Mini reviews: New Super Mario Bros Wii, The Force Unleashed

By , November 24, 2010 5:15 pm

New Super Mario Bros WiiAfter much hemming and hawing and uncertainty, I finally made the decision to purchase New Super Mario Bros Wii a few weeks ago. This is a new, 2D version of Mario for the Wii, following up on the successful New Super Mario Bros DS, which came out a few years ago and which I loved. The Wii version is pretty much the same, with the addition of multiplayer(!) and (obviously) being on the Wii.

I’d do a big lead up to what I think of the game, but it’s really not worth it: This game is tons of fun. It combines the best of the NES versions of Mario (particularly drawing a lot from Mario 3) as well as the SNES Super Mario World (SMW). In fact, I’d rate it only slightly behind Super Mario World, my all-time favorite Mario game, in terms of fun and difficulty.

One of the things that is nice about this game is, unlike some of the old school Mario games, it feels very surmountable. There are tons of secrets, hidden paths, and extra stuff to get, but simply getting through each level rarely feels like a chore or like the designers have it in for you as the player. Part of the reason it doesn’t quite reach SMW for me is because of those secrets, though. I loved SMW’s tons and tons of alternate paths and hidden worlds, and while the NSBMW has quite a few, it doesn’t seem to match the sheer volume of secrets to be found on the SNES.

Another big thing is the multiplayer. The DS version was able to provide competitive multiplayer, with multiple DS systems, but this allows you to partner with friends to make your way through the main game. It’s up to you whether ¬†you’re out to help or hinder each other, though.

All in all, you should probably already know if you want this game. Love 2D Mario games? This is for you. Hate 2D Mario? Avoid this game. (Also, what the hell is wrong with you?!)

The Force Unleashed, meanwhile, is a game I’m borrowing from a friend. It’s a Star Wars game set between Episodes III and IV, in which you take the role of Darth Vadar’s apprentice and dark side your way through the galaxy. I’m really torn on this game. On the one hand, it’s actually tons of fun. Smashing your way through good and bad guys alike, choking people, shooting ’em with lightening… This game promises you’ll get to whoop ass as a dark side master, and it lives up to that promise. It’s exactly what it says on the tin: tons of lightsaber battles and force attacks.

That said, the story is kind of ridiculous, and the game falls under an “Everything looks like a nail if all you have is a hammer” type gameplay. Basically, there are quite a few levels where your tasks seem reasonable, but it’s absurd you’re going out alone as a force-wielder, instead of USING THE FUCKING SHIP YOU HAVE to make things easier. Likewise, while I’m all for filling in gaps in the Star Wars mythos, I’m unconvinced that the things happening in this game were just magically forgotten by characters later in the trilogy.

As a $40 game, or even a $20 game, I’d be hesitant to recommend this. But it looks like it’s under $15 at Amazon right now, which is a price point you can probably buy this without feeling too guilty. (It’s also pretty clear from the previews that the Wii version is quite a bit uglier than the 360 and PS3 versions, but that’s – unfortunately – to be expected.)

2 Responses to “Mini reviews: New Super Mario Bros Wii, The Force Unleashed”

  1. Nymeria says:

    ooh, video game reviews! I’ve been meaning to pick up NSMBW for a while.

    Have you seen (or played) Donkey Kong Country Returns? I’m up to the 4th world and it’s one of my favorite platforming games ever. Only slightly behind DKC2.

    • Rebecca says:

      Donkey Kong Country Returns looks pretty amazing, and I’m glad it’s living up to my hopes. I think I need to wait a few months (trying to live on a budget) but I definitely plan to get it eventually.

Leave a Reply

Panorama Theme by Themocracy