Tag Archive: New Super Mario Bros



Read the full in-depth review HERE
Developed By: Nintendo
Platform: Wii
Players:1-2
Online: N/A

What It’s All About:

Super Mario Galaxy 2 is just pure fun! The premise is the same as previous titles – run and jump through a huge collection of levels spread across a bevy of different locations, collect power stars along the way, defeat big bad Bowser and rescue the Princess. It’s a formula that has been working for over twenty years and it still works just as well today. You’ll find yourself flying from planet to planet, being sucked into orbit, gravity making the ceiling of a level into your floor, all ideas that were developed and explored in the first tile. These ideas have all been built upon with exciting twists and capabilities, with each galaxy exploring them in their own unique way.

What It Did Right:

  • Fantastic level design
  • Tight and precise control scheme that feels like second nature
  • Beautiful visuals and stunning soundtrack
  • Accessible to casual gamers and hardcore gamers alike

What Brings It Down:

The Final Verdict:
Super Mario Galaxy 2 is simply more than just “Galaxy 1.5”. It provides some of the most fun, challenging and addictive gameplay that has come out this generation, and yet still manages to be accessible for casual gamers and the hardcore alike. Nintendo implement a series of helpful mechanics for gamers who need assistance finishing the game so smartly, those of you who are skilled enough to collect all 120 stars wont even notice they are there. The graphics, the sound, the level design and the overall charm perfectly encapsulate the spirit of classic gaming while still offering something next, exciting and unique. All backed up by a tight and precise control scheme that simply feels like second nature and is so intuitive you don’t even have to think about it. Super Mario Galaxy 2 is platform gaming at its absolute finest and is one of the greatest games to be released this generation.
I never give a game 10 out of 10, never! Yet I purely cannot see how Super Mario Galaxy 2 could ever be improved upon.
10/10

You have to give credit where credit is due; the Super Mario Bros. franchise is one of the biggest, oldest and most successful gaming franchises in the existence of video games. It’s simple yet challenging formula has continued to win the hearts of gamers for over twenty years, cementing Mario as one of the faces of Video Games the world over.

2007 saw the release of Super Mario Galaxy; Mario’s first 3D adventure since the lackluster Super Mario Sunshine on the Nintendo Gamecube. A lot was riding on the success of Galaxy and it more than delivered, offering gamers a fantastic world with fun and challenging gameplay. Last year we saw the reboot of 2D design with New Super Mario Bros. Wii, which returned to the series roots providing challenging 2D platforming adventure, complete with multiplayer support. Now Nintendo bring us Super Mario Galaxy 2, a direct sequel to the 2007 title that many have regarded as Mario’s best 3D adventure. Nintendo need to provide something absolutely stunning.

They have.

Yes Super Mario Galaxy 2 is based on the foundations of the first title; it uses the same graphics engine, the same controls and the same concept, yet this is the very reason why Galaxy 2 is so successful. The team have learned from the first title, listened to the feedback, and have improved every facet of an already masterful gaming experience. Yes Galaxy 2 is based on the first title, yet it has been improved in so many ways it doesn’t feel like Super Mario Galaxy 1.5, this is a stand alone sequel that offers some of the most fulfilling gaming moments of this generation.

Nintendo have put a lot of focus into accessible gaming for Wii titles, and SMG2 has been structured in such a manner that even someone who has never touched a controller before will be comfortable enough to play. This is evident in the opening sequence of the game as it starts off on a 2D plane as the story unfolds, then the player is forced to moving between the foreground and background before they are let go and given full control. It’s subtle and doesn’t feel like a tutorial at all, yet that’s exactly what it is. It doesn’t detract from the experience, it doesn’t feel forced, and it never feels like the game is holding your hand. Simply put, it is perfect and I wish more games would take a similar approach.

Your progression through the game has also been simplified to offer a more streamlined experience as you traverse the worlds of SMG2. Rather than the overwhelming Observatory Hubworld that we were introduced to in the first title, SMG2 utilizes a simplified world map much similar to the one introduced in Super Mario Bros. 3. Ultimately it makes the game easier to pick up and play, and does away with a mechanic that was unnecessary and overwhelming.
Nintendo have brought back the “play for me” mechanic that was featured in New Super Mario Bros. Wii. If you die too many times you will be asked if you need assistance and the game will help you pass the trouble spot you have been stuck on. While it might sound like a cheats way out it will certainly be a welcome addition to those casual gamers out there, especially in the later levels of the game. Using this feature doesn’t come without a cost though; when collecting the star at the end of the level you will only be given a Bronze for your efforts instead of that Gold. You can go back and play through the level again and get that Gold once you feel a little more confident. Nintendo have also included Hint TV monitors that teach players exactly how a specific task should be completed. Once again a handy feature for new gamers, yet those who have been playing Mario titles for years should be able to work it out on their own. Once again these mechanics are not forced onto a player, so you will only see them if you want or need to.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 is just pure fun! The premise is the same as previous titles – run and jump through a huge collection of levels spread across a bevy of different locations, collect power stars along the way, defeat big bad Bowser and rescue the Princess. It’s a formula that has been working for over twenty years and it still works just as well today. The team behind SMG2 has refined Mario’s controls to a point where everything just seems like second nature, making the player feel right at home with the controller in their hands.

Most of the levels in Super Mario Galaxy 2 are based around concepts and designs of the original game. You’ll find yourself flying from planet to planet, being sucked into orbit, gravity making the ceiling of a level into your floor, all ideas that were developed and explored in the first tile. These ideas have all been built upon with exciting twists and capabilities, with each galaxy exploring them in their own unique way. SMG2 constantly steps above and beyond your expectations to continually impress you, whether it be a throwback to nostalgia with a reference to a past Mario title, or just a twist on a basic game mechanic that was unexpected, Nintendo still know how to make a fun title.

Everyones favorite Dinosaur Yoshi is back, and a completely welcome addition to Super Mario Galaxy 2. As soon as players leap onto Yoshi’s back and start running around they will feel right at home. Controlling Yoshi is just a precise as controlling Mario, and using the Wii remote’s pointer to eat enemies or hook onto platforms with Yoshi’s tongue works a treat. It’s a lot of fun and opens up the gameplay to a multitude of new and exciting elements.
Yoshi doesn’t appear in each and every level, his appearances are restricted to specific galaxies, but they are all incredibly creative and some of the best levels in the game. Whether it’s using his ability to jump higher to collect a hard to reach coin, his ability to inflate like a balloon to reach great heights, or to provide a light in complete darkness; these are some of the absolutely stunning moments in Super Mario Galaxy 2.

Where Mario Galaxy 2 truly excels is it truly caters to gamers of all skill levels. Nintendo have included all these features to make the game fun and accessible to casual gamers, yet those hardcore competionists are not forgotten. Each galaxy has a hidden Comet Coin, and if collected, will unlock a series of challenges within that level design. It keeps you coming back for more, and these challenges are in fact rather challenging. Collect all 120 stars and you will unlock another gameplay mode that will give you a fulfilling, yet hardcore challenge.

SMG2 features some impressive production elements that are not only the best for it’s console, but also some of the best across any platform out there today. Level design and variety is simply unparalleled, the visuals are unique and stunning, quite amazing considering the Galaxy engine is 3 years old, and the soundtrack is full of orchestral moments that would rival a Hans Zimmer production.

The only thing that you can fault Super Mario Galaxy 2 on is the story, but let’s face it; who has ever played a Mario game for the story? Mario is all about fun, challenging and addictive gameplay and Super Mario Galaxy 2 has that by the truckload.

The Final Verdict

Super Mario Galaxy 2 is simply more than just “Galaxy 1.5”. It provides some of the most fun, challenging and addictive gameplay that has come out this generation, and yet still manages to be accessible for casual gamers and the hardcore alike. Nintendo implement a series of helpful mechanics for gamers who need assistance finishing the game so smartly, those of you who are skilled enough to collect all 120 stars wont even notice they are there. The graphics, the sound, the level design and the overall charm perfectly encapsulate the spirit of classic gaming while still offering something next, exciting and unique. All backed up by a tight and precise control scheme that simply feels like second nature and is so intuitive you don’t even have to think about it. Super Mario Galaxy 2 is platform gaming at its absolute finest and is one of the greatest games to be released this generation.

I never give a game 10 out of 10, never! Yet I purely cannot see how Super Mario Galaxy 2 could ever be improved upon.

10/10

New Super Mario Bros. Wii Review
Written By Stephen Heller

In 1985 a game launched on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), a game that would create a legacy and change gaming forever. It was simple, yet challenging and most of all, fun. You controlled the character Mario through a series of levels plagued with mushrooms, flying turtles and some hectic platforming. Since that game Mario has been in a number of adventures, most recent have been in the 3D realm. What New Super Mario Bros. Wii does is amazing, it takes the formula of that very first Mario adventure, brings in ideas from all of his subsequent quests, and adds in enough new to make this formula not only reek of nostalgia, but feel fresh at the same time. The question is, will this game reach out to a new generation of Mario gamers, or does it only appeal to those veterans who are drawn in by the nostalgia factor? Let’s find out…

New Super Mario Bros (NSMB) is a return to a 2D platform as we run and jump our ways from the start of a level to the flag, taking out a multitude of familiar foes out along the way with a few new surprises to keep the player on their toes. It’s the simplicity of the goal, get from point A to point B that makes this game instantly accessible to any player, it’s objective is so simple that Grandma could sit down and have an idea of how to complete the objective. Accessible doesn’t mean easy, NSMB does it’s best to keep you challenged, right to the end of its 8 worlds.

Due to the games difficulty, and more notably, to keep a level playing field for those new to the series, Nintendo have hatched a new idea called the “Super Guide”. If you have died eight times on a level, next time you load it up a Green “!” box will appear. Hit this box and you will be able to watch Luigi strut his stuff through the level, effectively showing you how to complete the part you keep dying on. It’s a great feature for those who are new to the series, but veterans will most likely steer clear from it all together. It’s not forced upon the player, which means it’s your own choice to use it.

Where NSMB truly shines is the intergration of multiplayer which has the potential to cause friendships to end, family quarrels and bring out your inner jerk in the best kind of way. Each player controls a character as you make your way through the main game, either helping each other out, or competing for overall supremacy. There are sections where co-operation is paramount, utilizing features such as the grab and lift mechanic, effectively lifting a fellow player onto your shoulders, and the ability to throw them towards that hard to reach power-up, or a lava pit to teach them a lesson, whichever may apply to the situation. There is no better feeling than having a friend betray you, only for you to get a lucky wall jump to save yourself and you get a chance to exact revenge. This is some of the best fun you’ll have on your Wii, period.

The four characters on offer are Mario, Luigi or Toad (blue or yellow) which is a little disappointing. All four characters have the same abilities, yet it can be confusing if both toads grab an invincibility star as they flash the same multicolored pattern. Overall the dynamic works well. If one player dies they re-appear in a floating bubble and will re-join the game when another player tags them in. If all four players manage to die at the same time, sorry lads but you’ll need to restart the level. It’s a great way to bring tensions up, especially in those ultra-hard stages and you all have hardly any lives left.

For those of you who are veterans to the 1985 classic you should feel right at home when it comes to the control scheme of NSMB. Holding the Wii remote sideways and using the 1, 2 and D-Pad for the majority of the gameplay mechanics, with a few waggle motions to make it fill the Wii game obligations. A small shake of the remote will have your character pull of a spin-jump, which is handy when equipped with a Flower power-up as it will shoot out in opposite directions, potentially protecting you from incoming foes. The other motion control is a simple tilt action, used to swing platforms and tilt cannons used within the game. They integrate into the gameplay well and don’t cause any issues.

I’m sure many gamers reading this could attest that level design in each Mario adventure has been paramount to the series success. NSMB is no exception, featuring eight worlds bursting with creativity. Each level is carefully plotted, and later levels will have you studying the environment to work out a safe passage to the end goal. It can be a split second gap that will save your life, and while you may go red in the face and clench that controller just a little too tight until you get it, the feeling of completion is a reward unto itself.

For those completionists out there NSMB features plenty of side challenges to keep you busy. Red Coins and Star coins need to be collected, Kidnapped Toads need to be saved and carried safely to the goal in some levels, and a bunch of cannons can be unlocked to shoot you to new worlds. You will be playing each level over and over again to collect everything, which is exactly what you are looking for in a Mario title.

With the addition of the already hectic four player multiplayer comes new game modes. Foot Race breathes destruction as you race across open levels, free from the time constraints of the normal game. Coin Battles pit players against each other on one screen with a series of enemies. The player with the most coins at the end wins.

This is where Nintendo should have capitalised on the potential for rivalries, whether it be the implementation of leaderboards online, or even just a ladder that stays on the home console. Once the game has ended and you want to tell your friends about your epic win, there is no proof on the console. Such a simple concept could increase the longevity of these gameplay modes, yet it is yet another opportunity missed by the developers.

Going back to the games roots, the graphics are a fantastic blend of 3D Characters, retro sprites, scrolling backgrounds creating a feeling of Super Mario World that was released on the SNES with some 3D character modeling. It very rarely departs from this presentation model, and it’s a good thing it doesn’t as the 2D playing field really makes this game feel fresh.

The soundtrack for NSMB is a perfect mix of old school and re-vamped tunes, bringing in waves of nostalgia as you hum along to familiar tunes from your childhood. The sound effects are back, with power-ups and such chiming through the Wii remote speaker which is a nice touch.

The Final Verdict

Is New Super Mario Bros. Wii the greatest Mario title to date? That’s a decision you need to make for yourself, but the fact that it’s debatable is a true testament to just how good this new addition is. Bringing in the best of series, going back to the original form as a 2D platformer, and throwing in four player mayhem brings Mario and his adventures to a whole new level. The most important ingredient is fun, and no matter who you are, you will undoubtedly have a bunch of fun with this title. Nintendo have just proven again that they are the masters of creating a game to suit a large age group.

GAMEPLAY: 9.5/10: Not much could be improved, but at times tighter controls would make things easier.

GRAPHICS: 9.8/10: The game looks gorgeous and is a perfect fit for the game.

AUDIO: 9.5/10: A perfect mix of re-vamped tunes with new twists and great sound effects

VALUE: 9.0/10: Completionists will be busy for a long time, but would have been nice to have some online
 features or some sort of scoreboard for competitive play.



OVERALL: 9.7/10