The New Super Mario Bros. Subseries: Your thoughts dislikes and likes, What could improve the series? Should the Series even keep going?

Best New Super Mario Bros Game?

  • New Super Mario Bros. 2 - Nintendo 3DS (2012)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    16

Flygon64

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The New Super Mario Bros. Subseries, much has been said about it and it's a point of slight interest when talking about Side-scrolling Mario games

Let's start from the beginning with some info about the first game, how it was received, what it was, and how the series proceeded after it
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Snippets took from Wikipedia :
New Super Mario Bros.[a] is a platform video game in the New Super Mario Bros. series developed by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS. It was first released in May 2006 in North America and Japan and in PAL regions the following month
New Super Mario Bros. was commercially successful and received positive reviews; praise went towards its improvements made to the Mario franchise and faithfulness to older Mario games, while criticism was targeted at its low difficulty level and many critics noted its similarity to previous games. It sold over 30 million copies worldwide, making it the best-selling game for the Nintendo DS and one of the best-selling video games of all time. The game's success led to a line of sequels released for the Wii, Nintendo 3DS, and Wii U.
So TLDR : The first game in this soon to be subseries was released in 2006, was very financially successful, and generally got positive feedback
Safe to say it was a hit
There hadn't been a classic 2D Mario game for a good amount of time when the game was released so it was a real breath of fresh air to a lot
A sequel was later released in November 2009 which also had much critical and commercial success
More games were made later on
So from what we know so far, it seems like a pretty great little subseries, right? Well actually yeah I bet some people think that and I do kind of agree with them but other people have some different thoughts
A good number of people think that series is generic and bland, well at least the games past NSMB1
Some think that's fine and they're still pretty good experiences that may not be special compared to past 2D Mario games but hey they're fun ( That for the most part is what I think of the games like personally too)
Other's find that they're just too bland and forgettable to be enjoyable in the slightest
Both sides have their points and no side is more correct in this kind of thing, you should get that and it's probably getting old to hear it and I'm probably dragging this on too long ha
Well I did sort of already implied what I think about them.... except for one problem I have with them
Themes are very important in Mario games, especially 2D Mario games, I personally think the most important things you need to make a good memorable 2D Mario is good level design and good unique world themes, Level design is more important but level themes are like the glue to hold the levels together, the thing about 2D Mario is... it's literally just a string of unconnected levels that you proceed through to get to the end. You could just place nondescript blocks around in a blank void in a way that they're fun to maneuver around, the player will enjoy the level most likely but they won't go think " Ah I really loved Blank-Blank, those plain white cubes were fun to move around " the themes are how you make the player's memory of the level stay there solidly, you need a theme, but the thing it's best the theme is original, it's not long until all the grassland overworld worlds mesh together, the subseries has a problem with this, they're fun but forgettable as heck, if they improved the themes the games would probably be seen in a better light nowadays
Okay, that's mostly my thoughts, now time for you to say your opinion! I'm interested in what you have to say, make your points!
( If you read everything, thank you :) )
 

zelen !!

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to be honest ive never actually played a proper new super mario bros, the closest being super mario maker 2, and from that i can tell that the movement feels nice, but i just. dont have interest in properly playing any of the nsmbs at all. MAYYYYBE ds because its more unique but That Is It
i dont see what theyd offer that other 2d platformers wouldnt. take tropical freeze for example, its way more interesting visual and has more fun level themes. a bunch of levels end up SUPER memorable, like grassland groove, with the whole dancing trees and the parade and the incredible music...
i think the nsmbs DO generally have levels which have a certain kinda gimmick that they iterate upon throughout the level, which is normal for mario level design to be fair, but i dont really hear ppl talk about those? idk. it really seems like these are objectively good but not memorable games and just kinda blend together due to being so similar
either way a new 2d mario should be something unique at this point and not another nsmb. take some of the cool elements from the dkcs and rayman, make it look unique and cool!
 

Thomas the Tank Engine

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The NSMB series was totally fine when it was still new and fresh, if not just because it was Mario's return to 2D platformers for the first time since Super Mario Land 2, I think. But over the years, Nintendo's reliance on the NSMB games and art-style as being the modern 2D Mario aesthetic has honestly soured me a bit on the series because, looking back on it, the NSMB aesthetic is generally very stale and aesthetic and honestly feels like it's stuck in the mid-2000s (when the original game was released) with its 2.5D style. And that's not to say 2.5D is automatically bad either, it's just the NSMB games do it in the most boring and safe way possible.

And unfortunately I also think Nintendo's reliance on the NSMB games is a big reason why a lot of fans tend to dismiss the series, even when the games themselves are genuinely good. Like I (and quite a few others) rank New Super Mario Bros U (and New Super Luigi U) among the upper echelons of Mario games but then you'll also get a ton of people who immediately dismiss the game(s) because 'it's yet another NSMB game, those're all the same'.

So yeah I guess in the end I just want Nintendo to move on from the NSMB aesthetic and try something new for the next 2D Mario game they put out. Maybe base the game off the current 2D designs for the Mario universe or something, I think that'd be interesting, personally.
 

Kontrast

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The first thing I like to immediately get out of the way is the game's art styles. It was fine in the DS era where power was much more limited and it felt fresh by the time but they have to ditch the orthographic 2D tile set with the 3D characters unless they design the game around it. It worked in Yoshi's New Island because the game was attempting for a hand-drawn feel with various characters and enemies receiving 3D models for the first time but this is really hideous:


At the time, we eventually saw the release of Donkey Kong Country Returns and Kirby's Return to Dreamland, both games which have vastly upgraded environments because they took advantage of the fact that they're in 3D.



Or if you want to stick with a 2D style, Rayman Origins is gorgeous.

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Even Sonic Generations understood this.

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And then, New Super Mario Bros. U comes out after these games show what 2D platformers are truly capable of and ends up looking like this:


Now, if you want to claim that these games like to focus on gameplay rather than graphical style but honestly? They don't really stand out at all, relying far too heavily on past hits rather than having own unique ideas (yes I do realize there are some new gimmicks here and there but they don't make NSMBU stand out). Sure, they're good platformers but they've been on autopilot for a while. I got burnt on NSMBU very very quickly because we got a lot of good platformers after the release of NSMBW. NSMBU isn't a bad platformer by any means but it's mostly an indolent effort, especially by a mainline Mario game, once considered the industry leader, standard-setter, innovator, on 2D platformers.

The problem with NSMB games aren't because they are generic. There's still a very strong brand identity in Mario titles, and NSMBU still stands out to an extent to its competitors. Its environment designs are still fairly unique. No, the problem is that the world themes and enemies and graphical style we have has been stagnant, relative to other Mario games. It's the same issue facing Kirby: Star Allies if I were to be perfectly honest (I'm a bit tired of the Return to Dreamland engine and graphical style at this point). Sure, it IS logical to start out with a grass-themed world for the beginning of the game, to ease new players in, but does it really have to look the exact way every time? Do we really need to start the game's second level as an underground level?

I know I ranted a lot about the game's graphical style but that's the easiest criticism I can lob. NSMB games in general have an issue of recycling gameplay themes such as, lava level with falling debris, level with snake block, ice level with cooligans, new flying power-up, mountain levels with cliffs and bullet bills, cloud levels with bubbles in them, jungles with poison water in them, and so on. I've SEEN the same song and dance so many times. Compare this to the SNES era where Super Mario World, out of all things, was criticized for being stagnant and stale and even that game had a fresh theming going on in it with the whole Dinosaur Land schtick.
 

Waluigi Time

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I think the NSMB games are stuck in a state where they're all decent games, but because it's not nothing new anymore a lot of fans are kind of turned off by it, and rightfully so. Unfortunately this extends backwards too, I do think the original NSMB as well as Wii were fairly original for their time but now they're grouped together with the games that haven't really innovated much since then.

After reading Zelen and BLOF's posts in particular, I do definitely think future 2D platformer games need to spice things up and get more creative, both in terms of aesthetics and level design. It's pretty sad when the franchise that used to be the king of platformers is now relegated to "decent".
 

Kontrast

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i think the nsmbs DO generally have levels which have a certain kinda gimmick that they iterate upon throughout the level, which is normal for mario level design to be fair, but i dont really hear ppl talk about those? idk. it really seems like these are objectively good but not memorable games and just kinda blend together due to being so similar
I think a good reason people don't talk much about specific levels and how they all blend together is because they use the most generic naming system typical of NES era when it took until bloody New Super Mario Bros. U to ditch it (even SNES Yoshi's Island had a proper naming system for its levels...that was on SNES!).

Do you remember World 5-3? You, know, World 5-3 from NSMBW? Doesn't ring a bell? That's the level with the Bramballs. Don't get it confused with the extremely iconic World 5-3 from NSMB, because that's the level that has the iconic and revered Snailcorn enemies. (Holy shit I picked that world out of a hat and it JUST so happened to have my favorite all-time Mario enemy in it)
 

zelen !!

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oh yeah wow all the dkcs in the snes era even had unique level names.. theres also a bunch of other things just the snes dkcs do that nsmbs dont that one could elaborate on. like idk, the better swimming controls? and the fact that those also look quite pretty, esp for old 3d renders compressed into a crusty snes form
what helps is how the ground looks, it looks a little 3d whereas the nsmbs are completely flat

also good colors
 

Laura Kinney

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Well my opinions on this series have changed a lot recently so now is a good time to update I guess

DS is pretty good I came back to this game recently and it was quite nostalgic. Minigames were good and it has the best bosses and overall feels like it has the liveliest and most unique spirit. Only downside of this one compared to the rest of the series is that it’s the only one lacking the quick save feature but this can easily be remedied by just closing the system (it’s so cool that Mario says bye) as my 3ds has a phenomenal battery life

Wii is good too the upgrades from DS are honestly not much looking at it now tbh but nostalgia

NSMB2 was kinda cool with the coin thing but is probably the worst aside from Luigi U because it’s too short, my first play through lasted literally 2 days and I wasn’t even playing it that much

NSMBU is very similar to wii oddly they removed nunchuck support and as I don’t have a wii u pro controller and want to somewhat limit game pad usage for wear out concerns I am stuck using a sideways wiimote which is fine but not ideal. Graphics here were easily the best but it still isn’t that beautiful a game tbh. I like the world map and how the levels have proper names.

in terms of music so much was straight up copied it’s hard to really pick favourites

worth mentioning New Super Luigi U which is easily the worst IMO if counted as it’s own game, I thought it would kind of be its own thing at first but it’s just the same as NSMBU but the whole game is stressful 100s timer challenges mirroring NSMBU’s levels

So overall I think I will take NSMBDS > NSMBWii > NSMBU > NSMB 2 >>> NSLU

As for future entries I think 2d Mario should break away from this series and do something new
 
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Kontrast

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I am just sad that there can not be more official mario sprites
Sprites are still perfectly feasible, just look at Wario Land Shake It or hell, the Rayman games. Problem is that they're extremely expensive, much more than 3D.
 

Han Brolo

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Seeing as my first ever video game was New Super Mario Bros DS, I have a soft spot for the series. Honestly, it doesn't deserve the bad rap people give it. It's Mario in it's purest form.
 

Glowsquid

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Remember when NSMBDS vaguely attempted to have decent and varied boss battles and the following games were like "NO we cannot get the authentic SMB3 nostalgia if all the bosses aren't interchangeable turtles that fire a slow and heavily telegraphed projectile after you jump on them once''
 

Kontrast

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I also forgot to mention how...mediocre the New Super Mario Bros. games soundtracks past Wii were (and even Wii isn't like, super brilliant or anything). 2 was just recycled Wii themes but they made it worse by overlaying excessive "bahs" on every single song, including the tower, castle, and ghost house themes (which made the ost unbearable) and I barely remember U's soundtrack at all.
 

Waluigi Time

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I also forgot to mention how...mediocre the New Super Mario Bros. games soundtracks past Wii were (and even Wii isn't like, super brilliant or anything). 2 was just recycled Wii themes but they made it worse by overlaying excessive "bahs" on every single song, including the tower, castle, and ghost house themes (which made the ost unbearable) and I barely remember U's soundtrack at all.
U's soundtrack is also mostly recycled from Wii, so I don't blame you for forgetting it. The overworld, final boss, and world map themes are about the only new ones there as far as I remember.

I enjoy the New Super Mario Bros. Wii soundtrack but is that really the best you can come up with, Nintendo?
 

Koops

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nsmb is great

haters will say it got old a million years ago but I say people who say that don't see the sheer power of mario sidescrollers. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the games are really just the refined form of mario 2D platforming and that's all it ever needs to be. Admittedly I'm indifferent to whether it should continue or not but I'll still be here to give it the praise it deserves while it's still here. Games may have become samey over the years but that's nothing that can stop them from being good games
 

Mario: a pumpkin head

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The NSMB series was totally fine when it was still new and fresh, if not just because it was Mario's return to 2D platformers for the first time since Super Mario Land 2, I think. But over the years, Nintendo's reliance on the NSMB games and art-style as being the modern 2D Mario aesthetic has honestly soured me a bit on the series because, looking back on it, the NSMB aesthetic is generally very stale and aesthetic and honestly feels like it's stuck in the mid-2000s (when the original game was released) with its 2.5D style. And that's not to say 2.5D is automatically bad either, it's just the NSMB games do it in the most boring and safe way possible.

And unfortunately I also think Nintendo's reliance on the NSMB games is a big reason why a lot of fans tend to dismiss the series, even when the games themselves are genuinely good. Like I (and quite a few others) rank New Super Mario Bros U (and New Super Luigi U) among the upper echelons of Mario games but then you'll also get a ton of people who immediately dismiss the game(s) because 'it's yet another NSMB game, those're all the same'.

So yeah I guess in the end I just want Nintendo to move on from the NSMB aesthetic and try something new for the next 2D Mario game they put out. Maybe base the game off the current 2D designs for the Mario universe or something, I think that'd be interesting, personally.
While I don't think Mario designs overall need much of changeup, if even needed, I do agree that the style needs more of an upgrade.

I think people give New Super Mario Bros. too much credit/blame for its character design, as I think it just is a unifying, memorable game in terms of enemy design. Besides, I think a lot of the character design is good. I don't see people disliking how Dry Bones looks, but people say the Sticker Star appearance is a "New Super Mario Bros." iteration one even though that particular design predated New Super Mario Bros. in the form of Super Princess Peach, Mario Kart DS, Mario Party 7, AND Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time.

Same thing for Hammer Bro. It went through a lot of iteration before they settled on one, but that one wasn't necessarily New Super Mario Bros. Super Mario Strikers AND Super Princess Peach came first as well as Mario Party 5. Mario Party was probably one of the first games to even give it shoes. But again I've seen people dock on Sticker Star for using its standard design and blame New Super Mario Bros. on it rather than Mario Party or Super Princess Peach. Its design too is good, haven't seen people dislike how it currently looks.

As for the environment, again, I think it's actually fine. It actually looks really pleasant as a landscape. It actually looks better as a backdrop New Super Mario Bros. than the barren, empty feel Odyssey went for.

But we've seen this landscape a lot, and New Super Mario Bros. really doesn't take advantage of how you can make this look beautiful. In the end, New Super Mario Bros. turns this into a 2D backdrop rather than a model, so I think the art suffers a bit.

And that's the problem, I'm not a fan of how New Super Mario Bros. tries to toe between 2D nostalgia and more modern 3D? It seems clear to me that Nintendo really likes the look of their older games and don't really want to move past that, so that's why they rely on these archaic 2D tilesets and have Mario's movement looks a bit stiff (like he's still a sprite), as if their DNA is from the 90s. But in the end, the games don't look very visually impressive. I don't think 2D Mario has actually ever been much of eyecandy, at least not modern ones, not compared to the praise Mario Kart 8, Odyssey, and Galaxy got, and I think that has to do with that clash between 2D and 3D.

I do think Nintendo has actually done a truly 3D environment. If you look at some of the art surrounding Mario Maker 2, you'll see perspective on the ground. Look at the 3D World style




So visually, still not quite there yet, and the tiling as well as how detached the background is (not a fan of how Mario looks like he's on a tightrope with sheer drops on both sides) still makes the levels have a "generated" feel to them rather than an organic look, but I consider this a step above New Super Mario Bros. era look. Yes, I know the "generated" appearance technically applies here since this is Super Mario Maker 2, but I seriously don't see how a standalone follow-up 2D platformer to Super Mario Maker 2 is going to look much drastically different.

to be honest ive never actually played a proper new super mario bros, the closest being super mario maker 2, and from that i can tell that the movement feels nice, but i just. dont have interest in properly playing any of the nsmbs at all. MAYYYYBE ds because its more unique but That Is It
i dont see what theyd offer that other 2d platformers wouldnt. take tropical freeze for example, its way more interesting visual and has more fun level themes. a bunch of levels end up SUPER memorable, like grassland groove, with the whole dancing trees and the parade and the incredible music...
i think the nsmbs DO generally have levels which have a certain kinda gimmick that they iterate upon throughout the level, which is normal for mario level design to be fair, but i dont really hear ppl talk about those? idk. it really seems like these are objectively good but not memorable games and just kinda blend together due to being so similar
either way a new 2d mario should be something unique at this point and not another nsmb. take some of the cool elements from the dkcs and rayman, make it look unique and cool!
New Super Mario Bros. differs from Donkey Kong probably in just how straightforward it is. There are quite a few memorable levels in the New Super Mario Bros. games that I think are worth playing. The only thing I can guarantee is that the music of New Super Mario Bros. games isn't their strong point and neither are the boss fights. To be fair I'm not sure who specifically points out Grassland Groove regularly unless prompted, and people still talk about the likes of New Super Mario Bros. 9-7, spinecoasters in New Super Mario Bros. Wii; heck I remember New Super Mario Bros. levels more than I remember Super Mario Bros. 3 most of the time, despite having played Super Mario Bros. 3 a bit.

I think the NSMB games are stuck in a state where they're all decent games, but because it's not nothing new anymore a lot of fans are kind of turned off by it, and rightfully so. Unfortunately this extends backwards too, I do think the original NSMB as well as Wii were fairly original for their time but now they're grouped together with the games that haven't really innovated much since then.

After reading Zelen and BLOF's posts in particular, I do definitely think future 2D platformer games need to spice things up and get more creative, both in terms of aesthetics and level design. It's pretty sad when the franchise that used to be the king of platformers is now relegated to "decent".
I think partially has to do with a wealth of great 2D platformers that vy for Mario's spot. In the 3D terms of things, there's nowhere near the competition for Mario as most of the notable recent 3D platformers are usually indie fare (Hat in Time; Yooka Laylee 1 wasn't all that fantastic) and Mario's more mainstream competition is.... Sonic? Balan Wonderlandworld? Lucky? Crash feels too different from Mario. As for 2D, well there's a lot of really good indie fare but there's been Rayman, Donkey Kong Country, Yoshi's Woolly World, Kirby, Yooka Layle Impossible Lair, etc god the Switch has a lot more 2D platformers to choose from.

I am just sad that there can not be more official mario sprites
Everyone's been requesting Mario to have a platformer revolved entirely around their official 2D art style for a while. I'm 100% sure it's feasible. Hell even if a game in that art style plays nearly identical to how New Super Mario Bros., people are more than willing to excuse that (and why not, the gameplay itself is tight and overall excellent) just because the art style is great.



Hell if Nintendo wants to sell nostalgia, why don't they just Sonic Mania it and have indie studios make pixel art games in the Mario style? We had Cadence of Hyrule, surely they help make a game that looks like Super Mario Flashback. What's holding them back, are they paranoid that fans will damage their stupid brand that's already been sullied by their official outputs like Mario Kart Tour, New Super Mario Bros. 2, and Sticker Star? Those games have definitely made people view lesser of the Mario brand.

nsmb is great

haters will say it got old a million years ago but I say people who say that don't see the sheer power of mario sidescrollers. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the games are really just the refined form of mario 2D platforming and that's all it ever needs to be. Admittedly I'm indifferent to whether it should continue or not but I'll still be here to give it the praise it deserves while it's still here. Games may have become samey over the years but that's nothing that can stop them from being good games
I agree and I still think New Super Mario Bros. is a better "first Mario game" than the retro outputs, to be quite honest. But platformer after platformer, you just feel you want more. New Super Mario Bros. hasn't gotten a new installment in over half a decade, being practically replaced by Super Mario Maker (which is a far cry from a standalone game, in my opinion). The appetite for 2D Mario is still there and I still look forward to whatever Nintendo is going to give us.
 

zelen !!

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To be fair I'm not sure who specifically points out Grassland Groove regularly unless prompted,
me i do ! i guess! but ive also first played dkctf a few months ago to b fair so its cool levels r on my mind and i realise i dont really see others talk about stuff like this either..
 

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Pardon my candor, I loved NSMB DS, but feel the Wii games contributed to medicore vacuum of Mario games. My hope is that Nintendo keeps sequels to this series as Mobile and Gameboy only.
 

P&D Red Koopa Paratroopa

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They have an opportunity to diverge a whole "New" series, with New Super Mario and Yoshi's New Island as their forerunners.
Bring out New Wario Land and New Super Princess Peach, Nintendo!
 

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They have an opportunity to diverge a whole "New" series, with New Super Mario and Yoshi's New Island as their forerunners.
Bring out New Wario Land and New Super Princess Peach, Nintendo!
Wario Land would be grand.

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