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New Super Mario Bros.

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ESRB Rating: Everyone

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New Super Mario Bros.

UPC: 045496737313

Platform: Nintendo DS

Publisher: Nintendo of America, Inc.

Developer: Nintendo EAD

Category: Action

Style(s): Side-Scrolling Platform

Synopsis: They may be geezers of gaming history, but the New Super Mario Bros. edition for the Nintendo DS shows Mario and Luigi are still in prime shell-stomping form. Play through eight worlds of volcanoes, islands, mountains, and pipes. Using wireless technology two players may play cooperatively, or go head to head in Mario vs. Luigi mode. Mini-games allow up to four players to compete against each other. New power-ups include the pump-up mushroom, and new moves include sliding into enemies using shells. Watch out for the 3D versions of Goombas, Piranha Plants, and Cheep Cheeps. ~ Gracie Leach, All Game Guide

Package Contents: Health and Safety Precautions Booklet

Controls: Joystick/Gamepad

Nintendo rarely disappoints with its manuals, and this is no exception. Large, colorful graphics accompany a well-organized layout that explains each play mode. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide

Suitably vibrant and cheery, New Super Mario Bros. deftly mixes 3D graphics with classic 2D elements for an appealing look. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide

Eleven years after Super Mario Bros. resuscitated a dead industry, Nintendo's flagship title returns with a surprisingly conventional take on the butt-stomping, mushroom-chomping, kingdom-romping platform game that made Mario a household name. New Super Mario Bros. earns its moniker by introducing new transformations, levels, a world map, and the ability to store power-ups. Yet fans of the original won't have to retrain their thumbs to adapt. The action still involves running and jumping through colorful courses, sliding down flagpoles, squatting into pipes, and flicking bouncy fireballs. The classic elements are sure to elicit knowing smiles from those worthy enough to be "playing with power" in 1985.

Three power-ups are available in addition to the original's magic mushroom and fire flower. Mario can supersize himself to gigantic proportions with the mega mushroom, crushing everything in front of him as he scurries across the landscape, while the mini mushroom has Mario shrinking to a fraction of his size to jump higher or to squeeze through tiny pipes. The third new power-up slaps a koopa shell on Mario's back so he can topple enemies by sliding across the ground. As fun as it is to use these powers, they tend to make an already easy game even easier. Sadly, none of the game's 80 levels are expansive or intricate enough to justify Mario's full complement of moves.

New Super Mario Bros. looks, sounds, and plays like a top-tier title, but it falls short of the immense standards Nintendo has bestowed upon the franchise. The ability to save an extra power-up trivializes the game's harder sequences, and boss encounters are the most trifling in the series to date. While the old Mario could jump, absorb an additional hit, and occasionally fire projectiles, this one scales walls, obliterates everything in his path, and relies on backup when things get hairy. The result is an enjoyable-while-it-lasts solo game that feels too short, too lacking in both challenge and incentives to make you forget about earlier Mario games. It may be new, but it hasn't necessarily improved. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide

The game can be beaten within a few hours thanks to the plentiful power-ups and save feature. The head-to-head versus mode is merely passable, but the touch-screen mini-games are silly fun. Most, sadly, are recycled from Super Mario 64 DS. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide

The original's classic theme music and soundtrack have been remixed and bolstered by other memorable tunes. More voices would have been nice.... ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide

The game is fun, but it is neither as challenging nor as involving as previous Mario titles. Super Mario Bros. Deluxe on Game Boy Color offered more to accomplish on each level. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide

the game requires Joystick/Gamepad.