New Super Mario Bros Wii Hands-On Impressions

We check out Mario's latest multiplayer adventure.

Nintendo surprised everyone with its announcement that Mario was getting two new games on the Wii, one of which would be an old-school platformer but with a multiplayer twist. We went hands-on with New Super Mario Bros Wii at Nintendo's booth to find out more about this game.

So here's pretty much all you need to know: It's Super Mario Brothers with support for up to four people at once. Each player is automatically assigned a character, between Mario, Luigi, a blue Toad, and a yellow Toad. Aside from appearance, there seemed to be no discernible difference between them. After all four players signed in, we were able to choose from one of 10 levels, though the final version will reportedly feature more than 80. Even the controls are nearly identical. With the Wii Remote being held NES-style, you can run, jump, ground-pound, and lift your opponents with a quick shake of the controller.

The first level that we played actually started off with an homage to the first Super Mario Bros, with the first few bricks positioned in the exact same pattern. But it took only a few seconds to realize that having multiple people really makes this game a whole different beast, which my teammate demonstrated by picking me up and throwing me into a goomba...that rascal. New Super Mario Bros Wii is clearly inspired by the GameCube game, Four Swords Adventures. Teamwork is required to complete each level (the game ends if everyone runs out of lives), and yet, the game is also competitive at the same time; it ranks players at the end of each stage based on the amount of coins they've collected. This brilliant mechanic makes for some truly hilarious situations. You'll be helping your first friend defeat an enemy one moment, and then picking him up and throwing him off a cliff the next for taking one of your coins.

We tried our hand at a few other levels, including the requisite lava and snow levels, but one level that really stood out consisted entirely of large rotating blocks, forcing us to keep on the move constantly, lest we tumble off the side. It should be noted that the levels are quite expansive, which the game demonstrates by intelligently zooming out as the players venture away from one another, revealing a massive playing field. We also got the chance to check out some of the new power-ups, such as the helicopter hat, which lets you take to the skies with a flick of the Wii Remote, and the Penguin suit, which gives our plumbers the ability to slide down icy slopes while throwing snowballs. Due to the increased amount of players, most item blocks spit out four items at a time, one for each character, though there's nothing stopping one player from being a jerk and snatching them all up.

The game also includes some great throwbacks to previous Marios, such as the return of the fire flower, hidden underground areas, and common enemies such as goombas and koopa troopas. But something that should really please old-school Mario fans is the return of the Koopa Kids, who haven't been seen in more than a decade (barring a cameo in Mario and Luigi).

New Super Mario Bros Wii is shaping up to be a fantastic multiplayer experience, and we look forward to playing more when it's released this holiday season.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Did you enjoy this article?

Sign In to Upvote

394 comments
Naicco
Naicco

Super Mario Galaxy 2 will be out soon. This game was good and I'm sure smg2 will be as good, or even better. It is noteworthy to mention that Super Mario Galaxy 2 will not feature a hub, instead Super Mario Galaxy 2 will include a map system similar to those in Super Mario Bros 3 and New Super Mario Bros Wii.

megamario9
megamario9

i heard this game is gonna be the hardest in the series according to nintendo power.

Deathstalker83
Deathstalker83

Looks fun this is on my list to buy just hope you can play solo.

mjax211
mjax211

Man, I am SO excited. How much fun will this be? Anybody who is really old school I'm sure is stoked about this. To me it seems like MarioBros 3 with 4 players, and god I LOVE smb3.

Xtatic324
Xtatic324

meh... lets see when it comes out. seems boring so far

Sennit
Sennit

you think they could of done a little better than yellow toad......

TinyTomV
TinyTomV

This looks great! Its like the old super mario, but has more levels, more power ups, and greater graphics. Cant wait!

dcgames
dcgames

Definitely not for me. I couldn't stand Four Swords. Probably because I play all my games solo, so having to have more than one person to play a game stinks. Oh well, it would be nice if only one person could play.

MaskedLink
MaskedLink

I also hope it makes full use of the Wii's graphics.

MaskedLink
MaskedLink

I actually don't care much about a 2D Wii Mario platformer. Couldn't they at least think of a better name than New SMB, Wii??? (plz don't thumb me ._.)

skullzerodeath
skullzerodeath

Co Op story modes r awsome but thers no online...and it could definitly use some more charcters its still looks good so im buying

gogmagog4
gogmagog4

fINALLY! NO RETARD BABY CRAP. BRING THE KOOPA KIDS

gogmagog4
gogmagog4

AWESOME. The freaking thing looks tight. I gonna murder my bro in the game

bowserulz
bowserulz

The Koopa Kids are back! Good thing too, I hate Bowser Jr.

AndreSegers
AndreSegers

@QWERTYCommander You do realize that more than one person works at GameSpot, right? As such, we--get this--often have differing opinions! That aside, the Elebits review makes it clear that the reviewer's problem with the multiplayer component isn't the concept (competitive & cooperative), it's the execution.

QWERTYCommander
QWERTYCommander

So... You guys criticize Elebits for having to depend on AND compete against people in co-op mode, but praise it when it's in this game?

SilvrSlayr96
SilvrSlayr96

@smashking777- even if it doesnt have online, its gonna be awespme.

g1rldraco7
g1rldraco7

Very different from the other ones.

N64ever
N64ever

Bring on the 2D Side scroller! This game looks and sounds great!

speedy5212
speedy5212

-@MarcoAM98 I think there are good games in Wii besides Metroid , Zelda and Mario like World of Goo , Resident Evil 4 , Rock band 2 , Okami , Little King's Story , Bomberman Blast! , Punch Out! , Boom Blox Bash Party , Zack and Wiki , MaBoShi , Trauma Center , etc

smashking777
smashking777

Add in some Online multipayer mode and im sold

MarcoAM98
MarcoAM98

the rest of the games are stupids

MarcoAM98
MarcoAM98

i only like WII for the marios i only like nintendo for the marios

holy_terr0r
holy_terr0r

Timberwolf, you seem very smart. That isn't two words, but yes, this game looks great.

Mindchamber
Mindchamber

WhoA!! lil Big Planet came to the Wii????

JoshChambers
JoshChambers

I played it at E3 and had a blast with it. Its a must buy for me.

jddawg0808
jddawg0808

This looks really fun, and it looks harder than the original. I'm definitely going to get this for Christmas.

norcovball6
norcovball6

This game looks amazing and cant wait till it comes out. And finally they come out with a 2d side scroll.

suspektz101
suspektz101

It does look like fun, but only if you play with friends although I'm sure whatever single player mode they have will be fun too.

Merex760
Merex760

Looks like a lot of fun. I really hope they implement online play, though.

uberjannie
uberjannie

I watched this on E3. The gameplay looked awesome , especially with players constantly killing each other off all the time. My bet is that the higher the difficulty on the level the more teamwork becomes essential :D

m3t9m
m3t9m

i dont like to play wii but the game looks good

blitz97
blitz97

Wow, good to see Nintendo coming back to their roots revamping an old favorite like this!

E3Abe09
E3Abe09

I'll get it if they have a online mode where you can play four players on challenging stages

kade380
kade380

lets face it Nintendo is just trying to save them selfs by using older games and cheep skins the Mario series is dead there out of ideas just let him rest in peace

kaushik813
kaushik813

i wont be getting this unless there's a single player mode