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Opti's Vidja Opinion Corner

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Well, I just felt like doing something using this wonderful feature, and I suddenly remembered one of the things I used to do back then in other forums, videogame analysis. Sounds cool, right? Let's get to it.

Disclaimer: I'm informal and I might make a few mistakes due to lack of practice, but here we go!

New Super Mario Bros. Wii

New Super Mario Bros, as soon as it was launched, became pretty much Nintendo's money maker. And how. Reverting radically its sells falldown, just in 2006 it managed to sell more than the Super Mario Advance games put together, and as of April 2009 it reportedly sold more than eighteen million copies worldwide. However, most classical players (me included) complained due to the simplicity of its platforming sections and its lack of a real difficulty besides the hidden star coins and paths.

One could say New Super Mario Bros. Wii at first looks like a game that follows after it's DS counterpart steps. They sold it as pretty much a game to enjoy sitting with your family, with Mario, Luigi and two Toads smiling. Yeah. The princess is kidnapped, gotta go rescue her, ok.

But their smile is the smile of a succubus inviting you to come closer... so it can take your soul away. If New Super Mario Bros. DS added new elements to the Mario series, the Wii game uses their full potential. The scenarios are wider and larger, making the good ol' Mario seem smaller than before. He moves the same way then he did back in the DS game, but now his moves require to be far more precise due to the strategical placement and variety of enemies and elements that potentially threaten him. The star coins now aren't limited to being secrets, but now they are a challenge to the player. Overtly mocking you, they force the player to hone his skills in order to get them all. And this is just the surface of the iceberg.

Neither its graphics not its soundtracks are outstanding, but they're soft and well rounded, helping to create a proper ambientation for what is about to unfold as you get past world 1. From there, it pretty much becomes a love letter to the past 2D platformers from Nintendo. Taking the most successful elements from its 2D games like Super Mario Bros 3.: the flying vessels, the underground levels... the ability to fly from Super Mario World, (especially useful in those hellish moving platforms levels that appear later on and a free card to passing levels easily) or Yoshi.

But it doesn't stop at that. What, in my personal opinion, makes this game a good platformer is how it plays with the one playing it. Like a toybox, every two levels you are forced to flexibilize your muscle memory and change your approach in order to advance. From floating bubbles of water in which you swim from advancing by sliding across a scenario in a penguin suit, each level feels like it has a personality of its own, like there's been an actual effort put behind the design of every level in order to make them fun separately.

And hard. Oh, the surprise I had. If you are expecting your mom or your six year old cousin are able to play this, oh dang. Welcome to the old learning curve of Mario games, where it starts out soft but then becomes a nightmare for those who are not familiarized with the limitations and the vulnerability of our moustached plumber. The larger scenarios make Mario more vulnerable, making a higher level of skill necessary in order to get them past.

While obviously not as good as the past games, it is indeed the way to go. Presenting itself as a fun experience for all the family... you just wait until you get to level 9-7. When I bought it, I wasn't expecting it to be this good. Now, onwards to the grading.

Graphics: 7

While quite functional and fitting for the Mario universe, it's a 2D platformer. They're quite good, but not much else.

Sound: 7

Again, it's been cared of, but it's not the main point of this game.

Gameplay: 9

What else is left to say? This is the game's main focus, the reason to buy it if you miss the old 2D platforms.

Innovation: 6.5

It's the same formula with some new elements added.

Overall: 8.

8 is a darn good grade. And this is what it is: a good game. It's nothing too special, bright or innovative, just... Fun. If you see it around for a good price, if you can ask for it as a gift, or if you have some spare money... Get it.