Here we go again,another 2D Super Mario Bros game,however this one is the first HD Super Mario game.

I've been a fan of Super Mario platformer games ever since I played them on the NES back in the early 1990's and I've played most of the Super Mario platformer games and every time a new Super Mario platformer is announced/released it excites me.However,after the disappointment that was New Super Mario Bros 2 for the 3DS,I was starting to think maybe 2D Mario platformer games have lost their mojo because although New Super Mario Bros 2 is a pretty decent game,it felt too similar to all the other 2D Mario platformer games,but New Super Mario Bros U showed me 2D Mario platformer games can still feel fresh and creative whilst still having the classic 2D Mario style o gameplay and still can as fun as ever.

The first thing that will probably impress you with this game is it's visuals,from a technical standpoint they're by far the best visuals for any Mario game.Even though from an art style perspective I prefer the artstyle for Super Mario Bros 3 and Super Mario Galaxy 2,they have a clean,polished look to them that no other Mario game has ever had and the way the objects look gives the graphics a sharpness and sense of detail no Mario game has had.

From an artistic standpoint the visuals are still lovely and have a nice use of colors and the environmental objects have a nice design to them,whether it be the giant beanstalk,or mountains that look like they're made from crystal,or the way the nice darkish shades of blue or bright blue is used for the sky and the way it blends with lots of cloud covering or puffy clouds or the night time levels with stars in the sky and constellations drawn in the sky and giant glowing star platforms and grass that has a nice bright green color or the way the jungle provides a daunting,darker atmosphere with trees in the background but has flowers on the ground.

As for new game play features,it has some creative new ideas such as a moth suit which allows Mario to glide as well as slowly decrease altitude,which gives the player more control over Mario's gliding and makes aerial segments more enjoyable,especially when trying to dodge enemies and collecting coins.Mario can can carry baby Yoshi's to float across the air,to attack enemies or to light up dark areas.

If you die a number of times a second player can place extra blocks on the screen to help you progress through the level but I think of this as a gimmick rather than something I really care for.

You can chase a rabbit at random times and if you catch him you get rewarded with a power up(remember the chasing segments in the 3D Mario games)?

Besides story mode,there is other modes such as challenge mode which adds challenges such as clearing levels as quickly as possible and without touching the ground or collecting more coins then the other players whilst dodging obstacles(can be played in multiplayer).

Boost Rush modes speeds up levels as you collect coins and the objective is to complete levels as quickly as possible.

As for more new visual qualities,I like how you see story scenes happen in the world map after you complete a level/defeat a boss such as areas on the world map changing and you'll see bosses roaring and Mario jumping on top of pirate ships/castles trying to destroy them and you'll see Bowser's ship flying around and you'll see Peach trapped in her castle calling out to you from the world map and all these things add a bit more feeling to the story because I remember playing the older 2D Mario platformer games and with the exception of Super Mario World,in the other 2D Mario platofrmer games after I completed a level/defeat a boss Mario would usually simply move onto the next level with no or repetitious scenes(such as how Bowser Jnr kept running off with Peach over and over in New Super Mario Bros for DS).Even in Super Mario World,the story scenes were different but similar.

Otherwise it's pretty much the same style of 2D Super Mario platformer that you're used to.The world has nearly 100 levels,not all have to be completed to beat the story mode but it's a lot of levels you can playthrough.The level designs start off easy for the first 3 worlds but they become very challenging afterwards and many of the levels are creative because some levels focus on moving upwards a lot besides moving left to right and the types of obstacles and enemies you face and the way they attack you will test your timing but it keeps things exciting.

I like how the game allows you to use the wii remotes or the gamepad(the controls with the gamepad are as tight as ever)

Basically,although it's not the best 2D Mario platformer I've played,the game play for New Super Mario Bros U does enough to feel fresh and fun in the classical 2D Mario way.

However,I must admit I'm getting bored of desert stages and snow environments.I don't mind grassy plains and green hills and castles and tropical environments and the level with the stars in the sky looks lovely but perhaps they could have tried some more new level designs such as Sci Fi(Super Mario Galaxy)or city environments(Paper Mario Thousand Year Door).Honestly,when I begun the desert levels and snow levels I did think to myself ''oh no,not more of these'' because the desert levels have been used since Super Mario Bros 3 and the snow levels since Super Mario 64.Castles,dungeons and grassy plains and green hills  levels are part of the Super Mario theme and I appreciate them being in every Mario game because they make things colorful adn charming,but one thing the Rayman and Sonic series do better than Super Mario platformers is mixing up environmental themes(they mix medieval,modern world and Sci Fi environments better than Super Mario games).

However,I do like how this makes makes the music when Mario powers up sound very similar to how it did in the original Super Mario Bros and Super Mario Bros 3.In Super Mario World and New Super Mario Bros DS the music for Mario powering up sounded much different to Super Mario Bros 1 and 3 which took away some of the charm that Super Mario Bros 1 and 3 have.

Overall,New Super Mario Bros U is quite enjoyable in an old school Mario kinda of way and it's new features make it feel fresh enough and it's the most polished and most visually detailed Super Mario platformer ever made but if you're a veteran of the series,at times the game might feel too familiar for your liking.