Revealed as a surprise at the beginning of the Nintendo press conference was a title that no one was expecting, but seemed to make a big splash: The New Super Mario Bros Wii. Set to be released at the end of this year, this game brings back the 2D-and-a-half style of the game from the DS, but with a very important addition, that of four-player co-op.
Yes, that's right, now you and three other friends can jump, spin, and run through the Mushroom Kingdom while trying to reach the end of a level together. Putting Mario, Luigi, and two Toads (one Yellow, one Blue) means a lot of movement and a lot of new strategies. For example, some star coins are far out of standard jumping reach, but with the help of a friend (and their bouncy head), you can propel yourself to new heights and coins.
You can also pick up and throw your friends, whether they want you to or not, as well as eat them up with Yoshi, storing them in your mouth for, um safe-keeping. Oh, did I mention Yoshi has returned? The lovable egg-spawning dinosaur has returned to the Mario world in his many colorful variations, allowing many people to be sprinting across the level riding their colorful prehistoric mounts.
The game also introduced a new item: the propellor suit, which allows you to rocket up into the sky with the shake of the remote, then softly float back to the ground. The usual staples are there as well, though. Flowers and mushrooms ahoy. And at the end of the level, collecting these items (and coins, and beating enemies, and so forth) will determine who eventually gets bragging rights for getting the most points, even in co-operative mode.
The New Super Mario Bros Wii looks like a fun and exciting Wii title to be released sometime at the end of 2009, and I'm looking forward to jumping around with friends in a co-op Mushroom Kingdom.