Super Mario Bros. Wii thoughts

A few weeks back I wrote about the awesome Super Mario Galaxy game for Nintendo Wii.  That was a great game.

So I was looking forward to Super Mario Bros. Wii.  It's a good game, but not quite as much fun.  It's also more frustrating.  It's still a valuable use for my time, though.

I never played Mario Bros on the original Nintendo systems.  I was an Atari 2600 / Commodore 64 guy.  I'm just a couple years too old to have lost my childhood to that particular console, so the game doesn't quite have the same nostalgic grip on me that it does on others.

The game is a tribute to that earlier era.  It's a side-scrolling game that takes advantage of the Wii's better sound and graphics, but is by no means a graphics power house.  Game play is mostly like the traditional game, but there are new features and power-ups. 

It's also challenging.  I'm in World 2 now, and it's taking a while to advance. And that brings my to my main criticism of the game -- the dearth of save points.

In the old day of video game consoles, saving your game wasn't really an option.  The old consoles lacked memory cards; the games were typically on ROM cartridges.  If you died, you often had to start over from scratch.  Early games with save options might give you a certain code when you accomplished something, and you could enter that code the next time you played.  But mainly hardware limited you Save opportunities, and we accepted it becase we didn't know another way (and wore onions on our belts, as was the fashion at the time).

But this is not that era. And the design decision to limit save points is a mistake.

In Super Mario Bros. Wii, you can only save your game once you defeat a boss.  You typically have to complete 3 levels before you get to a boss.  If you spend several hours completing those levels, and then fail to defeat the boss, or have to stop playing because it's time to go to work, or have dinner, or whatever, all those hours you spent on the preliminary levels get you nothing.

It's not a game you can advance in if you have a half hour here, and an hour there.  You need to dedicate a significant block of time, and then be successful in that block of time or you have to start over again.

Were I in junior high, on summer vacation, with days to wile away,  this wouldn't bother me as much.  But it's not longer 1984. And there's no technical reason to limit Saving your game so much. Storage is cheap.  I probably have as more memory in my phone today than was in all the Atari 2600s sold in NY.  Ever.

I'm okay with hard levels, but once I beat it, don't make me beat it again. And again. And again. And again, just so I can get to the next, slightly harder level

More specifically, let me create a penalty-free save point each time I complete a level.  C'mon Nintendo. You can issue it through the online updates on the Wii.

I'll be waiting.

1 comment:

Tina Kubala said...

From many hours logged in the game with my best friend and her four year old (love her to death, but she is a definite handicap), I can attest to the frustration. Kate and I are just the right age to have played NES Super Mario like our lives depended on it. Holy crap, it's harder with multiplayers in the levels. I would recommend going back to world one to play the first tower over when you need to save (hit the minus key to switch worlds). It's quick and painless. You know you need all the star coins in each level to unlock world nine, right? Best of luck.