Hallelujah: New Super Mario Bros!
Published: Tuesday, June 6, 2006
In the handfuls of free minutes I had between work sessions on the new Book, I was playing (errr… testing) a new game that I considered to be worth covering in both the Book and Backstage: New Super Mario Bros. ($35) from Nintendo. In short, there hasn’t been a portable game release in the past five or more years as significant as this one.
New Super Mario Bros. was originally understod to be a remake of the classically accessible 1985 NES hit, but has turned out to be much, much more. The only reason you haven’t heard more about this game is unfortunate timing: Nintendo decided to release it a few weeks prior to the U.S. launch of the Nintendo DS Lite console, and is probably saving most of its marketing muscle for a joint promotion. It was a tough call for consumers: go out and get Mario and an old, not-so-hot DS, or wait a few weeks and get both together.
Will it really be that hard to wait? If you haven’t seen it yet, the answer is YES. In short, platform (run/jump/explore) games are great on portable systems, and there is no platform series better than Mario - when Nintendo’s on the ball. So when I say that there hasn’t been a Mario game this great in 10 years - yes, I’m looking right past you, Mario Sunshine - I really mean that there hasn’t been a 2-D platform game this good in that long, either. People who were intimated by Mario’s 3D adventures will find that this is the game that will bring them back. It’s a bit like like the movie Superman Returns: what would Mario have been like on the SNES after the first two games, if Mario 3 and Super Mario World hadn’t happened?
You don’t get raccoon Mario, stone Mario, or any of the other oddball suits or flutes that appeared in the beloved Mario 3; instead, there’s a gigantic, world-crushing Mario, a nano-sized sneak-into-crevices Mario, and a turtle-shell wearing Mario who can retreat for safety or spin around in Koopa style. In all honesty, these suits are almost gimmicky: they’re fun to play with a few times, but most of the game’s excitement is in the secret-discovering, run-and-jump action that made the early Mario games great - little things like Mario 1’s flagpoles have been brought back for giggles, and there are plenty of hidden levels to be unlocked. Then, in addition to worlds full of Mario 3-quality level designs, there are two big wireless modes: minigames, and even a cooperative mode where Mario and Luigi can roam the single-player levels together.
Please do me a favor on this one: if you’re on the fence, just get it, especially if you can hold off until next week and snag it with the Nintendo DS Lite ($130). My girlfriend, who hasn’t played a game in ten years, can’t stop playing NSMB, and even a gamer as jaded as me finds the game engaging. Games like this are making the DS platform hugely worthwhile, and now is certainly the right time to buy in.
If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods or accessories, or if you sell or market products, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators. Wondering why we're talking about something other than iPods? Check the Archives: Backstage has been here and kicking it since 2004.
- iLounge Game Spotlight: Doggins
- Apps: Findery, Gmail 3.0, Real Racing 3 2.1 + Star Wars: KOTOR 1.2
- Apple ‘scrambling’ to meet FTC deadline on in-app purchases
- Report: Mercedes working on aftermarket CarPlay installations
- Suit alleges Apple stores discriminate against visually impaired
- Popular app developer ComiXology reports security breach
- Report: Apple moved $8.9B in profits to tax haven
- Azoi introduces Wello health monitoring iPhone case
- Report: Apple bringing full-screen video ads to iOS
- Report: Apple working to expand Siri functionality for iWatch
- TwelveSouth SurfacePad for iPad mini
- Neptor NP056K Dual Port Portable Battery Charger
- RooCase Dual-View 360 for iPad Air
- Mophie Space Pack for iPhone 5/5s
- SnowLizard Products SLXtreme 5 for iPhone 5/5s
- Lepow Moonstone 9000mAh Power Bank
- Thought Out PED4 Planet IPA10 for iPad Air
- Plantronics Voyager Edge Bluetooth Headset
- Anker TC930 Bluetooth Keyboard Cover for iPad Air
- iBattz Mojo Battstation Optimus
- Viewing only downloaded iTunes Match tracks
- Splitting purchased content between two iPads
- iLounge’s 2014 CES Best of Show Awards: iPad, iPhone, iPod + Mac
- Preview: 7 Big Apple Trends To Expect At The 2014 CES
- Non-Bluetooth Lightning dock speakers
- Shared Apple ID and switching away from iPhone
- Syncing multiple iCloud data with a family Mac
- iMessages come in from email address instead of phone number
- Whether to include specific apps in iCloud backups
- Passcode entry field not appearing on iPhone