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New Super Mario Bros. Review (NDS)

New Super Mario Bros.

Bowser’s at it yet again, and this means Mario returns to the Mushroom Kingdom for yet another trek through eight levels of old-school gaming goodness in the “New Super Mario Bros.” for the Nintendo DS. The New Super Mario Bros. is the first new and original Super Mario platform title since 2002’s “Super Mario Sunshine.” The game also revisits its side-scrolling roots, which was last playable in 1995 with “Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island” for the Super Nintendo.

This new installment in the popular Nintendo franchise sees Princess Peach being kidnapped yet again. Mario embarks on an 80-level adventure, which is divided into the classic eight-world formula that was first introduced in the original Super Mario Bros. (SMB) in 1985. The levels are spread out on eight different maps (Plains, Desert, Tropical Island, Forest, Ice, Mountains, Sky and Bowser’s Lair), which are similar in both look and feel to the classic Mario titles.

The New Super Mario Bros. is one of the best-looking side-scrolling run and jump platformers. The game blends 3D characters and backdrops with classic 2D side-scrolling elements which creates a unique visual experience. The character animations are extraordinary and feature unsurpassed attention to detail (when it comes to video game animation of course). For example, you’ll actually see Mario crouch down as he’s entering a pipe from its side.

On the audio side, the game features familiar classic themes from the original titles. Everything from the music to the sound effects are reminiscent of the old-school SMB games. The game contains both new and retooled songs that fit the overall vibe of the series.

Mario also has a few new power-ups to work with. Our favourite plumber can now transform into Mega Mario, Mini Mario and Shell Mario, in addition to the familiar Super Mario and Fire Mario.

As Mega Mario, your character grows to a colossal size taking-up nearly half of the screen. For a limited amount of time, Mega Mario must smash his way through the level destroying everything in his way. Mini Mario is the total opposite of Mega Mario, in this form Mario can not only gain access to areas that were unaccessible as his regular self, but he can also jump higher and run on water. As Shell Mario, our main character can perform a shell dash to clear off enemies or hide in its shell to avoid enemy contact.

The New Super Mario Bros. has quite a bit of replay value. You’ll be revisiting levels in order to unlock all of the game’s bonuses and collect all Star Coins. The game also includes a multiplayer component called Mario Vs. Luigi, which can be played either through download or multi-card play. As a bonus, the game comes with all of the mini-games that were unlocakable in “Super Mario 64 DS”.

If you’re looking to pick-up a great Nintendo DS title, then look no further than the New Super Mario Bros. The game will instantly have you reminiscent about the golden age of gaming and how simple and entertaining video games used to be back in the day when side-scrolling titles were the craze. If you own a Nintendo DS, do yourself a favour and get the New Super Mario Bros. And if you don’t already own a Nintendo DS, then here’s your reason why you should get one.

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