New-ish Super Mario Bros.

I hope you guys made it to your local comic book store today, because they were handing out Free Scott Pilgrim. Which is exactly what it sounds like: a free issue of Scott Pilgrim. Sure, it’s a little more loosely drawn than usual and the plot didn’t actually make any sense, but did you notice where the name was “Free Scott Pilgrim”? Right. That means it is a tiny dollop of comic genius, a small but concetrated dose of geeky Franklin Richards shirts and Pepsi-as-River-City-Ransom-powerups to tide us mortals over until the May 200X release of Scott Pilgrim and the Infinite Sadness.

It’s too bad I’m currently engaged in my Metroidvania blitz (now standing at 35% into Circle of the Moon) and burbling sadly at the prospect of the blank wall of adrenaline-fueled desperation that is E3, because New Super Mario Bros. has put me in the mood to kick off that Mariothon thing I vowed to initiate some while ago.

Since info on NSMB has begun trickling its way onto Los Internetos via The 1Up Show and our various vile competitors, I guess I’m not under information embargo anymore. SO! Here is some exclusive information:

New Super Mario Bros. is a pretty good game!

But brace yourselves, because NSMB is going to be one of those games that — through no fault of its own — provokes a really annoying amount of backlash among certain types. (By “certain types” I mean the usual message board rabble who make you want to kill the Internet in a slap-fight.) I don’t really think Nintendo set out to do with anything with the game besides create a really enjoyable old-fashioned kind of Mario adventure, a mission at which they succeeded admirably. The problem is that its lineage brings a certain degree of expectation along with it: after all, Super Mario Bros. pretty much invented the side-scroller, and Super Mario 64 pretty much invented 3D platforming. Is it fair to expect every single new chapter of a landmark series to be equally inspirational? I can’t imagine how that would even begin to be a realistic expectation, but Internet types aren’t really known for their modest demands. Some even have the sheer temerity to expect movies to have functional plots, scripts and characterization. The nerve!

So anyway, I will say up front that if you go into NSMB anticipating that it will shake your own personal world (yea, unto its very fundament), you are in for a long period of soul-searching and existential sorrow as your hopes and dreams are shattered. On the other hand, if you’re after a good old-fashioned romp that delights in gentle abuse in the form of insane tests of skill, you will likely dig NSMB.

It appears that rat Kohler has already finished the game, although he plowed through in about three hours using every shortcut he could get his hands on. Me, I spent about two days before reaching the end, visiting every level I could find and pausing to replay levels to net each area’s devious assortment of secrets. And then I went back and played through a whole bunch of stages half a dozen times apiece trying to unravel other various secrets, some of which I rather failed at. For instance, there are two entire worlds (not stages, mind. WORLDS) I haven’t even seen yet because they are not merely optional but in fact insanely difficult to reach.

I calculate that Scott Pilgrim and the Infinite Sadness will in fact arrive before I clear the entirety of NSMB. If that tells you anything.

13 thoughts on “New-ish Super Mario Bros.

  1. “I calculate that Scott Pilgrim and the Infinite Sadness will in fact arrive before I clear the entirety of NSMB. If that tells you anything.”
    You’re bad at NSMB? HAHA, I’m so funny.

  2. I’ve played Super Mario Sunshine for so long now Mario actually seems STRANGE without the water pack.

  3. New Super Mario Bros. looks wickedly bloody awesome. Also: Who’s Scott Pilgrim?

  4. So I visited two Toronto comic shops and neither of them had free Scott Pilgrim. wtfz.

  5. Scott Pilgrim is rated awesome.

    Nadia, if you don’t mind maybe getting it shipped to you, try asking Cal at Strange Adventures ( It’s the number one comic book shop in Halifax (where O’Malley lives) so maybe he could hook you up.

    – Eddie

  6. I got my hands on Free Scott Pilgrim, but just barely: Andrew and I got to the comic shop half an hour after it opened, just in time for me to find the one copy it got. Apparently, Oni charged shops 60 cents per copy, significantly more than other publishers, and since they’re meant to be given out free, the economics didn’t work for a lot of stores. (I paid a dollar for mine to make up for their jerkishness.) This may account for your difficulties, Nadia.

    But it was definitely worth the trip, just for the line “That’s a record, not an average!” and creepy foreshadowing.

  7. The shop I went to only had two copies in stock. And the “free comics” lure worked, too… I felt so uncomfortable walking out without paying for anything I bought Essential Marvel Two-in-One… which I’ve been wanting anyway, because it’s 600 pages of the Thing teaming up with other heroes and beating the crap out of everything in sight. There’s probably a better formula for straight-up funnybook sweetness but I can’t imagine what it would be. Oh, right: SCOTT PILGRIM.

  8. “MIGHT be a ninja” isn’t ever a phrase you want in your life.

  9. I personally applaud Nintendo for going back to the 2D roots and make a brand-spanking new Mario side-scroller. I mean it’s been what, a decade since Yoshi’s Island now? Some huge shoes to fill when you compound the series’ overall excellence with all the time they’ve waited to finally make it. Most companies would crumble under the pressure.

    Yes, Capcom, I’m talking to you.

  10. Eddie: Actually, I know The Beguiling carries everything Pilgrim (It’s a comic shop O’Malley links to on his main page), and I have a friend there I’ve been meaning to visit, besides. It’s just a matter of me getting off my butt and dealing with Downtown Toronto. Thanks for the info, though!

    Besides, what does Pilgrim have that my free copy of “Archie” doesn’t? Ha ha, that crazy Jughead, he sure loves hamburgers.

  11. New Super Mario Bros. has been love ever since they announced the DS, I’m glad it’s finally here.

    LBD “Nytetrayn”

  12. Everything old is RAD again!

    The promise of NSMB is the only thing that will get me through E3 this year.

  13. I just realized that “New Super Mario Bros.” is actually the official name–and here I thought people just meant it was, you know, a new Super Mario Bros. Anyway, it looks like this is going to be one of those rare games that I buy (and play) within a week of its release. I recently finished an SMB3 playthrough with a friend and have concluded that it is, in fact, eternal, so anything bringing more of that love sounds good to me.

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