New Super Mario Bros. Wii

Mario returns to his old platforming days with new looks and new features
SeriousGamer - Staff Reviewer

Content at a glance:

Cartoon Violence: Player jumps on enemies and throws fireballs at them. Enemies fall off the screen or are flattened.

Fantasy Magic: Player encounters supernatural enemies, bosses use fantasy magic.

Before Mario went into 3D, turned paper-thin, threw parties or made that unforgettable trip to Isle Delfino, he was a platforming plumber on a mission. Well, the mission never changed, but the look of the games and the way they played changed. Before you knew it, the games weren’t even called Mario Bros. anymore. That changed when Nintendo decided that our red-capped hero should really go back to the old-school style of platforming fun in the aptly titled New Super Mario Bros. Wii.

Plot

Like so many new Mario games, New Super Mario Bros. Wii begins with an invitation from a certain princess. This time there is actually an occasion for it. It’s Peach’s birthday and everyone is there to wish her well (and give her presents too). Mario and Luigi of course attend. It wouldn’t be a birthday party without cake either and sure enough one giant-sized piece of pastry rolls up right behind the lucky Peach. With her two favorite plumber brothers there and a cake big enough for five birthdays, what could possibly spoil a party like this? If you’re an avid Mario player, you’ll have the answer.

As expected, the cake is a gift from the Mushroom Kingdom’s number one troublemaker; Bowser, the mean and childish Koopa King. Bowser sends his Koopalings led by Bowser Jr. inside the cake to kidnap the princess. Their plan quite literally takes the cake as well; the little stinkers throw the cake on top of Peach and quickly cart it away with her inside it and flee in their airship. Now, Mario and Luigi must run, jump, swim, smash, and stomp their way through eight worlds to rescue the imperiled princess.

Gameplay

New Super Mario Bros. Wii is a return to Mario’s old platforming days, so the action is set out in 2D worlds with some 3D characters, making this a 2.5D game, if you will. You can play this game with either a Wii Remote held sideways or with a Remote and Nunchuck. You also have the option of playing with several players or just one. If you pick the latter, you’ll play only Mario; with multiple players, you’ll also see Luigi and two Toads alongside you.

Each world takes place on a map where you can choose the level you want to play in and thus choose the route that you go through in each world. When you play a level, or course as they’re called, you just run for the flagpole at the end of the course and stomp on any enemies in your way. Hitting “?” blocks will often give you items to help you along the way.

All roads lead to two important buildings: the Fortress and the Castle. In both of these buildings, you will face one of the Koopalings. After you clear the Castle, you move on to the next world. If you want to replay a world or course, you are able to do so while on the map screen.

Offensive Content

Note: Some spoilers are present

Mild Cartoon Violence

Mario was never known for extreme violence in the old days, and this game follows in those footsteps. Mario jumps on his enemies and can throw fire and ice balls at them with a certain item. In the all cases, enemies usually fall off the screen. The Goomba, a walking mushroom of sorts, flattens out when you jump on it and then disappears, but otherwise, all the enemies just fall as I said. If Mario loses, he also just falls off the screen. Peach also has a giant cake thrown on top of her, but she’s shown to be unharmed later.

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After the final showdown with Bowser, the Koopa King falls into a pool of lava. He’s shown to be knocked out but otherwise unharmed afterwards

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Fantasy Magic

One enemy you run into is a walking Koopa skeleton and another is a skeleton fish. At the end of each Castle, you’ll run into the familiar Magikoopa, a Koopa sorcerer. The Magikoopa will ride its broom over the battlefield and sparkles fall from the broom. The Koopalings themselves are also armed with magic wands that they use to make things appear to fight you with. All of that does count as spell casting, but the magic is also within the boundaries of fantasy.

Some of the worlds have haunted houses present and inside you’ll find, as expected, a bunch of ghosts known in the Mario world as Boos.

Mild Suggestive Content

At the end, Peach kisses Mario on the face. None of these are really offensive.

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One male enemy dresses up as and pretends to be Princess Peach to try and fool you.

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Conclusion

I actually found this game a nice change from the usual Mario title. Don’t get me wrong; I’m a fan of the other titles and the RPG series’ trademark goofy humor. But the transition from that style back into Mario’s old-time platforming roots was surprisingly refreshing. I liked not having to wander aimlessly trying to raise my EXP or collect enough items to open the way to the next level. It was great to just rush through to the end just like the old days. Discerning Christians will also like this game for its lack of offensive content. True, there is some mild violence, some use of magic and a bit of odd, suggestive humor, but it’s not enough to completely ruin this fun and very light-hearted title. It’s a must for any Mario fan.




Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Christian Answers Network.

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