We all love ourselves a bit of retro, hell that's why online Marketplaces were made. It seems that after pushing every dimension they could find and stomping all over Newton's life's work with Super Mario Galaxy Nintendo figured they'd give themselves a bit of a break and bring some classic 2D platforming back to the Wii with New Super Mario Bros.
Being a flagship title, it's rare to see it for anything less the £30-£35 at the moment, but Amazon have recently lowered their pricing on the game to £29.99, saving you nearly £3 on rival competitor ShopTo who are listing it at £32.86. In fact, there's such a high demand for the game that used units are actually retailing for the same price if not more in many cases.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii is a sequel, and the key is in the title. It helps to not think of it as a 'Mario' game, but rather an updated version of the SNES classic Super Mario Bros. thatwe all know and love, and if you don't then you really should just buy this to see what the hell all the hype is about anyway. Essentially a side-scrolling platformer with 3D backgrounds and elements, this plays exactly like its varying predecessors with a few tweaks. Now, for example, a vertical shake of the Wiimote will send our favourite plumbers spiralling into the air like moustachioed whirlwinds, and some items can be manipulated by careful tilting of the white cuboid in your hands.
That's not all either, there are a bunch of new items too for you to play with: the new propeller hat allows Mario and co. to get some seriously sick hang time, the frozen flower lets you fire epic snowballs and freeze your enemies to then be used as stepping stones, barriers, or ammunition, and finally there's the penguin suit, which allows Mario to slide around on belly, picking up speed and launching himself speedily across large chasms from ramps.
I love Mario, as a character not in that way, and I'm a big fan of the classic SNES games, but this is a disappointment. As a single player experience the entire game, whilst conjuring warm feelings of nostalgia in me, feels undeniably like a lazy cash-in. I shouldn't be surprised (Ninty did, after all, manage to milk 8 titles out of the Mario Party series), but even the handful of new features fail to mask the fact there's nothing original or innovative here.
Thankfully, if you can round up three mates, then NSMBW becomes hilarious anarchic fun. The multiplayer is less a sedate platformer and actually a bit reminiscent of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, a fierce and frantic free-for-all to rack up the points. It is here that the game comes alive. Don't be put off by my earlier words: Nintendo are still the best at what they do, but they've also done this all before. Still, the multiplayer saves it...just.