New Super Mario Bros. U

new super mario bros wii u box art review
9.0 Overall Score
Graphics: 9/10
Sound: 9/10
Controls: 9/10

Not as hard as previous entry, great looking

Feels like more of the same, varying levels of difficulty

Game Info

Game Name:  New Super Mario Bros. U

Developer(s):  Nintendo EAD

Publisher(s):  Nintendo

Platform(s):  Wii U

Genre(s):  Platformer/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  November 18, 2012

ESRB Rating:  E


Here there be monsters!

Bowser has usurped the throne and overtaken Princess Peach’s castle!  With Bowser defending the castle with his giant floating ship, Mario, Luigi, and the Toads must make it back to the castle to rescue Princess Peach.  Mario and his friends are faced by Bowser’s dreaded Koopa clan and Bowser’s kids don’t intend to let them reclaim their kingdoms.

New Super Mario Bros. U (ニュー・スーパーマリオブラザーズU or Nyū Sūpā Mario Burazāzu Yū) is a follow-up to the New Super Mario Bros. Wii released in 2009.  The game has the potential for five players (though the fifth player only can interact with the environment) and boasts multiple modes of play.  The game spawned a spin-off game New Super Luigi U which is sometimes packaged with the game.


The world is vast and ripe for your exploration!

Mario games were an institution.  When a new Mario game came out, you had to have it.  Getting Super Mario Bros. 2 on Christmas morning was one of the best surprises since it was nearly impossible to find.  Over the years, Mario and Nintendo have lost their luster in the bigger gaming picture, but New Super Mario Bros. U proves that they still have some punch.

Story is always rather incidental in Super Mario games.  No matter how they try to change the story up, it is simply rescue Princess Peach, Toadstool, or whatever they want to call her.  The gameplay however does vary game-to-game.  It generally is due to different power-ups, characters, and level set-ups.  In New Super Mario Bros. Wii U, the set-ups are some of the best with a wide variety.  The game introduces the Flying Squirrel suit that almost acts like the cape from Super Mario World (but a bit more challenging)…and multiple exits from levels means more gameplay and replay.


Power-ups a-plenty!

Graphically, the game also looks great.  Despite only being a 2D scroller, the cartoon environment is really rich and textured.  It has a lot of fun throwbacks to the old Super Mario games including a throwback to the original final battle with Bowser.

The game has multiple modes.  In addition to the five players gaming, there are Challenge and Boost Rush modes.  This once again adds to the playability of the game because once you finish the game, you can work on completion.  The game’s wide variety of play allows you to actually enjoy replaying some levels but the frustration with some levels might cause problems.


I bet Bowser is impossibly hard…or not.

The real issue with New Super Mario Bros. games is the difficulty level.  New Super Mario Bros. Wii was a frustratingly difficult game.  There were levels that I played over and over again.  New Super Mario Bros. U has some of this, but I also feel that the game is much more simple than the previous entry (also players who are challenged can use the Luigi bailout method to see their way through the levels they are stuck on).  The game has a wide variety of difficulty, sometimes impossibly frustrating and other times overly simple.  A great example would be the last battle with Bowser which I did in one try…on a game where frequently you die over five times a level; it is a bit odd to have such a lack-luster final battle.

New Super Mario Bros. U demonstrates an improvement in the format, but it also feels a lot like the other entries.  New levels are always good, but it sometimes feels like you are going through the motions with these games as the levels grow more and more complex with little room for exploration or mistake.  I love Mario games, and I will continue to keep playing Mario games…I just don’t know what else they can do to keep them fresh.

Related Links:

New Super Mario Bros.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii

New Super Mario Bros. 2

Super Mario 3D Land

Super Mario 3D World

Super Mario All Stars—25th Anniversary Edition

Super Mario Galaxy

Super Mario Galaxy 2

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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