New Super Mario Bros.
Extreme Gamer's Best Nintendo DS Game of 2006

When Nintendo announced a new Super Mario Brothers game the Nintendo fans went crazy. They went even crazier when they learned it was going to be a hybrid 2D/3D throw back to the side scrolling platform original. If you're wondering if the New Super Mario Brothers can live up to the hype and capture the feeling of the original classic, so are we. Come with us and plunge into our review of New Super Mario Brothers for the Nintendo DS.

"Oh man, a new Super Mario Game, wow. this is the best. I can't wait. got to open the box. there, Yes!"... This was my thought process as I opened the box to this platforming game of goodness. Mario is back and boy, I'm excited, actually everyone who loved the original Mario games is excited. It's a good day to own a Nintendo DS. Mario is indeed back and to my surprise Nintendo managed to pull it off. I don't want to spoil the lowdown early, but I can't contain myself, the New Super Mario Bros. rocks. Now that that's off my chest I can continue with the review.

A Promise Kept
Nintendo kept their promise of giving us a lot of old school Mario action with a hint of new. The background and perspective are all 2D, but the characters are parts of the environments rendered in 3D and placed over top of the 2D backdrops. It sounds awkward, but surprisingly it works exceptionally well. Mario looks great and plays great, Nintendo really did a good job of capturing the original look and feel of the old Super Mario titles while adding new updated features. There are eight new worlds in the New Super Mario Brothers and like the original they included secret passages to skip levels, extra hidden rooms and other hidden secrets. Mario is keeping it real and Nintendo wants you to have the same amount of fun you did with the original. It's time to breaking blocks and slide down pipes all over again. This is another tale of Mario and I know you'll enjoy the classic feel a more updated vision.

For more of the "new", Super Mario has added some new Power-Ups along with some new theme levels. The classic Mushroom and Fire Flower are included but Mario now has the ability to grow or shrink in size. The ability to grow in size is achieved by snatching a Mega Mushroom. When Mario is huge he can crash through the level which demolishes almost everything in his path, pipes and blocks are no problem what so ever. This power is pretty cool, and visually it has a huge impact.

On the other end of the size spectrum is the Mini Mushroom which squishes Mario into micro size. As mini-mini Mario you can travel down small pipes and gain access to new areas. The mini-mini Mario can also perform floating jumps and run over water because of his light weight. The mini-me version of Mario is a little harder to control then when Mario is at his normal size, but it's a cool concept which I enjoyed a little more then being big. Lastly, Mario can turn into Shell Mario which is activated when he picks up a special blue Koopa shell. As Shell Mario he can smash through his enemies, block attacks with his shell and swim quicker underwater. Now this power up is a more classic throwback to Mario 3 which made me smile.

New Moves Mario
Aside from the new Power-Ups Mario also gained some new moves. Finally Mario's side scrolling arsenal has improved. Mario can now perform a ground pound by jumping and then falling down on his buttocks. This is a new way for Mario to break bricks and obtain specials instead of using his head. Furthermore, Mario can perform double and triple jumps like Mario 64 and he can perform the classic Wall Jump. All these moves add a little spice to the old Mario and bring a little more technique into the gameplay.

What I wish they included
Mario 2 is my favorite, and that doesn't mean it's the best Mario game of all time. Disputing the best one is near impossible, but as my count goes Super Mario Brothers 2, 3 and Mario 64 have the top card. From these three versions, well two for this purpose, they should of included a little bit more of these golden classics in the New Mario game. Unfortunately we have now picking up and throwing of bad guys, no raccoon tales, no frog suits, no magic potion bottles, and so on. To be a complete overturned new version of the classic side scroller we need to have all the elements of what made Mario great over the years. I understand this is a fresh start, but as many will agree turning big and small is cool, but doesn't stack up the list of fantastic old concepts they left out.

Multiplayer is Added
In another new avenue, New Super Mario Bros has added two multiplayer modes. The first one is Mario vs. Luigi which is a race between the two brothers and the other is a bunch of Mini-Games which make use of the Nintendo DS touch screen. Both these additions really did nothing for me and they both really feel like something Nintendo added just so they could tag the multiplayer point onto the game. The mini-games are divided into four categories, action, puzzle, table, and variety. These mini-games have some appeal, but overall they don't really have any connection to the main game and really don't add any real extra value to the cartridge. We want to Play Mario, who really cares about rolling snowballs and the other redundant mini-games?

I Love You, Checkpoints
Some other concepts I want to touch on is the nice addition of the checkpoint which is a big help on some of the more frustrating boards. Although the checkpoint system works, I could of used more frequent save points. I also liked that they introduced some new enemies even if they aren't that original and the ability to travel back and forth between the different levels. Finally the last cool addition to New Super Mario Bros. is the ability to store one power up to be called upon at any time. This is a neat feature which is a little bit of a cheat, but a good convince especially when dealing with the bosses.

New Super Mario Bro's can never capture the feeling of the first time you played the original Mario Brothers games, but it can still offer up some classic light hearted Mario fun. The new moves, power-ups and graphics are just enough to make this game feel original while keeping its roots in the past. Even though New Super Mario Bros. isn't a revolution, it's still a great fun platforming game. You would have to be crazy not to give this new rendition of Super Mario Bros. a spin. It's new, it's old, it's an instant classic all over again, welcome back Mario.

Gameplay: 9, Graphics/Sound: 9, Innovation: 7.5, Mojo: 9. Final: 9 / 10

Reviewed by Tinnanski | 09.28.06

  • New Powers that add to the gameplay
  • Mario has some new moves
  • Addictive gameplay
  • Interesting use of 2D/3D graphics
  • It's freaking Mario!
  • Pointless Mini-Games
  • No Racoon Tail
  • Not as innovative as other Mario games


New Super Mario Bros.
May 2006

Lowdown Score