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New Super Mario Bros. Mii is More of the Same With a Girlfriend-Friendly Twist

Getting two options for playing is cooler than it sounds.

It's like Mario on a handheld! But not! But it is!
It's like Mario on a handheld! But not! But it is!

I’ll admit New Super Mario Bros. Mii was not the Mario game I wanted to see first from Nintendo’s debut in high-definition. I’ve seen the screen shots of folks running Super Mario Galaxy in Wii emulators. I wanted that. New Super Mario Bros. Mii is a slightly cleaner looking update of New Super Mario Bros. Wii. It’s a game whose job was to demonstrate the simplicity of choice for moving between TV and controller.

In that respect, it’s just fine. It was nearly impossible to tell the difference between the two, even though one was running on a big ol’ television and other in the palm of my hand. Unlike the Zelda demonstration, I wasn’t choosing between one and the other; it was running simultaneously. I found it easy to switch my eyes between the two screens and continue as though nothing had happened.

Situations where my fiancée wants to see what’s coming up on the DVR, allowing me to finish a level without losing platforming composure, immediately started springing to mind. Convenience!

I’d also been worried about the ergonomics of the controller. How much would it weigh? Would all those buttons prove unwieldy and awkward when prompted to hit the touch screen? Had my extensive use of the iPad changed my expectations, making this feel old and broken?

None of those were concerns after playing through most of a stage in the game. The controller is light, nimble and toy-like, without feeling cheap and plasticly like most Wii accessories. You’re reminded why buttons remain a great way to interface with games, despite the motion revolution started by Nintendo just a few years ago. And while touch-only games remain incredibly interesting, this has a chance to do both.

I was jumping onto platforms, grabbing series of red coins and bopping on turtles as if I’d been playing with a Wii U for days. The controller looks much more awkward to use than it is to actually use it, a feel that could only get better with extended play.

Patrick Klepek on Google+