1/26/10

New Super Mario Bros. Wii Argument

Over the past few weeks, ign.com has really been giving Nintendo a mostly well deserved hard time. I mostly agree with there articles, such as “Nintendo is Lazy and You Don't Care”. But they do all have one thing in common, that I very much disagree with. Which is that New Super Mario Bros. Wii was cheap and lazy. And now they post the article “Blinded by Mario”.

They are certainly entitled to there opinion. But that article is pretty much just saying the same thing that reviews and forums have been saying since it’s release. That it is nothing more than a moderately amusing, but otherwise cheap rehash of past Mario games .

Well I protest! I completely agree that Nintendo has become a sad shadow of there former selves. But I also think that New Super Mario Bros Wii. (hence forth referred to as NSMBW) is awesome.

In that article, the main point that he was trying to make, was that Splosion Man is a better purchase than NSMBW. Splosion Man while not a bad game, in my opinion is nowhere near NSMBWs level.

As so many people point at the graphics in NSMBW as being bad, I will start there. Yes it looks just like the DS version but it doesn't matter. This kind of game is not about graphics. Why compare it to modern console games. That is not what it is about at all. It is suppose to be an awesome tribute to past Nintendo greatness. Like Super Mario Bros. 3 & Super Mario World. I see nothing but praise for games like Mega Man 9. And yet graphically it is nearly indistinguishable from its NES predecessors. Yes Splosion Man was more High-tech and in HD. But when compared to the bright and beautifully designed levels of NSMBW does it really look better? Sure Splosion Man himself looks pretty good in 3D. But the levels, for the most part are fairly plain and not that interesting to look at. While NSMBW has some of the most visually appealing levels I have seen in a 2D platformer in a long time.

View Full Resolution View Full Resolution

View Full Resolution View Full Resolution Which brings me to the next big point. It has been said, NSMBW should be priced more like Splosion Mans $10. Rather than the full retail $50 that it is. But Splosion Man, despite it’s 3D Graphics is still a simpler game. It feels like large portions of the game are built reusing a lot of the same set pieces. Not to say that the levels aren't cleverly designed in Splosion Man because they are. But NSMBW has much more complex and varied levels. Each one perfectly crafted with that Nintendo magic that I wasn't sure we would ever see again. To me that is worth the extra cash.

As for the common complaint that I see so often online. That this is a big step backwards from more recent Mario games like Super Mario Galaxy. THIS IS NOT SUPPOSE TO BE A SUPER MARIO GALAXY SEQUEL. NSMBW is not trying to be the next big game in the Mario franchise. It is a small awesome old school platformer. That was purposely kept simple. So that it would have a shorter development period, to appease the fans while we wait for Super Mario Galaxy 2. And it achieved it’s goal beautifully.

As great as NSMBW is. There is one point that is crazy. Where the heck is online play? Why did Nintendo go to such lengths to create such a good multiplayer experience, only to gimp it? Sadly that is the Nintendo of today in a nutshell. They still have some of the best game designers in the world. But they completely ignore crucial parts of the modern gaming industry, for reasons that are anyone's guess. An old fashioned 2D Mario platformer, is still some of the best fun you can find on a console. But it would be so much better online.

And yes I said the multiplayer is great! Certainly the games is more difficult with more players, but I love that. I am always hearing complaints that modern games are to easy. But when a really challenging game comes out everybody still complains. I love the frustration and chaos of the co-op experience. Screaming at other players when they got the hole team killed for the 4th time in row is great fun. There was almost never a quiet moment in this game. And that is how multiplayer games should be.

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