Community Review: New Super Mario Bros. U

New Super Mario Bros. U is dropping a little late to the Community Review party, mostly because we had an absolute flurry of top notch titles release at once and we can only do one of these a week! Now that you've had a decent amount of time to live with New Super Mario Bros. U — what are your thoughts?

I have plenty.

First of which — the visuals. When I first played New Super Mario Bros. U I was actually properly excited by the visuals. It seems strange in hindsight, but playing Mario in HD seemed like such a big deal. Having been used to the sub-HD res of New Super Mario Bros Wii, playing the Wii U felt almost like playing games in HD for the first time. It made a difference. A big difference.

But like all these things — HD, 3D — this effect tends to fade with time. Now I take the HD for granted, and I'm left with the game itself. A game which, the more I play, becomes increasingly disappointing.

I first felt the Mario fatigue in New Super Mario Bros. 2. The level design, the vibe, the physics. Nothing much had changed with that game and the same rings true for New Super Mario Bros. U. Feeling like you can play Mario on auto pilot is not a good thing — we're talking about a series that used to reinvent itself with every major release. I had held out a little hope that New Super Mario Bros. U would be the Mario Galaxy of 2D Mario — a blisteringly inventive video game that transformed itself with each passing level. That was my hope. That hope was dashed.

There was also a 'sub-hope'. If New Super Mario Bros. U was not to be a stark reinvention, maybe at the very least it could be a little more like Super Mario World — not just in aesthetic terms, but in the pace of the game, the slightly tweaked physics, the schizophrenic alternate routes. That hope was only partially dashed.

At no point does New Super Mario Bros. U feel like Super Mario World, but it sometime looks like it.The alternate routes don't quite have that 'wow' feeling. That feeling of finding a completely new route. The design is far more conservative, but it still has a burst of that energy, that colour. This is the aspect of New Super Mario Bros. U I'm enjoying most.

But what are your thoughts? How are you finding the game? Let us know in the comments below.


    Loving it, especially playing in multi with my other half. I think I avoided the fatigue by skipping a few Mario titles (like NSMB2).

    I'm about half way through and it's enjoyable, but it does indeed feel like I'm just going through the motions. I haven't seen anything yet that makes me go "woah" and the boss fights are so recycled and unimaginative it's laughable. I'm a big fan of being able to play it on the small screen while watching the cricket - this is why I bought the Wii U!

    I also tried playing 3 other people on the weekend. It was quite fun, but 2 of the players were 5 and 7 year old kids. The tablet was quite nifty when in the hands of somebody who knew what they were doing (i.e. me). But we ended up having to give it to the youngest because the levels were just too hard for her and then, well, it was really just like playing NSMW Wii with crisper graphics.

    In short: I do like it, but if they make New Super Mario Bros U 2, I don't think I'll bother unless there are significant changes.

    the best part is playing with 4 other mates and you being the drunken asshole with the gamepad who gets to decide who lives and dies a horrible brick blocking death lol.

    Best thing about this game?
    @doc_what 's 'no damage' drawings.

      Actually, that's a good point. I forgot to mention that the Miiverse integration is really well done in this game. I hope it's a sign of what's to come in future games by all developers.

      Thanks dude!

    Im also about halfway through. I like it but its no galaxy. Its polished. Its fun but again - it is the same. Pleasure in repetition. Having just had a go at the Rayman demo - GO BLACK BETTY! NINTENDO are going to have to pull their finger out. Yes the princess is in another castle. Ubisoft castle.

    I've been really enjoying it. I haven't picked up NSMB2 yet, since I was less than enthused about it as well as it having quite the cold reception, but I did grab this because of the few Wii U games that interested me along with it being a decent price at the time. I'm having a far better time with it than I was expecting. To me, the level design seems great. There's plenty of clever little things that keep popping up, and they all feel quite challenging. Could be just because I'm trying to get every star coin as I go, but I've had the super guide block pop up countless times now. I've gotten a very New Super Mario World feel from it, which I like. Particularly the secret exits and stuff, the world map is quite nice too. My main problem is the boss battles being so easy, I really would rather they prevented you from just jumping on them the moment they pop up from the last hit, or something like that.

    I started up Mario only to find myself thinking a few minutes later "I'd rather play the Rayman demo again", can't wait for it! I never played Origins but it just felt so fun.

    I hardly play 2D Mario games so I didn't think I'd have that "Mario fatigue" but I did. A lot of it just feels really dated and becomes annoying, no (actual) saving until I beat a Castle? Checkpoint only in the middle of the level?

    That said it's still pretty fun and challenges and the little extras are always cool. I just wish there was more to it, you know? Like online co-op, or the ability to save anywhere, just little things like that.

      You can save at anytime, just hit the menu button when on the map screen.

        That's just a quick save, I was referring to actual saving. Apparently you can unlock it after you beat Bowser but it seems a bit stupid that you have to unlock such a thing.

    Is this worth the $79? Or will i get as much enjoyment out of re-visiting my old Mario Bros, Mario Bros 2, Mario Bros 2: Lost Levels, Mario Bros 3, Super Mario World and Super Mario World 2 games?
    I've played it in EB. Seems like same shit new console.
    Really starting to think Nintendo are just appealing to newer generations of children by re-hashing old gameplay - rather than trying something new for older fans.

    Last edited 17/12/12 12:26 pm

    I think its pretty clear they rushed this out quickly to have a big release for launch. Why they decided to make one for 3DS at the same time is a little baffling, but that system needed a new game quickly as well. I think most people view New Super Mario Bros series as more casual fare that doesnt live up to Nintendos established standard, but anyway besides all that this looks worth a playthrough. Not worth a Wii U though, and its pretty much the only game for it atm.

    I'm loving it. It builds on Super Mario 4 and builds on it well.

    Yes, they are building on existing games but you have to remember that the Mario games have been around for over 25 years and the youth of today aren't prepared to go retro to experience classic Mario. So why not repackage it in palatable HD and sell it to them. Remember, we aren't the key demographic for Ninty anymore.

    Loving it. But I haven't played a mario game since the SNES, so I haven't had time for fatigue to build up.

    I can still recognise just about every ability and enemy though, so original, it most certainly is not.

    Last edited 17/12/12 3:38 pm

    I'm enjoying the game and don't have any of the series fatigue as my last 2d mario game was yoshi's island. That said,everything feels a little familiar but I'm ok with it. Love the miiverse integration and it is pretty though I would like if they could try a diffident visual style ala yoshi's island in future.

    My gf and I are playing it together and both suck at Mario. That said we spent the weekend trying to get gold in all the time trials - now we feel like pro's that can take on anything.

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