For the first time in two generations, a home Nintendo console launches with a brand new Mario title for us all to enjoy. New Super Mario Bros U launched right aside the brand new Nintendo Wii U a little over a week ago, and it’s not just any Mario title – it’s an HD Mario game. We are truly at a start of a new era. As Mario’s first step into the HD frontier, this game not only plays great, it also looks amazing on the big screen.
The game may be called New Super Mario Bros U, but the game is influenced more by the great Super Nintendo game, Super Mario World, then by the New Super Mario Bros series. For starters, the game get’s rid of the small stages from the other games in the series and brought back the huge world map to the series. Like most Super Mario Bros games, the game features eight worlds, all connected and interacting with each other. There are the standard grass, sand and ice worlds for example, but also new ones like the funky looking haunted world. When I say funky looking, some of the levels are entirely painted in the style of Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night.
Like previous New Super Mario Bro games, the Bowser, Bowser Jr and the Koopalings are back to wreck havoc in the Mushroom kingdom. While having a nice little party with the usual suspects, Bowser decides to kick out Mario and co and take over Peach’s Castle. As you beat the bosses in the game, the castle will start to transform from a peaceful place to a deadly lava happy world. The seven worlds before the final showdown, feature a different member from the Koopalings while Bowser Jr shows up at different parts of the game to try to get rid of you.
This game is gorgeous. I was amazed by how good this game looks. Before this game came out, I was a little worried that Nintendo might not have put much effort into making it look good after New Super Mario Bros 2 for the Nintendo 3DS didn’t stand out as being pretty or even using 3D that much. I can now put my fears to rest after playing the game. Nintendo has put a lot of work into making the game look simply amazing. The backgrounds are dynamic and very details with a lot of things to view. Remember how I mentioned before how a few of the levels looked like they came straight out of a Vincent van Gogh painting? Well, I now want future Mario games to be styled entirely in that style.
The game supports the ability for Off TV play by just playing the game entirely on the Wii U’s Gamepad alone. Although you lose the some of the great HD visuals, the game itself still looks quite nice on the touch screen. The screen is big enough that you can still see things clearly when playing the game. I found this feature to come very handy when it came to playing the game anywhere I wanted in my house. The ability to play my home console games in bed, even if the console itself is downstairs, was a very big deal for me. I ended up playing nearly half of the game just in my bed while it was late at night or while cooking dinner in the kitchen.
Even after you beat the main story, there is plenty to do. For example, there are multiplayer options as well as the challenge area. Some goals require you to travel the entire level while never touching the ground while others have you race to the end the quickest you can. Starting next month, the game will even feature new DLC challenge levels to test your limits. There is even more to do in the main game once you beat the game. After beating the game, the secret Star World, similar to the one in Super Mario World, shows up. But the only way to play any of its levels is to collect all the special coins in each of the different worlds. This makes going back and fully completing each of the levels worth it.
The new big thing with the Wii U system itself is Miiverse. A twitter like community for each game for gamers to chat about their favorite Wii U games. The game takes the concept to the next level by allowing you post to the community your thoughts about the level you just completed. You might get asked to write your thoughts about completing a level without getting damaged, getting all three coins, or perhaps to give Bowser a warning. These little messages will also appear in your game world map from your online friends and strangers alike hovering over their respective levels. Even if you play this game entirely alone, this will make you feel as if you are playing it with others. It’s a nice feature that I hope we will see it in future titles.
If you are getting a Nintendo Wii U at some point, this is a game that you need to pick up. Not only does the gameplay hold up to the great Mario classics, it also looks and sounds great. With all the worlds, challenges, and after-game levels to finish, there is much to do to keep your interest with the game for a good long while. This is a great game to launch alongside Nintendo’s brand new system that everyone will be able to enjoy. The ability to play the game on the gamepad alone makes for a very useful and awesome feature to behold. In case you haven’t picked up my feeling about this game, I very much recommend getting this game as soon as possible.