Super Mario Bros. only 15 years old, and it’s still amazing
Over the holidays, we’ll be re-publishing some of our best features, interviews, opinions, and views from 12 months ago. from employees and contributors alike – articles that we feel represent the best of the year 2021. In them you’ll find our usual blend of thoughtfulness, vanity, nostalgia specialize, nostalgia for gaming, and – of course – enthusiasm for all things Nintendo. Interesting!
It’s funny considering that The best selling Nintendo DS game of all time – surpassing 30 million copies worldwide – still a title that I consider underrated. If anything, it’s considered a format entry in a divisible string that’s considered to have never actually evolved.
But that’s the thing – new Super Mario Bros. never about evolution. The clue is in the name. New Super Mario Bros. Rather than being a step up from the series, this is a memorable flashback. The distillation of the factors that have created Super Mario Bros. The most acclaimed platform game series of all time. A winning round for the undisputed champion – the best of all time.
That doesn’t mean that New Super Mario Bros. did not introduce new variables to the 2D Mario equation. After all, at the time of release, the world hadn’t seen a new traditional 2D Mario title since the early 1990s. Super Mario World (although it reached NA in 1991 and EU in 1992). One can separate each hair and indicate the e-Reader levels from Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros., but things are registered as a novelty above all – an extra feature. That’s quite a distance, and Super Mario Bros. new is the real deal – a whole new brand (brand old?) entry aimed at recapturing the essence of the series that made Nintendo a name.
And it did so, with an attempt to make you wonder why both Game Boys Color and Advance were denied a new plumber, instead opting for the awesome (admittedly awesome) Super Mario Bros. Deluxe and long chain Super Mario Advance series. You could be forgiven for thinking Big N lost the mojo, but on the evidence of New Super Mario Bros. Obviously, it’s going to be a long time coming.
The game was and is a joy to play, combining classic Mario dynamics with an updated set of moves taken from the absolute classic. Super Mario 64 – Mario’s three-step triple jump is present and precise, with his ability to jump over walls and above ground ponds adding possibilities to the upright level design and slick rebound. You will also need to use these sports moves, because the levels are bigger than before and contain many hidden secrets, some hidden new and elusive Star Coins. With three of these for each level, a more contemporary “collection” element is emphasized, although these treasures are only used to unlock portals on the map screen that give access to hidden gems. Certain additional levels and the Toad House, back from Super Mario Bros 3. full for extra lives and power-ups.
The game was and is a joy to play, combining classic Mario dynamics with an updated set of moves taken from the absolute classic Super Mario 64.
Power-ups, really, are largely back-to-back classics. The mighty Super Mushroom and Fire Flower are clearly back, but the brand new Mega Mushroom transforms Mario into a screen-sized giant who takes down enemies and terrain alike in invincibility. Just make sure you don’t throw away that green pipe you need to explore! What do you think about yin and yang for Mega Mushroom is – Mini Mushroom, which shrinks Mario to an extremely small size and allows him to explore tight spaces and run at high speed. This form is also the key to accessing the game’s secret world, which requires you to conquer boss levels from start to finish in Mini Mario form, a task easier said than done. It also makes Mario so light that he can run on water, like some kind of beautiful Italian Jesus.
Most interesting, however, is the new Shell power that allows Mario to wear a blue shell and dress up as Soldier Koopa, dashing inside to reel as if he’d just been kicked across the ground. he himself, rip through every surface like a champ and pierce brick walls to reach new areas. It’s fun and sets a place for the magical challenge of your own to see how many levels you can conquer in shell mode. It’s unusual that buffs never bring victory considering how transformative it is. The best Mario upgrades let you see each level in a whole new light, and the sadly forgotten Shell is a prime example.
With the comprehensive and demanding nature of theDonkey Kong Country platform game, it’s exciting to see the return of secret escapes and level disparities – a traditional Mario element that was completely lost in the intervening years when games were designed to 100% completion has become the norm. Of course, that element isn’t completely lost here with Star Coins, but it’s still great to have yourself charting your way to the final battle with Bowser through your own flair and ingenuity.
Exemplary level design, then, and it combines with an aesthetic that – while divisive – presents its obstacles with clarity and confidence. You can never accuse New Super Mario Bros. looks spectacular, but also innocent of being too busy, too messy. It works on form, a game that puts level design and player control first. Locked 60fps, extremely responsive player characters and clear, legible graphics, great use of both pixels and polygons.
Anything else worth commenting on? Why, they’ve included a bunch of mini-games from Super Mario 64 DS, as well as some new ones.
If that’s the end of it, if an exemplary single-player game is all you get in the pack, New Super Mario Bros. will still score 10/10 consecutively. But Nintendo doesn’t stop there – a crazy multiplayer component pits Mario against Luigi on a quest to collect the Electric Stars. Naturally, you can mess with each other to knock the Stars out of opposition and claim them for yourself. It’s a fast-paced, super fun, and crime-free gem that certainly inspired the madcap local multiplayer portion of the upcoming Wii version.
Anything else worth commenting on? Why, they threw in a bunch of mini-games from Super Mario 64 DS, as well as some new ones. Importantly, though, Best game ever – Arrange or ‘Splode – present and precise. (You can watch the minigames below via the YouTube channel YTSunny)
And that’s New Super Mario Bros., really. Forever in the shadows of its own sequel (although the sequel has received near-constant criticism from some), buried in Nintendo’s library of the best games of all time. It’s the best-selling DS game ever, one of the best-selling games of all time, and – somehow – it’s still underrated.
Share your memories and opinions about New Super Mario Bros. in the comment section!