Wednesday, December 16, 2009

EXP Podcast #56: New Mario Mania

Every so often, the fall's harvest yields an extra-special crop, a crop in which fungus is the bounty rather than the blight. New Super Mario Bros. Wii is out and provoking unusually disparate reactions. In order to share our thoughts on the game, Jorge and I have called a truce on throwing each other into lava pits for just long enough to record a podcast. We discuss our impressions, the madness that is multiplayer Mario, as well as the contemporary relevance of Mario's game design. Feel free to triple-jump into the comments with your thoughts. We promise we won't throw any koopa shells at you, just remember we never said anything about Bob-ombs...

On a related note, I found this video of a big band performing the Super Mario Bros. theme song. It even has lyrics!

Some discussion starters:

- For those of you who have played the game, what do you think? For those of you who haven't, does a side-scrolling Mario appeal to you?

- One of the most surprising things about NSMBW's multiplayer mode was its ability to foster both cooperative and competitive play. Can you think of any other games that have tapped into this dynamic?

- Should Mario adopt modern gaming conventions such as character classes or more forgiving difficulty? Can a newcomer find as much enjoyment in this game as an experienced player?

To listen to the podcast:

- Subscribe to the EXP Podcast via iTunes here. Additionally, here is the stand-alone feed.
- Listen to the podcast in your browser by left-clicking the title. Or, right-click and select "save as link" to download the show in MP3 format.
- Subscribe to this podcast and EXP's written content with the RSS link on the right.

Show notes:

- Run time: 30 min 33 sec
- Mitch Krpata's review, via The Phoenix
- To get a taste of the hilarity that is the multiplayer, check out Giant Bomb's review.
- Music provided by Brad Sucks


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  2. I liked the NSMB on DS but I also found it way too easy, so I definitely give Nintendo credit for (apparently) not going in only one direction with their games.

    Initially the Wii game wasn't even on my radar, since it seemed to be very focused on the multiplayer side of things. So I was pleasently surprised when reviewers actually said that it's better in singleplayer mode.

    Well, added this to my "When I own a Wii I will definitely play:" list, which consists of six games now ;)

    Btw: You might want to check out Retronauts Podcast Nr. 81

  3. Hi Christian,

    Yeah, the single-player is pretty legit. There's also a 9th world that is the equivalent of the Star Road in Super Mario World for those that really crave a challenge.

    I get a sense that a lot of long-time gamers are pretty freaked out by the multiplayer. Since it has been a solo experience for so long, playing Mario simultaneously can initially be off-putting. However, I actually think it's one of the strongest parts of the game.