The lights are on
New Super Mario Bros. U was one of the first times in awhile that I had played a Mario 2D platformer, since I never got to really try out the Wii entry, nor did I pick up the sequel to the original New Super Mario Bros. on 3DS, New Super Mario Bros. 2. I was very, very happy with the title, which offered superb level design, just enough challenge, and great visuals for Mario's HD debut. With the DLC spin-off, New Super Luigi U, I've found about just as much entertainment as I did with the original game, even if it can be completed in half the time.
There's a new Bro in town, and his name is Luigi.
The title that was announced when Nintendo first debuted the idea of the "Year or Luigi" uses the same assets as it's predecessor. However, that doesn't mean that this feels exactly the same. With a couple new backdrops, and multiple new designs made for the game, it's enough for the levels to feel somewhat different. One interesting thing about the game is that in every level, there's some little icon of Luigi somewhere. It could be an outline of him in stone, a small picture from his 8-bit days, or even a recreation of that 8-bit image with blocks. All in all, it looks the same at first glance, but the little additions make a noteworthy touch.
The main new aspect of this game is that you, of course, play as Luigi in single-player, and in multi-player, everyone has the little sort of hang-time in the air like Luigi does in Super Mario Bros. 2. The change is dramatic, and makes the game feel entirely different while being played. It is admittedly hard to grasp at first, but once you get into it, you start to appreciate the way it let Nintendo EAD experiment with new forms of level design. Jumping spaces are made much longer now, and also require more precision, due to Luigi having slippery feet when moving. Each of the levels was remade around these new features, and retain similar features to the original, such as being underground, or having a certain theme, but they feel entirely new.
Another new aspect is that each level is set at only having 100 seconds to complete it. This is put in to compensate for the shorter levels, as well as the fact that there are no checkpoints in the levels. While some may find this frustrating, I found it exhilarating, and only once or twice did I not complete a level due to the time restraint. It may sound like a big deal, but trust me on this one: it's not. It may make you miss more Star Coins in each level than you did in New Super Mario Bros. U, but I find that it just adds to the challenge.
Small Luigi references are abundant in New Super Luigi U. Finding them is a treat.
Speaking of the challenge, that's a huge draw of this game-the increased enemies and more challenging level design make this game much harder than the original, and I died quite a bit more. In the original game, I ended off with about 95 lives, give or take. In Luigi U? 58. Yes, it's a bit harder. One thing that makes it even more challenging is that there seem to be considerably more hidden areas in this game-by that, I mean, areas that are accessible, and there's a fake wall making you think that the area is solid. There are next-to-none clues hinting at where they are-I stumbled upon more than one by accident, and really fuels exploration within each level. Coupled with the fact that there's the aforementioned time restraint, there's a considerable adrenaline rush at points, which I find is a great selling point to me. Concept wise, you can call this game the Master Quest of Super Mario Bros.
As for the actual controlling of Luigi, like I said before, it's something to adjust to. While you may get frustrated at times, it's the whole point of the game to have this in, so I find complaints about it to kind of be ironic. In any case, I can see someone getting, frustrated with the game, so unless you're flexible, I wouldn't completely recommend buying the game. If you think you can manage though, this is definitely worth buying. If you can't, there's an exploitable cheat to play as the character Nabbit, who is immune to all damage, and basically lets a younger gamer play the more challenging levels without any fear of losing tons of lives. I personally would find this idea of playing to be missing the point of the game, but it's up to you if you want to.
I don't have many issues with the game itself. One thing though that was a step down from New Super Mario Bros, U is that I did encounter a couple of, well, times where the game sort of froze and messed up for a couple seconds, which I never experienced playing the Mario version. Also, the game is definitely shorter than the original, due to the levels being basically half as long, or so. It depends, really, but you can complete all of the main game in about half the time of the original, possibly even less if you're speeding and skip some levels. In any case, I enjoyed the game due to the completely revamped levels and challenge.
Let the chaos commence!
While not everyone will find $20 of value in this title, I think that it adds enough to be worth the price, and is also the perfect kind of game to try speed runs on. The challenge was enough to never make me have any continues, but it was enough to have me die on almost every level in the game, which is far more than the original did. If you're planning on waiting for the retail release, I can say that the wait may be awhile, but it'll be worth it, considering that awesome green box. If you can't decide on which to go, I'd say go retail, or try it at a friend's place, so you can get a feel for the challenge and how Luigi controls. That's just my advice though-if you want my opinion, it's this: Buy the game-it's one of the most enjoyable DLC's I've played.
NOTE: I actually intended for the score to be an 8.5, but for some reason, I can only select whole numbers. So, I'm rounding up for the display score, but the official score I give the game is an 8.5/10.
nice review! glad to hear that you enjoyed it! I look forward to playing it myself in the near future!
Nice review. Now I don't know if I should wait for the retail release.
Nice review. I loved New Super Mario Bros U,but i'm still not sure if i'm going to get this or not.It looks really fun though.