Review Review - New Super Mario Bros (NDS)

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Nov 22, 2003
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New Super Mario Bros

Here comes Nintendo with the first actual new Mario since Super Mario Bros 3. It’s been quite a while, but it was definitely worth the wait and revival of 2D platformers. This game has a new graphical style, which can be called 2.5D, or a 2D game with 3D sprites. This is also one of the best platformers on the DS, if not the only. Combining the new levels and new graphical style, Nintendo has hit a surefire winner with any DS owner.

In terms of gameplay, it is fluid, smooth, and razor sharp. It’s condensed fun in a plastic cartridge. It’s just like the Mario you know, except upgraded into the new DS platform. The gameplay is intuitive, seeing how Mario has now added the walljump and triple jump to his impressive moves collection. Along with his classic fire flower, he now has the mega and mini mushroom, turning his ultra big and mini small, respectively. There are a few cues from the Super Mario Bros 3 game in the world map, where you can see Hammer Bros walking about and a new flying question block, wherein if you enter the stage the item is on, you will engage it. Also making a return are the mushroom houses, which grant special items and 1ups. Though, the wind flutes for a world change have been replaced with cannons. There are close to 70 levels in this game, with 8 worlds and a bevy of secret levels. Each world holds a different theme. The first 1-1 level is a kickback to the original Super Mario Bros, and then the game never looks back. There are caves, mountains, castles, deserts, and the water levels, which are all held to the highest quality of 2D level design. The caves have secret passages, the castles have the spinning fire hazards, the deserts have the tornados, and the water levels have those crazy water pipes. There are two secret worlds that have to be accessed with a certain mini mushroom at the end of a certain boss. All in all, this is classic Mario, with updated graphics and a few updated Mario items, for the new generation.

Graphically, it is a candy colored splash of vibrant color. The colors range from azure to yellow, which gives the game a lively touch. The new 3D Mario adds a sense of depth to the once paper sprite Mario. He can now backflip, spin around, and show his proportions with his mega mushroom powers. The enemies also take on a new 3D perspective, giving everything more depth. The backgrounds are simple and pastel colored, adding a prettier environment but no so much as to take away from the main foreground action. The world map, not to be outdone, is vibrant and beautifully done as well, with 3D mushroom houses and castles, along with bricks and trees for environmental ambiance.

The sound is just as strong as the graphics. The musical direction of the game is very far away from the original. It uses the classical xylophone and guitar picking Mario sound known to many. It is plucky, vibrant, with a touch of trumpet to touch up the overall brightness of the pastel colored game. For the first time in a Mario game, Charles Martinet’s voice is now included, wherein Mario can actually shout and talk.

Lasting Replay
The replay value is somewhat limited. The only thing holding somebody to come back and play this game is to either collect all of the special coins or to just replay for the pure fun. Once you have 100%ed the game, you can find a special background for the game and get 3 stars next to your file slot, somewhat of a medal.

This game is definitely the strongest of Nintendo’s DS lineup and is a must for any true gamer. The classic platformer makes a healthy showing with the New Super Mario Bros, and there’s nothing better than the classic gameplay with updated style.



Gameplay - 10/10
Graphics - 10/10
Sound - 9/10
Lasting Replay - 9/10
Overall - 10/10 (Not an average)
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