For the first time since Super Mario World was released in 1991, there is a new 2D side-scrolling adventure that can be played on a non-handheld system. It features everyone’s favorite hero, Mario. Whether you’re a veteran Mario fan or a newcomer, your skills could be a little rusty. New Super Mario Bros. Wii also has many new features you are probably unfamiliar with, but in no time you’ll be stomping Koopas and racking up points.
1. Be familiar with the format. This is one of the season’s hottest sellers, but it’s far different than any other video game you’ll find on sale. Today’s games are mostly 3D, but this one is 2D (it’s technically a blend between 2 and 3D, nicknamed “2.5D”). You can only go in one of two directions: Forwards and backwards. If you don’t feel like jumping right in, you could play some of the game’s ancestors to get a feel for it.
2. Learn the controls. Being a classic side-scroller, the controls are simplistic and easy to learn. The controller is held sideways, so that your right thumb should be near the 1 and 2 buttons and your left thumb is near the arrow pad and A button.
- Directional Arrows: Select the direction to move in (left/right). When in the air, the down arrow does a ground-pound. When climbing on a wire fence (found in castles), all four arrows are used to move around.
- The 2 key: This button is used to jump. Holding it down longer results in a better jump.
- The 1 key: Hold 1 to dash. When combined with pressing 2, your jumps are much longer than they normally would be. When in possession of either a fire flower or an ice flower, 1 is used both to dash and to shoot.
- The A key: Put yourself in a bubble. This is a great tactic to know in multi-player games. When you are about to lose a life (falling into a pit, about to run into an inevitable enemy), press A to save yourself. Another player can pop the bubble once you are in a safe area and you can resume playing without losing a life. This will not work in single-player games (you will lose a life).
- The + key: Pause/Menu
- Mushroom: Turns Mario into Super Mario. Super Mario is taller and stronger. Super Mario can take two hits before dying instead of one.
- Fire Flower: A useful item that allows Mario to shoot fireballs. Press 1 to shoot fire. Hitting an enemy with a fire ball leaves behind a coin to collect. Most (but not all) enemies can be killed with this.
- Ice Flower: A new item to Mario side-scrollers. This allows you to freeze enemies inside blocks of ice. The blocks can be picked up and thrown (and can be used for many purposes).
- Mini Mushroom: An item that first made its debut in this game’s prequel for the handheld DS, New Super Mario Bros. This shrinks the player down to minuscule size. With the mini-mushroom you can fit into small spaces and your jumps are extra high and you float longer. Be careful with this item, though. It takes only one hit to kill Mario.
- Propeller Hat: A brand-new item that allows Mario to launch up into the air and float much longer than a regular jump. To use this, shake the Wii remote. Mario can be hit by enemies three times before dying.
- Penguin Suit. Another new item. It allows you to slide on ice and shoot ice balls at enemies. Like the Propeller Hat, it can take three hits before losing a life.
- 1-UP Mushrooms: Gives you an extra life. They look just like regular Mushrooms except that they are green.
- Starman: Makes Mario invincible. Any enemies you run into while it is in effect immediately die. It also lights up the cavern in certain “dark” underground levels.
4. Know your enemies. There are a lot of classic Mario enemies in this game. Knowing how to avoid or defeat each can help you significantly. Here are some of the most common ones:
- Koopa Troopa: The most common enemy you will come across. Stomp on their shells to immobilize them, and you can kick them away if you wish. Kicking a Koopa shell near other enemies will knock out anything in its path. Just be sure it doesn’t come back it you, because Koopa shells are dangerous. Koopa Paratroopas have small white wings, allowing them to hop around or hover in the air. Stomp on them to take their wings off, and they will walk around like a normal Koopa.
Note: The difference between Koopas with red shells and green shells is that red ones stay put on the ledge they walk on, while green Koopas walk continuously in a straight line, only turning if they hit a dead-end.
- Goomba: Goombas are brown mushroom-like beings that waddle many of the game’s levels. They are the weakest opponents in the game and can be killed by stomping them. Paragoombas, like Paratroopas, have wings, which allow them to hop around.
- Spikies: Strange creatures that pull spiked balls out of their mouths and throw them at you. They are often positioned on high ground, making them somewhat tough to defeat. But if you have good timing and can avoid its throws, a simple stomp to the head will eliminate it. Just be careful you don’t try and stomp it while it’s pulling a spiked ball out of its mouth!
- Bullet Bill/Banzai Bill: As their names imply, they are black bullets with eyes and arms, shot out of a launcher (usually with a Bullet Bill shooter on either side). They can be frozen with an Ice Flower, which will allow you jump on them and reach hard-to reach places. Banzai Bills are immense, grinning versions of Bullet Bills, found only in two levels (looking even bigger when they appear a second time). Although they are huge, they are fairly easy to defeat. Jump on them, like Bullet Bills, and you will kill them.
- Swoopers: In the underground levels, bat-like creatures will fly from the roof of the cave at you. A simple jump can avoid them, and a single stomp will kill them.
- Lakitu: Bespectacled Koopas riding on top of smiling clouds. They throw down enemies like Spikies, which can get frustrating as they throw them down very quickly at some points during levels. If you manage to stomp on the Koopa, usually using Yoshi to hover, you can jump on the cloud and ride it using the directional pad. However, after a few seconds the cloud will disappear, and a new Lakitu will return shortly.
- Wigglers: Found only in the poisonous swamps of World 5, these yellow caterpillar-like enemies seem harmless, but will still take away a life if you touch them. The only way to defeat them is to ground pound on top of them, for if you merely stomp on them, they will become angry, turn red, and walk a little faster. Giant wigglers can also be found underground. They are much faster than normal ones and can walk right into the swamp. You can bounce on them without having them become angry, but make sure they don’t lead you right into the swamp.
- Podoboos: In the fiery levels, balls of fire with eyes will hop around or jump out of lava. Be sure to avoid them. They can be frozen, they die when you freeze them.
- Cheep-Cheeps: Many kinds of fish, called “Cheep-Cheeps,” dwell the aquatic levels of Mario Bros Wii. Despite their harmless appearance, they are not friendly. The only way to get past them is to swim around them and avoid them or shoot them with either ice or fire balls. There are several kinds, so learn all their habits!
- Dry Bones: Found in the fortress and castle levels, these walking skeletons, assuming the look of Koopas, can only be defeated with a star or by being frozen and thrown or ground-pounded upon.
- Pokeys: Segmented, spikey, cactus-like enemies lurking in the desert world. The only way to defeat them is with a star, which will turn you invincible, or have Yoshi eat them. If Yoshi eats their head, then their entire body will collapse. Sometimes, their spikes will disappear for about 2 seconds. If Yoshi eats any part of their body at this point, no matter how tall they are, he will gobble up the entire Pokey, and lay an egg which will contain items like coins, mushrooms, 1-up mushrooms, or fire flowers.
- Hammer Bros: Elite members of the Koopa army who are usually found in groups of two or three. They toss hammers at you, so be very cautious about your timing. Some of them stand on floating block platforms and can be hit from underneath. For the rest, they can be killed by stomping on them or shooting them with fire.
- Fire and Ice Bros: Hammer Bros that shoot ice or fire. You can always tell what kind of “Bro” it is by its shell. Hammer Bros have green shells and the fire and ice varieties have red and blue shells, respectively. They are best avoided since their attacks (especially the Fire Bros) have excellent range. They can be killed with a stomp or, ironically, with ice and fire balls.
- Piranha Plants: Common enemies that usually come out of pipes. Some shoot fire.
- Find warp zones (they look like cannons) to skip to farther worlds.
- Play with friends and help each other. However, it is possible to complete every level by yourself.
- In a multiplayer game, pressing the A button will enclose yourself in a bubble, which can save you from potential harm or if you are stuck in some part of the level. However, you can only be freed by being popped by another player. Shaking the Wii Remote will move the bubble toward a nearby player.
- Most instances that tell you to “shake” the Wii Remote, like picking up an object or performing a spin jump, actually only require a quick, robust flick. Vigorous shaking is only needed when you are hovering downward with the Propeller Suit or are trapped in a bubble (in multiplayer).
- Some enemies are best avoided rather than fought.
- Always choose to save after advancing past any castle.
- In some levels, if you hit a ? Block, an egg will appear, and Yoshi will hatch out. Jump on him to ride him. He runs fast and jumps high, and, if you hold down the 2 button, will stay in the air for a few seconds. By pressing the 1 button, he will stick his tongue out, and will eat nearby enemies. If he eats a Koopa Troopa, Yoshi can spit the shell as if it were being thrown by Mario.
- You don’t need to collect every single coin available in every level. Usually the ones you have trouble with are the ones you feel you need to collect every possible item in it. Coins are only good for lives; if you collect 100 of them, you will earn a 1-up.
- Boos (the ghost enemies) can only be defeated with a Starman. They are shy, so if you face them, they will stop coming toward you and hide their faces in their hands.
- This game can be played with the Nunchuk attachment.
- If you can’t find a Star Coin, try walking into walls to see if there are any fake walls blocking your view of a Star Coin or a door that leads to one.
- Despite the game’s simple and bright appearance, many of the levels (especially in the last worlds) can be very difficult.
- You can only “Quick Save” once on each file.
- In multiplayer, if all players are enclosed inside a bubble, the level will end and you will be sent back to the Map screen.
Things You’ll Need
- Wii console
- Wii Remote(s) (Nunchuk optional)
- New Super Mario Bros Wii game (sold at most electronic and retail stores)
- Friends to play the game with (optional, but strongly recommended)