Remakes are all the rage in Hollywood these days. This may be from an overwhelming lack of original ideas, or an incredible drought in the oceans of source material that surround Hollywood. The same drought doesn’t seem to be effecting the gaming world quite as much. Considering that both industries borrow from each other pretty often, it’s not uncommon to see games taking a cue from Hollywood and remaking classics.
This is where New Super Mario Bros. Wii comes into play. Not necessarily a genuine “remake,” but more of a re-imagining of the original Super Mario Bros. concept. NSMBW takes the 2-D side scrolling, platforming, power-up, and castle conquering concepts from all of the pre-Nintendo 64 era Mario titles and adds some new twists.
NSMBW borrows from just about every side-scrolling Mario game ever, with much of the borrowing coming from Yoshi’s Island (Super Mario World 2) which was the most innovative and unique title in the series before making the shift to 3-D. There are some new wrinkles, as well, like new power-ups and new abilities. But, the big new addition to NSMBW is the simultaneous four player game play.
That’s right! Not only is this the first game in the Mario series since the original Mario Bros. to feature simultaneous co-operative multiplayer, but it’s the first game to allow four players on the screen at once!
This sounds like a great concept, in theory. As we all know ‘in theory,’ communism works. Around our house, NSMBW has been dubbed the following:
The game that ruins friendships (AKA The Friendship Ruiner).
Divorce Mode: Hard.
You and your friends will fight over mushrooms, pick each other up and throw one another into lava, knock each other into gaps of death, throw turtle shells at each other… and other huge misfortunes that will derail your quest to save the princess! It will start by happening by accident. After a while, you will become so enraged and you will start purposely throwing shells at your friends and loved ones. You’ll start picking your friends up and throwing them into lava to selfishly steal all of the power-ups.
It provides for much anger. This game is so upsetting that I can’t play it with friends for more than fifteen minutes at a time before I want to slit someones throat. It’s rage mode, on the real.
Player 1 plays as Mario, exclusively. Players 2-4 choose between Luigi and two generic Toad-like characters. Which means if you show up to the party late, you get to be the two remaining gay characters in the Mario world.
As a one player game, it works okay. In fact, it’s just a kick ass Mario game when you play by yourself. When playing with friends, however, it’s a strict reminder as to why this concept had never been attempted before. The moral of the story is this: if you want a great single player Mario game for the Wii, NSMBW is an epic achievement. If you want to piss yourself off, and be mad at your friends; grab three friends and three Wiimotes and rage out.