New Super Mario Bros is a spectacular adventure that feeds on nostalgia and a must-have for all DS owners.
-Tish- wrote this review on .
But, alas, our poor hero, Mario, can never seem to find any leisure time with his beloved Peach. Instead of Bowser, however, his crafty little son kidnaps the princess and takes off. Galvanized, Mario gives chase and finds himself in the odd world of a long, long time ago (or in other words, the eight different worlds, which had all been but cast aside since Super Mario World).
New Super Mario Bros is a relatively easy game. Okay, that may be an understatement (so humor me), because the game is definitely beatable within the first day of playing. However, to complete the game one hundred percent will take an extra swig of your favorite energy drink. The worlds are short, but extremely prosperous and exotic. In fact, although the game's main idea has been refurbished through old blueprints, a lot of the stuff you'll see is quite ingenious and displayed with new ideas. Some situations will have you pitted against bouncy or unstable mushrooms, while on the interaction side you'll come across a wide variety of creatures and foes that tend to make the level more interesting. Every stage, and the elements within that stage, is affiliated with the world it derives from. So if you're running through a tropical forest and run into a poisonous pool of water, chances are you're in world four, while if you're scampering down a rocky tunnel and run into a chain chomp, you're most likely in world six. And even though bringing the elements of nature together isn't a subsequent scheme, it's done to make it feel totally refreshed.
Mario comes complete with an innovative set of controls from the DS's abundant display of buttons. He can do all of the abilities you'd expect in an average Mario adventure: run, jump, wall jump, ground pound, and pick up/throw turtle shells. Uncharacteristically, the only time you'll ever utilize the stylus is to use any saved items in your inventory. Something that can really get under your skin is Mario's uncoordinated jumping. If you're running along a series of platforms, you might be in for an unexpected death via Mario's uncontrollable appetite for missing the next platform.
But if one thing stood above all else to make New Super Mario Bros actually look "new", it's being in the reach of a mega mushroom. These monstrous fungi mature you to screen-sized proportions, allowing you to blow past everything in sight without feeling even slightly threatened. Growing smaller is also a possibility with the mini mushroom, which also enhances your jumping, running, and swimming. You're also dealt with super mushrooms, fire flowers, and other oldie favorites from the past few generations.
The only real drawback of New Super Mario Bros is the lack of a central plot. The only thing we really get out of the beginning is Peach is kidnapped and you're put in a position to rescue her (which has been seen only a bazillion cotillion million and two times). That, in turn, messes up the sequences that take place later on, such as easy (and I mean easy) boss battles, and no. Dialogue. At. All. Period. In addition, you're going to grow bored of the repetitive monotonies after concluding the game, almost as if going back to complete it one hundred percent feels like a chore. Even if you eventually meet that opportunity, you'll have memorized every nook and cranny of every level of every world. Were video games always like that back then?
From an artistic perspective, New Super Mario Bros looks fantastic. While the background and central area is pitted in 2-D, you can see the depth of objects and characters. You're going to see a lot of visually inclined settings and backgrounds that just plain look spectacular on that tiny screen. The deserts actually look like deserts and the jungles actually look like jungles. Go figure. The audio isn't off on any beats either. The music is perfectly compatible to the level or world it's associated with, and the sound effects are incredible in an eclectic sort of way. Referring back to the visuals, the desert sand grains can be clearly heard as Mario stomps his way through a level, and the swimming and jumping are stupendously exhibited.
In the end, New Super Mario Bros is a wise purchase if you're in close reach of a DS. The replay value is there, if you value the game's morals enough, but otherwise renting the game is more suitable if you're just looking to beat world eight. Nintendo caught an incandescent star with this nifty little side-scroller.