A lot of today's games have taken advantage of downloadable content that adds more to a game or enhances the experiences with maps and weapon packs.  Either way there's no denying that downloadable content is a strong component of modern day gaming.  So when Nintendo announced a mega-expansion pack for New Super Mario Bros. U in the form of New Super Luigi U, I got excited for it.

Luigi has always been in Mario's shadow it seems; he's helped Mario out in previous journeys.  He's busted ghosts up.  He even took the lead in a game many don't like talking about, where Luigi had to learn certain things in order to rescue Mario from Bower himself.  Like I said, we don't like talking about that one. So to rectify that, this add-on makes the entirety of New Super Mario Bros. all about Luigi!

As most reading this review will already know, New Super Luigi U takes all of NSMBU and changes it up to fit Luigi's unique jump abilities akin to Super Mario Bros. 2 and Lost Levels.  To top it off, you're tasked with guiding Luigi through all these redesigned stages in under 100 seconds.  You don't have to go it alone either; the blue and yellow Toads return, and replacing Mario is the Nabbit character that players chased down in the regular game to earn P-Acorns.  And to top all of that off, thanks to a recent update players can now use the Pro Controller to play the game.

Generally speaking, the add-on plays just like the regular game.  In fact, it uses all of the regular game's same assets, including the overworld map.  What makes it different however are the new level designs.  Each level may appear to be short and sweet, but once you begin digging deeper you realize that this is a whole new game that's much more difficult, but that much more rewarding.  Never before has it been so difficult to collect all three Star Coins in a level.  I can imagine that playing this with more than two players would be absolutely chaotic, more so than New Super Mario Bros. Wii.

With all that being said, I do have a few complaints about the experience.  As a result of the time limit and the insane placement of Star Coins, it's nearly impossible to play a level once through without dying or having to go back for those missing coins.  In fact, I still have levels to return back to for those said coins.  The add-on also lacks the challenge modes of the regular game, but since the DLC itself is so tough, maybe that's for the best.

When all is said and done though, sure it may be unforgiving, but New Super Luigi U is worth the download.  Not only does it give you some surprisingly tough challenges to face, but it adds more life to a game most Wii U owners have completely cleared at least once.  It will seriously kick you in the rear, and that is not a joke.  It's relentless in that aspect.

DLC or Wait for the Disc?

While the DLC is available now for the arguably steep price of $19.99, an on-disc version will be available in late August (or sooner in other regions) for $29.99.  While the retail version is perfect for collectors and/or anyone who doesn't own New Super Mario Bros. U quite yet, if you own the game then there's nearly no excuse for waiting 'til retail.