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New Super Mario Bros U: More magic moments for Mario fans

But is it as exciting as Rayman Legends?

The buzz surrounding New Super Mario Bros U started on Sunday 3 June during Satoru Iwata's Nintendo Direct broadcast, before Nintendo has even shown it off at E3 2012 a few days later. Why? Because, we caught a glimpse of what looked like a Super Mario World-style map screen. Could the new Mario game be New Super Mario World?

The speculation had, in fact, started even earlier when Nintendo blanked out a list of three launch games on the Wii U Facebook page. One commenter pointed out that Super Mario World 3 was 19 characters, the same length as one of the titles on the list. Could it be Super Mario World 3?

No. While those Miiverse messages on the map screen look exciting, from what we've played so far this is very much a New Super Mario Bros. Wii sequel with some added GamePad platform placing. And a Squirrel Suit.

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Despite the title, this is definitely nothing new. Six years ago, when Nintendo released New Super Mario Bros, the first new 2D Mario game for 15 years, it was exciting to have a fresh take on the plumber's platforming classics. Is it still as exciting? Perhaps not. Is it still fun? Absolutely.

Especially when five players are getting in on the act - one on the GamePad placing platforms and the others leaping around the level. The GamePad player just needs to tap on the screen to make a platform appear and depending on how devious he or she is, they will help you out or have fun making life as difficult for you as possible.

Building A Platform

We can already see someone deliberately placing platforms over the entrances to pipes or block another player's path, causing them to be squashed by the screen only to return in a bubble which needs to be popped if they are to continue. But if you are nice, you'll kindly place a platform in a long gap between two rotating stars, enabling a mate to grab the big sparkly gold coin (these return from the original).

That is New Super Mario Bros U's major selling point at present. That and the new Squirrel suit which enables you to glide through the levels. As enjoyable as this is, you'd hope that this suit is not as prevalent as the Tanooki suit in Super Mario 3D Land as it could make things a little easy.

Undoubtedly it has come on a great deal since the New Super Mario Mii prototype we saw last year. New Super Mario U looks beautiful and seeing as Mario looks quite small - presumably a price to pay for fitting four players on screen - there's plenty of room for the gorgeous scenery to shine. And shine it does. Especially the third and final level in this demo which is set against a stunning starry night with big rotating stars for platforms.

Click to view larger image
Elsewhere, we're bouncing off mushrooms and floating on Yoshi balloons or rushing through a typical Mushroom Kingdom scene, complete with a rocky background straight out of, yes, Super Mario World.

So there are plenty of magic moments for Mario fans but at present it's not as innovative or as fast-moving as the excellent Rayman Legends. Still, we've only seen three levels and there may be much more to come. Remember that some people were underwhelmed by the Super Mario 3D Land demo.


22 comments so far...
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  1. MarioWalrus Friday 15th Jun 2012 at 15:12

    It will be interesting to see how this ends up as there has to be much more stuff the gamepad player can do that wont break up the originality that this game has.

  2. RedBearLuX Friday 15th Jun 2012 at 15:16

    I can't believe there is two games in this series launching this year, lets face it NSMBU will be a launch title.
    I feel like they've only done it to shift units, and I really wanted some solid games at launch and so far I'm not impressed.

    Also the way the gamepad is being used is not appealing to me at all. sitting there creating platforms for other players? Oh how exciting, I mean really thats the gameplay? Thats, sad and pointless, people using the gamepad are going to be bored stupid after 30 mins.

  3. RTY1998 Friday 15th Jun 2012 at 15:17

    Super Mario World U has 19 characters.

  4. CyberGW Friday 15th Jun 2012 at 15:28

    I'll be getting this and Rayman Legends. Love the look of them both.
    I really like Mario for all the power-ups as well as the fun and relaxed gameplay but also love Rayman for the speed, humour and difficulty of it. I personally don't think they have to compete, they can both be awesome in their own separate ways.

  5. shy guy 64 Friday 15th Jun 2012 at 16:45

    flying squirrel mario and bubble baby yoshi?

    how could i say no

  6. AL X Friday 15th Jun 2012 at 16:49

    I do think Ninty chose the easier route with NSMBU & it does look great still.

    I feel that games unfortunately seem to get lapped up a bit too easily in all genres & when you think about it there must have been quite a lot of effort put into making the 2 Galaxy games.

    In this industry its always the case that people are already wanting games companies to bring out another fantastic title within a very short space of time.

    Maybe a new console release would have done well with a bigger mario game however like an update of MW. But im sure the gameplay will shine.

  7. superthingymabob Friday 15th Jun 2012 at 17:10

    nintendo would do well to have this and pikmin 3 launch titles

  8. Dalekbuster523 Friday 15th Jun 2012 at 17:20

    I reckon they should change to sometime from New Super Mario Bros to New Super Mario Galaxy. That would be so cool.

  9. thenintendoer Friday 15th Jun 2012 at 17:59

    hopefull when the 2 mario games are relased this year that will be the end of the new super mario series dont get me wrong i do like these games but their starting to lose their freshness and id rather have a new type of game with a different graphical style or mechanics

  10. cheatmaster30 Friday 15th Jun 2012 at 20:40

    Wait, Squirrel Suit might make it too easy? That's nothing compared to Super Mario World's cape and how common that was in levels, and how much it broke them.

    But I do really like the look of this game. Looks much more interesting than New Super Mario Bros 2...

  11. LBDNytetrayn Friday 15th Jun 2012 at 22:10

    I thought one interview (IGN? I'd have to look) had Tezuka say that the team were Mario World fans, and that the map screen takes its cues from that. Is that not the case?

    Similarly, I heard the Squirrel Suit is sort of like the cape, and then we have the baby Yoshis with different colors and respective abilities...

    It may not be full-on SMW, but it seems to be cherry-picking some elements.

  12. spacemen13 Saturday 16th Jun 2012 at 09:42

    Whoa... loving the new power ups!

  13. imbusydoctorwho Saturday 16th Jun 2012 at 21:05

    Make the game harder,and a bit longer,and get rid of the Toads(or at least,add some new characters),and that'll improve it a lot.
    But I think Rayman Legends will much better than this.

  14. KairiZero Sunday 17th Jun 2012 at 08:22

    Well, its a Mario title, its not likely to be bad by all means. But with all the extra processing power and graphical clout - I would have preferred something a little more abitious from them..

  15. goodle306 Sunday 17th Jun 2012 at 08:36

    I think this looks like another nintendo classic. In 25 years time our children will be playing on wii Z with new super mario bros U as a classic thats downloadable on the Zshop.

  16. shadow.x Friday 22nd Jun 2012 at 13:13

    This actually looks amazing, but will it be fun to play? My interest was stretched when playing NSMBW :|

  17. PrinceMidna Monday 25th Jun 2012 at 18:25

    Luigi's catchphrase in Super Smash Bros. Melee is "Let's Pickle" but, unfortunately, I'm now feeling like a mixed pickle. I'm extremely excited about the Wii U and, if it comes out around Christmas, it will launch around the same time as my birthday (20th December.) It will be a great way to celebrate turning eighteen.
    However, I naturally turn to Mario and Zelda when thinking about what's the first game to buy for a new console. With the absence of the blonde Peter Pan, I'm left looking at the brothers but, unfortunately, this game seems rather dull. Yes, the HD graphics are beautiful and long overdue but the game itself seems to be retreading some very familar ground. It seems very similar to Mario Bros. Wii, which bored me senseless as the levels weren't that original. I'm scared that this will be too familiar to warrant a purchase.

    And WHAT are they doing with the Gamepad? The Gamepad is the Wii U's selling point but it seems extremely underused here. Who wants to put blocks here and there to help/annoy their friend instead of actually playing the game?! Like the co-op of SMG2, it will lose any appeal after five minutes! Poor way of showing the controller's alleged potential. They could have done ANYTHING with the Gamepad (eg use it for players to create their own levels ala LBP2) but what they've done is dumb. And do we really need another new suit? Bring back the old ones! The black flowers in the article picture (featuring the Star level) are taken from SMB3 so bring back the Shoe.
    Of course I thought 3D Land looked boring when I saw the trailers yet I love that game so maybe it will be better than I think. Just GET RID OF THOSE TOADS! The Miis take Wario and Waluigi's clothing so why can't the imps themselves appear in the game? Playing as Waluigi would make any game good, imho. *glares at MK7*

    As for Rayman, where the HELL did he come from? He had good enough titles back in the PS1/N64 era. Then he went bad and then he disappeared in the Rabbids' shadow. He came back last year and woah, he must have eaten super mushrooms. His new games are incredible! I'll difinitely get his Wii U outing! His return makes my mouth water in anticipation for Retro Studio's revival of Crash Bandicoot, and he difinitely puts Mario to shame.

    But then again, a console is not Nintendo without Mr. Same-old.

  18. supergamer123 Sunday 8th Jul 2012 at 15:02

    the game is really cool im getting it when the wii u comes out and when the game comes out :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D ::D :: :D :

  19. Gamer 1 Thursday 2nd Aug 2012 at 12:41

    The Wii U is gonna be a very succesful console with games like this and pikmin 3 coming out on it and the games can only get beter :!:

  20. explosive wii Sunday 12th Aug 2012 at 16:56

    It will be interesting to see how this ends up as there has to be much more stuff the gamepad player can do that wont break up the originality that this game has.

    i agree, i also think it will be interesting to see how the game pads ability's will be manipulated to use in a fun way

  21. Elwood212 Monday 8th Oct 2012 at 19:06

    Can't wait to try out the new yoshi characters :D

  22. SM3DL2 Thursday 8th Nov 2012 at 23:31

    As the first Mario game on the WiiU, this should be brilliant. Just like the first game on the 3DS (Super Mario 3D Land) was brilliant.

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