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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published by: Nintendo
Developed by: Nintendo EAD
Genre: Platformer
Rated: E (Everyone)
Players: 1-2
Release Date: May 19, 2006
Written By: Daniel Sims

Itís been a decade and a half since the last new 2D Mario platformer, and while Marioís 3D games have been great, itís about time Nintendo returned to the classic style of Mario games and with New Super Mario Bros, thatís precisely what youíll get Ė a solid classic-style Mario platformer that will definitely satisfy any fan, even if the new content doesnít impress all that much.

The controls, the platforming, and the overall feel of New Super Mario Bros pretty much captures that of the older Mario titles perfectly. The same simple controls and brilliant level design that made the past games famous is back in full force in this game and it couldnít feel better. I get just as passionate while playing this new game as I did 14 years ago, which already places it in the must buy territory for most Nintendo fans as well as among the top platformers on the DS.

The big disappointment with the game though is with the new content. Historically every new Mario platformer has brought something really new and interesting to the main formula that has usually innovated. New Super Mario Bros tries this but fails on most accounts.

First of all, the music in this game isnít all that great. Itís nice how enemiesí movements will sync with it, but after a while you wonít even notice that. Itís also cool that you get the old 8-bit victory tune complete with fireworks as a prize for reaching the top of the finish pole, but other than that the music in this game just doesnít catch the same oldschool Mario vibe that the gameplay does.

The new power-ups in this game are okay I guess. Micro Mario is a reasonable idea and isnít implemented into the game badly at all; itís just that now it doesnít seem as cool as some of the power-ups that were introduced in the older titles. Giant Mario definitely was pretty awesome the first couple of times I got it, but after that my use of it kind of wore off to the point where I only used it to easily get past difficult parts (bosses for instance) rather than to have fun blasting through a level in 20 seconds. Also, I have absolutely no clue what Iím supposed to do with this blue shell power-up.

Lastly, I would really like to know who in the hell thought up this gameís save system. In each level of NSMB there are three special ďBig CoinsĒ that you can go off the beaten path in order to collect. Whenever you finish a castle or spend these coins, the game allows you to save, and thatís the only time you can do it. Yeah itís pretty fun going through the extra challenge to get these things, but when you actually need them in order to save the game, it just becomes frustrating, especially in the later levels when the coins become increasingly difficult to collect. When Iím trying to get a quickie through world 4 and thereís 3 minutes left till class it kind of gets aggravating when I realize Iím gonna have to repeat the last 3 levels because I keep dying trying to collect enough coins.

The only really good new addition I can notice in this game is the inclusion of many of Marioís moves from his 3D adventures such as the wall kick and ground pound, which allow him to bounce off of walls and access the contents of boxes from above now as well as below, which gets really useful in this game.

Now I do realize that most of this review was spent complaining about my disappointment with the new content in this game while only one paragraph was spent explaining how perfectly Nintendo has brought back the old 2D Mario feel, but donít get me wrong. The fantastically executed classic Mario gameplay here far outweighs any of this gameís shortcomings and if you happen to be a fan of Mario back in the day, then I would be hard pressed to give this game a higher recommendation. If anything you can say that this game did for 2D Mario what Super Mario Sunshine did for 3D Mario. It doesnít really add much significant new content to the Mario franchise, but itís still a solid new Mario platformer, and it can be enjoyed based on that fact alone.


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