New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe continues the trend of porting missed gems to the Nintendo Switch. As it should too because I wasn’t interested in the Wii U in 2012. Generally, the Wii U is known as a misfire for Nintendo. The console had some stellar first-party titles and I missed out on a Super Mario title. Thankfully, the success of the Switch allows for second chances on some of Nintendo’s best games on their previous console outing. But this port isn’t a straightforward port, and instead includes the base original game as well as the New Super Luigi Bros. U expansion, as well as newcomer Toadette.
Here We Go!
If you missed out the first go-round or are curious about whether this is a good game, in short, it is. However, after playing last year’s phenomenal Super Mario Odyssey, it’s hard to go back to a classic Mario game. It’s fun but is far too simple and lacks any sort of challenge until far into the game. Add in the fact Nintendo games certainly have changed since 2012 and this one feels much less necessary.
This week’s New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe takes inspiration from classic Mario games like Super Mario World and Super Mario Bros. 3. Where various worlds teem with levels to conquer, and your princess to save once more. It’s full of stomping enemies, collecting power-ups while making your way to the flag. While the gameplay feels dated after playing last year’s Super Mario Odyssey, anything that comes after one of the best platformers ever is going to be a tough sell.
It’s-a Me, Mario!
Returning to classic Mario gameplay brings on a sense of welcome nostalgia, and by now for those who played the older games, timing jumps and slides is second nature at this point. But what joy I found at the most random moments while I played this game. I’d be in the middle of a jump while using the new Flying Squirrel suit and how much fun playing these games were as a kid. Flashes of the Tanooki suit flittered around my mind as I swept myself with nostalgia.
Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yellow Toad, as well as newcomers Toadette and Nabbit (only available in the New Super Luigi U expansion before) introduces a bit more variety, and the newcomers add welcome tweaks for newcomers. Specifically, Toadette serves as easy mode and removes the sliding both Mario and Luigi are known for when stopping in a level, allowing for precise jumps when required.
The now-famous Super Crown we’ve all come to love thanks to a series of memes around the internet, is a power-up made specifically for Toadette. When in use, she transforms into Peachette and handles like Princess Peach. Her powers are good for reaching normally out of reach areas with the wag of your controller or press of a button to launch her up. Nabbit serves a similar purpose but can’t pick up any power-ups and is nearly invincible and few obstacles stop him. He’s made exclusively for young children who want to play along. Granted, he still has minor flaws like falling down holes, but I understand the inclusion for small children.
And whether you only previously owned the base game on Wii U, the included New Super Luigi Bros. U downloadable content offers an entirely new campaign ready to consume. Here, levels are remixed in new and exciting ways and require patience and more skill to finish them in limited time.
New Super Mario Bros. U is a welcome addition to the Nintendo Switch as is the best port since Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. There’s a ton of content and two campaigns to master with the included New Super Luigi U content. Toadette is a welcome addition to the roster for youngsters who want to join the bigger kids playing (or their parents!) and there’s enough content here to keep coming back for some time. Granted, after playing the bigger Odyssey, this might feel much more basic, but the gameplay is traditional Nintendo at it’s best. If anything, the nostalgia rush leaves me yearning for simpler times, but the temporary dosage is a welcome shot to the heart. I’m interested in seeing where the New sub-brand of Mario games goes next, but they’ll have to trump 3D Mario to really surprise us.
[A copy of the game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]