New Super Mario Bros. – Further thoughts

Posted in games at 8:49 pm by wingerz

I beat the last castle in The New Super Mario Bros. this evening. I continued playing it for another hour or so since I haven’t collected all of the star coins (3 per level) or explored all of the paths through the worlds.

The reviews for this game have been generally positive, with a few occasional haters who complain about the challenge (or rather, lack thereof), the items (no SMB3-style suits, no flying item like the feather or cape), and the similarity to previous Mario games.

To the haters: Bah. This is a great game, with many memorable, ingeniously designed levels. All of my favorite moves are still here: dashing and ducking to squeeze into narrow spaces, getting mad ups from stomping enemies, kicking and following a shell until it hits enough enemies to give you a 1-up, sprinting over 1-block holes without worrying about falling in, jumping up to grab a power-up mushroom as it slides by.

My one complaint: I hate the wall jump and wasn’t too crazy about the butt stomp. Both of the moves make the game easier. The butt stomp lets you hit blocks on the ground (rather than fetching a turtle shell and firing it). The wall jump makes it quite easy to jump out of bottomless pits – and falling into bottomless pits is an integral part of any Mario game. The mechanic is modeled after the one in Jungle Beat and 1) doesn’t feel as intuitive as the Super Metroid wall jump and 2) is too easy to pull off. If a wall jump is going to be included, it’s got to be a nontrivial operation.

Other than that, I’m a huge fan. It’s not as good as SMB3 or SMW, but still great. Hopefully it will drive some DS Lite sales come June 11.

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