The debate over originality in games kind of becomes moot when we’re talking about a game like this, doesn’t it? It’s quite possibly one of the least innovative games of 2006…and that’s a good thing?
When it’s something as timeless as a 2D Mario game, yes. While this might have lacked the simple perfection of the NES games or the sense of wonder that came with turning on Super Mario World for the first time, it threw in a couple of new abilities to mix things up and then essentially let the gameplay do the talking. This is Mario; what does he have to prove?
The extra power of the DS was put to good use with assorted scaling tricks and almost subconscious use of the two screens (did you notice how subterranean sections are played out on the bottom screen?), and what it lacked in speed compared to its sprite-based progenitors it made up for in good clean fun and the novelty of a new 2D Mario. Did I mention it was one of those?