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Super Mario Wii

By Shamus
on Saturday Oct 10, 2009
Filed under:


The rumor I heard over at The Escapist is that the new Super Mario Wii is going to be self-esteem-destroying hard. Although, looking at the gameplay footage, it looks like the game recaptures the elegance and purity of the series that we haven’t seen since Mario went 3D. It sounds like Nintendo heard all the outrage about the platform catering to the casuals, and decided to give them a double-barrel dose of challenge.

Link (YouTube)

This video makes a convincing case that they haven’t even begun to exhaust the neat ideas and interesting challenges of a 2D world.

I don’t mean to sound like a Mario fan. I’m not. I admire the series from a distance. I’ve never enjoyed doing long sequences of jumping puzzles for much the same reason I don’t enjoy racing games. When I lose I’m frustrated, while I’m playing I’m stressed, and when I win I feel less stressed. On the other hand, I love watching skilled players work their magic on the game.

Comments (28)

  1. Legendary Bard says:

    I’m bad at platforming too. I could barely get through some of the levels on Brawl.

    I’ll probably still be getting this, though. Might be a return of Nintendo Hard.

  2. Vegedus says:

    “Although, looking at the gameplay footage, it looks like the game recaptures the elegance and purity of the series that we haven't seen since Mario went 3D.”

    What about New Super Mario Bros for the DS?

    • Shamus says:

      Vegedus: I guess the qualifier would help: “for a console”. The DS is sort of out of my field of vision. We have three of them here for the kinds, but the tiny screens and tiny buttons render them useless to blind old fumblehands like me.

  3. karln says:

    @LBard I’m not sure I’d call Brawl’s campaign mode a platformer as such, and even if I did, it’d be a bad one due to having controls designed for a fighting game. I don’t think there’s any shame in struggling with parts of that.

    I was just thinking how I was kinda pleased that Mario looks so much like his Brawl appearance in fact, and wondering if it might be weird to play him without all his Brawl moves available now that I’m used to them. I’m gonna find myself hitting up-B whenever there’s a bad guy above me.

  4. ima420r says:

    I love 2d platformers, when done right. I have been playing them since I was a wee lad and I hope the new SMB Wii game is more difficult than the DS game. The NSMBDS was so easy it was ridiculous.

    Racing games piss me the heck off ’cause I am so bad at them. Though the Mario Kart games are fun, probably because they are easy (though the computer does cheat).

  5. Boolean says:

    It looks like the game supports multiple players at once! That’s something I’ve wanted to see since 1985. I hope they’ve added places to the levels that need two or four players cooperating in order to reach. The challenge of finding them would add a new level to the game.

    (Disclaimer: I never had a Genesis so I don’t know if the Sonic and Tails games were any good for multiplayer.)

  6. Eric(Ninjews) says:

    the super marios bros on the ds looks more challenging.

    @boolean: I doubt it since they say you can beat it with only one player.

  7. RPharazon says:

    New SMB Wii will have a Super Guide feature. Basically, if you fail the same level 8 times, the Super Guide takes over. It’s basically a ghost track of a developer (complete with fumbles and mistakes) that runs the level for you. You can take over at any time, but once you take over, you don’t get to hand control back to the Super Guide until you die on that level again, or if you pass the level and die 8 times on the next one.

    It’s a very neat concept, and it’s basically that “I need to get through this part, so I’m going to press a cheat button to better enjoy myself” concept you talked about a while ago.

    More info here: http://kotaku.com/5377983/when-the-going-gets-tough-let-the-game-play-itself

  8. Joshua says:

    I feel pretty much the same way about Racing games, but I really loved Super Mario World for the SNES, and this looks like an upgrade of that.

    I think that you mentioned that Racing games punish you for not learning to do courses exactly the way the designers intended with no mistakes, but I think that good platformers just reward you for playing well, they don’t punish you.

    In Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country, and the like, there’s just lots of bonus content and points you can get from playing better, but they’re not required to complete the game. That encourages you to learn to play better instead of throwing up a wall if you don’t.

  9. Nyaz says:

    Oh! Oh! What’s the story behind this one? The princess gets kidnapped AGAIN and Mario has to realize he’s heading for the wrong castle over and over whilst the mushroom-people taunt him?
    Oh how could I know? I MUST BE CLAIRVOYANT.

  10. vede says:

    Um. Hey. I just tried to post a comment, but it’s not here (even after a few refreshes), and trying to post it again results in a “duplicate comment detected!”

  11. Punning Pundit says:

    New Super Mario Bros (DS) brought me back to my love of Mario and all things Nintendo. It was _exactly_ what the name said it was.

    When I saw this game for the Wii my only thought was “when god, when?”

  12. Yar Kramer says:

    Interesting, though I’d need to get a Wii first. ;)

    Hm. sounds like they’ve made a new themesong, too.

    Also, here’s a trailer for a Kirby fangame …

  13. Cooperative play! That great! I’m a big fan of cooperative multiplayer in games. It looks like it fits Mario really well.

  14. Sam says:

    Actual multiplayer options is something that’s been needed in a platform Mario game for years. This looks quite exciting. It may be the first Wii purchase I’ll make since I bought Brawl way back when.

    On the other hand, as far as their recent platformers are concerned, there has never been an “easy” Mario platformer, especially since the move to 3D. Mostly for having to wrestle with the camera (Mario Galaxy, I’m looking at you), but there are some ridiculously challenging stages in those games. Yet no matter how many times I fail, flail, and get angry, I always come back for more. I just said two days ago I was quitting playing the DS New SMB, because of cheap deaths, and I’m thinking about going to go play it right now. Mario’s got that strange effect on me.

  15. neminem says:

    Wow. This might make me buy a Wii. I’m not generally in favor of extremely difficult games, but if it’s a platformer, that’s totally different. I WANT THIS.

  16. Trianglehead says:

    … Well, I am a Mario Fan, and that looks absolutely amazing. Jeeze. I may have to finally break down and get a wii for that.

  17. Audacity says:

    It doesn’t look too difficult, but the music is horrible! What happened to the lovely little ditty from my youth? Or did they toss it out a long time ago? I haven’t played a Mario game since Super Mario 3.

  18. equinox216 says:

    For everyone who’s going on about the music, that’s the ‘new’-ish grassland theme from the NewSMB DS game. Dunno if they’ve associated it with the Wii version, or if that’s just what the video author decided to plaster on top, given that there were underground and underwater scenes (that have music of their own) in that clip sequence.

    As for me, for a household of 2 gamer kids and 2 gamer parents (who’ve demolished every Mario-centered platformer since the NES), this’ll be an auto-purchase. It’ll be interesting to see how it varies in play across the demographic spread (9f, 12m, 32m, 35f), or if the ‘increased difficulty’ fuss is more a result of review by people a little more in your vein of platformer perspective, Shamus.

  19. BrandonT says:

    Seamus, you should totally pay attention to RPharazon(Number 8)
    I actually came here today hoping that you’d have something written about the super guide.

    The difficulty is only being added because of this feature.

  20. LintMan says:

    I don’t care for the platformer genre either, for the same reasons. I don’t think I’ve played entirely through one since the days of “Jumpman” on my Commodore 64. I generally stay away from even the modern tomb raider and prince of persia type variants.

    The Super Guide feature sounds interesting and it’s nice to see some major developer recognition that sometimes players just want to get past frustrating parts. I’d bet, though, that it skips finding all the optional/extra stuff on the level so you’d miss out on all those benefits going forward whenever you use it.

    Being able to watch it done successfully is kind of interesting, but on the other hand, it takes away all the interactivity. Much better would be a set of cheats you could enable that can give you a bigger jump, invulnerability, and/or extra lives/health. Those kinds of cheats would allow the player to get past the frustrating parts while still interacting with the game.

  21. ngthagg says:

    I wouldn’t mind a higher difficulty level for a 2D Mario game. As a kid I found both SMB3 and SMW very difficult to complete, but as an adult, with extra patience, I played each to 100%. The ability to save progress (I played SMB3 on the GBA) makes dying pretty much consequence free.

    I laugh whenever I read the words “Contra hard”, as I did in the linked Escapist article. After having watched the various run improvements at http://speeddemosarchive.com/Contra.html, I have troubles thinking of Contra as hard. (Of course, I can’t do this, but it’s how I think of the game nonetheless.)

  22. Dnaloiram says:

    @ngthagg: Wow, after clicking that link, all the ads I saw were about suicide. As someone who’s never played
    Contra, that tells me something.

    OT: I have more pressing game purchases on my mind right now.

  23. Zaxares says:

    I haven’t played console games in a long, LONG time, and platformers were not really my specialty either, but SMB Wii has an elegance and simple beauty that I find absolutely enthralling. Were I a father to a young child or two, this is DEFINITELY a game that I’d pick up to play with them. :)

  24. MadTinkerer says:

    “The rumor I heard over at The Escapist is that the new Super Mario Wii is going to be self-esteem-destroying hard.”

    If it’s anything like the version I played at E3, it’s NOT. The E3 version wasn’t super-easy, but it did lack something the original non-multiplayer SMB games did: Easy starting levels.

    The first levels of SMB taught you how to play without you realizing it. NSMBW is an arena-style game that doesn’t have the time to hand-hold people who don’t know you’re supposed to stomp on goombas’ heads. There’s been just one 2D Mario game released in the last decade (Smash Brothers is sufficiently different that it doesn’t count as a Mario-style game), so there are plenty of kids now who can kick your ass at Halo but might not have a clue as to what to do in NSMBW. The computer assistance is there for those people.

    New Super Mario Brothers Wii is not harder than Super Mario Brothers 1, 2, or 3. It’s simply a multiplayer revival of those early Mario games. If anything, it’s easier because the controls are tight and lives are plentiful (though the number of lives may have been adjusted in the “easy” direction for demonstration purposes). Trust me, this is the kind of game you really need to play yourself before passing judgment on it.

  25. Girl Gamer says:

    I’m rubbish at platformers, but I do love Mario. I have fond memories of SMB3 on the NES like most children of the 80s. I’ll probably try to play this at some point, but I have no delusions that I’ll beat it. The super guide feature is interesting; I’m always wishing there was a way to skip past some brutally hard bit and get on with the game.

  26. Drew says:

    Funny thing about Galaxy. It had what seemed to me to be a completely idiotic concept of “Cooperative Play”. Basically, one player could point at these little collectible stars on the screen with their wiimote to collect them while the other player actually played the game. The main guy could also collect the stars, mind you, but player 2 could interact in a small way. Anyhow, it turned out to be genius, because my totally non-gamer wife was able to play along with me, and be interested in the game, even though what she was actually doing was almost completely irrelevant. In fact, it helped make her ok with my obsessive need to collect every possible collectible as well. Overall, what seemed like an awfully lame idea worked out to be brilliant in my specific case. You never know when these things are going to surprise you.

  27. LassLisa says:

    Interesting. Your description of jumping puzzles and racing games is exactly what I was thinking last night about a certain segment of the Arkham Asylum game. But where normally I can’t stand that and it makes me nuts, in this case it’s absolutely entrancing because that’s clearly how you’re supposed to feel. You’re supposed to be tense and twitchy and nervous! And that all makes it okay! I have a whole new appreciation for this game now.

    Well, it makes it okay because it’s a short segment of the game. If it were maintained for the whole game I would have to stop playing for the sake of my sanity, and my poor poor adrenal glands. So I guess I won’t be buying the new Super Mario Wii…

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