It’s what all of you underdog lovers have been waiting for. Luigi takes the lead in a Mario Bros. style game. Does he live up to his brother’s image, or does he outdo Mario this time?
New Super Mario Bros U and New Super Luigi U have somewhat identical visuals and audio. The map is exactly the same as the original game but each level is dramatically different. The music gives a more urgent tone to the gameplay. At the beginning of each level you’ll hear the tune to warn you you’re running out of time, and it’s followed by more upbeat music than if you weren’t running out of time.
Story and Gameplay
Mario is usually the hero, but for some reason he’s not around when Bowser storms the castle. Luigi takes it upon himself to lead yellow and blue Toad to save the Princess. A new character tags along named Nabbit. He played only an enemy role in the original game, but this time someone playing along with you can choose Nabbit. The perks of playing with Nabbit is that he cannot be damaged like the other players can. The downside to choosing him is that he cannot use items like the fire flower. This is a way for Nintendo to provide less experienced players to join in this more chaotic version of the game.
The main difference, which will be noticed immediately, is that every stage only gives you 100 seconds to complete. The benefit is that the game becomes tougher and provides more challenging gameplay. The levels may feel a lot shorter, but more dedicated players will realize that collecting star coins with this amount of time is a lot harder than in the original game. Not only will you sometimes not be able to come up with a plan to collect an out of reach star coin in time, but sometimes you won’t even be able to find all of the star coins. It’s the same case for secret exits which are still present. Smaller stages make secrets easier to find, but the duration of time available balances this out.
In addition to the difference in time, each level is created to be more difficult than before. This compensates for Luigi’s high jump ability. The other characters will also be able to jump high, but all characters will have a harder time changing directions which is also a trait of Luigi. A way to counteract the difficulty increase is the increased opportunity for 1-ups. Smaller stages provide for less time and space to collect extra lives, but Luigi has a better chance with each flag pole than Mario does. There are also a lot more 1-up blocks throughout the game. They are made difficult to retrieve because of the 100 seconds and because of the harder to reach places they may be found.
Castles provide the most challenge. Each castle is reinvented in a way that has increased the difficulty dramatically. The disappointing side is that each boss battle is basically the same. If there is any difference, it’s hardly noticeable. It would have been interesting and more satisfying to see something different from each boss just to change each fight a bit. Nevertheless, getting to the boss fights is where the real challenge is.
Playing with friends has become even more hectic. With only 100 seconds for each level, there’s no time to wait for someone who is holding the group behind. This could provide for even more competition between you and the other players.
Speaking of more hectic, hardcore players can have their cake and eat it too. Not only are the stages recreated entirely for the purpose of creating a more challenging game, but if you want to take on the stages without the advantage of Luigi’s jump, you can do that too. Once you finish the story, you are allowed to play in the new stages with the old physics. This means that Luigi will jump the same height as Mario. This can create even more of a testing but satisfying experience because some levels are designed to make up for Luigi’s ability to jump high.
There is something included with each stage that Nintendo did just for fun. In each level, you can find a representation of Luigi in a hidden spot. This aspect can create yet another goal for you and your friends to achieve if you decided. It can also be fun just to find each of these Luigi representations. Some examples:
There is also an addition to the colored rings that provide coins, colored buttons that provide coins and enemies. One that stood out was the ice bro. He has the ability to freeze you the same way you could freeze him with an ice flower. (EDIT) There is also a mushroom box at the beginning of every stage; however, if you’re already big Luigi at this point, only a coin will come out of this box.
||Could go either way
|-More items are available throughout the game
||-Boss fights are not different enough to make an impact
||-With tighter time constraints, the levels are noticeably shorter
|-Gives a much fresher feeling to the platforming genre that Mario Bros. relies on
||-More 1-ups are available throughout the game
|-Even after the rise in difficulty you are given the choice to increase it even more by changing back to the physics of the original game
||-Smaller levels make it harder to hide secrets, but time constraints give you less time to look for them
|-Provides a multiplayer choice for less advanced players
|-Time constraint increases difficulty and makes the game feel more suitable for advanced players
The Acosta Statement
You did it this time Nintendo! Though the boss battles could have been better, this alternate version of the game feels like a completely different type of adventure. Hardcore and advanced players can finally play a platform that will feel challenging and worth their time. As for the readers, if you didn’t think Luigi could live up to Mario’s standards, you couldn’t have been more wrong. You’ll be able to go through even harder stages without Mario taking the lead. New Super Luigi U is definitely worth the price if you’re going to play to get the most out of the experience; that means finishing the story, collecting the star coins and finding the secrets of the game. I would recommend this to any Mario Bros fan, and I would recommend this to anyone who has been looking to be challenged by a platforming or Mario game.