I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with New Super Mario Bros. U, and found myself surprised at just how much of a difference HD visuals made to the game. Now Nintendo has released new information about the game itself — new modes, and more info about the Super Mario World-esque world map.
It's the world map I'm most excited about. One of my favourite aspects of Super Mario World was the non-linear nature of progression and the manner in which players were able to navigate through the different world via secret exits and the like. It looks as though that's precisely what Nintendo has planned for New Super Mario Bros. U. The game will feature interconnected worlds just like Super Mario World, and levels will have different exits that allow you to access different areas.
Challenge mode also sounds pretty interesting. It allows players to attempt levels with specific goals in mind. For example, finishing a level without touching the ground level, or without collecting a single coin. There will be other, more generic challenges such as coin challenges, time attacks, etc. But I like the idea of trying something completely different in Mario, and having a set of completely unique challenges.
New Super Mario Bros. U will also feature a Coin Battle mode. In this mode up to five players can compete and attempt to collect the most coins. Pretty simple.