Join BootHammer as we review New Super Mario Bros. U. I’ll go ahead and let you know this is a 2D side-scrolling dream come true for the Wii U. It’s hard to believe but this marks the fourteenth title in the main Super Mario series and the fourth installment in the New Super Mario Bros. series. Gamers of all ages will find this latest installment highly enjoyable.
Bowser strikes yet again
Mario, Luigi, Blue Toad and Yellow Toad are with Princess Peach in Princess Peach’s Castle having dinner together. Bowser suddenly arrives in his Airship, with a giant mechanical fist, that smashes and launches the brothers and the Toads towards the Acorn Plains. Mario and his friends crash into the Acorn Tree, launching Super Acorns through the area. Mario and co. then tumble out of the tree, passing a Bubble Baby Yoshi and Balloon Baby Yoshi, while they’re at it, and look into the horizon to see Bowser beginning a seige on Princess Peach’s Castle, setting the Mario Bros. and the Toads to go on a new adventure and save Princess Peach.
While a lot of this certainly sounds familiar you’ll quickly realize that Super Mario Bros. U stands heads and shoulders above its predecessors. Imagine taking the best out of Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World and mixing in some new features while lastly topping if off in glorious High Definition. This is a quick summary of what makes New Super Mario Bros. U so terrific.
It wouldn’t be a true Mario game without proper power-ups and players have many choices here including the Fire Flower, Ice Flower, Penguin Suit, Propeller Mushroom and the Mini Mushroom return. The game also features a new power-up called the the Super Acorn. This is my personal favorite. It gives Mario a Flying Squirrel suit which lets him glide and grab on to walls for a short period.
The story mode is challenging and the chaotic multiplayer is not only back but allows A fifth player to join the fun as well using the Wii U’s GamePad. With this they’ll be able to assist or effectively troll the other players. For the truly hardcore Super Mario enthusiast, there is a new Challenge mode that will test even the greatest players. Quick reflexes and luck will be your only saving grace in this mode. It’s truly difficult yet very addictive and will keep gamers coming back for more again and again.
The game features a seamless world map very similar to Super Mario World. Players will pass by Toad Houses to partake in mini games and there will also be enemy road blocks that players will have to defeat in order to move forward. Throughout each map you’ll also be challenged with fortresses, castles and classic ghost filled levels. It’s all very nostalgic and just brilliantly implemented. The audio and familiar riffs heard will bring you back to the past while the striking HD visuals make the experience incredibly fresh and new.
Worlds within New Super Mario Bros. U
- World 1: Acorn Plains: A grassy world with plenty of shrubs, slanted mountains, and the Acorn Tree.
- World 2: Layer-Cake Desert: A desert world with various desserts, such as melting ice creams, giant cakes, and a sea of sand with Moai-like statues.
- World 3: Sparkling Waters: A tropical world with multiple islands, bubbling water geysers, and a sunken ship. This world can be entirely skipped for Frosted Glacier.
- World 4: Frosted Glacier: A snowy world that takes place at night filled with stars and constellations. This world can be entirely skipped for Sparkling Waters.
- World 5: Soda Jungle: A rainforest-esque world similar to the Forest of Illusion, with giant enemies and blocks, similar to Big Island.
- World 6: Rock-Candy Mines: A mountainous world with tall, pillar like mountains. A cloud train seems to separate this world from the next world.
- World 7: Meringue Clouds: A sky world resembling the foreground of levels in World 7 from New Super Mario Bros. Wii.
- World 8: Peach’s Castle: A grassland area, similar to World 1 from the previous New Super Mario Bros. games, containing mushroom hills and the castle of the princess. It has been taken over by the Koopa Troop and is slowly transformed into Bowser’s image until eventually being surrounded by a tornado. By the time the player reaches the castle grounds, it has been transformed into a lava-based area. Princess Peach’s castle remains mostly unchanged on the outside (the flags now have Bowser’s symbol on them) but on the inside it is similar to Bowser’s Castle from previous installments.
- World 9: Superstar Road: A secret world unlocked after beating Bowser’s final battle. Its levels must be unlocked with the Star Coins collected from all the levels of previous worlds.
- Secret Island: A small area between Acorn Plains and Sparkling Waters that houses a Records Toad House.
• The Wii U GamePad controller offers a new way to experience multiplayer Mario fun. Create Boost Blocks out of thin air to help players navigate tricky stages or access hidden or hard-to-reach items, and distract onscreen enemies, all with the tap of their finger or stylus.
• Swoop through levels and cling to walls when Mario transforms into Flying Squirrel Mario, or gently float through the air while hanging onto Balloon Baby Yoshi.
• Boost Mode also makes cooperative speed runs possible for the first time. Use the GamePad to interact with and manipulate enemies and objects in real time, and discover new ways to find the fastest route through each stage.
• In addition to the main Story Mode, in which players must rescue Princess Peach, New Super Mario Bros. U features three more exciting game modes, including:
Boost Rush: Using Boost Mode, two to five players work together to clear many different courses in the fastest time possible. The scene auto scrolls, forcing you to move ahead through the course. As you collect more coins, the scene scrolls faster. Once you’ve completed your run, you can watch a replay of other players’ Boost Rush to help strategize
for your next attempt.
Challenge Mode: Numerous single-player and multiplayer challenges incorporate a series of familiar Super Mario gameplay concepts in a fun, competitive way. These challenges offer high replay value as players try to achieve the best score and unlock new challenges. Boost Mode Challenges help players practice the teamwork necessary for effective Boost Mode gameplay. After finishing, players can watch a replay of their Challenge to strategize for next time.
• Play on the big screen or the small screen. Switch single-player gameplay from the TV to the GamePad at any time to continue playing even when others are using the TV.
• Families and friends can experience Mario together like never before with Miiverse. See other players’ comments and accomplishments while you play, and leave your own feedback for others to see when connected to the Nintendo Network (broadband Internet access required).
The Wii U needed a system seller and once again Mario delivers. It’s a modern yet nostalgic masterpiece and with it brings an immensely fun experience whether you’re going through the story mode alone or with four friends. Its unique Gamepad brings new multiplayer capabilities to the table and it also offers up the best portable Mario experience to date (within range). The Challenge mode offers a truly difficult area to master even for the pros. With that said, there is something here for every gamer to enjoy and this title belongs in the library of any and every Wii U owner.
Review Rating: 10/10
Platform: Wii U
Genre: Side-Scrolling Adventure
Players: 1 – 5*
Rating: E (Everyone) – Comic Mischief
Release: Nov. 18, 2012
Suggested Retail Price: $59.99