It should really be called New Coin Battle Mario Bros.

New Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo Wii is all about co-op play, as well as co-op murder rampages spawned from the nine-times-out-of-ten frustrating co-op play. But that’s actually only accurate towards traditional co-op. Let me explain further.

Recently, Tara and I visited her brother and played some New Super Mario Bros together. He was Mario, and Tara and I each played as the mushroom dudes. We picked a few levels, and it was clear that we were not destined to get to the flagpole together. Maybe one could make it, but not all of us. We ended up hitting each other with thrown turtle shells or knocking each other down death-holes. Sometimes power-ups would get stolen or friends left behind. It was especially tough on levels that moved, especially ones in the clouds where timing jumps was crucial to survival. Having your co-op partner blocking your way never helped. Eventually, we just gave up on all of this and switched over to the Coin Battle co-op thingy.

In this, the goal was not necessarily to make it to the end, but rather to collect as many coins as possible. Once all players were dead…or all hit the flagpole, coins were counted up and the player with the most won that “round.” We set an attainable goal of winning 11 rounds, and went right to it. Well, first, I switched over to Luigi, but otherwise we went right to it!

Coin Battle can be described in one word: murder.

Yup. Murder is key. Pick up once-your-friend Mario, throw him down a hole, and steal all the coins he was after. Then, if you got more than everyone else, kill yourself and win the round. It was amazing to see strategies forming on the spot; for instance, getting Yoshi can be an extremely winning tactic. That dino you ride can swallow up another player in his mouth until you are comfortable enough to spit them out where they most certainly don’t want to go. This Coin Battle game turned out to be a blast, chaotic as anything, and I think it ended like so:

Sean: 11 wins
Paul: 10 wins
Tara: 4 wins

I’ll win next time, I swear!

But yeah, I have a hard time believing that anyone can actually play successfully the main game with co-op partners. And if they can, well…they deserve a medal.

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