New Super Mario Bros U Review

NSMBU cover

Super Luigi U is upon us. Is it worth it to dive into this adventure with Mario before Luigi jumps into the spotlight?


NSMBU presentation

Mario is finally saving the day in HD. From the first moment you’ll notice how good the game looks. This mixes with the catchy music and gets you into the moment. When you put attention into the details you’ll be even more impressed; the background of the levels are well designed, and the music is thoroughly thought out.  There’s enough detail to reveal more about both the design and musical choice when looked at and listened to more closely. Occasionally you’ll see or hear something nostalgic, like a tune at the end of the level indicating you’ll receive an item. You may also notice that enemies, Yoshi and other things in the game have reactions to the rhythm of the music. This throws the enemies’ patterns slightly off but not significantly. It’s also quite charming. There is a good balance in design because everything is mostly new while some things will bring you back to the old Mario days.

Story and Gameplay

NSMBU Bowser Jr

There’s nothing new plot-wise. You’ll be doing the usual save the princess adventure that Mario always gets stuck with. The only thing you’ll find different is that your princess is NOT in another castle, just her own. Bowser Jr. takes on a bigger role than Bowser in this game, but of course Mario’s greatest enemy is still present. The story may not be too intriguing, but gameplay is where Mario games have made their mark.

There are some new enemies like the flying squirrel. It’s obvious its purpose in the game is to accompany the new power up. Mario and friends can use this power-up to glide across the stage and propel upwards once for each time you jump. Another new addition is of small Yoshi replicas throughout the game that have special powers depending on the color. For example, the pink Yoshi will turn into a balloon and bring Mario high into the air. It seems as though many more types of items and Yoshi could have been added, but there’s enough added to the game to make for new gameplay. Don’t worry about your green dinosaur friend, the original Yoshi does show up for some levels.

As is typical for Nintendo games, the levels start off rather easy to finish. You can reach 99 lives quite easily if you’re a veteran of platforming with Mario and his brother. This is Nintendo’s style for introducing younger and new consumers to their products, but it would be nice for more of a challenge (at least enough to make 99 lives a difficult accomplishment). Don’t be discouraged yet because the levels get increasingly difficult. If a level is too difficult, a super Luigi guide box will appear to show you a run through the stage. Star coins and secret stages make an appearance for the Mario players who want a satisfying challenge. Some of these coins will have you thinking for a bit before you can get them. Some of them will require you to have a certain item with you. Secret stages will also take some time to find, increasing replay value for those players who want the most of their games.


Multiplayer is also available for this game. Three other players can choose between the recently popular Luigi, and a blue or yellow toad. This can be a competitive environment, or other players can cooperate to help you collect those hard to reach star coins. A fifth player has the ability to create disappearing platforms around the stage and stun enemies with the touchpad. This is useful for players who may want to be involved but not completely immersed in the gameplay. Playing with multiple players can sometimes make a level easier and sometimes do the opposite, giving a balance to the choice of adding a friend.

Other Modes


There are other modes for competitive play. Challenge and Boost Rush mode allow for you and your friends to compete in clearing stages with the fastest time, staying alive the longest and other objectives. You can even use your Mii for these competitions. The more competitive players will enjoy these game modes while others may not. Another feature of the game is that the posts of other players around the world who have posted in Miiverse about a specific level will show up throughout the game. This makes you feel more connected with other players.

Pros Cons


Has a reasonably good balance for nostalgia -Mario platforming formula still fun but makes for a “play it safe” plot
-New stages, items, enemies and characters give enough reason to play Mario once again -Too easy for more advanced players in the beginning of the game
-Visuals and musical choices are well thought out -Doesn’t realize its potential with the amount of items and Yoshi
-Star coins and secret stages give more advanced players a challenge
-Competitive modes can be fun to challenge others with


The Acosta Statement

Come on Nintendo! We know you could have done a lot more here. Yes, the game is fun and could keep us busy for a while until new games arrive, but I see holes that could have been filled until they were overflowing with content. Nevertheless, New Super Mario Bros U is a fun game to play. Some of you will find it worth buying no matter what. But for the rest of you; the question is, is it worth buying along with Super Luigi U? We’ll find out soon in my next review!


Super Mario Bros U meme


5 thoughts on “New Super Mario Bros U Review

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