigi in front of you but not making a jump in a moving level? Pick him up and give him a toss into the forever encroaching wall of death. It's moments like these that separate the gaming community from the rest. Mortal enemies one second and best friends the next.
Frustration of being killed multiple times by teamates is offset by what I'm officially dubbing as "The bubble mechanic." At any time you can hit the A button and your person will go into a bubble. This bubble can't be hurt by anything, and shaking the wiimote will bring your bubble closer to teamates so they can free you. It's a very handy feature. Don't think a friend can't kill you while your in a bubble though, since both fireballs and iceballs pop it, regardless if your over safe land or a pit of spikes straight out of mortal kombat. Speaking of spike pits...
This game knows that at any given moment another player can kill you in hundreds of different ways. The level design is a bit wackier than your traditional Mario sidescroller, but it works. There are moving platforms, lava rising, bullet bills shooting every which way, hammer bro's making your life hell, etc. It really feels like the best of everything Mario's had to offer in his whole career put into one game.
But what about the graphics? Well sirs and madams, it's about what you'd expect. The wii is no doubt limited, but the game is extremely colorful and vibrant. The music is a great mix of old and new. It's not perfect though. I don't understand why they needed to put blue and yellow toad in as the third and fourth players. With the vast cast of characters from the mario verse, it seems lazy. What would have been even better would have been a character select screen, with new characters being unlocked via the many collectibles and secrets throughout the game. And while the levels are laid out nicely, and all have that colorful Mario appeal, none of the worlds seemed to really stick with me. They all had their specific themes but it seems that there nothing more of a layer of paint put on top of a level than actually themed worlds of Mario old. More specifically, where the hell is big world?
I also think a special mention should be made to the boss fights. You don't often hear people talk about bosses in the mario sidescrollers, but they are top notch in this one. Much like mario 3, worlds consist of a small and large castle. The small castle is where you fight one of the koopa kids, with nothing that out of the ordinary going on. When you reach the bigger castle though, magikoopa works his...uhh.... magic, making the koopa kid more challenging and much more interesting. Not to mention, the final fight with Bowser is probably the best one yet.
NSMBW is exactly what you would expect and want from a new Mario sidescroller, with enough extra's in it to keep things fresh. Any self respecting fan of Mario would be ashamed not to own this title. It's not exactly a game of the year nominee material, and I'm sure in a few years it will be all but forgotten in the wave of future mario games that are sure to come, but it has lots of charm and is a great way for four friends to get together and test their willpower and question their thoughts on homicide.
-I hope you enjoyed my first blog, Hopefully I'll see you all again.