New Super Mario Bros Review

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Another hit out of the park for Nintendo DS


It’s hard to believe that 12 months ago, it looked like game over for Nintendo. Thrashed in the home console market
by Sony and Microsoft, the Game Boy creator also came dangerously close to losing control of its handheld monopoly; the chunky Nintendo DS looked like My First Laptop compared to the sexy PSP. But while Sony’s portable hasn’t seen
a decent release since Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories last November, the DS has emerged as the most innovative games machine on the planet, offering a gamut of quality titles, from the benign Animal Crossing to the carnage of Metroid. Now that Mario’s back on the scene, the DS has another masterpiece in its burgeoning library.

Resurrecting the old-school platform genre that bit the dust once the PlayStation and N64 took gaming into
the third dimension, New Super Mario Bros. is a dream for Nintendo fans, offering the lightning-paced blend of puzzles and action that made the original Mario a global sensation 15 years ago, and all the familiar characters, sound effects and garish pizzazz that bewitched a generation.

But while a sense of déjà vu is strong, this is a pro rather than a con, and in fact this latest Mario is more than a nostalgia trip — the DS’ processing power is skilfully used to create slick, razor-sharp graphics that beautifully update Nintendo’s über-mascots, and new challenges such as unpredictable terrain that transforms and morphs to up the gaming stakes. The inclusion of moves that Mario mastered in his 3-D escapades also makes for a more rewarding romp.

As always with Mario games, the Mushroom Kingdom offers tremendous replay value — a simpering princess
who can be rescued in a little under five hours — but with dozens of bonus levels and secrets to unlock, you’ll be coming back for more. With an hilarious two-player mode that can be played via the handheld’s Wi-Fi connection, New Super Mario Bros. is an instant classic, and another triumph for Nintendo’s portable powerhouse.