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New Super Mario Bros. Wii
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New Super Mario Bros. Wii is a side-scrolling platform Video game published and developed by Nintendo for the Wii Video game console and is the sequel to New Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo DS. The game was released on November 12, 2009 in Australia, and November 15, 2009 in North America. It was also released on November 20, 2009 in Europe, and is scheduled to be released on December 3, 2009 in Japan. It is the first game in the Mario main series since Mario Bros. to feature simultaneous multiplayer gameplay, as well as being the first side-scrolling console platformer starring Mario since Super Mario World on the SNES, and the first title to feature Nintendo's new 'Super Guide' feature.
While New Super Mario Bros. Wii is seen in 2D, some of the characters and objects are 3D polygonal renderings on 2D backgrounds, resulting in a 2.5D effect (also seen in the first New Super Mario Bros.) that visually simulates 3D computer graphics. The player can play as either Mario, his brother, Luigi or two Toad characters: one blue and one yellow. Players are able to pick up, carry, and throw each other. If a player's character dies, he will re-emerge encased inside a bubble, and can resume play once another player frees him by touching the bubble (the player can also shake the Wii Remote to move his/her bubble closer to a living player, but cannot free himself). Players can also encase themselves inside a bubble while a more skilled player traverses a difficult segment.
In multiplayer mode, if one or more players do not keep up with the one in the lead, on some levels, the view will pan out a bit so that the player[s] in the rear will still be in view. If he still doesn't catch up, he is then dragged by the edge of the screen, until he moves forward faster or is killed by a fall or other object. On vertically oriented levels, being left below the screen results in death. This is one example of when the voluntary encasing by a bubble comes in handy, as the bubble will float, following the other players. If one player enters a pipe, climbs a vine, etc. without the others, the scene will change after a few seconds to where the leading player went, and the other[s] will then appear there. On the world map, the Mario player is the one who chooses the world.
The level ends if all players run out of lives, or if all players die at the same time, leaving no one to free them. The level is completed by getting at least one player to touch the flag at the end, though a bonus is awarded if all players manage to grab hold of the flag within three seconds of the first player grabbing it. The game does not feature online multiplayer.
Items are acquired either from item blocks, or bubbles that float by on screen. New items have been added, including a Propeller Suit which allows players to fly, and two items, the Ice Flower, which allow players to freeze enemies, and the Penguin Suit which, on top of freezing, gives players a slide attack and better handling underwater and on ice. These items, when earned from certain areas such as Mushroom Huts, can be stored in an inventory that players can access from the map screen. Players are also able to ride on Yoshis, who can swallow enemies and flutter in the air.
Levels are accessed via a map screen, and enemies sometimes roam it, bringing forth mini-bosses. At some points, a Toad will appear trapped in one of the previously completed levels, and the player can choose to rescue him from a block and carry him safely to the end of the stage to earn 1-ups. There are three star coins hidden in each level. New to this game is the ability to go inside Peach's Castle and spend the coins on hint movies that show certain secrets, such as the location of a secret goal or how to gain infinite 1-ups.
The game uses elements of New Super Mario Bros. and also includes, for the first time in a Super Mario Bros. series game, simultaneous multiplayer capability of up to four players. In addition to the main story mode, which can be played in either single-player mode or in multiplayer mode, there are two dedicated multiplayer modes. "Free Mode" ranks players at the end of each stage by score, coins, and enemy kills, while the other mode, "Coin Battle", ranks players on the amount of coins collected.
The game is played either in classic style, with the Wii Remote held horizontally, or in Nunchuk style, with the Nunchuk used for movement. Some actions such as jumping and attacks are performed with the buttons, whereas others like spinning in midair and picking up other players are performed by shaking the Wii Remote. Certain areas of some levels, such as specific platforms, can also be manipulated by tilting the Wii Remote.
The game is the first on the Wii to feature "Super Guide", in which players are able to hit a green block at the beginning of a level, let the game traverse the level for them, and resume play at any time by pausing and selecting that option. This is only available in single player when a player has failed to complete a level at least eight times. Using the Super Guide prevents the player from obtaining a "completion star" - the star that appears on the save file when the final level is completed once will not appear.
The game follows the traditional storyline of Princess Peach getting kidnapped by Bowser. When Mario, Luigi, Blue Toad, and Yellow Toad are celebrating Princess Peach's birthday in her castle, a large cake rolls in. Immediately Bowser Jr. and the Koopalings pop out and throw the cake on top of Peach, trapping her. The cake is loaded onto Bowser's airship and takes off, with the Mario brothers and the Toads giving chase. The Toads in the castle then grant them access to the Propeller and Penguin Suits via a cannon. The player then goes through the different levels and worlds, facing the Koopalings, Bowser Jr., Kamek and finally, Bowser himself, in order to save Peach.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii was announced at E3 2009. The game was created in response to Shigeru Miyamoto's desire to create the Mario series's single player gameplay for multiple players, as he was unable to bring these ideas to fruition in the previous installments. The Wii's hardware allowed him to have all the enemies and items on one screen, and allowed a camera that could focus on all players at once. The Koopalings and Bowser Jr. appear as major villains of this game. Miyamoto has said Princess Peach will not be a playable character because of her dress, since it would require "special processing and programming to handle how her skirt is handled within the gameplay."
When asked about the game's story, Miyamoto joked that a cake could be used to kidnap Princess Peach; it was later revealed that a cake is used in the game as the method of kidnapping.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii received critical acclaim. Official Nintendo Magazine gave the game a score of 96%. The aspects praised were its attention to detail and in particular, its multiplayer mode. CVG gave the game 9.0, although they mentioned that the game is better in single-player mode. IGN AU gave New Super Mario Bros. Wii a 9.2, saying that the game is a blast in co-op and it also maintains the same level of platforming gameplay that has made the Super Mario Bros. series an all-time favorite. IGN US gave the game 8.9, calling the core gameplay brilliant, but noting the lack of online play. GameSpy did not count this as a negative, pointing out that "deprived of clear, constant communication, you're left with pointless anarchy. And who really wants that?" 1UP.com rated it A+, arguing that it incorporates every great idea from 20 years of Mario games into a satisfying whole whilst offering something for every kind of gamer, without compromise. Kotaku highly praised the game, hailing it as a reason to buy a Wii. X-Play gave it a 4 out of 5, with Morgan Webb praising the fun of the game. Edge magazine gave the game a score of 7/10, citing a lack of the traditional Mario charm as well as poor graphical detail and the easiness of the game. GamesRadar also gave the game 7/10, saying it lacks some of the imaginative spark of previous games.
1. Shigeru Miyamoto Interview at Wired.com
Miyamoto: With New Super Mario Bros. Wiias well, we’ve had some battles over the story elements. [...] Princess Peach likes cake, so you can just have them use cake as bait to kidnap Princess Peach, and that’s enough. I was thinking they could have these big ships come in, and they’ve got these big chains all over them, and they drop a plate down with cake on it (laughs).
Wired.com: That’s good. I would have saved that for the game instead of telling me.</sup