Tag Archive: Wii



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

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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

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TellTale games have come along in leaps and bounds in the past few years. In 2006 they released the critically acclaimed Sam & Max Season 1, the dynamic duo’s first outing in over ten years. Since then they have released a second season, along with other successful series such as Strongbad’s Cool Game For Attractive People and the new Tales of Monkey Island. Well now TellTale are at it again, this month releasing the first episode of the new season, Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse.

Episode 1: The Penal Zone puts a tick in all the right boxes; Super-intelligent Space Gorilla on a quest for toys that can bend reality, check; weird and wonderful apparitions that are equally hilarious as they are frightening, check; a prophecy that foretells the end of the world, naturally involving Max, check. For fans of the duo’s beginnings as a comic book, their first outing in the video game realm “Hit The Road”, or the cartoon series, this episode feels the most like Sam & Max. It’s wacky, it’s out there, and it feels more comfortable in it’s universe than Season One or Two did.

Having said that, there isn’t as much story in this episode as expected, yet it manages to setup the story well enough that you will be hanging out for the next episode to drop. The story focuses around the villain “Skuk’ka’pe” who has come down to earth to collect some reality altering toys, among other reasons. The episode starts out with a vision of the end of the episode, a technique often seen in a lot of movies (See: Tarrantino), but your actions throughout the episode change the outcome, which leaves plenty of surprises in store.

While the puzzle element in previous seasons has been great, Season 3 has some truly inventive puzzles to be solve. This is due to Max and his new crazy supernatural abilities, mainly the teleport power. At first you might seem stumped, but as you move through and become comfortable with these abilities, you will soon find abstract ways around some seemingly impossible obstacles. It may seem gimmicky but I assure you it’s an integral part to the story, and it is implemented rather well.

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Along with the new gameplay style come the new interface scheme that was implemented with Tales of Monkey Island. Now instead of the standard point and click mechanics, you can now use the WSAD keys, or even plug in a gamepad. While it will make it seem more like a console port than enhance gameplay (this season is launching on consoles), but it certainly isn’t a game breaker. Other elements have been improved, a new pointer which for those of you who have played “Hit the Road” will recognise, along with highlighting objects a green colour so they are easier to define from the environment when clicking around.

Sam & Max have always been known for their wacky sense of humour, and the first episode of the third season certainly hits the funny bone more than a few times. There are some genuinely laugh out loud moments, and some terrific sight gags that will leave a smile on your face. The one liners this time around are sharp, witty and will stick out for days after you finish the episode, “I’m glad to see that Earthlings are still so charmingly racist” is just one of the many that sticks out in my mind.

But while the story and humour is solid, it’s not fantastic. Skunk’ka’pe is the only character that seems to drive the story forward, and while there is plenty of time to catch up with old friends Bosco, Agent Superball and the rest of the cast we’ve grown to love, it all seems a little redundant as you simply await for the next encounter with the damn dirty space ape. It can wear a little thin, it’s not bad, gamers just expect a little more.

The graphics are right on the money, and feature some fantastic design elements. Skun’ka’pe arrives on the block in a space ship that is both ridiculous and terrifying at the same time. Animation is smooth and fluid and everything looks just like it should. Backed up with some of the strongest voice acting in the business, this episode is top notch in both the graphic and audio sectors, just like all the episodes that have come before it.

The Final Verdict

The Penal Zone is a solid intro into the new season that sets the player up for what is coming ahead. While the story can seem a bit thin at times, the new interface along with the implementation of some great new gameplay features make this a delight to play through. For hardcore Sam & Max fans this is a must play, as it really feels like the first true Sam & Max game since “Hit The Road” from the 90’s.

8/10

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I stumbled across this article on news.com.au and I just had to share it with you all!

A UK woman claims falling from a Wii Fit board turned her instantly into a nymphomaniac. Amanda Flowers told the Daily Star she now needs up to 10 sex sessions a day after damaging a nerve in the fall. She has been diagnosed with persistent genital arousal disorder, a condition which gained global attention when it featured in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy in 2008. Ms Flowers, who lives in Manchester, said the urge to have sex was irresistable. She said small vibrations from her mobile phone or food processor were enough to turn her on. “It began as a twinge down below, before surging through my body,” Ms Flowers told the Daily Star.“Sometimes it built up into a trembling orgasm.” The single Ms Flowers said all she could do was try to control it with deep breathing, or “find a superstud who can satisfy me”.

Really? A superstud? Only in the U.K I guess! This revelation may cause an instant increase of Wii Fit sales as hardcore gamers across the world all rush out to purchase the device for their partners. There is always hope my friends 😛

Read the full in-depth review HERE

Developed By: WayForward Technologies
Platform: Nintendo Wii
Players: 1
Online: N/A

What It’s All About:
A Boy and His Blob is a 2D Platforming re-incarnation of the classic NES game featuring hand drawn graphics and all new motion controls.

What it did right:

  • Hand drawn graphics and smooth animations
  • 40+ levels plus challenge stages
  • Great puzzles

What brings it down?:

  • Bloated control scheme
  • Lacking any replay value
  • Frequent loading screens break immersion

The Final Verdict:
A Boy and His Blob is a fantastic homage to the titles roots on the NES, featuring 2D platforming at it’s best. A gorgeous game to look at, the only downfalls are in the bloated control system and staggering load times that really break immersion. If you want a platformer that has more than just running and jumping, A Boy and His Blob will keep you entertained for hours.

7.5/10

Read the full in-depth review HERE

Developed By: Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo Wii
Players: 4
Online: N/A

What It’s All About:
New Super Mario Bros. Wii is a homage to the classic entries of the beloved plumber, going back to basics with a side scrolling platform adventure, and adding in the ability to play simultaneous four player on the one console.

What it did right

  • Fantastic level design
  • Challenging difficulty
  • Replay value
  • Great fun with friends

What brings it down?:

  • Multiplayer can be frustrating depending on who you are playing with
  • No Classic Controller support

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.

9.7/10

A Boy and His Blob Review


Written By Stephen Heller

Platformers dominated the early days on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), and it’s easy to see why when we look back at the catalogue of classic titles to come out of the era. One that is often overlooked is A Boy and His Blob, created by the mind behind the Pitfall series David Crane. The game provided a relationship between a boy and a bouncing, jiggling blob that needed the boy’s help to save his home planet. The boy was happy to help, but often needed the help of tools that the blob was able to change into. It was this mechanic that made the original stand out as a thinking gamers platformer.

Twenty years on WayForward Technologies bring us a re-imagining of the classic, featuring all new levels and gameplay features, topped off with some fantastic presentation that makes this stand out as a gorgeous game. A Boy and His Blob for the Wii is a smart, fun platforming adventure that very rarely falls short.

Keeping true to the titles roots, the story is weaker than diet cordial. The blob crash-lands on our little planet and meets the boy, they team up and embark on an adventure across our planet and beyond to defeat the emperor who has taken control of Blobolonia. That’s about as detailed as the story gets, and while it works in this situation, it still would have been nice to have it fleshed out a little more.

The presentation of A Boy and his Blob is what really makes the game stand out. Boy and Blob travel through unique worlds which range from the lush green wilderness, which looks stunning under the moonlit sky, the bright and outlandish planet of Blobolonia and the dark, brooding mechanical citadel. Each world feels unmistakably different, each with it’s own feeling which keeps the game interesting and fresh. 2D platforming has never looked so good.

What makes A Boy and his Blob look so darn good is the fact that every facet of the game has been hand drawn and animated to perfection. The characters all feature an amazing amount of detail that draw the player in, enemies splatter in a way that brings a smile to your face, and the backgrounds and scenery are some of the best artwork on the Wii today. The art design takes a minimalistic approach at times, but it works rather well. The real-time lighting brings a warm and fuzzy quality, lighting up the scenery and the boy and his blob too. Running a smooth and consistent frame rate, this is one gorgeous game for the Nintendo Wii.

The adventure is spread our across four worlds featuring ten levels each and they will manage to keep you busy for a number of hours. Completionists on the other hand will find themselves replaying each level to collect all three treasure chests hidden in each level. If you collect all three, bonus levels are unlocked (40 of them) which can be beaten to unlock concept art, videos and more. This is an adventure that is lengthy and has plenty of re-playability for those of you who want to unlock everything.

While the charm of the characters manage to draw you into the game, the immersion is severely hampered by a series of loading times, which manage to destroy the momentum created by the game. There are stage loads that are fine, but the mid-level loading times manage to destroy the illusion that the world is not a seamless stage, but merely a conglomerate of conjoined areas. While this isn’t a deal breaker to the games appeal of functionality, it certainly does make the pacing feel broken and slow.

Many gamers will just write Blob off as another 2D platformer, but upon spending some time with it, you will find yourself relying on brainpower rather than the run and jump formula that is found in most platforming games. You take control of the boy, using the nunchuck to move around, using the A button to perform a jump. The boy’s jumping abilities aren’t that great, so more often than not you will rely on your blob to transform into something to allow you to navigate the hostile world. Using the Z button you open up a wheel with different coloured jelly beans, each with a special power that will cause your jiggly blob friend to transform into useful tools. Some of these include ladders for climbing, trampoline to jump over hazards or up rather high, a hole to make your enemies fall to their doom, and even a spaceship when you need to fly somewhere.

Blob’s control scheme is okay once you get used to it, but more often than not it feels boated and sluggish. What should be a quick and simple task of transforming your blob into the tool you desire is slowed down by a number of steps. First you need to hit the Z button to bring up the jelly bean menu, you then need to use the analogue stick to navigate to the desired jelly bean, which changes every level as each level has it’s own designated powers, then you need to press the B-trigger and use the analogue stick to choose your trajectory to throw the said jelly bean. After all this you sill need to hit the C button to call the blob over to you and make him eat the jelly bean. The AI of the blob can be rather cumbersome, more often than not you’ll find yourself waiting for him to catch up. It’s not a deal breaker, but some alternative control methods would have been nice.

THE FINAL VERDICT
A Boy and His Blob is a fantastic homage to the titles roots on the NES, featuring 2D platforming at it’s best. A gorgeous game to look at, the only downfalls are in the bloated control system and staggering load times that really break immersion. If you want a platformer that has more than just running and jumping, A Boy and His Blob will keep you entertained for hours.

GAMEPLAY: 7.8/10 – A unique blend of puzzle and platforming. Great characters and fantastic level designs. Unfortunately is let down by a bloated and sluggish control system.

GRAPHICS: 8.5/10 – Hand drawn and animated characters with stunning backdrops and real-time lighting effects. Rarely do 2D platformers looks this good!

AUDIO: 6.5/10 – The soundtrack is atmospheric but often feels bare. The Blob is humorous but the boy calling out to the boy will get on your nerves rather quickly.

VALUE: 7.2/10 – 40 story levels that will keep you busy for quite some time, and with 40 bonus missions, concept art other unlockables on offer this will keep you busy for a while, but the bonus levels are rather short lived.

OVERALL: 7.5/10


2008 saw the release of No More Heroes for the Nintendo Wii, a bold game from the Suda51 team. While other developers were releasing party games and shovelware, Suda51 brought us a game that had a bit of everything, retro appeal, pop culture references, and more importantly a game that was made for teenagers and adults.

Unfortunate for many hardcore gamers out there who steer clear of the Wii’s kiddie appeal you all missed out on what really was a unique title that truly needs to be played to understand and appreciate it.

Rumours have been circulating for a while now that Suda51 wanted to bring the next installment of the series to HD consoles such as the Xbox 360 and the PS3, but those rumours have some substance now with the announcement of No More Heroes: Heroes Paradise, a prettier version of the Wii original launching for the PS3 and Xbox 360.

Texture quality has been ramped up, more pixels crammed in and advanced lighting techniques will make this play like a dream on the more powerful consoles. Launch date has been stated as 25th of Feb 2010 in Japan, but still waiting for a North American and European release date to be confirmed.

The question is will they censor it like they did for the Wii version in Australia. While American and Japanese audience members had sprays of blood across the screen due to Australia’s harsh censorship laws we only saw black squares as enemies were killed. While this was in no way detrimental to the overall experience of the gameplay, the fact the OFLC is so in inconsistent when it comes to these matters, I wouldn’t be surprised if the gore is re-instated on the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions.

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


Mario Kart: Wii

Mario has had a long career. Starting out over twenty years ago this middle aged, Italian plumber made a name for himself by stomping on mushrooms, saving a fine ass princess from a lizard/dinosaur/turtle shell wearing bad guy and eating mushrooms that made him grow. As with all careers Mario has changed jobs, starting out as a hero he then went into a deep depression of shitty assed games and spin offs titles after his last outing in the N64 days, relying on his sporting talents in Golf and Tennis, paying off some hookers and hosting party games for a certain white powdery substance.

 

Mario redeemed himself with the release of Mario Galaxy, a great outing that saw us go into the far reaches of outer space, once again to save the princess and the mushroom kingdom. I thoroughly enjoyed Mario Galaxy, but like having a third nipple, you are excited but already knew what to expect and while the implementation of gravity and story was good, it certainly wasn’t as mind blowing at Nintendo talked it up.

 

Once again we are hit with this syndrome with the newly released Mario Kart for the Nintendo Wii. As fate would have it while Mario spends a majority of his time trying to stop Bowser from taking over the Mushroom Kingdom, he also likes to spend three months of every year racing with him in the hills and remote sections of the kingdom. While not mind blowing, the most important ingredient to the game’s success is that it is fun and just works.

 

Basically it’s the same format we have come to expect, there are a bunch of different CUPS that all have a set of four tracks in which we race along to become the victor and unlock new vehicles and characters until we finally finish the game. Funnily enough this gameplay was fun when I was six and still is now. Nothing has really changed to the game mechanics, minus the addition of motorbikes this time around. They do drive differently compared to the karts, but once you get used to them you will be racing around like Lindsay Lohan in the middle of a DUI.

 

Implementation of multiple control methods is fantastic. Being able to play with the Gamecube or Classic Controller is a godsend, and makes veterans of the game feel right at home. The WiiWheel works well, but the operator needs to get used to the movement and feel of it all, but after an hour I found myself turning like a pro and feeling right at home, yet I still preferred the Classic Controller. But unfortunately for those of us who don’t adopt the WiiWheel, like the government giving disadvantaged autistic penguins a payment, the WiiWheel players have a feature that cannot be used by controller wielding players. When going off jumps a simple flick of the remote makes you perform a stunt and upon landing you get a speed boost. This is unable to be performed by players not using the WiiWheel setup, which is total bullocks.

 

So controls are great, gameplay is nothing new but still has that fun formula that we have become used to, how is the online features? Well to say that this is the best Online game I’ve played on the Wii thus far would be an understatement. While you still need to use the broken and utterly retarded friend code feature, you can see which friends are online, what they are doing and if you can join them which is a bonus. I played a game worldwide, once the twelve players had joined the game, each player was shown on a world map telling me where they were from. I was racing against four members from Japan, two in Germany and the rest were from England. We launched into the game and I was expecting a little lag, but none WHATSOEVER. Finally a Wii game online that simply works lag free, and what is more it’s fun. I soon found myself ditching the single player component all together and spending hours online.

 

Mario Kart has always been about multiplayer, so not only can you jump onto WFC by yourself, but you can also bring a friend along on the same console, double the online fun.

 

So what’s the verdict? While just spewing out more of the same, but adding in a few features and keeping the fun factor to a maximum Mario Kart Wii is a great step forward for a timeless series that has been replicated by other franchises but none of which compare to this classic. I would recommend it to just about anyone with opposable thumbs, that enjoys having Fun and has friends to play this online

 

8/10