Nintendo is striking first in the battle of next-generation consoles. The company is bringing gamers a new way to experience games with the launch of the Wii U and its non-traditional GamePad remote. Of course, a brand new console from Nintendo means more of the same classic characters that have become a symbol for video games overall.
New Super Mario Bros. U is bringing the plumbing brothers and their friends to the new console when it launches. The appropriately titled new adventure is designed to take advantage of the innovative Wii U GamePad while offering the nostalgic gameplay Mario fans young and old will be familiar with.
New Super Mario Bros. U is the first side-scrolling Mario game to feature a full world map since Super Mario World released in 1991. Previous New Super Mario Bros. titles separated worlds as the original Mario Bros. games did. This game features a seamless world map with named worlds and courses. Each portion of the map contains a different theme. However, fortress, castle and ghost house levels will appear in each world. The worlds are interconnected so they can be visited at any point. The map will also contain many secret exits that can lead to shortcuts.
As players work their way through the map, a creature named Nabbit will appear. Gamers must follow the creature into the course it selects and recover items it stole from Toad. If players can get their hands on Nabbit, they will receive a P-Acorn, which allows gamers to continuously fly throughout the whole level.
Power-ups like the P-Acorn will be available throughout the game. The new Super Acorn unlocks Flying Squirrel Mario. This power-up gives Mario the ability to glide and cling to walls, blocks and pipes. Players can air jump while gliding by shaking the Wii remote. In addition, the Fire Flower, Ice Flower, Mini Mushroom and Penguin Suit will be returning.
Mario has always been partial to gold but, this time around, those gold coins play an even bigger role. The game’s Coin Battle mode features up to five players fighting to see who can collect the most coins. Four players will be battling for gold while one player can use the GamePad to place Boost Blocks on the map in order to help players grab coins in areas that are normally too difficult to reach. Coin Battle courses can also be edited with the GamePad. Coin layout can be customized and saved to play at any time.
A new Boost Rush mode rewards players who can get through levels as quickly as possible. Gamers who love to try speed runs of classic side-scrollers will love the new mode. Levels scroll at increasing speeds as gamers attempt to speed through while collecting coins.
The game features an all new Challenge Mode with levels not found in the main game. Players are tasked with specific achievements to accomplish before a course run. Gamers playing alone will find four single-player categories. Time Attack, Coin Collection and 1-Up Rally are the challenge categories for solo players. There is also a Special category which consists of miscellaneous challenges. Boost Mode challenges are specifically for two players. One player uses the GamePad to set up blocks on the course to make it easier for the other player, who is using a Wii remote, to reach coins or just avoid death.
Mario, Luigi, Blue Toad, Yellow Toad, Princess Peach and Baby Yoshi make up the cast of characters in the game. However, players can really get immersed in the action by using their personalized Mii. Select game modes feature the ability to have a Mii run and jump alongside Mario. The game will also feature new enemies and some not seen in years.
While the game does not revolutionize the gameplay system found in Mario games, it will provide some new ways to experience 2D platforming. Distinct features designed to take advantage of the Wii U GamePad plus the ability to play strictly on the GamePad are welcome additions. Combined with simple drop-in, drop-out gameplay, New Super Mario Bros. U is sure to be fun for old and new gamers alike.
New Super Mario Bros. U releases alongside the Wii U launch on Nov. 18 and is exclusive to the Nintendo console.