New Super Mario Brothers
Story both 1/10 and 10/10: The story of Mario. It is epic. It is timeless. It has never changed in the last 16 years. I love getting into a Mario game because I know I don't have to pay attention to any of the cut scenes. They will be as follows: Mario & Peach are on a vacation together. Peach is abducted by Bowser and/or Bowser's little minions. Mario seeks out Peach. Mario rescues Peach and she kisses him on the head and/or bakes him a cake. I, personally, prefer the cake method. Mario deserves something for all his time and effort.
Graphics 9/10: For the DS I think this game is awesome. The graphics are smooth, and they hearken back to a better time. A 2D time. A left to right platformer time. But with awesome 3D background images. And I love how recent Mario games play with the gravity in the game. In New Super Mario Brothers there are levels where you play and have to hit switches that turn the level upside down. So fun! (I believe this was also done, more extensively, in Super Paper Mario-- I'm noticing a naming trend.)
Sound 9/10: The soundtrack is a trip. It's so fun to hear the Mario songs we've known and loved throughout the ages again. That said, most of the time on my DS I have the sound turned way down, until I accidentally hit the slider and it skyrockets my eardrums out. (Apparently the DSi has fixed this issue, but I won't have one of those for quite some time.)
Gameplay 10/10: Like I said earlier, this game is a total walk down memory lane. When you play it, you feel like you are 10 years old again, plugging in those awkward NES controllers. Because, let's face it, in a game like this the DS is so uncomfortable. My wrists want to fall off after about half an hour. This does not diminish the fun that is the game play. In fact, it might accentuate it because old school gaming was so uncomfortable. I love the secrets hidden throughout this game, it gives it great replayability. I feel like it will take a while to 100% this game, and even once that is done I will find myself going back and playing favorite levels.
Overall 9/10: Just because I feel nervous about giving a game a perfect 10/10. This game is so fun. I recommend it for all gamers. I feel like anyone could get into this game. Hardcore gamers can use it to cleanse their palate in between gaming sessions. Not so hardcore? Play a few levels and take a break. It's as easy as the original Mario Brothers, but better because you can save. (Although I think the saving feature sucks until you purchase all available mushroom house paths. You can only save by buying a path, or beating a castle. Lame!)
Buy/Rent: I say buy. But you know me. I do think this game has good replay factor. I mean, how often do you go back to the original Mario Brothers? It's one of those games that just sticks with you.
Oh PS - In writing this I forgot to mention that this game also has an awesome and fun selection of minigames. I have spent a lot of time playing them when I am just too frustrated with trying to find the secret exits to the levels. Also they are excellent for letting your 18-month-old child play when she refuses to take no for an answer. I'm raising a gamer!