New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe review: is it time for a change?
Nintendo’s popular 2D platformer arrives today. Here’s what we think of it
The first Mario title of the year has arrived, with New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe releasing on Nintendo Switch today.
Having been released on the unpopular Wii U console in 2012, the Japanese games giant decided to re-release the 2D platformer on its far more successful all-in-one Switch console - much like it did with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe in 2017.
The deluxe version, though, adds the New Super Luigi U expansion that was originally sold separately on the Wii U, as well as two additional characters - Toadette and Nabbit.
Here’s what we thought of the game and where to pick up a copy:
The Week reviews New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
Nintendo hasn’t deviated from the 2D platformer formula, which made the earlier Mario games a sales hit in the late 1980s and early 90s, since it relaunched the Super Mario Bros. series on the DS handheld console in 2006.
The Japanese company hasn’t had a reason to shake up the design of its 2D games, though. The Super Mario Bros. series has become one of the bestselling games of all time, with numerous versions launched on all of Nintendo’s consoles since the reboot of the DS.
You can therefore expect more of the same from New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, especially as it is a direct port of the game that launched six years ago on the Wii U.
The formula is simple. Run, jump and glide your way through eight worlds to save Princess Peach from Bowser’s clutches again. Each world boasts its own colour backdrop and unique enemies, making players feel as though they’re embarking on a grand adventure.
Despite the game’s 2D design, the layout of each level is wonderfully creative and deceptively challenging. This is by no means a simple game, with most levels requiring several attempts to complete. You’ll also need to return to levels to collect all three hidden coins, which help unlock more challenging worlds once you complete the game.
When you do get to the gates of Peach’s castle and defeat Bowser, New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe begins to deviate from the original Wii U version.
Upon completing the game, players can take part in 80 additional stages that were originally sold as the separate New Super Luigi U bundle on Nintendo’s old console.
There are also a host of even more challenging levels to complete after defeating Bowser, so players are guaranteed hours of extra playtime after the main quest has finished.
A peculiar design choice, though, is the way the difficulty system works. Those wanting to play the game on a normal difficulty level can play as Mario, Luigi and Toad. Meanwhile, Toadette, the female version of Toad, offers an easier playing experience, while Nabbit provides a “super easy” experience.
The design itself smacks of sexism. The Mario Bros. games are so popular because they appeal to people of all ages and genders. Having the only female character in the game serve as the easy option will be a frustration for Toadette fans, many of whom would be looking forward to playing as her.
Nevertheless, fans of classic Mario games who did not pick up a copy of the Wii U edition six years ago will find a lot to love with New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe.
The gameplay hasn’t changed much over the past decade, and the graphics are beginning to look a little dated, but there simply isn’t another 2D platformer that is anywhere near as fun to play - for gamers of all ages and interests - than Super Mario Mario Bros. U Deluxe.
For dedicated fans, though, it may be time that Nintendo revamped the graphics and layout of its popular series.
Release date and where to order
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is available to order now from Amazon for £42.99.