New Super Mario Bros. Wii is the most recent side-scrolling title in the Mario series, released in 2009 for the Wii. This game follows the usual plot, in which Princess Peach is kidnapped, but this time on her birthday, and Mario reacts immediately, followed along by Luigi, Blue Toad, and Yellow Toad. This is the first game in the series to feature simultaneous multiplayer gameplay.
For my 20th review, I decided to do something really special, so I decided on this game because of the special enjoyment I have of it. This holds a place as my 4th favorite video game of all time, and for good reason. This game has incredible loyalty to the original titles, to the point where I got about the same feeling playing this as I did when I was playing Super Mario Bros. 3. I love playing this game with my friend Frank (he played as Mario and I as Blue Toad), as the simultaneous multiplayer makes it really fun and playing with more than one player gives you certain advantages, like being able to use each other to jump higher. Moreover, it's not only loyal to the original titles, but it incorporates and improves on old elements within them. For example, it features Toad Houses, like in Super Mario Bros. 3, the ability to throw shells, and an 8-level Star World like in Super Mario World. This world was brutal, but awesomely fun and enjoyable with two or more people.
Here's another fantastic thing about this game: the new power-ups. There are four new ones in all: the Penguin Suit (allows you to throw ice, swim more efficiently, and slide on ice and water), the Mini Mushroom (makes you smaller and destructible with one hit, but allos you to jump incredibly far, walk across water, and bounce off of enemies), the Ice Flower (like the Fire Flower, but lets you freeze enemies with ice balls), and the Flight Hat (allows you to shake the Wii Remote and fly, and then spin on the way down). These were a fantastically huge improvement, and they were nicely original. I do wish, however, that they had carried on some of the best power-ups from Super Mario Bros. 3, like the Super Leaf; but the amazing experience with the power-ups they already have almost negates the desire to have more.
I agree with my inspiration the Wiiviewer that it was really great seeing a return of the Koopalings. They look great even today, and the game designers successfully...diversified their styles of fighting to make each one a separate challenge (in fact, I had some reasonable trouble with Iggy Koopa). This game also included Bowser Jr. for the first tiem, which I thought was timely and wise.
This game also has a great amount of replayability that was kind of scarce in some other titles. This is due to the collection of Star Coins; there are three Coins in each level, and getting every one in a given world unlocks a Star Level in World 9 for that world. You can also use accumulated Star Coins to buy videos in Peach's Castle that will show you other Star Coins, 1-Up tecchniques, and Super Skills videos of incredible gameplay feats. It was seriously fun going back through to get the Coins and unlocking new levels, so it added a whole new dimension to the gameplay.
This game is a given purchase for anyone who enjoyed a classic Mario side scroller. It's loyal to its predecessors, it's dynamic, and you'll have massive fun playing with other people. Even if you're new to Mario, you should definitely buy this game. It's more than well-worth it.