Developer: Nintendo EAD
Platforms: Wii U
Release Date: November 18th, 2012
Ok, what are you doing here reading my review in the first place? Do you honestly need someone to give you a full on analysis on a 2-D Mario Platformer? Ok, fine, it’s on a new mysterious system called the Wii U, and you need to wonder how they work with these new gizmos into the game. But, other than that, there’s really nothing I can say that’s not going to change your mind on the game. You already know if you’re going to buy it or not. If you’re honestly on the fence of whether or not you should buy this game, well, did you like New Super Mario Bros. Wii? Do you think another game like that is worth a full retail price? Well, there’s you’re answer!
With all that said though, New Super Mario Bros. U is the sequel the New Super Mario Bros. Wii. There are also a couple of games with the “New” title on the DS that I haven’t had the pleasure of being able to play(yet). While the game doesn’t really bring anything new to the whole 2D Mario platformer thing, this game still manages to be a welcoming addition to the series that I and many other people will enjoy as well.
The Big Epic Story
It’s actually pretty complicated this time. Bowzer……oh, who am I kidding?
Yes, Bowzer kidnaps the Princess for the….uh, actually, has anybody been keeping count on this? Anyways, the Princess gets kidnapped by Bowzer, and it’s up to the Mario Bros. along with Toads and the occasional help from some Yoshis along the way to run, jump, and stomp there way through vast levels of different landscapes, castles, and baddies in order to save the Princess and to clear the Mushroom Kingdom of the trouble makers that Bowzer has set forth.
What’s New With U?
As you may have heard, this game is built for this new system called the Wii U, which means they had to do something with this new controller. Well, the most useful feature with this game is that you’ll be able to play single-player with just the screen the controller has. Someone can be watching TV in the same room the console is hooked up to, but, no worries with this game, you’ll be able to use the screen on the controller. And it does look really good on the screen. In fact, I think the colors were a little more vibrant than they were on the TV.
Speaking of vibrant colors, this game looks really good on the Wii U. The game embraces its simplistic graphics and manages to be really pleasant to the eye. They paid particular attention to the background in levels. I didn’t notice them at first, but once I did notice them, it was hard to take my eyes off of them. You’ll get a sense of the vastness of the Mushroom Kingdom by how much that’s going on in the background.
There’s also this new feature called Boost Mode with the controller. It basically means that you can touch an area on the screen and a platform will appear. This helped us get through hard to reach places, especially when we’re collecting the Star Coins as they are usually incredibly hard to reach, but that’s really about as much as you can do with it. Apparently, the developers said it was supposed to be used for speed runs, but I don’t really think they knew what they were talking about when they brought that up. The thing is, people do speed runs to show how fast they can beat the game with the limits the game is putting them through. Actually giving tools to help beat levels as quickly as possible completely defeats the purpose of speed runs, but I guess they had to go with that because they couldn’t really say that they made a new gimmick for people who can’t quite make those jumps without making them feel bad.
A big question that’s probably going over a lot of people’s heads is, “Is it worth getting a Wii U so I can play this game?” Well, I definitely thought it was. If you don’t care about Mario…then, you probably weren’t interested in getting a Wii U in the first place. But, for those of you who are new to this whole thing and this new mysterious system intrigues you, then, this is a really good starting point. It doesn’t utilize the Wii U’s controls to it’s full potential, but, this Mario game is a pretty welcoming game for everybody. It’s challenging, but it’s also pretty forgiving. The game is pretty generous with extra lives and helpful items.
For those of you in the know and are wondering if you should get a Wii U for this game AND you like Mario, then you should definitely be on the look out for the console and this game.
It’s a Me! A Mario Game!
As I’ve said, there’s really nothing I could say about this game that’s going to surprise anybody. It’s a Mario game, and not only that, a 2D sidescroller Mario game. You run, jump, eat baddies with Yoshi, jump on baddies, try to not fall into any death traps, keep on moving to the right until you reach the end of the level, occasionally find power-ups such as a mushroom that makes you grow big and give you one more hit to take, a fire flower that makes you throw fire balls, a star that makes you murder enemies by merely just touching them….ok, I feel like I’m making people’s eyes roll so hard by how redundant this whole description. Even people that are not of this planet probably know what Mario is all about.
Not to say that there isn’t anything new to talk about. There’s a new flying squirrel suit that’s actually incredibly fun to use. Not only does it look good on Mario and Co, it’s incredibly helpful and the gliding is really effective. Also, it helped eased the more difficult platforming sections as do pretty much all of the best power-up costumes do in every game. I’m disappointed that they don’t have the penguin suit anymore though. Well, they kind of do, but it’s on a secret level and I’m afraid of using it for fear of never seeing it again.
Baby Yoshis play a part in this game as well, though, this feels more like babysitting. You basically carry them throughout the entire level and let them eat up baddies. Also, shaking the Wii-mote while carrying them makes them use their special ability such as an extra boost in your jump, shooting bubbles at enemies to make them turn into items, or lighting the way through dark paths. They can be somewhat useful, but they can become a bit of a drag. The first time my brother and I had to deal with them, I picked up one Yoshi and let go of the button that allows me to carry the Yoshi to accidentally throw him off a cliff. The timing was both tragic and hilarious. All they really do is make me feel bad about dragging them along through a level in the first place as it’s pretty inevitable that they’re not going to last forever.
With that said, everything we still like about Mario is fully intact with this game. The controls are still about as tight as they can get, all of the platforming is fun, and we still get our green friend, Yoshi, who’s always there to lend a helping hand!
Other things I’d Like to See
The thing is, it’s really hard going into these games giving it some actual criticisms. Any valid criticisms about the game that doesn’t involve “Why have they been doing these games for so long?” is just going to criticize the series as a whole; Nintendo doesn’t exactly have any urgent need to comply to those criticisms. I mean, they’ve been sticking with a pretty tried and true formula. While the games have been evolving in its early stages from the Mario Bros. that started it all to Yoshi’s Island, the games only really seem to be evolving anymore with the big releases. These throw-back games are mainly here to help us remember the roots of what Mario is all about. With that said, I can think of some ways to even make the 2D platformer feel more fresh.
For one thing, the co-op mode is kind of a missed opportunity. Actually, that seems to be the case with a lot of games. Some games seem to have the right idea by releasing a separate campaign, but most co-op has pretty much been the main game but with you dragging a friend along. While co-op can definitely ease some things a little bit, as you can reach higher places by jumping on each other, it can be a disaster if you have all four players on screen and they’re all trying to do the same thing. A good co-op game would ideally make the players work together to reach a certain goal.
So, why not make a separate game mode specifically for this kind of gameplay? I can think of ideas right off the top of my head. You can still have Mario, Luigi, and Toad, but maybe the fourth character can be Yoshi. All of these characters can have different skills. Luigi is obviously the person who can jump the highest. Yoshi can give people rides and swallow enemies with his ability to do his floating thing can help him rich further areas and give anybody a ride to that area who is needed to perform a special action only that character can do. Maybe Mario can have some sort of special ability with items and Toad can be able to get through smaller areas. It’d be like The Lost Vikings but with more jumping….actually, does anybody even remember that game? You should probably go out of your way and find a way to play it, because that and it’s sequel, Norse by Norse West, are seriously really awesome games.
You can still have your classic 2D Mario fare even with this new co-op idea. But it would be pretty cool to have a new layer of gameplay than what we’ve all grown used to. With that said, I’ve played through this entire game with my brother, and it still made it more fun because of that.
Run, Jump, “Here we GO!!!”
Well, I really liked this game, and, if you like Mario as much as I do, then you’ll really like this game. If you’re seriously still on the fence if whether or not you want to buy it, well, I’d definitely recommend it. It’s really more of the same of what we come to expect of the 2D Mario platformers, but that’s kind of the reason a lot of people are going to like it anyway. It’s an incredibly fine 2D Mario Sidescroller that’s going to be giving people a lot of joy!
BOG’s New Super Mario Bros. U Review Score: 8.0
Why So High? It’s Mario! Fun platforming, Flying Squirrel Suit, tight controls
Why So Low? Co-op can be fun, but they really need to do something more with it.