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New Super Mario Bros. Review 248

In the "everything old is new again" spirit of the 21st century, there have been many bad remakes, remixes, and 'reinvisionings'. The gaming industry is especially guilty, with endless sequels and a lack of imagination being oft-discussed elements at developer get-togethers. Despite all this, it does appear you can go home again. Nintendo has competently revived the series that made it a household name in the U.S., with New Super Mario Bros.. A classic 2D platformer with plenty of new tricks, Mario comes bounding to the DS with a focus on what he does best. New Super Mario Bros. is not going to make you rethink what is possible in a game; It's not going to make you cry or change your life. It will, however, make you smile. Read on for my impressions of the pudgy plumber's newest adventure.
  • Title: New Super Mario Bros.
  • Developer/Publisher: Nintendo
  • System: DS
For a lot of gamers, growing up with games meant growing up with Mario. Just mentioning titles in the series can provoke memories from the far away and long ago. The first time you defeated Bowser, your first flight in the Tanooki suit, and Mario's first fumbling 3D steps are all moments we can share together as part of the collective gamer hive-mind. This shared history makes the average gamer an intuitive appreciator of New Super Mario Brothers' (NSMB) wafer-thin plot; Bowser has kidnapped Princess Peach and Mario has to save her.

What follows from the typical 'stealing the princess' scene is pure Mario flavour. You move your little red and blue plumber from left to right, avoiding Goombas, Koopa Troopas, and the occasional pit. What makes this game a worthy successor and not a cheap cash-in is the title's endless attention to detail and novelty. 1-1, for example, is an almost picture perfect mirror of the very first level of the original Super Mario Bros.. A mirror, that is, until you get over the second hill, pop the question block, and release the giant mushroom. The rest of the level rushes past in a blur as giant Mario slams through enemies, pipes, and scenery, before reaching the flag at the end of the level. This melding of the old and the new allows NSMB to mostly rise above expectations on the friction of greatness. The core of this greatness involves time-worn game concepts that have been freshened up with some new thread and a lot of care.

These game concepts come from across the many Mario titles. The map that allows you to navigate the Worlds and their sublevels is lifted from Super Mario Bros. 3. There are alternate routes through the maps, encouraging exploration and experimentation, as in Super Mario World. The butt-stomp and wall-jump from Mario 64 are here as well, and seeing them executed well in a 2D environment is well worth the price of admission. The only game element that somewhat disappointed was the powerup department. While the mega mushroom is a fun novelty the first time around, it has a fairly limited usefulness. There's also a mini mushroom, which makes you very small; Perfect for long floaty jumps and getting into tight spaces, but not that much fun. There's also the Troopa suit, a turtle shell that effectively turns Mario into a Koopa Troopa. You can run, get up some speed, and slide in the shell through enemies, knocking them akimbo. These are fun elements, but compared to genius like the flying Tanooki suit or the invincible Kuribo Boot they seem somehow a little thin.

Mario's transformative costumes aside, the quality of design here demands exploration and concerted effort. Levels ramp up in difficulty as you move through the Worlds. Requirements for completion go from 'a carefree leap or two' to 'carefully planned trial and error assaults'. Enemy placement is always designed to challenge and occasionally frustrate, but never to provoke calls of 'cheap!' Each world has a theme, of course, with World 2 being a sandy desert and World 5 covered in snow and ice. Within the overall theme of the World, each level provides thoughtful variation. Their overworld map appearance gives hints of what they'll be like; levels located in pits on the map are the familiar subterranean levels, while those on the edge of the ocean tend to have aquatic elements. Some levels are special cases, such as the towers and castles that dot each world. The tower is a mid-level challenge, a chance to face Bowser Jr. (Princess Peach's jailer) and drive him further along the map. The castle is the penultimate showdown for the current World, and defeating Jr. there drives him on to the next World. Generally unlockable, there are *-A levels that are entirely aquatic (and filled with swarming fish). There are also Ghost Houses, as in Super Mario World, which pit you against the surreal surroundings of the Boos and their crews.

The World map, then, is informative; It can also be frustrating. Scattered across the map are paths that are unreachable, tantalizing areas that beg to be unlocked. Some, like the powerup mushroom houses, are simply blocked from the main path. These can be unlocked with the large coins you find hidden in every level. Entire levels, though, are secreted off branching parts of the World's path. These require you to exit a particular level via an alternate route in order to open up that part of the path. The flag at the end of each level may, indeed, not be the way out you want. These secret routes lead to hidden levels, warp pipes that allow you to skip around within a World, cannons that blast you across the sky to land in other Worlds, and in two cases even allow you access to Worlds that would be otherwise inaccessible. This exploration element is as entertaining as it is addicting; Wondering just how you get from point A to point B will have you puzzling over the World map for many minutes.

Those minutes will pass by quickly, though, with your eyes resting easy on the beauty that is New Super Mario Bros. The DS has come into its own in the last year, with titles like Metroid Hunters proving the surprising power of Nintendo's two-screened beast. NSMB doesn't push the console the way Metroid did, but the game's graphical presentation is just as rock solid. The 3D elements that are incorporated into the 2D maps make the game pop out at you, as Mario and the various enemies shuffle and run through the colorful environments. The big smiles, though, are likely to come from the little touches. As mini-Mario, you can run across the surface of water, with splashes kicked up by the tiny plumber's pumping feet. In World 5 packed snow hanging on background tree branches is shaken loose as you pass, trapping you for a moment under a mound of wintery goodness. The environments are interactive and imaginative, and scored in the same style as all of the classic Mario titles. In order to avoid burnout by including endlessly familiar tunes and sound effects, there's a good deal of differentiation from the older titles musically. Just the same, you'll recognize where they're coming from with the underground theme, the noise when Mario loses a powerup, the particular blip as a Goomba is flattened, and the frustratingly familiar musical sting when you fall into a pit. These variations put you in the right state of mind, but don't come out of the box already old or annoying.

This preoccupation with recreating the familiar in a fresh way is, ultimately, why New Super Mario Bros. succeeds. The tight control of a leap atop a wandering Goomba is a gaming moment that, while certainly not new, never fails to be somehow special. NSMB taps directly into this with level design, musical scoring and sound effects that harken back to the best days of the NES and SNES. Even while the game looks backwards, it keeps its feet firmly in the now. The game looks terrific, is a challenge for a gamer of any skill level, and offers plenty of exploration elements to keep your mind active. There are even some WiFi multiplayer elements borrowed from the DS port of Mario 64, to keep you and a friend company on long trips. Some may look on this title as falling short of greatness. I see New Super Mario Bros. as competently meeting the expectations of our gaming heritage. Some games last a few hours, and some last a lifetime; This game was already a classic by the time I'd slotted it into my DS. NSMB belongs on the shelf alongside God of War or Half-Life 2, part of a stack I'll be carrying with me for a good, long time.

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New Super Mario Bros. Review

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  • by mobiux ( 118006 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @01:54PM (#15395840)
    It's too bad they aren't releasing it for a console system.
    I prefer my gaming on screens larger than 4".

  • by OS24Ever ( 245667 ) * <> on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @01:56PM (#15395854) Homepage Journal
    I just got this game on Monday and my 2 year old son has learned several new cuss words. I forgot how frustrating it can get having to time that first jump after the second one. I was never very good at Mario games, my little brother was the genius with them. I'm currently straggling up to 2-1 now after a good few hours of getting to play the game.

    The graphics are great and the 2-screen goodness with the 'stacking' of power ups for later use is a very nice touch. I'm very happy with my DS and have bought quite a few titles I'd never thought I'd get with it.
  • My Review (Score:5, Informative)

    by The MAZZTer ( 911996 ) <<megazzt> <at> <>> on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @01:56PM (#15395856) Homepage
    This game is awesome, and lots of fun. GET IT. This is like what Super Mario World might have been if Nintendo waited until now to continue the Mario franchise.

    Also, the Blue Shell powerup (it allows you to dash to curl into a shell and knock enemies while speeding through the level) will be featured in Super Smash Bros Brawl, and it fits so perfectly I can't help but think it was planned.
    • "Also, the Blue Shell powerup (it allows you to dash to curl into a shell and knock enemies while speeding through the level)"

      That sounds awfully Sonic to me..
      • Sounds, maybe, but in reality entirely different. To go into the shell you simply duck, which makes you mostly impervious. And it differentiates itself further in use, as while you will go into "shell mode" after dashing for a short period, precious few of the levels are truly set up for it, and even in those cases it's often simply for a short portion.

        Ultimately, what that means is that it's really more of a "challenge" powerup rather than simply a speed powerup. You can't control the length of your j

    • Re:My Review (Score:3, Informative)

      by SilentChris ( 452960 )
      "This is like what Super Mario World might have been if Nintendo waited until now to continue the Mario franchise."

      Honestly, I did get it, and while the game is very good it pales in comparison to Super Mario World. It pales even more to perhaps the best platformer ever made: Yoshi's Island. The control is a bit loose (more "SMB-ish" than "SMB 3-ish") and the game is over all too quickly. With dedication you can beat Super Mario World in one sitting. With light effort you can do the same with New Super
    • Where did you get your information? Awfully little other than that trailer and a couple of other things on the Smash Bros Dojo site has been released on the game, and to my recollection none of it features a turtle shell powerup. I am forced to call shenanigans.
  • Modern 2D Games (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SlashdotOgre ( 739181 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @01:59PM (#15395875) Journal
    I've always been disappointed at the lack of modern 2D games; it seems ever since the PlaySation the only new games we see are 3D. There are tons of excellent 2 dimensional games that would look great on a modern system. In particular games like Raiden, Sonic, Megaman, Contra, Gunstar Heroes, Radiant Silvergun, etc. all come to mind. Certain genres do well in 3D, but at the same time platformers and shooters are often better left in the second dimension.
    • dude,
      one of the best 2-d games ever came out for playstation -- Castlevania, Symphony of the night. I swear, this is one of the best games ever made.

      And it gets better. There are currently 3 games for the gameboy advance (cirlce of the moon, harmony of dissonance, and aria of sorrow) that follow the same gaming formulae and 1 game for the DS (Dawn of sorrow). ALso there is another game comming out for the DS.

      So, there are now 5 total games out that have excellent 2-d gameplay with a sixth on the way. If
      • by JimTheta ( 115513 )

        I had one of those Castlevania games ("Harmony of Dissonance", I think?), and while it was kinda fun to play through once, it didn't have any lasting appeal. I think it was too easy, really. In addition, the subscreen interfaces, while adequate, were a little rough. It could have used a tad more polish.

        For me, beating it was mostly a question of time, not skill. I put in my time, beat it, then put it away. After a few months I sold it, knowing that I'd never want to go back to it.

    • Yeah. It would be sweet if someone would release the Metal Slug series (Neo Geo) on a conventional modern console system. They are some of the funnest Contra-esque side scrollers I've ever played.
      • Yeah. It would be sweet if someone would release the Metal Slug series (Neo Geo) on a conventional modern console system. They are some of the funnest Contra-esque side scrollers I've ever played.
        Dude.. There are Metal Slug two games released on the GBA and there is a complete collection being released for the next generation games.
      • Yeah, it's a good thing nobody's released them for the Xbox or anything.
      • Like the Xbox maybe?

        That said, the Xbox version has a bug where not only does it not use 480p resolution, but it'll actually send 480i to the TV even if your Xbox is set not to use 480i for anything. For the majority of TVs, this isn't an issue; they can accept 480i no problem through the same input they accept 480p. For my Zenith, however, it makes the game unplayable... my Zenith *only* accepts HDTV resolutions in the HDTV input and 480i appears as gibberish.
    • Well, 2005/2006 has brought a small wave of new 2D games... 2005 brought the pretty popular Geometry Wars [] (sort of a modern remake of Robotron: 2084) along with Xbox Live Arcade 360, which may encourage more investment in smaller games like that, and 2006 brings us New Super Mario Bros. [] and Super Paper Mario [].

      I don't know, maybe game producers think the market for 2D games is sufficiently small that it's enough to release emulators running the old 2D classics? I don't know. All three of the above are "m

    • Re:Modern 2D Games (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Rayonic ( 462789 )
      What most people forget is that there was a glut of 2D platformers back in the NES/SNES days. And a lot of them were cheap knockoffs or tripe, like the Bubsy series.

      Nowadays most 2D action games are on the GBA/DS, or made by indie developers. It's a shame, but people have to remember that there was nothing pristine or magical about the 2D format.
      • It's a shame, but people have to remember that there was nothing pristine or magical about the 2D format.

        Uhh, the GP said nothing of the sort. He rightly pointed out that ignoring the 2D format entirely, as has happened in recent history, is silly, since you cut out an entire genre of games that don't convert well to 3D format (Tetris being an obvious example).
    • Re:Modern 2D Games (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mr_jrt ( 676485 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @03:29PM (#15396671) Homepage
      What you need to consider is the restrictions the console comapnies put on new games. Sony are famous for blcoking games that "don't meet their visual standards", typically meaning 2D games. In fact, SNK recently bemoaned this publicly, hinting that they are looking forward to the Wii as Nintendo is generally less restrictive.
    • There are a few 2D PS2 games, or at least 2D-style games, that are worth checking out. Of course, you will not see these getting 9.0+ reviews for the most part, and you will see people whining about how hard they are. Because they're oldschool, 2D games, and they are hard.

      Some of these may push the limits slightly of a 2D game... Disgaea lets you spin the battlefie

  • by eviloverlordx ( 99809 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @01:59PM (#15395879)
    Super Mario Retirement Home to come out.
  • Really Cool Game... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by th1ckasabr1ck ( 752151 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @01:59PM (#15395881)
    The only major disappointment for me (as Zonk mentioned) was the powerup system. Not only because they were kinda lame-ish, but also because there was no gathering/hoarding of power-ups as in Mario 3. Instead you just have one item 'in reserve' that you can tap the bottom screen to use.

    It was so much nicer to open up a mushroom house and grab an item that I could use whenever I wanted.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @02:00PM (#15395891)
    Speaking as a Goomba, I find this whole line of games extremely offensive.
  • Welcome (Score:5, Informative)

    by spacemky ( 236551 ) * <nick&aryfi,com> on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @02:05PM (#15395930) Homepage Journal
    I for one welcome our new turtle-jumping, pipe-warping, fireball-spitting, bowser-butt-kicking, princess-saving overlord(s)!

    PS: If anyone hasn't seen the flash videos yet over at [], they are awesome!
  • beating the game isnt hard (they give you plenty of 1ups that you dont even need to do a 99 1up trick) but getting all those coins

    My thumbs had a nice case of Nintendo-itis the day after I got it.

  • We are running out of things to be nostalgic about. Every year we are told to be nostalgic about things that were more and more recent. Pretty soon we are going to be nostalgic for things that haven't happened yet. The solution? Recycled nostalgia! We need to start being nostalgic about the nostalgia that we used to have for things. Instead of being nostalgic for, say, the eighties again, we can be nostalgic for the eighties nostalgia we felt in the ninties. Similarly, we no longer have to be nostalgic for the original Super Mario Brothers, now we can be nostalgic for the nostalgia we used to feel.

    Shamelessly ripping off a nostalgic old "The Onion" article.
  • by bunions ( 970377 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @02:09PM (#15395972)
    After some point, you really have to wonder if Princess Peach doesn't want to be kidnapped. Once or twice, ok, sure, Bowser is a real jerk. Eventually, you gotta figure that the Princess must not really mind it so much, if you get my drift.
  • by technoextreme ( 885694 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @02:15PM (#15396014)
    I have to say Mega Mario very fun to play with. There is one secret area where there are nothing but pipes and a mega mushroom . Watching Mario destroy the entire area really is quite entertaining. Mini Mario is also fun with those secret little pipe areas that lead to midget goombas. Not to mention the fact that you actually have to use him to reach the two secret areas. This is very challenging because you have to butt stomp to do any damage. I have to say Nintendo took the best of all the Mario games including one stage that reminded me of the Doki Doki Mario Brothers where you could just keep on running right until you popped out on the left screen.
  • I know it;s a minor detail that doesn't impact anything anywhere ever, but does Mario have a voice in this one? As much as I'm a total fanboy of Mario and his games, I must admit I never felt the squeaky voice they gave him beginning with SM64 fit all that well.
    • Re:Nitpicky question (Score:2, Informative)

      by desenz ( 687520 )
      Yep, and its the same one hes had in all the recent mario games. I must admit I liked the novelty at first, but it is a little grating after a while.
    • Re:Nitpicky question (Score:5, Informative)

      by Erioll ( 229536 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @03:12PM (#15396478)
      He has a voice, but only uses it rarely. For example, he doesn't use it every time you jump, or use a fireball, etc, but WILL use it at the ends of levels, and i THINK while wall-jumping, though I could be wrong on that. Basically, his voice IS there, but it's rare. It's not like the "every jump" of SM64, etc, so not annoying at all IMO, though YMMV of course.

      As for the review, the "*-A" comment is patently wrong. "A" doesn't mean "Aquatic", but rather that it's just the first secret stage of the level. All of the purely secret stages have letter names rather than number ones, so level 3-A, 3-B, etc. Off the top of my head, I KNOW 7-A is NOT aquatic in any respect. Judging by the screenshots, Zonk didn't go past World 1, so maybe that's why he's confused, but for everybody else, the "numbered" stages are normal, and the "lettered" ones are secret.

      As for me, I enjoyed this game, but it really was way too short. I was never a "Mario Guru", but what I really thought this game was missing was a set of super-tough levels, ala the ones AFTER the Star Road in Super Mario World (Gnarly, Tubular, etc). Levels that take 10, 20, or MORE lives to get past even one of them. Those extremely unique (and challenging) levels from that game just straight-out don't exist, and even the vast majority of the "secret" exits are painfully obvious. I think I had to hit Gamefaqs for less than 3 secret exits, and maybe a half-dozen TOTAL of the star coins, because they were THAT obvious. I missed only ONE warp cannon from "just playing", and that's just a shame. And the SAME method to access both secret worlds? That's just incredibly weak.

      As somebody above also stated, most of the items were uninspired, and not really all that useful in a general sense OUTSIDE of an extremely specific secret. The selection from SMB3 was best (along with item storage), but at least SMW had GOOD items, and a good Yoshi mechanic to add more variety too. NSMB has neither of these. Honestly, the best item in the game is the Fire Flower, and it's good to the point of being just-about overpowered, as extremely few enemies don't die in one hit to it, and thus it's never all that "dangerous" while you have it.

      So I was mildly disappointed. It's fun to go through, just don't expect many "on the edge" challenges. I'd rather have the game itself to be at about the current difficulty, but throw up large "side areas" with massive challenge that the "casual" could never get through, but would provide longevity to others. SMW had this, and SMB3 didn't need it due to the length of the base game (along with the better variety of alternate paths). This is the main thing that NSMB was missing for me.
  • I haven't played a true Mario style platformer in a while, and the return to a game where exact precise movements must be required, or death happens, was pretty jarring. Contrast this with most current games that feature leveling and increases in health that allow you more second chances before death.

    Just as a note... the difficulty is in the levels themselves, introducing new elements I haven't seen yet in a Mario game. However, due to saving (and the unlockable save anywhere) and massive amounts of free l
  • by JMZero ( 449047 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @02:20PM (#15396061) Homepage
    The castle is the penultimate showdown for the current World

    Penultimate: next to last.

    The castle is the not the next to last showdown for the current World. It's the last showdown in the current world.

    slide in the shell through enemies, knocking them akimbo

    Akimbo: In or into a position in which the hands are on the hips and the elbows are bowed outward:

    They really get knocked akimbo? That doesn't make sense. If you don't know what words mean, don't use them.
  • by dividedsky319 ( 907852 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @02:23PM (#15396086) Homepage
    I just beat the game last night after having it since Friday. (I could have beaten it faster, but I made it a point to get all 3 coins in each world as well)

    It is a LOT of fun, I'm really happy with the jump back to 2d... however, I thought the powerups could have worked a little better. It's annoying being mini Mario, really the only time you'd use it is when you HAVE to to get to a special exit or to get a coin. And it's annoying running by those mini pipes and thinking "damn, I'm gonna have to come back in here once I find a mini mushroom..."

    I've only looked at a few of the mini games, which there are a bunch of... I'll be looking into those next.

    Oh, and one part of the summary is somewhat misleading: It mentions WiFi features. You can't play over the internet, you can only play via WiFi against other people nearby that have a DS. I wish they incorporated internet play into the game as well.
    • The confusion of "Wi-Fi" is not limited to Zonk; it's everywhere. Game rags, game software stores, even game publishers all interchangeably use "Wi-Fi" with any kind of multiplayer, even though Nintendo has set up the "Wi-Fi" term to very narrowly apply on the DS to multiplayer games which use Nintendo's Wi-Fi Connection Service. Unfortunately I don't have enough money to buy all these people a ticket on the clue train.
  • by porcupine8 ( 816071 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @02:23PM (#15396089) Journal
    Okay, you've all proven you can do pretty 3D graphics. Can we have our 2D platformers (on the big screen) back now?

    My favorite GameCube games are essentially 2D - things like Animal Crossing, Zelda four swords, and Paper Mario. 3D games with ever-changing cameras confuse the hell out of me at best, and make me dizzy and nauseous at worst. Give me a fixed camera any day. I want a GBA player for my GC so I can play more of these - too bad DS games need the stylus!

  • Princess Peach? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AragornSonOfArathorn ( 454526 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @02:39PM (#15396214)
    Maybe I've been out of the Mario loop for too long, but isn't her name supposed to be Princess Toadstool? Soon I'll be back in the loop. /me eagerly awaits the DS Lite, and will probably get NSMB too.
  • Now that I'm in my 30's, married with kids, I have to be a bit more "cultured" or so my wife says.

    If you *must* go to "the theater" to watch a live performance, I'd recommend Mario Live []!

    Lots and lots more Mario fun at MilkAndCookies []. Mario on two guitars is not to be missed.
  • I recently got the nostalgic urge to play Super Mario Bros again, but of course my Nintendo is long dead so I grabbed the emulator for playing it on my XBox. Not having followed or played any of the 3,000 Super Mario Bros sequels, can anyone recommend which one(s) are the best (where best = the platform goodness of the original, not into super mario kart and that kind of stuff)?
    • You can probably expect them all to appear on the Wii. Either as free, or bonus games for buying a Wii game, or just really cheap.

      I would suggest doing this instead of blatantly pirating these classics. Developers being screwed out of money only hurts the industry you seem to love.

    • ...can anyone recommend which one(s) are the best (where best = the platform goodness of the original, not into super mario kart and that kind of stuff)?

      Super Mario 3 is my favorite, and the last of the NES generation 2d Mario games. SMB3 really set down the blueprint for diverse levels and fun powerups. It introduces the oft mentioned Tanooki suit, which is a heck of a lot of fun. SMB3 is like a favorite book and I still sit down with it every couple of years.

      Super Mario World is an excellent SNES 2d
    • I believe most people would agree, in varying order, that Super Mario Bros 3, Super Mario World, Yoshi's Island, and Mario 64 are the best. All are excellent in their own ways, which is why some prefer one over the others. I'd say Super Mario World, but someone else on this page already claimed Yoshi's Island, while Mario 64 set the bar for all 3D platformers.
  • Just yesterday I was reading everything I could about this game. I had been waiting for it since I first heard of it and the reviews all sounded excellent. After work my wife and I headed to the store and picked up a DS, New Super Mario Brothers, Mario Kart DS, and Nintendogs (for her).

    The DS is only the 3rd Nintendo system I've owned. I had an original NES when I was a kid and loved SMB 3 in particular. Most of the rest of the games just didn't do it for me at the time (of course I was broke and didn't
    • Why not just wait 2 weeks for a ds lite? Just curious.
      • There are both rational and irrational components to this answer...

        Rational: The Lite looks even smaller than the DS is now. Given that my hands are basically already too big for the DS, going with the Lite seems like it'd be a step backward in terms of comfort. I know it is supposed to have a brighter screen and all that, but honestly I don't see much wrong with the current DS' brightness. Additionally, the DS is cheaper now at Wal-mart than the Lite will be (since the Lite will be the "new" thing). A
    • After work my wife and I headed to the store and picked up a DS, New Super Mario Brothers, Mario Kart DS, and Nintendogs (for her).

      Do yourself a favor: buy another DS and Animal Crossing (for her). I picked it up for my wife two months ago and she's played it every single day without exception, and hasn't played any other games. Do it. She'll love you for it.

  • Bowser has kidnapped Princess Peach and Mario has to save her.

    Actually, it's "Bowser Jr." who has kidnapped the Princess this time around.

    I'm not sure when relationship, if any, Junior has to the Koopa Kids introduced in SMB3. Continuity in the Super Mario Universe is not something worth losing sleep over.
  • Please tell me that they are not releasing a sequel to the movie []! Oh, the horror!

  • I beat this game the same day I bought it within a few hours. Lots of fun, way too easy. And most of the mini-games are from Mario 64 DS which I already own.
  • No, it belongs alongside the other DS games. Seriously, does anybody arrange their game collection according to rating instead of by platform?
  • I think there are some interesting facets to this game besides it being a nod to the original, incorporating this piece of this game or that piece of that game, having this, lacking that, and so on.

    Basically, I think their design choices are interesting. Compared to games like SMB3 or Super Mario World it's like a "less is more" philosophy. I think the variety of suits and their secret locations was great in SMB3, and Yoshi was great in Super Mario World, but I feel like in New SMB they've boiled the stre
  • the new powerups are less inspired than suits of old, but i think the mini-mario is a great addition for the floaty long jumps. i would have really, really liked to see it be more world-style with a cape and yoshis, though. it feels closer to smb1 than 2 or 3 though, and i do appreciate that. the level design is very good and nothing has felt too long so far. i'm currently on world 5.

    the lack of saves is a drag though. perhaps i'm missing something, but it seems that you have to win a castle or pay to

Never buy from a rich salesman. -- Goldenstern