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Penny Arcade described the multiplayer portion of New Super Mario Bros Wii as "divorce mode." After playing it, I'd say I have to agree with that assessment. Playing a game of this nature, especially when the players are of disparate skill levels, is relationship suicide.
Veteran gamers, accustomed to simply plowing ahead as fast as possible, will have difficulty adjusting to the pace of a novice playing alongside them, even when that novice is the gamer in question's significant other.
Fortunately, the game has some built-in features that you can take advantage of in order to alleviate this discrepancy. Our guide to multiplayer gaming will help you get the most out of these features, hopefully allowing you to maintain your relationships even after playing the game.
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Carry Your Partner Over the Threshold
Sometimes, no matter how carefully you explain (and demonstrate, and re-explain, and re-demonstrate) how to get past an obstacle, your partner simply just won't be able to do it. That's when you have to take matters into your own hands.
Luckily, the designers at Nintendo seem to have anticipated this. You know how you can pick up certain in-game objects (barrels, ice blocks) by shaking the Wii Remote? Well, if you perform this same shaking action while standing next to another player, you'll hoist them over your head in a similar man ner.
Pick up your second (or third, or fourth) player in this way, and you can simply carry them past any difficult portion of a level. They can always hop off with a controller shake of their own, but if you act fast you should be able to progress before they figure that out.
Of course, players with less-than-benevolent intentions could potentially use this technique to pitch another player off a cliff or into some lava, but since we're talking about saving relationships here, I don't recommend it.
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Use your Partner as a Mobile Respawn Point
Once cool thing about playing New Super Mario Bros Wii as a team is the fact that if one of you dies, your try at the level is not over. Both players must be dead at the same time or run out of lives to end the level.
Use this to your advantage. Now, even if you miss a jump a die, you don't have to restart from the beginning of the level, as long as your partner doesn't die too. Now you can take as many shots as you want at that hard part of the level, just have your partner stand in a safe place so you can respawn.
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I Hate to Burst Your Bubble...
When you respawn you'll appear in a bubble, floating along until such time as one of the other players decides to pop it. You're invincible while in the bubble, and can safely float past any obstacles or enemies in your way. You can use this to your advantage when playing with a less-skilled player by simply refusing to pop the bubble until you've passed a difficult part of a level, or by not popping it until the two of you have reached the flag pole.
You can also press A on the Wii Remote to jump into a bubble. Your second player may want to take advantage of this by pressing it and letting you get past any part they're having trouble with. You can just pop the bubble afterward. This works better when you have a second player who knows they're not the best player in the game.
Playing New Super Mario Bros Wii with a fellow gamer can be an exhilarating multiplayer experience. Playing it with your significant other can be one of those situations you end up repeatedly discussing in marriage counseling. Using these hints and tips, you can ensure that the experience is slightly less stressful for yourself.
Of course, if it's your relationship you're concerned with, you may want to consider just exercising a little patience. Just try not to hog all the power ups, okay?