Impressions: Hands-On with New Super Mario Bros. U

Mario is back, baby!

Yay! I love Mario platformers, and despite all the hate the series gets, I love New Super Mario Bros. I honestly thought NSMB Wii was amazing, despite popular opinion, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on NSMBU. For those who feel the same way, trust me… you won’t be disappointed.

NSMBU is pretty similar to NSMB Wii except, as expected, it’s a lot prettier. There’s also a lot more moving objects in this one, something that’s probably a result of the Wii U’s expanded RAM. It’s also a lot harder – much to my delight. I found myself dying a lot, not because of cheaply placed obstacles, but because of all the crazy stuff happening around the screen at one time. It was great.

The mode I played was Boost Rush mode, in which players must collect as many coins as they can to increase the game’s autoscroll. Because we were “professional” players (or so the rep said; do I really look that nerdy?), my bro, a few reps, and I played the acrobat pack, which I assume is one of the hardest packs in the game.

The first level was a pretty standard athletic stage, complete with tons of moving platforms and flying enemies. I got to use the pink baby Yoshis here, but accidently lost mine a mere seconds after the level began. Big mistake. The level was hard, and without some form of flying mechanism, it was near impossible. And it was a ton of fun.

The second level was a bit wilder than the first, with a sh*tload of Spike’s (the enemy, not the pointy things) throwing spike balls everywhere. It was definitely chaotic, something that I honestly loved. It was also something that I loved about NSMB Wii as well: the more chaos, the better, again despite popular opinion. Getting through the stage was incredibly difficult, especially since we’ve gathered enough coins by then to make the stage scroll at its fastest.

The last level was a castle level with, again, a lot of moving parts. The level itself wasn’t hard, but because the screen was scrolling so fast, you really only had one or two chances to jump on the rotating platform to clear a gap. It was exhilarating and exciting until, of course, all of us died.

Speaking of dying, it seems that everyone shares the same life count in this game, meaning that each life you gain or lose will affect the group’s total number of lives. I’m not sure how I feel about this feature, though I sort of do understand why it’s there. If you’re playing with people who suck though…

New Super Mario Bros. U is challenging and exhilarating. It launches with the Wii U worldwide.


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