With the beginning of a new Nintendo system, Nintendo has picked the New Super Mario Bros. franchise as it’s flagship Nintendo game. I’m ignoring Nintendo Land as a Nintendo game since it’s more a hodgepodge of mini-games collection kind of like Wii Sports but on crack. Does NSMBU add up to what should have been Nintendo’s first big game on the Wii U? Well, let me break it down for you.
This is the next in the line of New Super Mario Bros. franchise like I said above. It brings a few things to the WiiU that are new to the NSMB games while leaving others behind. They still have a coin battle collection game. They’ve added a boost mode which is basically the game, but faster. The other option they’ve added is a Challenge Mode where you’re given a predetermined course and just have to run it quickly. It’s simple, but effective enough to make you want to get that split second more than your buddy.
The biggest difference is the addition of the Wii U Gamepad. It adds an element that I personally feel this game sorely needs. Now I know you are thinking that I’m just going to start digging on this game. Don’t get me wrong, the game is good for what it is… but soon after starting up NSMBU, it did start to go downhill.
I hate the controls. Straight up, without a twist, the controls for me are the absolute worst for my taste. From my understanding the controls are the same as the other similar titles in the NSMB universe. I was hoping that it was different, but my hopes were dashed. I have stated before that I love the 3D Mario games like 64, Sunshine, and even the Galaxy titles. I’m used to having Mario stop and pivot on a dime. In the NSMB games, Mario has some sliding to his movements. I’ve died a few times after changing directions and having Mario continue in the direction I’m not pushing anymore and off an edge. Precision, man… I needs it!
So… you’re saying I should just keep playing and I’ll get used to it? I can see what you’re saying, but it’s soo annoying, I’m not honestly sure I’m going to finish the game solo. Solo: that’s the key word and that takes us into the good.
If you liked the other NSMB games, you will probably love the crap out of this game! I have no idea how they can come up with different levels over and over again using the same areas, but they do. The levels feel similar to past levels, but still fresh and somehow new. I’m not sure how they do it, but they do it well. I guess that’s part of the Nintendo magic touch.
You can also play as your Mii. My wife loves this! I think it’s more interesting that necessary, but it is a nice little addition that seemed easy enough to implement and new is welcome as long as it doesn’t suck… right?
I’ve not had a “Best” yet in a Review, but NSMBU has earned it. (I hope not overuse it with Wii U titles.) I love that you can play as a non-player in this game. For a person that hates the controls enough to not want to finish it, but still wants to see the game, this is awesome! With the use of the Gamepad, you can place bricks to either help or hinder your fellow players. You can cover a Piranha Plant or build stairs to get to a higher part of the level not easily reached solo. This was a ton of fun for me and is honestly the saving grace for this game. My wife isn’t the super greatest at platformers, but now I have a way I can play with her and help her out without back-seat controlling or laughing when she dies. (My marriage sends it’s thanks Nintendo!) You can also (if you’re a jerk like me at times) place blocks just so that your friends will bonk their heads on them and then fall to their death. It’s pretty fun actually, and if your buds don’t laugh, just remind them that later on they will look back fondly on those times of fellowship. I’m almost sure of it… almost.
Over all, I’d say my enjoyment of this game was tarnished by the controls. I know other people love the NSMB franchise and after playing this game I say, “You can keep them”. I probably will not buy another of this series. The game is great and enjoyable. I can see where fun would be had by lots of people. It’s just not the Mario game I wanted, but I guess it’s the Mario game Nintendo felt Wii U early adopters deserved because this series allows the Wii U to show off extremely well how the Gamepad can be used. It was a great move by Nintendo. It still feels like it was a boneheaded move on my part to have picked up NSMBU. It does sadden me to not like this title seeing as it’s a Mario platformer. There may be something wrong with me when I hear so many other people enjoying this game, but it just goes to show you that not every game is for everyone.