New Super Mario Bros. Wii: Multiplayer Hands-On

We take a closer look at all the perks that come with venturing through the Mushroom Kingdom with a buddy or three.

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Nintendo has given us a near-final build of New Super Mario Bros. Wii to play with, and we've been enjoying every minute of it. We've covered the game at the Electronic Entertainment Expo and also recently when we went down to Nintendo's office in Redwood City, so for those impressions, please read here and here. After spending some time playing it in the office and going through the different worlds, we really think that this is worth checking out regardless of whether or not you grew up with the Italian plumbers.

The Mario games paved the road for what platformers are today, and back when this genre was primarily a single-player experience, New Super Mario Bros. Wii does what the series should have done long ago: it lets you play at the same time with friends. The fun factor definitely increases with the number of people who join, but we've found that the most efficient way of playing is with two people--preferably two people who know what they're doing. Some hard-to-reach coins will require that you buddy up and jump on your friend's head to reach them, but if you have an extra couple of players pushing, shoving, and just getting in the way, you could easily eat up all 20 lives between the four of you that you're given to start with. If you're feeling like you're the weakest link, the new bubble feature will come in handy. Each time you die, you come back into the game in a bubble, which lets you float through the stage without being harmed--at least up until someone bursts your protective shell. But you can hit the A button at any time to float through the stage, which proves to be useful if you know you're not going to make a perilous jump.

The benefit of playing with friends is that when someone loses all their lives, he or she will automatically be given five more with the use of unlimited continues. All the items that have been collected will still be in your inventory, and it's nice because you can use one power-up to share among all four of you. However, if you play on your own, once you run out of lives and use a continue, you'll be bumped back to the last save point and have to start over with five lives and no items. The good news is that all the Toad houses have been reset, so you can jump around the different worlds to stock up on items and extra lives. Now if you're really bad at the game, and die about eight times in the same level, the next time you start, a green exclamation block will appear. Hitting it will activate the Super Guide, and Luigi will jump into the game and play for you. You can watch as he completes the level, or you can take control of Luigi at any time by pressing the plus button. If you happen to bite the dust again, the Super Guide block will still be available when you return. This help system is available only in single-player.

We mentioned before that getting through the main mode with a full party can be challenging and can take much longer. It's definitely more fun with more people, but that also depends on what your goals are. If you want to get through the game, it's best to do it solo if you're really impatient or team up with a well-coordinated friend and try to get through the levels as a duo. If you'd rather just play the game without worrying about completing levels and reaching the next save point, Free-for-All mode lets you do just that by giving you easy access to any stage. The first menu gives you a list of recommended courses to play together, and you can scroll through the other worlds and pick the level you want to play. This saves you time in terms of navigating the world map, and at the end, everyone's score is displayed.

New enemies await to try and make your life difficult.

The other mode is Coin Battle, in which there are several specially designed coin-filled stages for you and your friends to compete to snag the most coins. Stages from the main game are included here as well; the only difference it seems is that your coin total is tallied at the end to determine a winner. The coin stages are interesting because there are dotted white outlines of coins throughout the level, and when you pass through them, coins will appear a few seconds later. It's a good idea to hang back and let someone else walk ahead, so you can try to snatch the golden gems as soon as they materialize.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii may follow the same tried-and-true formula as its predecessors, but there are quite a few changes this time to make it worth your while. With a great mix of new enemies and old faces, it will surely bring back pleasant memories of classics such as Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World. Grab some friends and look for New Super Mario Bros. Wii when it's released on November 15.

Discussion

169 comments
Jag-T1000
Jag-T1000

I guess I'll buy it because there hasn't been a good Wii game since like 3 years already!

Mrglorp
Mrglorp

Hope you can use the classic controller because the D-Pads to small on the wii-mote, But still looks fun.

superfakerbros
superfakerbros

What Critic gave this game a score of 8.0 when it hasn't even come out yet and that the fact that this game should get no less than a 10.0!!!

superfakerbros
superfakerbros

@chefstubbies - Pressing "A" to go into a bubble is a completely optional move only available during multiplayer and also you have to rely on the other players to break you free from your bubble prison since you can't break out of the bubble yourself!

joshua391
joshua391

I think this will be very fun specially multiplayer, cant wait!

pwndroid99
pwndroid99

Multiplayer? This game might have serious potential for mario kart-like gameplay. In other words, grab some friends, insert disc, and play!

savagetofu
savagetofu

I am disappointed that you cannot play as princess peach. Other then that I preordered this game when I bought wii sports resort. We will not be playing it until Christmas however.

Kolby157
Kolby157

I can't wait. But I still cant decide if i should get it the day it comes out. Is it that good?

wushumaster45
wushumaster45

every mario game is a need-to-have, no matter what. i dont care if it sucks(wich it never does) i still need to buy it

kenny3671
kenny3671

when I frist saw the game here I was waiting for it forever!

jetstopia
jetstopia

This game is gonna be great. everybody in the hole

diggyman
diggyman

I'm really diggin the classic look of the game. I'm looking forward to playing this one.

fudawg45
fudawg45

Looks pretty solid. I still fire up the original game every now and then, so this looks like a nice addition to the lineup.

chefstubbies
chefstubbies

Press "A" to "bubble-up" and float through the level? That's just sad Nintendo...Mario games used to present a challenge.

chefstubbies
chefstubbies

Press "A" to "bubble-up" and float through the level? That's just sad Nintendo...Mario games used to present a challenge.

kenny3671
kenny3671

I relly relly want this new game I was waiting for it to come out when I frist saw the video!

SloLynx
SloLynx

Looks good, I'll probably check it out.

bendall01
bendall01

I think Sophie Tong is right on the money, this will be hard multiplayer but still fun.

japanesegoth
japanesegoth

the only thing i see that could be annoying is the camera moving all over to keep up with all the players. it might be distracting if it moves while you're trying to make a precise jump onto a platform or something

Jag-T1000
Jag-T1000

The game is great and all, but after this game....whats next? We'll have to wait another year before another good game is released.

Toro_Nev
Toro_Nev

omg I just cant wait for this game - just 2 weeks left :P

BrunoBRS
BrunoBRS

i know it has nothing to do with the hands-on... but why is the "check prices" thing showing prices for NSMB for the DS? >.>

razorxtian
razorxtian

LOL looks like fun. Epically Multiplayer throwing people into pits.

zcb4573
zcb4573

this game shouldn't have online play. the beauty of multiplayer nintendo games is being right there with your friends every time. I have 3 roommates and we play mario kart 64 on the wii all the time. This is perfect for a situation like that.

jared_star
jared_star

MAKE A VIDEO REVIEW WANT'S YOU SCORE IT PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!

funkyboy1989
funkyboy1989

why kill weegee in the beginnin?! .. weegee is teh best

hajjjustin
hajjjustin

without online co-op what the point its just the same old game with a few changes, i dont have any friend that are going to run over my house to play mario games. you can at least find people online to do this with. with out online mode this game will be a failure unless you really like the old style mario games

Doolum
Doolum

i am having this.

E1025gama
E1025gama

I don't see why anyone should buy this game if they've already fully completed the super mario bros game on the DS and do not have four friends who are willing to play this all the time. Otherwise there's just nothing you haven't already seen before in this game. The lack of online support will be the downfall of this game, there's no justification for it not having online play when this game would benefit from it more than any other game on the Wii.

JMCDS45
JMCDS45

Why Toads? Couldn't they find better characters?

jar288
jar288

haaaa throw your friend in a pit haaaaa

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

@ bennyboy3377 - you're absolutely right. Why they couldn't support multiplayer online is beyond me....

bennyboy3377
bennyboy3377

I know this game is going to be great but no online multiplayer hurts.

so_hai
so_hai

I'm still not convinced about this - could it be too easy?

tamir1014
tamir1014

O Man i cant wait till this comes out I hope its like the old Nes story mode set up Or like Mario 3 i loved that type of setup anyone know?

Neosonic23
Neosonic23

It ll be fun if it has Online Co-op, Than its a Instant Buy!

everettseanw
everettseanw

I have new super mario bros on my ds, and i played it all the times. The wii version have more features, and going to be bigger and better than ever.

Ultimamonkey
Ultimamonkey

Probably not gonna get this as the multiplayer just looks messy and annoying

Kooleman8
Kooleman8

Thats true its more difficult in multiplayer but it looks like a couple of laughs and fun jumping around there!! LOL

SpiKeX-Crom
SpiKeX-Crom

looks irritating with multiplayer, but looks epic. Oh, the old games. Glad you're back

lbptoady
lbptoady

This is going to be an amazing game. Probably Wii game of the year.

dinomite79
dinomite79

Agh. I missed the one for the DS, so there's no way I'm missing this one.

sman3579
sman3579

This is going to be one of the best Wii games.

MyLameUsername
MyLameUsername

I really liked New Super Mario Brothers DS, so I will definately take a look at this.