Okay, here’s what all the good boys and girls have been thinking about for the past 15 years: a new side-scrolling Mario platformer. Well it’s here, and it’s stellar. To sum it up briefly, it’s sort of a hybrid of Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 3, with some elements from the rest of the series thrown in.
Despite the fact that there isn’t much use of the touch screen, the DS hardware crafts a beautiful game, as well as some really creative platforming. The 3D graphics allow levels to morph and pulsate, and the enemies bounce and gyrate to the tune of the particular level’s music.
It’s about the length of any 2D Mario game, but there are a ton of diverging paths and level exits that zig-zag all over the world map. There’s also incentive to flex your tough-guy jumper muscles in attempts to nab the three star coins in each stage, some of which are precariously and cleverly placed.
New Super Mario Bros. reminds me of why the platformer is my favorite game genre. Making subtle and skillful jumps is as impressive and fun to me, if not more so, than being able to blow someone’s head off or punch a dude in his balls. Don’t get me wrong, though, I love doing the latter. You should see me unscrewing a car stereo while John steals a TV and throws it through the car’s windshield in The Warriors!