Is the New Super Mario Bros. series underrated?

Is the New Super Mario Bros. series underrated?

  • Yes

    Votes: 11 39.3%
  • No

    Votes: 17 60.7%

  • Total voters
    28

Kokoro

Koopa Troopa
Is the New Super Mario Bros. series underrated?

I think so, since they just don't get enough credit. They aren't as positively received as the original 2D games or the 3D games. In fact, they tend to get more hate compared to those games. Some people tend to say that they are too similar to the original 2D Mario games. It may seem that way at first glance, but once you get into them, there's still noticeable differences. The controls have been refined to be less slippery, for example. Besides, them being a lot like the original 2D games should be a good thing, if anything, since those games are classics, right?

The series also pretty much started the whole 2D platformer revival, with games like Mega Man 9 and 10, Sonic 4 (and soon to be Sonic Mania), and Rayman Origins and Legends, among others, later coming out.
 

Lord Bowser

listen
Banned User
the first two were great, but the rest of them aren't liked as much because they're mostly rehashes of nsmbwii with some not that great gimmicks thrown in. there really just isn't enough variety in them for people to really enjoy them a lot.
 

Redshift

Eats dinner at 10pm, wrestles Debulls
Wiki Administrator
Poll Committee
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MarioWiki
Ray Trace
I like the New Super Mario Bros. series more than the classic series, even.

I just don't like 2 and U, but you know, my opinion may change with you know, Newer U coming out ;)
 

Kokoro

Koopa Troopa
Baby Luigi said:
I like the New Super Mario Bros. series more than the classic series, even.

I just don't like 2 and U, but you know, my opinion may change with you know, Newer U coming out ;)
Same here, mainly for the refined controls.

I like both of those games. NSMB U might be my favorite in the NSMB series, actually.
 

DragonFreak

Everything that drowns me makes me wanna fly!
Here's my two sense: the NSMB series in general is garbage. Less so on the Wii but I would only call it "good".

The thing is the first NSMB was supposed to be a return of 2d Mario, but it more or less copied SMB3 and every single later game in the series more or less copies NSMB. The series stifles itself.

Also for those who care as much as me, but the NSMB music in general is generic and forgettable.

I just with the series wasn't created or like had effort put into it.
 

Kokoro

Koopa Troopa
Cynder said:
Here's my two sense: the NSMB series in general is garbage. Less so on the Wii but I would only call it "good".

The thing is the first NSMB was supposed to be a return of 2d Mario, but it more or less copied SMB3 and every single later game in the series more or less copies NSMB. The series stifles itself.

Also for those who care as much as me, but the NSMB music in general is generic and forgettable.

I just with the series wasn't created or like had effort put into it.
If anything, it was more like SMB1 than SMB3. But as I said, the NSMB games still had noticeable differences and tweaks. You have ground pounds, new power-ups, improved controls, among some other things. There's only so much you can change, really, so what do you expect?
 

DragonFreak

Everything that drowns me makes me wanna fly!
Kokoro said:
There's only so much you can change, really, so what do you expect?
Actual creativity.

I'm looking at the series as a whole not in individual parts. Each of the four games are so similar to each other they might as well be the same game. Compare that to SMB1-3 and SMW and all of those games are radically different from each other. And I like that a lot. But nope the styles of the NSMB series are practically the same and that's really my main gripe with the series.
 

Kokoro

Koopa Troopa
Cynder said:
Kokoro said:
There's only so much you can change, really, so what do you expect?
Actual creativity.

I'm looking at the series as a whole not in individual parts. Each of the four games are so similar to each other they might as well be the same game. Compare that to SMB1-3 and SMW and all of those games are radically different from each other. And I like that a lot. But nope the styles of the NSMB series are practically the same and that's really my main gripe with the series.
I can see what you mean there regarding all the games being very similar to each other. But really, how often do games change from game to game to the extent that SMB1-3 and World did? Not very often. Isn't calling the whole NSMB series "garbage" a little harsh?
 

Gabumon

Warlock of Hatsune Miku
Chat Administrator
Core 'Shroom Staff
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The word that comes to mind when thinking about New Super Mario Bros. is "generic".

It seems to be a very sterile series, devoid of character and charme. You're essentially piloting a bunch of cardboard cut-outs through the ever-same environments (grassland, desert, ice world, lava world, and the desert world is always the second). It's all very "been there, done that", and personally I find that mind-numbing. Compare that to something like Rayman Origins, which is oozing character from everywhere, the art style, the dumb excuse plot, even the little insignificant animations, and you see that this series doesn't bother to do any of that, which is why people tend to find it bland by contrast.

You also have to consider where and how these games fit into the main Mario series, and what legacy they left behind. At the beginning you have SMB, the prototype that laid the groundwork for the series to stand on. SMB3 revamped the concept of SMB, introduced overworld maps and greatly expanded the library of environments. SMW overhauled THAT and added unlockable branching paths along with the now famous ridable dinosaur. SM64 made a huge leap and brought the series to 3D, while adding non-linear level progression and giving birth to the collectathon platformer genre. SMS experimented with the formula, giving Mario a tool to aid his jumping, as well as featuring probably the most unique level themes in the series (the quality of the game is debatable, but I can't help but applaud Nintendo for being willing to experiment). Then SMG came along and did its own thing entirely, with lots of gravity shenanigans and other space stuff. You look at this history and think "Damn, it's incredible how much Mario has evolved, and how colorful and unique these games are".

Then you hit the NSMBs (and SMG2 to some extent), and what follows is stagnation, stagnation, stagnation. Where previous games would deviate from the formulas of their predecessors to re-invent themselves, these games followed the formula rigidly, and as a result feel samey and stale. This is why these games are reviled among some fans; They are the face of Nintendo's turning point. The point when they stopped experimenting and putting unique spins on their base concept.



This piece of artwork from NSMBW is great because it perfectly illustrates what happened to Mario in these games. The only way it could have been better is if he was in his T-pose. There's no charme or life to this render. Nobody stands like that, unless they're getting their prison mugshot taken or something. This Mario is dead, held up by strings and wires. You can move him around and make him do stuff, but other than that there's just nothing there.



So in summary: Is NSMB a bad series?
No. It does exactly what it is supposed to do and nothing less.

Is it an underrated gem hiding some big potential under its surface?
No. It does exactly what it is supposed to do and nothing more.

Some people like it, good on them for being able to enjoy it. Some people dislike it, with good reason. It has pretty much received the attention it deserves, and is thus not underrated.
 

Kokoro

Koopa Troopa
Dr. Alphys said:
The word that comes to mind when thinking about New Super Mario Bros. is "generic".

It seems to be a very sterile series, devoid of character and charme. You're essentially piloting a bunch of cardboard cut-outs through the ever-same environments (grassland, desert, ice world, lava world, and the desert world is always the second). It's all very "been there, done that", and personally I find that mind-numbing. Compare that to something like Rayman Origins, which is oozing character from everywhere, the art style, the dumb excuse plot, even the little insignificant animations, and you see that this series doesn't bother to do any of that, which is why people tend to find it bland by contrast.

You also have to consider where and how these games fit into the main Mario series, and what legacy they left behind. At the beginning you have SMB, the prototype that laid the groundwork for the series to stand on. SMB3 revamped the concept of SMB, introduced overworld maps and greatly expanded the library of environments. SMW overhauled THAT and added unlockable branching paths along with the now famous ridable dinosaur. SM64 made a huge leap and brought the series to 3D, while adding non-linear level progression and giving birth to the collectathon platformer genre. SMS experimented with the formula, giving Mario a tool to aid his jumping, as well as featuring probably the most unique level themes in the series (the quality of the game is debatable, but I can't help but applaud Nintendo for being willing to experiment). Then SMG came along and did its own thing entirely, with lots of gravity shenanigans and other space stuff. You look at this history and think "dang, it's incredible how much Mario has evolved, and how colorful and unique these games are".

Then you hit the NSMBs (and SMG2 to some extent), and what follows is stagnation, stagnation, stagnation. Where previous games would deviate from the formulas of their predecessors to re-invent themselves, these games followed the formula rigidly, and as a result feel samey and stale. This is why these games are reviled among some fans; They are the face of Nintendo's turning point. The point when they stopped experimenting and putting unique spins on their base concept.



This piece of artwork from NSMBW is great because it perfectly illustrates what happened to Mario in these games. The only way it could have been better is if he was in his T-pose. There's no charme or life to this render. Nobody stands like that, unless they're getting their prison mugshot taken or something. This Mario is dead, held up by strings and wires. You can move him around and make him do stuff, but other than that there's just nothing there.



So in summary: Is NSMB a bad series?
No. It does exactly what it is supposed to do and nothing less.

Is it an underrated gem hiding some big potential under its surface?
No. It does exactly what it is supposed to do and nothing more.

Some people like it, good on them for being able to enjoy it. Some people dislike it, with good reason. It has pretty much received the attention it deserves, and is thus not underrated.
Yeah, I see what you mean about many of the other Mario games being revolutionary, but you really can't expect every single game in the series to be revolutionary. Look at the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2. It is very similar to the first game, but just much harder. I would argue that the first NSMB was at least revolutionary, since it helped revive 2D platformers. I still think the NSMB games are great for what they are. Really, I don't care that all the NSMB games are very similar to each other, as long as their fun, which they are, in my opinion.
 

SiFi

Just a flight attendant guy.
MarioWiki
SiFi
I feel each of the NSMBs still had something new to bring to the table. NSMB1 incorporated a bunch of moves from the 3D games like wall jumping and ground pounding, and didn't make them feel out of place or anything. Plus, there's a good reason advertising for that game put emphasis on Mega Mario, because showing Mario rampaging through levels and destroying everything in his path is a good way of saying to even the people with just a casual awareness of the previous games, "here's a fun thing you couldn't do before".

NSMBW's simultaneous co-op was probably the biggest addition the sub-series has to offer, breathing new life into the sidescrollers after the first game tested the waters. It's easy to overlook now, but just think of the difference between waiting your turn in previous games and getting directly involved in this one, allowing you to help out or (of course) screw other players over, which made it popular to Let's Play before a certain screaming Swede brought LPs into the mainstream.

I think Nintendo's biggest mistake with the series was announcing NSMB2 and NSMBU right next to one another. If it was just one at a time, they'd probably still get the same "again? :rolleyes:" reaction but others might have responded with a more open mind. NSMB2, for one thing, honestly made the simple task of getting coins more fun than it's ever been. Even the Wario Land series doesn't have anything quite like it. And a big part of that was how there was so much more to it than "make this sprite touch this spinning yellow disc". There were all kinds of new mechanics that made it quicker to get anywhere from 10 to 100 coins, and the shining (pun subconciously intended before I decided to go with it) example of this is the game's new power up, Gold Mario. I really think Gold Mario's an incredible powerup because it really makes you feel powerful, especially when you throw a fireball and the impact makes a loud noise, creates ripples, and shakes the screen. All those put together make it so satisfying to use.

I can't really say as much about NSMBU because I haven't played as much of it, but when I saw footage of it on Youtube I saw it expand on SMW's branching paths concept by making the world really come to life whenever you found a secret exit, and many animations displaying the path to what you'd unlocked really filled me with a childlike wonder. I think to a lot of people though the real meat of that game comes courtesy of NSLU, which I've played even less about so maybe someone else can vouch for it.
 

freakworld

El Psy Kongroo
Banned User
havevnt played much of nsmbu either, i did play like half of nslu though and that was honestly really good.

still not very underrated since most people agree that nsmbu was the best one from what ive heard
 
I think the first one was really fun. Wii was also kinda fun. U was okay. 2 was okay.

that's all I got to say about them. I'm not into 2d platformers much anyway.
 

Gabumon

Warlock of Hatsune Miku
Chat Administrator
Core 'Shroom Staff
Awards Committee
Retired Wiki Staff
Kokoro said:
Dr. Alphys said:
Blah blah blah.

Something about artwork.
Yeah, I see what you mean about many of the other Mario games being revolutionary, but you really can't expect every single game in the series to be revolutionary. Look at the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2. It is very similar to the first game, but just much harder. I would argue that the first NSMB was at least revolutionary, since it helped revive 2D platformers. I still think the NSMB games are great for what they are. Really, I don't care that all the NSMB games are very similar to each other, as long as their fun, which they are, in my opinion.
I'm not really expecting them to be revolutionary. I think I am fully within reason to expect them to TRY though. As in: Try to distinguish themselves from their predecessors through some merit. It doesn't really have to be much, to be honest. Maybe just... try to not use desert, ice world, fire world in every game. Maybe try coming up with new level themes like SMS did. Or let the characters have some degree of personality, like maybe have Mario give Luigi the stink-eye because he got to the goal first or something. Just... give me SOMETHING.

I concur with SiFi's point about the simultaneous multiplayer though, even if the execution was... questionable. I also concur with your point of the first NSMB not being guilty of stagnation, which is logical since you can't stagnate if you're the first to do something.

I am personally inclined to give The Lost Levels a pass. It is essentially just an expansion pack, yes, but you also have to consider that it was the first home console sequel to a Mario game, and being the first usually grants you some leeway. I'd also argue that the game has been very important for the development of Luigi as an entity separate from Mario, giving him his signature high jump low traction gameplay style.

Plus there's that whole confusing situation with our SMB2 originally being in development as SMB's sequel, but then having Mario taken out and being remodeled into Doki Doki Panic. Which was then RE-remodeled into a Mario game to sell in the west. If you factor that mess in, then SMB2 (USA) would be SMB's successor, and as we all know that one is VERY different from the other games.
 
Is it just me or has the reply button disappeared? Could be an apple thing?

Personally I love New Super Mario Bros., it's one of my favourite games, if not my favourite game of all time. New Super Mario Bros. Wii was also pretty decent, not the best in its way with multiplayer and how it altered the course design, but it was still a lot of fun.

New Super Mario Bros. 2 and New Super Mario Bros. U, while technically still have good level design and play smoothly, lack anything that make them unique or memorable. Both games are really similar to their predecessors, to the point where 2 is just the DS version with Wii music/themes and a pointless coin thing and U is Wii with a different theme song.

A comparison that a lot of people make is that of the recent Kirby games. RTDL was a great game, and the last two entries have copied the formula a heap, like what NSMB did. What makes all of the Kirby games fun, however, is that they each do their own thing. Triple Deluxe changed Super Abilities for Hypernova, Robobot with the, well, Robobot. Each game has its own theme (Fanatasy, Sci-Fi), music, and throwbacks to old games, as well as other things like the sub games and focus on certain characters. All of these things make each game unique, despite being the same at the core, and all of these features are something that the NSMB games tend to not include.

Overall, NSMB is a decent series, however doesn't change anything or take any risks at all, which devoid it of any character or memorability. If the next game did something actually interesting, for example having multiple characters with different abilities, the game would stand out more. This is 3D World did (but far from the only thing), and despite still being relatively similar to 3D Land, was able to change things drastically and make each game seem different. Even Galaxy 2 did this, offering different power-ups, music and etc. to make it unique to Galaxy 1. (This is the same reason why I consider Galaxy 2, Paper Jam and Robobot to still be good despite blatantly using resources from the previous game).

So no, New Super Mario Bros. is not under appreciated. If the New Super Mario Bros. series can get its feet into gear, then I might have a different opinion.
 

FrozenDragon150

Koopa Troopa
I'd say NSMB and NSMBWii were great, as shown by the fact that they revived 2D plataforming on mainstream consoles. The sad thing is that the series grew stagnant after that, with 2 and U being rehashes. They're not bad by any means though, they, for me, have far surpassed the originals
 

MnSG

Cosmic Beauty
One of the problems that I've had is that certain courses tend to feel too short, and certain enemies don't get enough attention.

In New Super Mario Bros. Wii, the Hammer Bro only appeared in one course. World 7-Castle is way too short, as you only have to travel a short distance to reach the checkpoint flag. As for Bowser's Castle, for the last castle in the game, I would've expected a much longer course than what we were given.

I tried to fix up those issues with a project, but it got taken down because of reported plagiarism with the courses; it's almost impossible to be original when you're competing with other users, and Nintendo has already used the ideas as well.
 

Xandalf

You are naught but a decadent dandy!
I'll throw my two cents in too, I suppose.

I'm not going to say the direction NSMB went in was wrong, per se. Like what Alphys said, yes, the series had been innovating over the past and then just dropped allll the way back. It's certainly disappointing that they hadn't even been trying to innovate just a little bit to it, or even make bosses outside of the Koopalings (Though IIRC NSMB for DS didn't have Koopalings).
While this is (in my opinion) pretty bad, remember the crowd. Back in my day, we were growing up with the 3D collectathon Marios. I did have the original Super Mario Bros. for the GBA, but otherwise we didn't really get any of the 'traditional' Mario platformers. So, to see the Mario series go back to the basics is nice so younger generations would understand the classic formula of Mario in a new light, even if that light could've been much better. Plus, the old SMB is really hard and NSMB would make a better starter game.

Honestly, underrated and overrated are completely subjective. If you feel something doesn't get enough love or attention, then there you go, it's underrated.
Personally, I can find myself to enjoy the NSMB series but I'd much rather play Galaxy or something more along that line. Besides, NSMB aren't the only "main-series" Mario games we're getting. SMB3DW was a step in the right direction, and I really liked it. In fact I'm going to go listen to it's soundtrack right now.
 

Mcmadness

The idiot who puts things in the wrong board.
I think the first one and the wii u one with the luigi DLC included are underrated, the other 2 are just ok.
 

Glowsquid

Shine Sprite
Forum Moderator
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Former 'Shroom Staff
I got NSMBU as part of Mario Kart 8's welcome back promo, and while I did not find it terrible at all, it had a very been-there, done-that feeling. Not because of the visuals themes, or enemies/characters used (which is usually what people fixate on when they complain about NSMB being "stagnant"), but in how it repeated level ideas I had already played (sometimes multiple times) in NSMB and NSMBWii.

Oh look, another dark cave level where you can pick up luminescent blocks to get light

Oh look, another block snake level in a fortress

Oh look, another underwater level where you're chased by some large creature

Oh look, another lava level where there's rocks raining from above and you have to use blocks as cover

There's this vocal contingent peoplesaying NSMBU IS THE BEST 2D MARIO EVER (usually with undertones of "people don't give it its dues because they're graphic whores/sheeps), but, I dunno. I'm not some sequelphobic hipster: I fucking love Armored Core and they released 8 goddamn armored core games on the ps2 alone which had identical controls and gameplay mechanics. But, I wasn't very enthralled by NSMBU and I think the New Super Mario Bros well has well and truly run dry by now.

*shrug* Maybe I need to play New Super Luigi U
 

MnSG

Cosmic Beauty
New Super Luigi U didn't exactly have anything different, as the game pretty much copied every single course in New Super Mario Bros. U, but made them shorter to go with the 100 second time limit.

In fact, the course elements in New Super Luigi U are placed in the "exact same" course locations as New Super Mario Bros. U. For an example, the Skewers "only" appear in the Sparkling Waters tower course.

Of course, Lemmy's castle had a lava theme in New Super Mario Bros. U, which is not the case in New Super Luigi U.

On one final note, the Mini Mushroom is practically useless in New Super Luigi U, as it's never used to find any Star Coins; its only use is to find a Luigi reference, which is an optional thing.
 

NSY

Celestial Guide
The things is New Super Mario Bros games aren't bad on their own but the problem is that when you start comparing those games to other modern 2D platformers, that these games could of been so much more. When you play the modern Donkey Kong, Kirby or Rayman games you realise that these are a lot less generic and do more with core elements set around them and it exposes New Super Mario Bros main issue, that it's just forgettable. It throws a bunch of levels that aren't bad but just make you go meh, and while you may be enjoying yourself playing those stages, your not gonna remember them while every level I played in DKCR I played had something unique and special about it.

Then there's the boss battles, when you restrict your bosses to Koopalings and Bowser you can't do that much while the other games allowed to create whatever they want since they didn't have that barrier. Look at some the bosses in recent Kirby games and compare them to the Koopalings.
 

Lord Bowser

listen
Banned User
mario would benefit immensely by borrowing even a fraction of the creativity that kirby games have. I mean, look at the kirby final bosses (and bosses in general) as of late;

  • king dedede, but massively upgraded to make him look like a badass (along with epic battle music)
  • a magic jester who betrays you and attacks with weird and powerful abilities
  • a pink version of meta knight who somehow manages to get more badass every time you see him
  • a dragon-hydra hybrid that's the guardian of what is essentially the key to ultimate power
  • a mage who asks you to help rebuild his ship so he can head back home, only to betray you and attack as a cruel, powerful wizard
  • a gigantic wasp queen who wants to make popstar her eternal substenance by controlling a magical beanstalk (and turning into a massive, beautiful yet intimidating flower in the process)
  • and best of all...
    a sentient supercomputer bent on the complete annihilation of history in the name of eternal prosperity

meanwhile, the nsmb series has...
  • bowser jr
  • bowser
  • the koopalings
  • kamek
  • more koopalings
  • more bowser
  • etc.

you see the difference?
 

MnSG

Cosmic Beauty
The funny thing is, even the Yoshi's Island bosses become easier to take down once you've gotten down their attack tactics, so the Super Mario series isn't exactly alone in the boss fight dilemma.

Of course, the Boss Tent in Yoshi's Woolly World does amp up the difficulty by making the bosses faster, much like how the Boss Battles game mode in Super Smash Bros. Brawl makes the bosses faster (and hit harder) whenever you increase the difficulty level.
 
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