"Hardcore" gamers have been wringing their hands ever since word started spreading that Nintendo was working on a "helper mode" that would walk players through particularly challenging sections of still-in-development titles.
"So, the games will play themselves?" was a typical response from the gaming world's version of the peanut gallery.
Thankfully, that isn't the case--at least, not entirely.
According to the folks at Kotaku, who recently spent some time with New Super Mario Bros. Wii--the first title that will include the helper mode, now known as "Super Guide"--in-game assistance "will only be available to players using the game's single-player mode who have failed at a level eight times."
At the start of the player's ninth attempt at a level, a floating green box will appear on screen. Hitting it "restart[s] the level in 'Super Guide' mode ... [during which] Mario is replaced with a computer-controlled Luigi, who then proceeds through the level on his own," Kotaku's Stephen Totilo shares in a write-up posted to the site earlier today.
"What separates 'Super Guide' from traditional video-based playthroughs of game levels," he adds, "is that the player can assume control during the Luigi run. At any moment, the player can press a button and cancel the computer control of Luigi."
For more of Totilo's impressions of "Super Guide," head on over to Kotaku. Totilo also posted a lengthy preview of New Super Mario Bros. Wii, which can be found here.