In this series of articles we'll write about one or more Mario game per day, each representing a different year as part of our Super Mario 30th Anniversary celebrations.
Following the warm reception to New Super Mario Bros. which was released on the DS in 2006, it was inevitable that Nintendo would bring the New Super Mario Bros. series to the Wii. Sandwiched in-between Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2 which would be released the year after, this release made perfect commercial sense for Nintendo.
One of the most exciting aspects of the game was that it was the first Mario side-scrolling platformer to offer up to four player multiplayer. Players could choose to play as Mario, Luigi or Toad variants. In some ways this makes the game easier as players who die will return in a bubble so long as one player is still active. By not having to return to the beginning of the stage or the last checkpoint it alleviated some of the challenge, though the chaos of bumping into each other brought problems of its own.
NSMB Wii also has the honour of being the first title to include Nintendo's "Super Guide" feature, which certainly makes things easier for novice players. There was a lovely exchange between the late Satoru Iwata and Shigeru Miyamoto regarding the rationale for this feature in this Iwata Asks interview:
Could you explain what the Super Guide is?
To help you progress through the level, Luigi shows you the correct path.
So it's not Mario, it's Luigi. But there are going to be those people who even when they watch the Super Guide will feel like crying, thinking: "But I can't do that!"
That's why the Super Guide won't only show you the correct strategy, it will also allow you to provisionally clear the course. It will present you with the option to skip the course and move on to the next one.
So in other words, by using the Super Guide, you could get right through to the end.
Well, since you've purchased it, it's surely better to be able to see the ending.
But isn't there a risk that by allowing that, the essence of playing an action game will somehow be lost? I said it a little earlier, but it's precisely by pushing yourself a little harder, and by failing again and again, that the feeling of achievement you get when you succeed grows.
We've included a number of elements in the game with that in mind. Now, I'm sure you've had times when there's been one particular place on a level that you just can't get past, no matter how hard you try.
Those are the places that will really have you on the verge of tears!
There are times when even if you watch the Super Guide and understand how you should to do it, you still can't manage it yourself. At times like that, you can use the Super Guide to get past the tough part then play yourself.
So partway through the Super Guide, you can take over just like that?
Once it's gone past the tricky part, you can press the Pause Button and change the player back to yourself. The player will be Luigi, but his jumping ability is the same as Mario's.
Novices will be happy about this feature.
But while it was my idea to include this feature, as a gamer, I would feel intensely irritated if you were asked, "Do you want to see the Super Guide?," right from the start of the game.
You wouldn't be able to allow that? (laughs)
There's no way I could ever allow that!
You think "Am I going to view the Super Guide without even playing the game once!?" (laughs)
Mario's companion Yoshi would make a comeback in this game; one of the funniest uses for Yoshi was to eat fellow players and spit them out. The game also brings the usual power-ups such as mushrooms and fire flowers back, but in addition to this there was the introduction of the Propeller Suit, Ice Flower and Penguin Suit which added a bit of variety.
The game was well received at the time and settled on an overall Metacritic score of 87. Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu called the game a "masterpiece of 2D action" and gave it a perfect score of 40/40. Nintendo Life alumni Corbie Dillard was also mighty impressed and gave it top marks in our review. Of course, not every publication would be as generous, with UK magazine Edge criticising the game for a lack of traditional Mario charm, poor graphical detail and overall easiness. They still gave it a 7/10, though.
We'll leave you with this amazing New Super Mario Bros. Wii speed run from Awesome Games Done Quick 2015. As always, be sure to let us know your thoughts on the game with a comment below.