|Platform: WiiU||Publisher: Nintendo||Developer: Nintendo EAD|
|Reviewer: JayWood2010||Genre: 2D Platformer||Rating: E|
Back in November 2012 I decided to purchase the WiiU along with New Super Mario Bros U. Now here I am eight months later finally writing my review so either this game is like the longest 2D platformer in the world or something else happened. In this review I will try to paint you a better picture to explain this or just skip to the analysis.
New Super Mario Bros launched on the Nintendo DS seven years ago and since then we have received New Super Mario Bros (Wii), New Super Mario Bros 2 (3DS), and now New Super Mario Bros U (WiiU). And while these games are a beast when it comes to software sold, does the game actually improve from the previous installments in the series? In New Super Mario Bros U once again Peach gets kidnapped by apparently the wizardly Bowser who somehow manages to steal away the flamboyant Peach from the Mushroom Kingdom yet again. And once again Mario has to set out on a journey to smash goombas, eat mushroom and other assorted powerups, and defeat the eight koopa kids in eight different worlds to reach Bowser at his castle to rescue Peach. Mario does find a new power-up this time around, the Acorn Mushroom. This powerup is very similar to the Tanooki Tail but instead of tapping a button to float around now Mario can glide just by holding a button, grab on to walls without failure, and by shaking the gamepad Mario can reach the highest points in the game. While it is a neat addition to the game it also makes New Super Mario Bros U relatively easy when in fact the game was already easy in the first place. I kept waiting for one of the eight worlds that I went to give me some kind of challenge, any kind of challenge! It never happened. I finished the game with a solid 90+ lives. With having no challenge I never got engaged in this game. Instead I basically breezed through each world waiting for something better in the next when it just never happened. But wait Mario does have bosses. The same bosses that we met decades ago where you jump on a mini koopa’s head three times to kill them. They did however throw a few different bosses at you for some kind of variation but unfortunately they all followed the same formula of jumping on their heads three times without much challenge. At the end of the day it is the same Mario games that you have grown to love with tight controls and quick jumps but without challenges or even an attempt to mix up things a bit it becomes a bit repetitive and uninspiring.
The multiplayer in New Super Mario Bros once again is the main draw of the game. The co-op is a lot of fun with 2-5 players playing at once on the same screen. You can either play as Mario, Luigi, or a Toad to smash goombas or kill each other clumsily in the process. You will get laughs, fun, and at times people may even get angry at each other in the process of all the chaos amidst the screen. They give you a new character as well that I like to consider as “Game God”. The 5th person is able to use the gamepad to build blocks for you by tapping the gamepad’s screen to either help you achieve your goal or spam the screen killing you before you make the next jump. Sadly the co-op makes the game more challenging which is what the game needs most in the first place. The thing that really hurts the multiplayer side of things is the fact that you cannot play online. This game was released in 2012 and somehow Nintendo leaves out online multiplayer? Not everybody constantly has people over to play co-op so this can only be a fault for not giving you an option. Xbox Live released in 2002 so Nintendo has had 10 years to implement a proper online service and catch up so there is no more excuses for these type of things.
The art style of Mario is crisper than ever but it is nothing groundbreaking either. Something that will appeal to almost anybody and everybody with the catchy music that we grew up to love in the 90s is back whether it be Mario’s voice, music, or even a 1up. The game brings back nostalgia. Unfortunately we have already had our nostalgia kick back in 2006, 2009, and again in 2012 so this turned out to just be another Mario rather than something that took me back to when I was a kid.
I bought the WiiU for this game and many others so of course I really wanted to like this game. It just didn’t come out that way. It isn’t creative, it is uninspiring, and with a low difficulty level. Nothing draws me to this game other than the fact that it is Mario sidescroller that always performs at a high level. So for 2D Mario fans this is great but don’t expect a challenge for you more experienced players. There is fun to be had in co-op or in short bursts but I can’t say that this is something that I thoroughly enjoyed either. With the market being over saturated with these Mario platformers in the previous years I vote for them to give him a 2D break.