There is a clear move over at Nintendo to really dig down to the roots of what made their brand fun in the old days. Tetris DS was a good indicator of this. While the Tetris franchise has sold us some retarded ideas, Tetris DS came up with a couple good concepts like the competitive "Push" mode and polished them - and the original Tetris concept - with a shiny coat of pure 8-bit nostalgia.
That was just a precursor to the much needed festival of reminiscence that is The New Super Mario Brothers. With NSMB, those geniuses at Nintendo decided "You know, we've made Mario do some wacky ass shit in his day, but why don't we just let him run through a level throwing fireballs and storming fucking castles again, like he did when back in the old days when the fact that he came pre-packaged with our system is what made us the original market leader in the video game world?" At least, that's how I see that meeting happening.
I'll tell you the first thing I noticed about this game: It's BLOODY HARD. Not a hard game like they make nowadays where they just add more monsters and give them more hit points or whatever. NSMB is hard like you're trying to accomplish something. When you finish a level, you feel satisfied, like you EARNED the right to raise the mushroom kingdom flag on that castle. It's a god damned FIGHT to get through this thing. Every time I land on a Koopa I felt like it was only by the grace of careful aeronautic guidance as my anti-gravity Italian-plumbing denim-clad ass plummets to earth. You need some serious mustache-ninja skills to get anywhere with this shit. I'll say it again, this game is challenging.
The new shit is cool too. They couldn't make a total throwback and actually market it without at least a couple new toys. So now we've got the Fro-Shroom.
The Fro-Shroom is clearly the super-pimp of the Mushroom Kingdom. Where the normal mushroom makes Mario "Super," the Fro-Shroom makes Mario "Supah-Fly" and bestows upon him the power of "Cain." Wielding this, Supah-Fly Mario grows to pimptastic proportions and subsequently bitch-slaps the shit out of every damn thing in the level. It's great.
And so in conclusion, I say fuck the conventions of our rating system. I'm giving New Super Mario Brothers a rating of Five Shrooms, for it's ultra pimptacular display of bitch-slappery.