Let’s face facts: there is not a single Mario game that is bad out there. A player usually gets pretty mad when they get to see these re-releases that act up as “Ultimate Editions” of the original game after the owner of the IP has made a profit of the original game. Double dipping is the norm in modern gaming, but sometimes it certainly works out for the best. Such is the case of New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe. This special adaption for the Nintendo Switch includes all the content released in New Super Luigi U: the shorter levels and the light speed-running. The game also has a lot of new features that make the game feel more like something new instead of a re-hash.
The Game Play
As it happened in the last release, the gameplay for both characters is pretty different with Mario being the most balanced character you can choose (and also the safest) and Luigi being his usually slippery self to challenge players. Mario has time expenditure to finish the levels (but not that much) Luigi has to run to get things done. The game offers 164 full levels to enjoy on your own or with a partner. As it happens with most Mario games, there is a ton of secrets ready to be uncovered on each level as well as endless bonus stages that need to be unlocked through some in-depth research.
The Play Modes
The main mode of the game is your usual standard Mario fare: overcoming the obstacles of each level to rescue Princess Peach and defeat Bowser. The formula still works after more than 30 years, and it’s hard to break it just because it wouldn’t be a Mario game without the challenge and that’s what we find here in spades. Each level tends to ask more out of the player, and the increasingly difficult becomes apparent even in the easiest modes. Stomping on enemies and avoiding obstacles it’s not enough. Timing plays a significant role in your actions as well as the choices that need to be made to keep advancing.
The Character Line-Up
When it comes to the roster of the game we get a diverse cast with some newcomers to the playground and a funny side story to share with you, our dear reader. As is happening since Super Mario Wii, there are four playable characters in the game: Mario, Luigi, Toad and a fourth rotating member. For New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe that character was Nabbit, who plays a role more akin to an antihero than nothing else. The character was designed as an entry character for kids since h doesn’t take any damage and passing the game with him feels more like using a cheat code that takes away the joy out of the challenge.
The New Additions and a Side Story
Since this port of the game was announced, a new character was set to make his debut: a clearly defined female version of Toad named “Toadette.” The character became instantly popular, not because of her presence but because one particular item: The Super Crown that allows her to become into a slender version of Princess Peach named “Peachette.” Experienced players instantly recognize her play mode as the same one used by Nintendo way back in Super Mario Bros 2. The Super Crown, however, went on to become one of the biggest memes on the Internet by the end of 2018 and sparked the birth of one the most beloved non-canon character in the Mario lore: Bowsette.
Who is Bowsette? Long story short: is the female version of Bowser using the Super Crown to become a girl. We can’t offer enough insight on how big this character was for a brief period. But it reached a peak level of collective madness that Nintendo had to put out a thinly veiled announcement stating that The Super Crown was only meant to be worn by Peachette and no one else. This broke the hearts of fans everywhere who campaigned really hard to make the character canon, especially in Japan.
As for the rest of the offerings on this new port of New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe, there are a few additional mods added to allow the player to participate in time-based challenges. Cooperative mode has been improved to accommodate the abilities of the new characters and the co-op mode they choose to get through levels. You will find classic offerings such as Boost Rush, Coin battle and other forms to have fun. The four player gameplay is no way to progress the game, but it certainly makes for most of the fun you can have out of it with other people. Make sure to try it out at least once!