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New Super Mario Bros. - Review
By Atrius

Okay, so I picked up New Super Mario Bros. at the store yesterday, and thought I'd share some information on it since it isn't out in Europe yet (according to my sources at least)

The game as you probably know is an attempt by Nintendo to create a Mario game with gameplay similar to the original 2D sidescrollers, and they've done a terrific job of that.

I am at the last world already (not beaten it though) so its fairly short, but really what do you expect from a classic Mario type game?

The story is fairly simple and told by a short cinematic at the title screen, and when you create a new game. As Mario and the Princess are taking a stroll a strange cloud appears over the castle and hits it with lighting. Mario runs to see whats going on, and Bowser jr. takes this opportunity to kidnap the Princess. Noticing this, Mario immediately takes action by ignoring the smoking castle and all the distressed Mushroom Kingdom residents running around in front of it, and chases after Bowser jr.

The graphics as you probably have heard are a mix of 3D characters and 2D backrounds. This actually produces a very nice look to the game as the animations are all very smooth, and the 3D and 2D blend very well together. I only wonder why things like coins aren't 3D because they're spinning animation is choppier than everything else if you care to look closely. I've heard many 3D games for the DS experience problems with frame rates when a large amount of enemies or effects appear on-screen, but I didn't see that with this game at all, the frame-rate seemed very good even with a decent number of enemies around. Also something that caught my attention was the nice ripple effect when things land in water.

I have a strange tendency to ignore music completely unless i'm trying to pay attention to it so I can't really comment on it, but the sound effects, as seems to be common with Nintendo now, are taken from other games in the series. In case your wondering they do use voice-effects.

The gameplay is very similar to classic Mario games, but there are a few new additions. For example I'm sure you've heard of the Mega-Shroom, a new mushroom (which is pretty large itself) that makes Mario so large that he's nearly as tall as the whole screen, and virtually indestructable (boo cliffs, not sure about spikes though) You can even smash through pipes, though i'm not sure if you can use them after you do (you might, I haven't tested it) You'll probably rarely use these mushrooms though. Theres also a Mini-shroom (Inspired by Minish Cap, perhaps?) that makes you small so you can fit through places you normally can't. Your jumps seem like theres less gravity, and you can even run across water. Also new is a blue shell, which Mario wears, He can tuck inside it, and if he gets a good running start, smash through a line of enemies. The only classic items i've noticed are regular mushrooms that make you Super-Mario (as opposed to midget Mario) and fire flowers (which are gotten in the same places as mushrooms if your already Super-Mario) And of course 1-up mushrooms. You can also use some of the moves Mario has from newer games, like wall-jumps and triple jumps (which don't seem usefull, or practical most of the time. The wall jump is used sometimes though)
There are usually 2 boss fights per world, the first one seems to be about the same in every world with only slight variations (expect for 1 or 2 fights where Bowser jr. remembers there are spikes on his back when you jump over him) The final boss fight in each world is where theres more variation, although they usually still involve jumping on something, you may have to use different tactics.

Theres a multiplayer mode that seems to be a race mode between Mario and Luigi (2-player non-wifi I assume) It can be played with only 1 cartridge, from looking in the manual there seems to be 5 courses to choose from. It's a race to see who can gather a selected number of stars, and you can hurt the other player to steal stars from them.

I haven't messed with the mini-games so much, but they seem to be mostly the same as Mario 64DS with a few new ones, and some can be played with up to four players (haven't been able to look at any of those though) There was a game that used the microphone instead of the stylus where I filled some balloons Yoshi was holding to make him float upwards trying to avoid flying shy-guys.

If you like the classic Mario games I would definitally suggest you try this game out. Theres probably some stuff I forgot to mention, if you have any questions (other than ones about multiplayer) feel free to ask them.

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Author: Atrius
This page was uploaded on 21/05/06

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