(Nintendo, May 2006)

When I got my cool little Nintendo DS here one of the game's I was most looking forward to was this strange but very interesting game simply called New Super Mario Brothers. Although most of the newer Super Mario have been 3D, this New SMB game was in its traditional 2D look that made the original 8-bit Nintendo more popular then crack. Sadly, I know how Nintendo likes to delay their big games (Perfect Dark and Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess come to mind) so I wasn't holding my breath just to wait for it. Imagine my surprise when I saw the game just sitting there for sale at Walmart (all hail the Dark Lord!) in Spring 2006. I said screw my bills and I brought up the game instantly. OK, now that I finally got my filthy fingers on this new upgrade is it a grand remake that revitalizes a classic or a sad nostalgia ego trip with slightly sharper looks?

The first thing I noticed about the game here was that the game really looks like a souped up version of the first ever Super Mario Bros. game not the other ones of the series like SMB3 or Super Mario World. Because of that you won't be seeing a lot of revolutionary new stuff that is going to redefine the action platformer as we know it and even the game's overly simple story line is familiar. In the game you help everyone's favourite Italian plumber Mario on a mission to rescue the Princess of the
Mushroom Kingdom (Princess Peach) from the tiny but creepy Baby Bowser. If you wish to ever see the Princess again you'll have get through several different levels filled with enemies and obstacles. Yup, it's the same old Nintendo kiddy story board junk they have been shoveling for years and I'm personally getting sick of it. When are Mario and Peach going to get it on already like I saw on that one website, eh?

While I'm dreaming of a naked Princess Peach here I should tell you what you do in this game. Mario has to run across up several long and sweet 2D levels to reach the special flag at the of the sub stages to complete the stage. Once your done all that at the end of each world you have to go through one of the castles to see if the Princess is somewhere inside (there is a good chance she isn't so get use to that). You must search through all these worlds here to complete the game and all this adds a cool adventure aspect to the game play but just remember that time is limited so you have to keep on moving too like in the NES original.

Although fighting through all these levels can be a pretty daunting task at first especially since Baby Bowser doesn't like to stay put, all of the game's power ups help make things a bit easier. Like the original SMB this game still lets you turn into a big man that's twice your normal size thanks to the power of the Magic Mushroom. Becoming big is cool but if you can stay in your giant form for a bit then also have the chance to get better powers like the Power Flower; a interesting power up that lets you shoot fireballs.

So what's so new about this New SMB game you say? Sure, this is the same old side scrolling platformer but now Mario has a few tricks up his sleeve like the ability to do wall jumps and butt slams moves. There are also a bunch of new power ups like that make our plumber either super small or so big that he nearly covers half of one of the screens just like in Bonk 3: Bonk's Big Adventure. Now why did I bring that relic Turbografx-16 game up for? "Nobody remembers that one but me!" Anyway the new gigantic mode is cool because you can not only stomp on enemies like they're nothing but you can even destroy environments you normally couldn't before just by running into them. It's awesome but it doesn't last too long so you have to put it to good while you got it. There are tons of extra goodies like an all new two player game where Mario and his brother Luigi battle it out, new touch screen mini games, and tons of other secrets in this game so it isn't just a direct port.

One of the reasons why I love these 2D Mario games is because they are usually easier to control then the 3D ones and like a night with a flexible girl the New SMB doesn't disappoint. Doing all of player's runs, jumps, and other junk all that is no problem and gamer of all ages should be able to play this right off the bat. The DS touch screen is only used for Reverse power ups and some of the multi-player mini games but not much else. I'm not complaining though.

The graphics also gone under the knife so they look better. The new computer generated characters, detailed backgrounds, and colourful graphics were not only much better then what could ever be seen on the older NES title plus Mario have some great animations too. The different worlds have there own theme as well so you're not seeing the same old stuff in each stage. The game also has several fun loving remixed soundtracks if you like that sort of thing and like the other games of the series for the Gameboy Advance and DS Mario can talk here. Even the fireballs have their own improved sound effect, and the cool little 'bop' when you squash a Goomba is better then ever.

OK, the New Super Mario Bros. is a lot like every other action platformer game you played over the years but chances those other games still weren't as good as this! The game has lots of cool and different power ups, it had tons of cool and challenging levels, and the game was the perfect mix of both action and adventure just like the original classic. If you want to relive the glory days of the NES or you just want another great DS game then look no further then the awesome New Super Mario Bros! Now what was the name of that website?



overall rating: 88/100

Find this game on eBay here!

For 1 or 2 players
Rated (E) for Everyone

graphics: 8/10
sound: 8/10
gameplay: 8/10
replay: 8/10

(Ryan Genno) 2008