New Super Luigi U – Wii U

8 Overall Score

Great Remix | Lots of content

Very difficult | Multiplayer doesn't really work

2D platformers come and go, graphical styles, musical influences and platforms influencing what they look like, sound like and where you can play them.  But these things, to me, have always been secondary.  I’ve loved platformers since I played the original Mario Bros., and the one thing that can stop me from diving into a platformer is how it feels. How quickly your character stops, how fast they accelerate and run, how high they can jump, what the arc is and how much air control you have.  All of these things and several more beside are what really matters to me. Everything else is secondary, so much so that it’s leaked into other genres for me.  I’ve quit playing several first person shooters simply because it just didn’t ‘feel’ right.  It’s why, after years of playing Counter-Strike every single day, I gave up on CS when Source really picked up.  It just didn’t feel right. New Super Luigi U DLC now available on eShopIf you have New Super Mario Bros. U, but are still hungry for more, jump on the eShop and download 80 new levels for $20. Levels are shorter, have a time limit, but are also much, much harder. Oh, and you play as floaty, flutter jumpin’ Luigi. Nabbit will also be playable and invincible to damage: an excellent choice for beginners. Standalone game will be available August 25, 2013.Buy New Super Mario Bros U 41.96,New Super Luigi U 30.00

I bring this up, because of course Mario is nowhere to be seen in this $20 DLC download for New Super Mario Bros U.  (It will be coming out as a $30 boxed copy soon that won’t need the original disc) You are, finally, Luigi and only Luigi.  He’s been given the starring role in a side scroller, and with him comes the very different feeling of controlling Luigi that you’ll immediately recognize if you’ve played some games with him in it.  He slides around much more and takes longer to stop.  He jumps higher, and has a different arc.  They aren’t huge changes, but at the same time they change everything.  If you remember the reskin of Doki Doki Panic we got here in North America called Super Mario Bros 2. you’ll know what I’m talking about.  The small changes to the 4 characters in that game made all the difference.  You’d think that the <SMALL SPOILER> big ‘Mario’ button after you finish the game that appears at the start of every level that resets your physics to Mario’s would be a good thing, </SMALL SPOILER> but every level has been remixed to fit Luigi’s physics.  It makes a difficult game even harder.

Which is the first thing that struck me.  I died on the first level. Several times.  I stared at the screen in absolute disbelief every time it happened.  I’ve been playing Mario games for decades, and the first level killed me?  I quickly realized what was happening.  The 100 second time limit that every level has, pushed me into my standard ‘Hold run and go nuts’  that I’d gotten used to playing on the, quite frankly, embarrassingly easy modern Mario games.  Those I had played on auto-pilot, never really pausing to time things properly or pay a whole lot of attention.  Super Mario 3D Land was different, but of the 2D outings it had been quite awhile since I hadn’t just played it like most people watch TV.  Enjoyable, but not really that interactive.  The change in physics, plus the time limit, plus the level designers doing things like putting enemies right in the most natural places to jump, kept killing me.  I couldn’t get the timing right, and I got frustrated and put the controller down.  Beaten by a modern Mario game!  Of course, that would not do.New Super Luigi U DLC Coming To New Super Mario Bros. U

So I kept going at it, and eventually something clicked.  My muscle memory adjusted to how Luigi wanted to move, and things started becoming easier.  But at no point was I able to lapse back into a Mario-coma and burn through levels, I had to pay attention.  That was weird, but I really enjoyed it.  Then I got a friend to play with me, and it all went to pot again.

The ‘new’ playable character Nabbit is a bit of an odd one.  He is invulnerable to everything but falling off a cliff.  ‘That’s a good thing!’ you’re thinking, ‘so other people who aren’t Mario nerds can play with me!’.  You’d think that, but if someone who is standing on some spikes pops you out of your ‘I died and am now floating around’ bubble, guess what? You instantly die.  Or what if they jump on a platform that you can’t, and you don’t notice and follow them? You’re dead again!  And it’s not as easy to avoid each other on these levels, as they’re more frantic and cramped.  That time limit means it’s not as funny or fun to constantly pop each others bubbles, and because you go back to your last save if you run out of lives (Wait, death MEANS something in a Mario game?), mucking about to grab the 3 special coins in each level isn’t something I was as willing to do.  

This is a game that requires you to learn the slightly more advanced Mario tricks and use them well.  It demands you pay attention to what you’re doing, and highly suggests that if you want to play multiplayer, you have somebody using the Wiipad to distract enemies and place platforms where you most need them.  For me? It was fantastic, a real refresh of the Mario formula.  It’s 82 levels, and depending on how good you are either ~7 hours or a lifetime of play or torment.  This is really what I feel DLC should be.  Yes, it’s expensive for downloadable content.  However, it has as many stages as the original game (though they’re about half the size) and mixes everything up to a delightful degree.

That praise does come with some caveats though.  If you haven’t been trained in the crucible of Mario, be prepared to die.  If you’re buying this for 5-player multiplayer, you’re going to die.  If you’re easily frustrated in platformer games, you’re going to die.  If you want a radically different formula or look to the game? You’re going to be disappointed.  This is Mario, but a Luigi remix.


Want to know what our review scores mean? Read about it here.


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Author: Micah View all posts by
Micah has been playing games since his first pong machine, and has been writing for as long as he could grip a pencil and not drool on the paper. So, for about a week.

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