Mario goes multiplayer.

IGN has posted a nice GamesCon 2009 New Super Mario Bros. hands-on impression article. Of particular interest is the multiplayer aspect of the game.

Which leads me to the single biggest improvement made to New Super Mario Bros. for Wii (over its DS predecessor, since let’s face it — these games are otherwise very similar): the four-player-compatible cooperative and competitive multiplayer mode. The title is frankly doubly engrossing when you play with a friend or two because you will find yourselves working against each other just as often as you team up to take on enemies and challenges from the Mushroom Kingdom. I played in Germany against Peer Schneider, former IGN Nintendo editor turned traitorous VP of content at our little network, and we were laughing and groaning as we both made like we were going to help each other out and then instead tried to sabotage one another’s characters. You can, of course, blast through levels as a comprehensive team, disposing of goombas simultaneously, planning jumps on the tops of each other’s heads to gain height, and so on. But if you play like Peer and I did, you will do just the opposite, picking each other up and trying to hurl one another off ledges, stealing away power-ups before the other can get at them, and even throwing koopa shells at each other on occasion.

Day one purchase for the kids, and of course dad needs to play with the kids. Nothing says fun like a new Mario game for the Wii.

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