The first all-new 2D Mario platformer since Super Mario World has arrived! Boasting incredible 3D graphics to accompany classic 2D gameplay, this fast-paced adventure will have Mario fans cheering as they make their way over fields, under water, through castles, and into the air. The power of the DS is used to great effect, and the result is that the Mushroom Kingdom looks more alive than ever. Backgrounds are beautifully layered and every character on screen is presented in gorgeous 3D, with Piranha Plants baring their teeth with wild abandon and Goombas looking almost too cute to stomp on. Just below the surface you will find hundreds of hard-as-nails mini-missions that will force you to reconsider your supposed Super Mario supremacy. The real challenge of the game is tracking down its 240 Star Coins, which allow you to open up paths on the eight world maps. Each level hides three of those shiny collectibles: sometimes they're in plain sight but require a special skill in order to be reached. Other times they're cleverly hidden, and sometimes you will need one of the game's special new power-ups to find them. Nostalgic and new in equal doses, New Super Mario Bros. is, quite simply, a gem of a game.
In a nutshell:It's been over fifteen years since the last Super Mario Bros. but finally Mario is back in a proper 2D platforming adventure. Just because it's old school though doesn't mean it's old hat...
The lowdown:Considering the last Super Mario Bros. game is still the best selling video game of all time (17.28 million copies and counting) this has a lot to live up to, but it almost effortlessly captures the action and charm of the old games. The basics of the game are the same as always as you run and jump through mostly horizontally scrolling levels. New to the game are power-ups that turn Mario into a giant or make him really tiny, as well as one that gives him a Koopa shell on his back to attack enemies with. Although the gameplay is all in two dimensions the graphics are 3D, with all new moves such as the triple jump and wall jump added in as well.
Most exciting moment:As well as the single player mode there's also a wireless multiplayer mode where you get to battle a friend (as Luigi) across a whole bunch of specially designed levels.
Since you ask:As Super Mario World on the SNES (since re-released as Super Mario Advance 2 on the GBA) was subtitled Super Mario Bros. 4 in Japan that name couldn't be used for this new game, although that's secretly whatever everyone's calling it - behind Nintendo's back.
The bottom line:The impossible has happened: Nintendo have created a worthy follow-up to Super Mario Bros. 3!Harrison Dent