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Review: New Super Mario Bros. 2 Illustrates Nintendo's Greatest Problem

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the read-all-about-it dept.

Games 146

Jon Brodkin writes "There’s a new Super Mario Bros. game out for the 3DS handheld console. It’s called New Super Mario Bros. 2 and features Mario, Princess Peach, Bowser, and the same fun gameplay you’ve come to expect from Nintendo’s most iconic game series. But this latest adventure stands out by not standing out at all." Read below for the rest of Jon's review.To be fair, no one buys a new Mario game looking for a completely new experience. Lovers of “Super Mario Bros. 3” will smile when they stumble upon a very familiar raccoon tail, for example, and use it to take flight into the blue sky of the Mushroom Kingdom. It’s grin-inducing gameplay and familiarity. But nearly every Mario game offers at least one new attribute that distinguishes it from its predecessors—that is, except for this one.

Unlike last year’s “Super Mario 3D Land,” this latest Mario is a 2D side-scroller with gameplay almost identical to the “New Super Mario Bros.” released on Nintendo DS in 2006. The game’s main course is ridiculously easy even by Mario standards, although there’s some challenge presented by the final level and a few of the extra unlockable courses.

While I enjoyed the game (which I’ll now start referring to as “NSMB2”), I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had played it before. Entire courses seemed identical to ones from the “New Super Mario Bros. Wii” game released in 2009, particularly in the lava-filled final world and a middle world filled with purple water, spiderwebs, and giant caterpillars.

Most Mario games have a few levels that are positively exhilarating. “Super Mario Galaxy” was filled with them, including an epic final battle vs. Bowser spanning three planets. “New Super Mario Bros. Wii” has what might be my all-time favorite Mario level, a secret course involving a gigantic skeletal roller-coaster that you ride and cling to until the bitter end—all while hopping and avoiding a treacherous lava pit and the enemies emerging from it. By contrast, there really wasn’t a single level in “NSMB2” that felt exciting; again, the game stands out not for what it offers but for what it doesn’t.

Like previous games in the New Super Mario Bros. series, each course has three star coins tucked away in hidden, hard-to-access areas. It’s the primary trick Nintendo uses to make these games replayable—if you don’t find all the star coins, keep going back and exploring until you do. The star coins can be used to unlock special levels and mushroom houses containing items to help Mario on his way.

Separately from the hidden star coins, there are plain-old-regular Super Mario coins everywhere throughout each level. As you clear levels and build up coins, you unlock a bonus game, “Coin Rush,” in which you replay courses in order to collect more coins. Collect a million coins and the title screen will feature a gold Mario statue. I’m up to 17,000 coins, but I’ve already accomplished my goal of unlocking and completing each level, so I won’t be going much further.

It becomes clear while playing “NSMB2” that Nintendo needs to stop making new Mario games every year. Last year there was “Super Mario 3D Land,” today there’s “New Super Mario Bros. 2,” and coming soon is “New Super Mario Bros. U.” I love Mario, but there are only so many times you can trot out the same game and call it a sequel before the well of innovative gameplay is sucked dry.

After playing through the Italian plumber’s latest, I argue that the only way to save Super Mario Bros. is to give the series a time-out. If Nintendo needs cash in 2012 and 2013, issue a remake of every 8- and 16-bit Mario game for the iPhone, iPad, and Android. Or (since Nintendo hates releasing software for hardware it didn’t build) just release them again with better graphics for the 3DS and upcoming Wii U. No one will hold it against the company.

After doing that, Nintendo should wait. While Mario development will never completely cease, it should be put on the back burner in favor of developing new intellectual property. Keep the Mario wheels moving slowly behind the scenes until you hit upon the right idea, the one that takes the series to the next level like “Super Mario World” and “Super Mario 64” did in the 1990s, or “Super Mario Galaxy” in 2007.

Nintendo can take a page from its own Legend of Zelda series, which maintains its excellence with clever dungeon and over-world design, strong storytelling, and gameplay tweaked to fit the unique strengths of both handheld and traditional consoles. Crucially, years go by between major Zelda releases—that’s how long it takes to get everything right.

I will gladly wait until 2015 for the next Mario game if it’s anywhere near as satisfying as Zelda’s “Twilight Princess” or “Skyward Sword.” Fans waited five years between Zelda releases for the Wii and were rewarded. The same could be true of Mario.

The State of Mario Today: Haven’t I Already Played This Game?

Most gamers assume that each new Mario game will just offer more of the same. But that’s not entirely true. I’ve been playing Mario my whole life, and to my mind nearly every one stands out from the rest for one reason or another.

“Super Mario Bros. 3” and “Super Mario World” built upon the classic original with more intricate level designs, power-up items, and the ride-able dinosaur, Yoshi. “Super Mario 64” brought Nintendo into the 3D age and influenced an entire generation of games. “Super Mario Galaxy” introduced gravity as both villain and friend. And last year’s “Super Mario 3D Land” condensed the best bits of side-scrolling and 3D Mario action into one rollicking, lengthy video game.

With this latest Mario, only one thing distinguishes it from previous editions: coins. Lots and lots of coins. Yes, every Mario game has coins, but this one has lots of them, and you get the aforementioned special rewards for collecting them. If you played “New Super Mario Bros.” for the Nintendo DS, just about everything in this sequel will be familiar: it’s all nearly identical, just not quite as memorable.

Nintendo has fallen behind Sony and Microsoft in courting serious gamers. The fact that its biggest hits are new versions of classic games wouldn’t be concerning if Nintendo could also produce some great new series and attract third-party developers before the latter’s newest games hit the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC (or iOS and Android).

And while Nintendo still leads the handheld gaming market, it had to drastically cut the price of the 3DS. This holiday season, Nintendo will release a home console that finally puts it on graphical parity with the half-decade-old PS3 and Xbox 360. The list of launch games for the Wii U is notable for including third-party titles that hit rival consoles a year ago, such as “Batman: Arkham City.”

The thing Nintendo is really trying to build excitement around is “Nintendo Land,” a game that will supposedly explain the appeal of the Wii U in the same way Wii Sports sold players on the motion control capabilities of the original Wii. It’s hard to see how this strategy will succeed on a massive scale. “Nintendo Land” is basically just a series of mini-games based on Nintendo’s most successful franchises, as the company desperately clings to its past to remain relevant. It’s like saying, “hey, remember when these games really mattered?”

The Future of Mario

Ultimately, “NSMB2” is an enjoyable experience that leaves me discouraged about the future of the Mario series. While the Legend of Zelda has remained fresh, Nintendo is relying on gimmicks to make each new Mario game seem slightly different than the last. But with level design virtually identical from one game to the next, releasing three Mario games in just over a year will only make matters worse.

I don’t think Mario has run its course for all time. As I mentioned before, I just think the course has been run for 2012 and probably 2013. (Instead of playing the essentially same game with a “2” or a “U” appended to the title, I may as well replay the games that made me love Mario in the first place.) That’s why, instead of releasing one new Mario game every year (or worse, several), Nintendo should dramatically slow down and focus on one or two new Marios for each console generation.

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Meh (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41057823)

I can't believe I read that entire review.

TL/DR: It's mario brothers. It is almost exactly like every other mario bros you've played. If you like this, then get it.

Re:Meh (5, Funny)

Zerth (26112) | more than 2 years ago | (#41057867)

No wonder, they pasted the review in twice.

Re:The State of Mario (5, Funny)

mugetsu37 (1485997) | more than 2 years ago | (#41057895)

Haven't I already read this review?

Re:Meh (3, Interesting)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 2 years ago | (#41058507)

I didn't need to read it even once, since Jim Sterling [escapistmagazine.com] beat him to the exact same review by a week.

Re:Meh (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41060009)

Jim Sterling is one of the single worst reviewers in video game journalism to date. His reviews have a history of being high for any game The Escapist happens to be advertising for. His comments to people who call for more accountability in games journalism and gamers who demand fairness from games publishers are embarrassing. Simply put, he's a corporate whore, willing to sell his opinion to whoever's going to sustain his habit another week.

Re:Meh (3, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#41058845)

Yes and no, because as Jim Sterling wrote about this last week on the escapist [escapistmagazine.com] they USED to add new gameplay twists with each release like Zelda does. Now you have games like Meatboy and Rayman doing new things and giving us new twists while Mario...just treads water.

I guess its time for the big N to either bring some new talent in or let Mario rest for a few years because they are just rehashing now. Nobody wants to see Mario become another generic where they just slap a new coat of paint and trot it out, Mario is to Nintendo as Sonic was to Sega, you're supposed to bring your A game when you use the mascot.

Re:Meh (1)

Smauler (915644) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059323)

I used to love 2d scrollers - now I'm 34, not so much,

Seriously, I think this is the problem with Mario etc - game companies are trying to concentrate on their IP when it's just irrelevant. I don't care if the characters in the game are well known - often I will shy away from franchises, just because they are franchises. Perhaps this is just me being subconsciously anti-establishment, but I buy what I want, and Mario is not it.

I have the Assassin's Creed series to go through that I got in a deal on steam - currently I'm too busy playing TOME [te4.org]

Re:Meh (3, Insightful)

The Snowman (116231) | more than 2 years ago | (#41060181)

Yes and no, because as Jim Sterling wrote about this last week on the escapist they USED to add new gameplay twists with each release like Zelda does. Now you have games like Meatboy and Rayman doing new things and giving us new twists while Mario...just treads water.

I guess its time for the big N to either bring some new talent in or let Mario rest for a few years because they are just rehashing now. Nobody wants to see Mario become another generic where they just slap a new coat of paint and trot it out, Mario is to Nintendo as Sonic was to Sega, you're supposed to bring your A game when you use the mascot.

This is one more example of how copyright is hurting innovation. If properties such as Mario or Mickey Mouse were in the public domain, the companies that created them would be encouraged to create new mascot characters and innovate with their entertainment. Instead, we get tired old rehashes again and again. This is why I haven't purchased a Nintendo system in 20 years. I'll play games on the Wii or whatever at a friend's house and feel thoroughly underwhelmed, like I've played the game or one almost like it before.

Re:Meh (1)

Blue Stone (582566) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059045)

That's why the best time-to-effort ratio is to wait for someone like you to summarise and then to skip to the comments rather than wade through an article, linked or otherwise.

There's an inherent risk that summaries might be inaccurate, but generally they're not, or they're called out pretty quick and corrections contain the pertinent information.

(If you're a data sparrow looking for the greatest effort-to-reward ratio. Works with many news sites with comments enabled.)

Problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41059651)

I wish the Final Fantasy series had this "problem".

I've never understood why they don't crank out these games like nobody's business once they have a formula that works. SMB 2 and 3 could have been released almost immediately following the success of the original if they just realized their formula works and made the same game with additional levels (put your "B" team on it). Instead we had to wait years to get SMB 2 (which wasn't even an SMB game originally...) And while the sequels they put out were excellent, we would have ultimately had those anyway without having to wait forever in the meantime.

And now here we are... and they are making the same basic game over and over like I've wanted all along. Except the FF people, who feel the need to change the game so acutely that they turn it from a game into a movie you have to push buttons to watch, and each time it comes out it is a different sequence of button presses. And of course, very pretty graphics, but an ugly story.

Re:Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41061391)

Agree, it's a good game: I finished it half hour ago (using the invulnerability shortcut for the past few levels) and overall it is a very nice game. Tomorrow, I'll be back to play it more, looking for all those extra levels and secret rooms I missed the first time around.

Next up in line: (4, Funny)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 2 years ago | (#41057845)

Newer New Novel Super Mega Mario Bros. Remastered Extended Uncut 3, Classic Edition.

Re:Next up in line: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41058035)

I'm from hateful slash dot and I play video games like a baby who won't grow up.

Re:Next up in line: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41058343)

HD

Re:Next up in line: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41060069)

Ex +Alpha

Re:Next up in line: (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 2 years ago | (#41058951)

(in 2017)

Newer New Novel Super Mega Mario Bros. Remastered Extended Uncut 3, Classic Edition, now available for the New new new new new new iPad!

Re:Next up in line: (1)

eulernet (1132389) | more than 2 years ago | (#41060459)

The next one will be:
Super Advanced Mario Bros Adventures
aka SAMBA
It will rock !

A new version of Super Mario Bros 2? (5, Funny)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#41057877)

This sure doesn't look like Super Mario Bros 2 [wikipedia.org] !

Re:A new version of Super Mario Bros 2? (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 2 years ago | (#41057963)

That was my first thought! I'm still not sure if I like SMB2 or SMB3 better, but a graphical update of either would likely be better than NSMB2.

Re:A new version of Super Mario Bros 2? (1)

noh8rz7 (2706405) | more than 2 years ago | (#41058895)

Smb2 was wierdddd... Probably the worst sequel ever. They got inks back on track with smb3.

Re:A new version of Super Mario Bros 2? (2)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059203)

That's incorrect. SMB 2 was weird and maybe not really a Super Mario game, but was still really fucking fun and a great sequel.

Re:A new version of Super Mario Bros 2? (2)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059299)

Agreed. Can we start a petition to get a sequel to that? Hmmm... I wonder if I have enough Wii points to download SMB2. If I do, it's whiskey and Birdo tonite!

Re:A new version of Super Mario Bros 2? (0)

randizzle3000 (1276900) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059635)

Smb2 was some other game that they changed the sprites to have Mario characters. The first Smb2 was released in the US as the 'Lost Levels' in All Stars.

http://www.mariowiki.com/Yume_Kojo:_Doki_Doki_Panic [mariowiki.com]

Re:A new version of Super Mario Bros 2? (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 2 years ago | (#41061025)

The game that brought Birdo, Bob-ombs, Snifits, and Shy Guys to the Marioverse cannot be all wrong.

Re:A new version of Super Mario Bros 2? (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#41057977)

Why would it? It's a new game not a remake.

Re:A new version of Super Mario Bros 2? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41058041)

Then it should be called Super Mario Bros N.

Re:A new version of Super Mario Bros 2? (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | more than 2 years ago | (#41058083)

that was my thought too. i guess game play isn't the only thing they come up with anything new for.

Re:A new version of Super Mario Bros 2? (2)

nstlgc (945418) | more than 2 years ago | (#41058583)

This isn't New "Super Mario Bros 2", this is "New Super Mario Bros" 2. A sequel to "New Super Mario Bros" released on the NDS a few years back.

Re:A new version of Super Mario Bros 2? (0)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 2 years ago | (#41058853)

That's because this [wikipedia.org] is Super Mario Bros. 2. The one you linked to is Doki Doki Panic with new sprites slapped onto it.

Re:A new version of Super Mario Bros 2? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#41058873)

Identify the historical vice presidential debate:

"I knew super mario bros 2, and you're no super mario bros 2"

Re:A new version of Super Mario Bros 2? (1)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059277)

No kidding! And here I was thinking I got another shot at Wart. THAT would have made my monday!

Re:A new version of Super Mario Bros 2? (1)

slartibartfastatp (613727) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059641)

Of course I remember the "Mario Gets The Turnip" game.

It was when Nintendo discovered that Brassicae doesn't increase your marketshare as Fungi does.

Repeat as parody? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41057893)

The whole article was repasted after it ended the first time. You can see it easily in the duplicate headers, and if you read the end of the story you can find the same paragraph already there, except bigger, as it has the beginning paragraph tacked on. Is this some sort of joke about how it's more of the same, or a genuine Slashdot Mistake?

Re:Repeat as parody? (1)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 2 years ago | (#41057937)

I vaguely remember I've seen such "double" articles before on /., so I think it's just some kind of bug or easy to make mistake in the /. interface.

THE SAME (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41057909)

the same "fun" gameplay (grabs an axe and kills everybody)

From the Department of Redundancy Department (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41057915)

Was the review *intentionally* pasted twice, or is this more of a Monty Python "It's The Mind / Milkman Psychiatrist Deja Vu" type thing?

Mario puts the lotion in the basket! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41057919)

mario is homosexual
mario is gay
mario is queen
mario dresses up every night in a shark costume and beats his fins off until they drop and expose his anus which he wiggles in the air and gently sucks in perfume from the bottle he was holding which was a gift from his late uncle who taught him how to jack off with the bottom of his feet.

green pipes up my hiney, all the way, don't go down them just surround them - precious moments of joy - cracked the egg which wouldn't hatch and now the goo takes the place of snatch!

Re:Mario puts the lotion in the basket! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41060871)

Very Naked Lunch.

Not Mario 2! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41057925)

Super Mario 2 was totally different. You could play as toad.

This is not Super Mario 2.

Re:Not Mario 2! (2)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#41057959)

Well duh. This is a new series of games. They are not meant to be remakes of the originals.

Re:Not Mario 2! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41058015)

Except "Super Mario 2" is not Super Mario 2, it's Doki Doki Panic with Mario sprites and slightly changes to behave more like a Mario game.

Re:Not Mario 2! (1)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 2 years ago | (#41058361)

Super Mario 2 was totally different.

But, in the most important sense, it is the same. It costs more than $5, and you have to fucking drive to Wal-Mart or wait for UPS to deliver it in order to play it. This, to quote the crappy "article" above, "Is Nintendo's greatest problem". The new 3DS is a great machine for a market that's disappearing.

Re:Not Mario 2! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41058733)

You are wrong about the driving part. Starting from this game, you can download games right to your 3DS, and right to the new Wii U. Now, whether you want to pay $40 for a game and not even get a cartridge for it, that's another issue. Nintendo has finally fully embraced digital distribution.

Re:Not Mario 2! (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059485)

Nintendo has finally fully embraced digital distribution.

Thank god for that, I'm sick of playing those crappy old analogue cartridges!

Concise, much? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41057935)

Why use 10 words when 10,000 will do.

Dejavoo all over again (1)

flatass (866368) | more than 2 years ago | (#41057945)

The State of Slashdot Today: Haven’t I Already Read This Article? TFTFY

This is barely even a review (5, Funny)

cornface (900179) | more than 2 years ago | (#41057993)

90% of it is just some random dork from the internet armchair quarterbacking Nintendo's release strategy. I'm sure they are furiously taking notes at Nintendo HQ.

Re:This is barely even a review (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 2 years ago | (#41058481)

So what specific parts did you disagree with? I'm a Nintendo fan, but I'd have to agree he's pretty much dead-on correct.

Re:This is barely even a review (2)

cornface (900179) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059151)

The specific parts I disagreed with are the parts where the title says the article is going to be a review of a video game, and the content of the article is actually meandering pseudo-intellectual musings on Nintendo's game release strategy by some random guy on the internet.

I thought that was pretty clear from my original post.

Re:This is barely even a review (4, Funny)

asylumx (881307) | more than 2 years ago | (#41058679)

Where can I get one of these Internet Armchairs? I'd be willing to pay at least 93 coins and maybe a couple of fire flowers.

Re:This is barely even a review (1)

LordStormes (1749242) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059535)

Given their tanking financials, it's time they listen to SOMEBODY in the marketplace.

No one buys a new Mario game... (-1, Troll)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 2 years ago | (#41058029)

>> To be fair, no one buys a new Mario game looking for a completely new experience.

To be fair, no one buys a new Mario game UNLESS IT COMES FREE WITH THE CONSOLE.

There, fixed that for ya'!

Re:No one buys a new Mario game... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41058081)

Ah, yes, thanks. That's all what a wank-fest of a "review" like that needed, the added intellectual touch of the equivalent of "FOR ME TO POOP ON!!!". In all caps, too.

Nintendo does non-mini-games? (0)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#41058037)

“Nintendo Land” is basically just a series of mini-games based on Nintendo’s most successful franchises, as the company desperately clings to its past to remain relevant.

You've basically just described 95% of the Nintendo games that have come out since the Wii released. Seeing a game that ISN'T just a bunch of mini-games has become unusual. Looks like they're looking to follow suite with minigames on the Wii U too, which sucks, as it's their first console with the hardware muscle to really run the latest gen games.

Re:Nintendo does non-mini-games? (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059187)

The sad thing is, the most innovative gameplay I've seen was a rehash on Mario Bros' the original with Super Mario War [wikipedia.org] an indie game.. here's hoping for netplay release of that on Ouya. Though the website itself seems to be broken.

Zelda isn't immune (1)

drzhivago (310144) | more than 2 years ago | (#41058057)

The major complaint in this review is that the game (and most recent Mario games) are derivative of previous ones. And then the reviewer goes on to praise the Legend of Zelda series. I've thought that the Zelda games have been more derivative of previous iterations moreso than Mario ones.

Re:Zelda isn't immune (1)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059861)

I too had a bit of a double-take upon reading the submitter's comparison to Zelda. Specifically...

Fans waited five years between Zelda releases for the Wii and were rewarded. The same could be true of Mario.

I mean, isn't the same kind of already true of Mario?

Super Mario Galaxy (2007)
New Super Mario Bros. Wii (2009)
Super Mario Galaxy 2 (2010)

That's just three games. While there have been several dozen more that featured Mario, they aren't Mario games in the sense I feel the submitter intended. Plus, why are we only looking at Wii releases when talking about the new 3DS Mario? Wouldn't a more apt comparison include Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks in the Zelda list?

(Ignoring remakes/re-releases, since submitter already expressed an acceptance of those)

Re:Zelda isn't immune (1)

Swarley (1795754) | more than 2 years ago | (#41060801)

Exactly my thoughts as well. I was one of those Wii owners who was NOT rewarded for a 5 year wait between Zelda games because I was so bored by the end of Twilight Princess from all the rehashed crap that I never even bothered to play Skyward Sword. Twilight Princess looked like a shameless rehash from the start, but glowing reviews assured me that it only seemed that way and was really quite excellent. It wasn't. When glowing reviews for Skyward Sword appeared to be (quite ironically) rehashing the exact same language from the LoZ:TP reviews, I chose to pass.

Kind of unfair (3, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 2 years ago | (#41058115)

The reviewer says "Nintendo should dramatically slow down and focus on one or two new Marios for each console generation," but that's what they are doing. DS: one game. Wii: three games (one 2D, two 3D). 3DS: two games (one 2D, one 3D). Wii U: one game (that we know of, undoubtedly there will be a 3D iteration). With the exception of Galaxy 2, they seem to be releasing one of each game per console. It's only a question of platform release timing that has so many coming out this close together.

Re:Kind of unfair (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059233)

It works out to one new Mario a year, spread out between systems.

"to be fair"? (1)

P-niiice (1703362) | more than 2 years ago | (#41058181)

To be fair, no one buys a new Mario game looking for a completely new experience.
 
  holy fucking shit, really?

Like colorizing (0)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#41058247)

You would never dream of colorizing a classic like Casablanca (unless you're Ted Turner and want to re-copyright the movie for another 100 years). Or adding extra scenes to the Wizard of Oz. Or decide to "improve" Mark Twain by rewriting the final chapter of the book. (Huck's slave is free and adopts Huck to start the South's first biracial family.)

Neither should you be adding extra scenes or "new gameplay" to a classic like SMB2. Don't muck with the game. If my old Nintendo is broke I want to be able to obtain a copy for my 3DS or Wii, so I can replay the ACTUAL game I played a long time ago, not some George Lucas...... ooops I mean, Nintendo basatardized version

Mario did not shoot first.

Re:Like colorizing (1)

P-niiice (1703362) | more than 2 years ago | (#41058329)

They should release one compilation game of their classics per console and get to making new classics, with new characters and gameplay. It's nintendo, they can do it, they just need to sert the law into stone and do it.

Re:Like colorizing (0)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#41058647)

>>>They should release one compilation game of their classics per console

I like that. Similar to the Sega Genesis Collection I regularly play on my PS2. Nintendo could release "the NES collection" and "the Super Nintendo Collection" and the "N64 Collection" for the Wii or Wii U. I would buy all three of them.

Problem: These companies know if I and others bought the classics, we'd be playing them instead of the new games. Which is why they don't do it (except the overpriced versions online). They want all the customers' focus & dollars to be backing their new just-released games that cost $60.

Re:Like colorizing (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059513)

(except the overpriced versions online)

Do you mean the $5-ish Wii store ones? That seems reasonable to me. Sure, cheaper is better, but I've not played most of the Mario games (fully), so they're essentially new games to me.

Though I finally bought another version of a game I already have -- the PS3 Sly Collection. (The cost will end up being refunded due to credit card rewards.) Price matched to $19.99, but I still would rather have paid the extra amount to have the PS3 itself (the one that was new when I bought it) be backward compatible. [Yes, I know the original two versions were.]

Re:Like colorizing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41060247)

Problem: These companies know if I and others bought the classics, we'd be playing them instead of the new games. Which is why they don't do it.

Super Mario All-Stars [wikipedia.org]

Super Mario Advance [wikipedia.org]

Super Mario Advance 2 [wikipedia.org]

Super Mario Advance 3 [wikipedia.org]

Super KMario Advance 4 [wikipedia.org]

Nintendo's Classic NES series of GBA games [wikipedia.org]

Yoshi's Island DS [wikipedia.org]

Super Mario All-Stars 25th Anniversary [wikipedia.org]

Kirby Super Star Ultra DS [wikipedia.org]

Kirby's Dream Collection [wikipedia.org]

Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past GBA [wikipedia.org]

Legend of Zelda: Collector's Edition GCN [wikipedia.org]

Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D [wikipedia.org]

Donkey Kong Country GBC and GBA [wikipedia.org]

Donkey Kong Country 2 GBA [wikipedia.org]

Donkey Kong Country 3 GBA [wikipedia.org]

Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2 Wii [wikipedia.org]

Pikmin and Pikmin 2 Wii [wikipedia.org]

You were saying? Besides, you say "they know we'd play these re-releases instead of new games" like it's a bad thing for Nintendo. Whether you gave them money for the re-re-re-re-re-release of SMB3, or the brand new Mario game where you have to travel between different universes, they still got your money. Hell, the upper-executives probably got more from your purchase of the classic rather than of the brand new game (I'm thinking they don't have to pay as many people as much to spruce up an old title and re-re-re-re-re-release it).

Re:Like colorizing (1)

noh8rz7 (2706405) | more than 2 years ago | (#41058963)

As said above, this isn't a re-release of smb2, but an entirely new game. So please un-bunch your panties. Btw smb2 was the weirdest game I evar played.

Really? Don't quit your day job (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41058353)

For a serious gamer, you know exactly what's different in this title... The level designs are very tight, with lots of new environmental challenges. There's some ingenious remixes of tried-and-true elements like moving blocks, there's new swinging ropes you grapple on to, there's variations on old enemies (like skeleton goombas which are very freaky)... The bar has been lowered for kids, so if they keep dying you get an invincible suit to get through the level with. There's also the "coingasm" aspect added (which is more mindless fun and instant rewards people seem to demand in game designs these days). Some gamers also prefer the 2d style to the 3d land perspective, so it's not them stepping back, but catering to another (or a specific) audience.

So, before you quit your day job and troll other "professional" poster's reviews (which all said the same tired things--do they ALL copy from one another) play the game and be objective... Oh, and remove your ego. It's not all about you. Have fun! This is a great game that I can play and enjoy at 38 as much as my son who is 5. ;)

*insert mario coin sound*

"I did eeeeet!"

Typical. (1)

Millennium (2451) | more than 2 years ago | (#41058427)

And to think: you could reskin this game with new characters, change nothing else, and would have gotten a much more positive review.

This is everything wrong with the game review industry in a nutshell.

So What. (3, Insightful)

pubwvj (1045960) | more than 2 years ago | (#41058439)

When I play a game I'm often simply looking to relax. To let my brain have some down time from more complex thinking. I don't expect solitaire, Risk, checkers, chess, othello, etc to be new and different. I want the same game with the same rules this century as last century as it was long before.

Re:So What. (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#41058841)

When I play a game I'm often simply looking to relax. To let my brain have some down time from more complex thinking. I don't expect solitaire, Risk, checkers, chess, othello, etc to be new and different. I want the same game with the same rules this century as last century as it was long before.

Sounds like you'd enjoy the FPS genre

Re:So What. (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059275)

FPS are so intense - never really played one until I got Modern Warfare 2, it's a constant adrenaline rush (and stupid as fuck). Like a more intense take on watching a Hollywood action movie.

Pussies (5, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#41058451)

The game’s main course is ridiculously easy even by Mario standards, although there’s some challenge presented by the final level and a few of the extra unlockable courses.

Well, yeah.

I'm old enough to have played video games when the only thing you had was pong... and you were grateful for it. Kill screens were the "epic shit" of the day, and you had one, it was as revered as an Olympic Gold medal.

Video games used to be hard . They were a test of manliness and skill, not to mention perseverance.

Now it is all about psychology. Why make a video game when you can make an experience. You don't want to make it too hard, no no no. It has to be exquisitely designed to string you along till the next endorphin rush checkpoint where you have collected an achievement or unlocked something.

Clickety-clickety-clickety.

It reminds of that episode of Star Trek [memory-alpha.org] where the whole point of the game was to become progressively zombified. I had that same reaction with Farmville, and could swear it was some mind control experiment by the government being conducted on a massive scale. Clicking to feed chickens. Yes, that was ultimately how the government was going to control our minds.

Anyhoo, all you young games are pussies.

Ohh, and get off my lawn.

Re:Pussies (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41058815)

Yeah, because that's SO much worse than games exquisitely designed to string you along till the next time you have to pop a quarter into the machine. Like the "good old days".

Nice nostalgia filter you've got there. Now go to bed, old man!

Re:Pussies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41058949)

True that video games used to be a lot harder, but I don't think you could ever call them a test of manliness. I don't even think Duke Nukem would call video games manly, and he's the only reason Duke Nukem (the game) is "manly".

Of course video gamers are pussies, men used to have to chop down trees and wrestle bears to prove their manliness. Now you just have to teabag a twelve-year-old in Call of Duty to prove you've got a pair.

Re:Pussies (3, Informative)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059039)

FarmVille is a mind control experiment (a massively successful one). Zynga employs psychologists to maximize user engagement.

Re:Pussies (1)

Cl1mh4224rd (265427) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059229)

They were a test of manliness [...]

That's some epic historical revisionism right there...

Re:Pussies (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#41060043)

Ok fine....

Nerdliness.

You happy now?

Re:Pussies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41059309)

Video games were not hard. You just sucked at them.

Re:Pussies (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059379)

Ugh, if you want a hard game go find a hard game. You want a platformer? I Wanna Be the Guy (or it's many fanmade and official sequels). You want puzzle? SpaceChem. You want a sim? Dwarf Fortress is terrifyingly complex when you first start it up. If you really insist on having modern AAA style graphics, I've heard Dark Souls is a quality Nintendo Hard but I haven't played it.

It's a big world out there. Get away from the biggest 5 publishers and I think you'll find lots of variety, including a variety of difficulties.

Re:Pussies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41059721)

Hey, look. If getting progressively zombified will get me closer to a young Ashley Judd [listal.com] , I'm all for it, pal.

Re:Pussies (2)

MtHuurne (602934) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059877)

Video games used to be hard . They were a test of manliness and skill, not to mention perseverance.

The early video games were either arcade ports or highly influenced by arcade games. An easy game would keep the machine occupied for a long time and not receive many quarters.

I am glad that games nowadays put the most difficult parts in optional challenges. For example Veni Vidi Vici in VVVVVV: I'm simply not good enough at the game to succeed in that challenge, but I could still finish the game without it. For about 80% of the old school games I had to cheat to make it to the end demo. I got pretty skilled at finding cheats though.

Re:Pussies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41059937)

Video games also had a lot less to work with in terms of resources, and many of them were designed for a pay-for-play system (or were home versions of those games). Many of the design decisions make sense in that context, but don't so much for modern games that have gigabytes of data and may take 6-8+ hours just to run straight through.
Or there's the simple matter of your brain being less susceptible to endorphins as you get older, making it harder to get excited by new things. So of course the older stuff was better =P

Achievements/trophies are more than just psychology. What they (can) serve to do is provide organic difficulty. They set up challenges to increase the difficulty if the player wants it. The same kind of thing that's been present in things like the Metroid series where the ending changes slightly depending on completion percentage and time taken.

Just Nintendo? (1)

RocketGuy3 (2477676) | more than 2 years ago | (#41058559)

Yeah, such a hack this game is. Now Halo of Duty: Vice City Brotherhood 17 -- that's where the REAL innovation is. I think Nintendo just gets the most crap for this because they've been the most successful for the longest period of time. Their major franchises actually see less frequent iterations than those for many other developers. And yes, some of those iterations even come with the occasional revolution in gameplay.

I would buy this game. (1)

glassware (195317) | more than 2 years ago | (#41058607)

I would totally buy this game. Except I can't.

I happen to prefer playing games sitting down on my couch with a console controller. I played every level in New Super Mario Brothers Wii thoroughly, until I got every star. This is just simple fun. I would happily pay a few bucks a month for new levels, even if the new levels aren't radically different.

But they won't sell them to me. Because they follow the release strategy suggested in this article - trying to make each headline game fundamentally different, and placing their flagship game on a new console. This works when you realize that gameplay experiences people love are the best way to get consumers to upgrade to a new console. They're clearly, and cleverly, attaching the New Super Mario Brothers experience to the sale of the WIIU. Which means I'll be frustrated and unable to buy the game unless I upgrade the console.

That's just how this stuff works :)

Re:I would buy this game. (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059591)

I thought the same way. I finally cracked when I saw Super Mario 3D Land. Just buy it as your toilet gaming system of choice and be happy.

nintendos problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41058685)

seems to be overly critical users

Too biased. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41058803)

So.. let me get this straight.

Zelda, which reuses the exact same formula every time, and throws in random stuff like "Dog Link", and "Motion Plus" controls, is not a gimmicky series, or one that's been beaten into the ground? But somehow, Mario, which has actually tried to alter it's formula in various ways, is inferior? Wow.

Reusing the same formula over and over again, and tacking on stuff like "Dog Link" and "Motion Plus" controls is a gimmick, just FYI, which means that Zelda is every bit as lacking as Mario, if not more so. At least Nintendo has tried to innovate and alter the formula with games like Super Mario Galaxy. Zelda has literally not changed, at all. There has been no attempt to alter or revive the formula, unless you count "Dog Link" from Twilight Princess or the "I'M ON A BOAT" junk of Windwaker, both of which were horrible. At least the Mario series gimmicks are fun!

Oh, and anyone that argues against Mario in favor of "It's for kids!" has another thing coming. I'd like to see any kid play Super Mario Galaxy through to completion; I know none. I don't even know a child that can complete the New Super Mario Bros. games, even though they are much easier for us hardcore adult gamers.

And don't act like Zelda is hard. The puzzles have never taken time to figure out and the entire series has been extremely easy. The Ganon fights are always a joke, as are the rest of the fights. If you somehow think that series is hard, your gamer's license should be revoked.

Both series could use some fresh changes here and there, but you know what? It's Nintendo. It's what we all know, love and expect as Nintendo fans. If you want something different, go play Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 or PC games. Slamming Nintendo for doing what they've always done is like saying you're tired of sex, or eating. The formula may remain the same at it's core, but it never gets old if you're a real fan.

If you're not a big fan, that's totally okay; nothing is for everyone. Just don't slam a company for doing what it's always done because you have a hard-on or bias for one specific game series.

This journalist is too biased. Don't like. :p

Not stale, a lot of fun (1)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 2 years ago | (#41058843)

The game does stand out. Its coin concept is great. Coins are used to lure you towards rewards, traps, secrets, many things trigger them and it just adds another goal on top of everything (gather 1,000,000 coins) that gives you an excuse to do a little more hunting in each level and have fun collecting something that was starting to get less and less important in the series. The coin block head never stops being fun, and Golden Mario lets you blow up tons of bricks and turn them into coins, very satisfying.

Apart from that, getting to use classic Raccoon Mario is great and really made me smile.

The Legend of Zelda (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 2 years ago | (#41058869)

Nintendo can take a page from its own Legend of Zelda series, which maintains its excellence with clever dungeon and over-world design, strong storytelling, and gameplay tweaked to fit the unique strengths of both handheld and traditional consoles. Crucially, years go by between major Zelda releasesâ"thatâ(TM)s how long it takes to get everything right.

This is a joke, right? The Legend of Zelda series is a shining example of a series that has devolved into formulaic, unoriginal sequels with a gimmick thrown in in a weak attempt to keep things fresh. The only thing that seems to change at all is how each game is more patronising than the former.

The Wind Waker (and arguably its sequel, Phantom Hourglass) was the last game where they really tried, but the fans threw a tantrum when they saw the cel-shaded graphics. Even a good friend of mine who is otherwise quite intelligent won't touch the game with even a pole. But he will claim to know the game based on watching 3 hours of movie footage of it through YouTube. It's ridiculous.

Re:The Legend of Zelda (3, Insightful)

Ironhandx (1762146) | more than 2 years ago | (#41060183)

Honestly, this is mostly what gamers want. We don't WANT super new and fantastic all the god damn time. We don't WANT insane new gfx. We want FUN.

If what you had before was fun, just polish the fucking thing, change up the storyline and PUBLISH IT AGAIN. New worlds, new IP, all that stuff is great, but honestly the game systems don't need to change that much.

I'd be playing Baldurs Gate 15 on the old fucking Infinity engine right now if they had made it.

I wish Nintendo would go the way of Sega (1)

The Barking Dog (599515) | more than 2 years ago | (#41058969)

I would gladly pay money to Nintendo if they released their past titles on XBLA, IOS, Android, etc. I'd love to carry around Super Mario Bros. on my iPad. (Yes, I know I could probably jailbreak and emulate. I'd rather be legit.)

Isn't Nintendo Generally Considered an Innovator? (1)

Chibi (232518) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059025)

I haven't played a Mario or Nintendo game in a few years, but I found the opening statement kind of surprising:

"To be fair, no one buys a new Mario game looking for a completely new experience."

Is this really the case? Is Nintendo considered more a re-hasher these days? I think part of my surprise is that the first thing that popped into my head when I read that was Super Mario 64. [wikipedia.org]

Classic dilemma (3, Interesting)

nine-times (778537) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059269)

This is a classic dilemma of anyone who has enjoyed success: Do I try to replicate my past successes and risk becoming stale, or do I try to break my mold and risk losing what made me successful in the first place?

What I mean is, yes, to some extent, the formula is stale. Nintendo has a few different series that, to some extent, are each remaking the same game over and over again with a few new gimmicks and tweaks, and otherwise it's just new levels. But then, lots of people *love* those games. They've played through each of those games multiple times, and they're essentially willing to keep buying remakes, new levels, etc. If the graphics are improved and their are a few new features/gimmicks sprinkled in, that's just a bonus.

And you could argue that, in all of this, Nintendo is just lazily milking their fans for more money, but I don't think that theory holds up very well. These games are very well designed and well balanced. They don't feel like the product of lazy developers, they feel like the product of very competent developers who love these games themselves.

Is Mario a victim of its gameplay? (3, Interesting)

pkinetics (549289) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059307)

As a franchise that has grown and evolved over the last 30 years, has all the creative storylines and innovations come full tilt?

We expect certain control mechanics, and behaviors.

Its not like they could reboot the franchise or alter the behaviors. How could they make the game different and yet still keep it familiar without alienating their fan base?

Its not like they can take Mario and make a FPS, although that could be hilarious. Super Mario Bros meets GoldenEye.

Hate the players, not the game. (1)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | more than 2 years ago | (#41060227)

At any given point, the "new" Mario is for the new audience that has entered the game playing demographic since the last "new" Mario. I suspect that the intended audience is happy enough with the classic concept, mechanics and story lines that the rest of us have grown out of over the last 30 years. I hope so, anyway, for their sake.

Anyone wondering if Nintendo has what it takes to keep them playing Mario games after 30 years has lost the plot.

Re:Is Mario a victim of its gameplay? (1)

wikthemighty (524325) | more than 2 years ago | (#41060923)

Its not like they can take Mario and make a FPS, although that could be hilarious. Super Mario Bros meets GoldenEye.

Dunno about that, but I thought the Paper Mario games were terrific!

disagree x10 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41059669)

if they made 100 of these, I would buy them all. I hate when they veer off into other things. They tried that with mario, the games were interesting, but I wanted the old ones. Who has time to spend forever trying each game and wasting many hours exploring 3d worlds. But an easily digested side-scrolling game that looks like the ones I spent my whole childhood playing, but with new levels and power-ups?

Yes please.

This is what they should have been doing all along.

Same old thing... (1)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059679)

The problem with New Super Mario Bros is that nothing has fundamentally changed since the original series. The creative leap from the original to Super Mario Bros 3 was far greater than from SMB3 to NSMB. New Super Mario Bros essentially took concepts present in previous games and added some relatively minor twists. With the Wii game and now NSMB2 all Nintendo has done is take concepts already popular in countless other games. It shows that Nintendo have stopped leading; they're busy playing catchup.

Familiarity is good, but I would have liked a change of scenery. Mario's world is incredibly stagnant. Instead of rehashing the old games I would have preferred the introduction of new enemies. It would be neat to even see new interpretations of SMB2's villains. I admit that would also be a rehash, but I've always had a soft spot for that game's villains. Pokemon has managed to keep itself fresh by introducing a slew of new characters, creatures and gameplay elements. But at it's core it's still the same game.

One of the big things that bothers me about the new games is that they feel like a fan remake. The graphics have lost the clean vibrancy of SMB3. And let's not forget the richness of Yoshi's Island. I miss that. Those games were far more satisfying to look at than anything in the NSMB series. You could blame the move to 3D, but others have been more successful at preserve the feel of older games. I always expected that these games were going to progress to the point that it felt like playing a cartoon. Instead I'm left looking at what feels like sub par, mismatched 3D art.

It feels like Nintendo is afraid to take any risks and they're content with milking their franchises. I'm not sure how long they plan on keeping this up but it's all eventually going to catch up with them.

Shorter Review (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41060469)

"New SMB games are repetitive and lack inspiration. The fix for this is stop developing new titles for a while, and instead re-release the older games with updated graphics."

Yes, that will surely stop people from griping about how repetitive the Mario franchise is.

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