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Newest 2D Adventure Is A Must Have For Platformer Fans
Published on May 25, 2007 By iTZKooPA In Gaming
Lets hit the games I recently completed before I forget about them, and then I will jump back to recapping everything I have finished in the year+ lapse of reviewing. Just a mere two weeks after wiping Microland free of The Black Hole Army in Advance Wars: Dual Strike I once again kicked Bowser out of the Mushroom Kingdom in New Super Mario Bros.. I had started the game on my girlfriend's DS after mine was stolen but stopped playing it when I began getting looks. I guess I should note that my girlfriend has one of the limited edition Nintendogs PINK Nintendo DSs. Maybe that was why I was getting weird looks at lunch?

Obviously a new 2D side-scrolling platformer featuring Mario was going to be incredibly scrutinized and from the glowing reviews across the board it looks like Nintendo stayed true to the formula. Not only do I agree with the high scores but if it wasn't for the other Mario franchise, namely Mario Kart DS, already being released I would have selected this as the Killer-app for your generic hardcore gamer. The game starkly reminds me of SNES's launch title Super Mario World from top to bottom.

For starters the art seems to be hugely inspired by the 2D sprites of its SNES brethren even though its in full 3D. I am comparing it to the SNES title for a reason, that game was amazing and the last full 2D platformer in the Mario universe. Even the level designs hearkens back to the old days of multiple exits and paths. Mind you that all these common features are GOOD things in my mind and show that the game stays true to the old classics. So you just want to know what's new, what is worth my time and money? God, fine.

The lengthy campaign is backed by some additional multiplayer aspects which are fun to play but won't keep you engrossed forever. The campaign should keep you busy, even though it is your basic platformer, your basic Mario platformer (Spoiler: She's in another castle!). First off one HUGE change is that there is no warp pipes or whistles in the game at all. Warp pipes are basically replaced with the Cannons from Super Mario 64 and will let you skip ahead some but the lack of whistles is fixed by something much smaller. In the game you cannot get to every world just by beating the one before it. The psuedo-linearity of the title stops you from reaching certain areas which are only accessible by a new a power-up, or power-down as the case may be, the Mini-mushroom.

Spawned by the Mario Party series (can't wait for Mario Party 8 on the Wii next week) the item will actually make you smaller and less powerful, but you can hover more during a jump (think Princess in Super Mario Bros 2) and you're skinny ass can now get down the thin pipes which lead to secret areas or alternate exits. Another new power-up is Mega-mushroom which was also inspired by the MP franchise. In my elaborate case study you become invincible to everything thrown at you with the exception of lava. STAY AWAY FROM LAVA. Everything else including pipes, Koopatroopas, Goombas and Bullet Bills are fair game to destroy and the more you destroy the more 1-Ups you will receive after the mushroom runs out. There is some replayability in the title although I probably won't bother with it any time soon. Collecting every Star Coin in every level will give your save file and extra Star next to it, and walking through each alternate exit will do the same, but these are both just for bragging rights and won't give me any kind of new content. I guess the things I miss most from the old games would be the level jumping. Running on top of levels or falling under the sand to get to a warp pipe was just so rewarding. Not only were they secrets but you had to know how to do them to do it. It wasn't just jumping in the right pipe, but more akin to doing a triple backflip into the pipe. In the end I enjoyed the game enough to make sure that I beat every single level at least once, ignoring the fact that I was doing extra levels that I could skip, or even entire worlds. Now, At this point I am trying to figure out what I didn't like about the game in hopes to give the readers some pros and cons to go on...Honestly I think its an amazing handheld title that is true to its roots and still brings enough to the table to be innovative. Unless you absolutely hate platformers or Mario then you should get this title. Again the game is good enough that I believe if you don't already have a DS then this game and a handful of others should sell the system to you without a problem. Oh I think I remembered something that I was a bit disappointed in, the bosses aren't too challenging when you are in Mega-mushroom form, I believe 'IMBA' is the term.

Oh here's a tip, hold L+R when you select your saved game file and get a surprise. Anyone with an older brother should appreciate this.

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