New Super Mario Bros Wii: If you give a plumber a mushroom…

Have you ever had an old friend come to visit and then after about the third day you remember why you haven’t talked as much lately? It’s not that the past three days weren’t a blast and you wanted to spend that time with someone else. It’s just that things are different now, and after you’ve had the first few days to walk down memory lane, you’re ready to get back to business as usual. You even found time to catch up and find out what’s new with each other, but still you haven’t found anything to keep the party going longer than a few days. You can invite friends over when things look dire but that only prolongs the inevitable goodbye. These visits essentially boil down to nostalgia with just a hint of newness. In a nutshell, that’s how I feel about New Super Mario Bros Wii.

You’ll put the game in and instantly be taken back to the glory days of side scrolling Mario. All the things you loved about Super Mario Bros., Super Mario 3 and Super Mario World are combined in a supreme Mario sandwich.

Of course the graphics are a bit updated from NES or SNES, but the real beauty is in the graphic restraint. This game was clearly made to look and feel like the classic Mario worlds we fell in love with in 80s and 90s. These are all new worlds; this is not a remake. Clearly every world had inspiration from previous worlds, but that’s not a bad thing. The individual levels within the worlds are fresh enough without straying from the formula to make the sampled worlds okay. More that later.

The music’s all there too. Thankfully, they knew that introducing all new music was a terrible mistake. Just when you start to wonder where the familiar melodies are, you’ll find you’ve been humming along with one this entire level. I’m telling you this game is dripping with nostalgia. It’s a Mario fan boys wet dream. All the classic sound effects make their obligatory appearance as well. 1-ups and mushroom all sound just as they should.

There are few additions to help Mario this time.  Maybe it’s not a huge surprise to some, but to me the new costumes and power ups really caught me by surprise. The only returning faves are the classic mushroom, fire flower and star. So I don’t spoil it, I’ll leave the rest for you to see.  I’ll get into the co-op action after the break…

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Chaotic Thoughts: This is your plumber; this is your plumber on drugs.

Sometimes my mind wanders. In the deepest, most twisted recesses of my mind, my thoughts can only be described as chaotic. These are those thoughts.

Have you ever wondered if Mario hurts his head every time he breaks a block with his head? What does he have against blocks anyways? Maybe he enjoys bashing his head against bricks. If that’s the case, why hasn’t he been institutionalized? Or maybe he has and has just escaped and that’s why he’s always in such a hurry?

If you think about it, we never get any back story in any of the Mario games. The whole premise is that Mario is trying to “save” the “princess” but if you think about it, maybe she isn’t a princess after all. Or maybe she is, but she isn’t captured by Bowser but rather under protection.

Here’s what I’m thinking: Mario and Peach were in love, but they were forbidden to wed by Peach’s brutal king father (who never appears in the game because he is a tyrant) who views Mario’s inferior station in life as a plumber as detrimental to the family name. So Mario in his agony goes insane and starts beating his head against walls, ceilings, etc in order to escape the pain, numbing his senses with every head blow.

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