If you do need a new ios and the game does not offer it, the games update partition has been removed. If you have an ios of the disk you can view the update partition with wii scrubber. Also it is likly that your chip is blocking updates, in which case you would need to disable this. Remember it is ok to update in your region, but not out of region. If you run a NSMB in your region that has an update, you should be good with your ios and your system menu will be 4.1.
If you do an update from the system menu, you will have 4.2 and will lose region free capability, and you will still have trouble with problematic game like NSMB.
Also you can run may HBC apps using loadmii and bannerbomb to load them without installing anything to the wii. Doing that you could run Gecko Os and load a game with updates. If updates are not blocked and present it will offer to install the ios, but skip system menu updates.