It’s the new year, and it’s time for a new game… well, an old-new game. The Wii U’s launch title, New Super Mario Bros. U is getting the ‘Deluxe’ treatment and is coming to Nintendo Switch. Travel the various worlds of the Mushroom Kingdom alone, or star a JoyCon for a multiplayer adventure in New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe.
Is New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe worth those shiny, golden coins, or did you grab that poison mushroom again? Find out in our review, after the break!
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
Developed by Nintendo EPD
Published by Nintendo
Released: 11th January 2019
Review copy provided by Nintendo
New Super Mario Bros. U (NSMBU), which launched with the Nintendo Wii U, was the most definitive entry in New Super Mario Bros. franchise since the reboot series started in 2005. With ‘Deluxe’ editions of Wii U titles being all the rage for Nintendo Switch recently, it sorta makes sense that NSMBU would make the jump with New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe (NSMBUD). This review may be a little long. If you want a quick little summary, feel free to scroll straight to the bottom!
The premise, like most Mario games, is pretty simple. Princess Peach of the Mushroom Kingdom is kidnapped by Bowser yet again, and it is up to Mario to save the day. It may be simple, but hey at least that means you can start playing those levels right away… that’s the entire reason you’re playing this game, right?
NSMBU took great inspiration from Super Mario World’s world map, which is still present in the Deluxe edition. Instead of numbered worlds, each one has its own name, such as Acorn Plains or Soda Jungle, even the levels have their own names. Mushroom Kingdom now really does feel like its own world. Even though you are on a mostly linear path, the world still feels as though it is full of life, especially with the return of world map enemy encounters akin to Super Mario Bros. 3 and New Super Mario Bros. Wii.
The world is filled with a range of unique levels, about 82 of them to be exact. There are some fantastically designed levels. One moment you’ll be swimming through a refreshing grotto, being chased by dragon-eels, and the next you’ll be wading through a painted swampland, as if it has been painted by the great Van Gough.
After the first couple of worlds, which are as easy as pants, the difficulty can really start to ramp up with challenging levels. One will have you being chased by a rising tide of lava on a tilting platform that stops as soon as an enemy or a coin sits atop of it, for example. Not many levels are as hard as nails, but they should provide enough of a challenge to start a wee bit of sweat. If you are hoping to collect the trio of Star Coins that each level hosts, expect that challenge to ramp up further!
One thing I love about the levels are the small little details. The game takes advantage of the HD Rumble by providing more realistic vibrations of what’s happening in the world. It’s absolutely useless, but it’s so satisfying to feel that final bonk on Bowser Jr.’s head! The Baby Yoshi’s are also incredibly cute. Not only will they spew out bubbles, lift you up, or light the way ahead, but they can eat just about any small enemy in a cuter fashion than a grown-up Yoshi. Chomp down on those pesky Goombas, sneaky Scaredy Rats, and even those cool Cooligans (they’re evil Penguins!). Fun tip, munch one Scaredy Rat of a pack, and the rest will starting running away!
NSMBD is technically two games in one as it includes the New Super Luigi U expansion too. This mode puts Luigi front and centre with a more difficult take on the game. Every level has been completely remixed, your character will skid more easily, and you only have 100 seconds to complete each level. With every level getting a remix, the level count has been pumped up to just over 160 fantastic levels!
The biggest challenge however, lies within Challenge Mode. The mode is filled with various unique challenges. They may be as simple as completing a level within a certain amount of time, or collecting a specific amount of coins, whereas others may have racking up a 1-up combo without touching the ground, or transporting a Monty Mole on a river boat. Who knows, maybe you can use this to practice ‘trick shots, for some impressive moves in Story Mode. I’ve had so much fun playing through this mode, and it’s surprisingly addictive.
If, at any point, you feel like a level is a bit too tricky, within Story Mode, there are several ways that game can lend a hand. After you have met with a grizzly fate a few too many times within a single level, you’ll have the option to enable the Super Guide. Doing so will replace your character with Luigi to complete the level for you. You can choose to continue the level at any point, making it perfect if it’s only a small part you are having difficulty with. Be warned however, the Super Guide will not uncover any secrets or collect any Star Coins. The Super Guide will also remove the shininess of your file’s star rating if you use it.
If you feel that you are a bit of a beginner (don’t worry, we’ve all been there), then there are some character choices that may interest you: Toadette and Nabbit. Toadette is completely new to NSMBUD. She has much better control than the other characters, both on land and in water. She also has access to an exclusive power-up: the Super Crown. Picking up one of these regal garments will turn her into Peachette. Not only is she able to float down with grace, but she is also granted the power of a double jump, similar to the effects of a Super Acorn.
Nabbit, who was originally exclusive to New Super Luigi U, can now be played in any mode in NSMBUD. Though he is unable to use any power-up, other than the Starman, all enemies will go straight through him without harm. He also has the ability to have a floaty descent similar to Peachette, though an falling into a pit will cause him to lose a life. On the bright side however, any power-ups you nab will grant you 1-ups at the end of a level. Both these characters are perfect additions for beginners or younger players. They also add an additional 100 seconds to New Super Luigi U.
The help doesn’t stop there, the main menu also boasts a range of hints, tips and tricks. Additionally, if you have access to an internet connection, you can view 200 helpful videos from the developers themselves. These videos detail fun little challenges to help you become a ‘Super Player’. There are even some videos that may help you get a good rating in Challenge Mode. Though people moan about games being too easy, all these ways to help the player are completely optional. It’s great for making the game more accessible to less experienced players so that even more people can enjoy the game without spoiling the fun for the hardcore player.
The game really takes a shine towards its multiplayer experience. NSMBUD allows for four player co-operative and competitive play in all of the available modes. Players have a choice of Mario, Luigi, Toad, Toadette, or Nabbit, some modes allow the use of a Mii too. Having four players at once can lead to hilarious results, especially when your cousin “accidentally” picks you up and throws you into the abyss.
There are a couple other modes you can try out other than the story and challenge modes. Boost Rush throws you into sets of various levels with added auto-scroll! Your aim is to try and complete the sets as quickly as you can. By hoarding lots of coins, you can increase the speed of the auto-scroll. Be careful though, the coins can act as a double edged sword if you’re not careful!
Coin Battle is the only true competitive mode of the game. The aim is simple, try to collect the most coins by the end of the level. This mode can be played on any previously completed level from story mode, there are even a few exclusive levels in this mode. You can also change the coin placement within the mode-exclusive levels. There are so many modes to choose from, it almost makes me forget about the mini games from the original New Super Mario Bros.!
New Super Mario Bros. Deluxe is an absolute pleasure to play. The game is chock full of fantastically designed levels and packed with different modes, including New Super Luigi U. The challenges aren’t too easy, but not too difficult. There great ways to increase accessibility for beginners, and brilliant challenges for the experienced. Did we also mention that those Baby Yoshi’s are as cute as a dreaming puppy… or whatever is objectively cute nowadays? New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe truly is the definitive 2D Mario experience for Nintendo Switch. That’s assuming you’ve never played the original on Wii U.
Other than the addition of Toadette, not a lot has been changed in New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe. For obvious reasons, Boost Mode and Boost challenges have been omitted. It is important to bear this in mind when purchasing the title.
If you never owned NSMBU on Nintendo Wii U, I urge you to purchase Deluxe for the definitive experience. If you already played through the original, then there are a couple questions to consider. Have you played through every mode top to bottom (or left to right in this case)? Did you just think the game was okay and only worth playing during family Christmas get-togethers? If you answered yes to both of these, then I would personally stick to the Wii U edition. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe mainly exists to give non-Wii U owners another chance to experience the title… as well as those who are still addicted to it!
Final Rating – 4 out of 5
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe releases exclusively for Nintendo Switch on 11th January 2019.