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New Super Mario Bros is on the virtual console, is it worth playing on an HDTV

Updated on June 22, 2015

My New Super Mario Bros review

A few weeks ago New Super Mario Bros was re-released on the Wii U Virtual Console, I scooped it up just to see how playing it on a console would compare playing it on the DS. After playing through it I have come to the conclusion. New Super Mario Bros is a good 2d Mario game, but not a great one and the conversion to an HDTV has not been kind to it.


The story in New Super Mario Bros is your basic Mario plot. Princess Peach gets kidnapped right under Mario’s nose this time by Bowser Jr and Mario is on hot pursuit. Now the game plot does get points for having Bowser JR be more of the baddy, and Bowser being the pond but for the most part it’s still saving Peach from the Koopa Clan.

Yeah the story is typical super mario bros.

(note all pictures in this hub were captured by me using a capture card, Mario of course belongs to Nintendo)
(note all pictures in this hub were captured by me using a capture card, Mario of course belongs to Nintendo)


Oh man is this one hard to really rate, on the DS the graphics look good, in fact for its time 9 years ago New Super Mario Bros was simply eye popping. But Nintendo’s upscale to the VC is has simple and bare bones has possible. No upscaling was done for HD TV and what we get is a picture filled with just jagged edges and sometimes blurry. You can really see it when Mario is small the screen is just terrible. Now if you do choose to keep the top screen on the touch screen it doesn’t look half bad, just remember your going to be sharing that screen with the bottom screen so it takes up space on the Wii U game pad.

Small Mario always has visual problems around him.


I am not a big fan of the New Super Mario Bros theme has much has I am the classic themes but even the New Super Mario Bros theme I have to admit is quite catchy and most of the music is good. I also give Props on how they handle Mario’s voice in this game. Rather than have him constantly yell you have classic sound effects with Mario chiming in on special moves or at ending and beginning of stages. It keeps it classic but adds in some new elements to it too.


The gameplay in New Super Mario Bros is a takeoff of the classic Super Mario Bros with a few changes to it. Like classic 2d Mario your goal is to go from one side of the stage to the other and grab the flag pole at the goal in order to end the stage. The next one opens up on the map and you proceed to the next stage. The main way to avoid enemies is by either jumping over them or by stomping on them. Mario still has his staple of classic power up items, the super mushroom that makes him big and the fire flower that allows him to throw out fire ball and defeats enemies.

Over all though the game is pretty solid on the gameplay front. However it does loose a few points when some of the newer elements that are added in to replace some of the classics seem to bring the game down more than help it.

For example there are three more power up items and all 3 are weak compare to the classic fire flower. First is the Mega Mushroom which gives Mario invincibility and allows him to grow the size of a giant the fills up the whole screen. Has Mega Mario you can crash through things and even get 1-ups if you cause enough destruction. It’s kind of fun to go all berserk in a stage but there are areas where you can get stuck using this item.

Becoming Mega Mario is always fun

On the flip side is the mini mushroom now this one is unique and I don’t hate it when your in the right areas. Basically it’s an item for those who want to complete the game 100% you’re going to need it to unlock secrets, and get into areas regular Mario cannot get into. But you now have to ground pound just to stomp enemies and it’s tricky to use.

Finally the last item you can get is this turtle shell Mario can wear. It’s really powerful but it’s also hard to use. When Mario is at full run he will become a moving koopa shell and run over everything in his path. But he will bounce off things if you mistime or misread a jump you can easily find yourself being bounced into a pit.

The game is also really easy to beat, while it’s not New Super Mario Bros 2 for the 3ds easy and it doesn’t have those infamous Luigi blocks, it is however easy to stock up on lives and power up items. All you have to do is learn how to spam the timer at the end of stages. If you end the stage when the timer last two digits are ending on a factor of 11 you will get fireworks and a toad house appears on the world map. Find out what numbers spawn what toad house and finding toad houses filled with 1-ups, items, and mega mushrooms now becomes much easier.

Final Recommendation

Now don’t get me wrong New Super Mario Bros still has a lot of the fun and imagination that made some of the classic games fun. However when you count the game is easier, the power ups are limited, the new ones stink, and it’s just too easy and you can understand why I have to say that on the VC your better off spending your money on Super Mario Bros 3, or Super Mario World before you spend your money on New Super Mario Bros for the DS. Throw in that it looks like crap on the TV and you can also understand why I say you should pick up New Super Mario Bros on its native console the DS.

New Super Mario Bros


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