Best Wii U Exclusive 2012
Posted on Thursday, December 20 @ 12:00:42 Eastern by Anthony Severino
New Super Mario Bros. U - Best Wii U Exclusive
Platform: Wii U
Developer: Nintendo EAD
For a game with the word new in the title, there’s really not all that much new added to New Super Mario Bros. U. It’s the same old formula that you’ve been playing since the NES days—side-scrolling platforming fun. It’s Mario, so you know what to expect for the most part, and that’s exactly why you buy it again and again and again.
New Super Mario Bros. U takes the best parts of Super Mario World and Super Mario Bros. 3, and combines it to create something that feels fresh, yet familiar. Mix in up to four players at once—five, if you count the Wii U GamePad’s Boost mode—and it’s a way to bring the entire family together into Mushroom Kingdom.
At a glance, the new Boost mode appears to be little more than assistance for Mario, like shooting stars with the Wiimote in Super Mario Galaxy. But use Boost mode for a while and you’ll discover that it’s almost necessary to get the most out of New Super Mario Bros U. Acting as a second screen, there’s actually more to see on the GamePad through Boost mode than there is on the TV, like the elusive hidden 3-Ups. Plus, it’ll save Mario’s tailpipe more than a few times.
For a game that’s geared toward families and even children, New Super Mario Bros. U can be quite challenging, especially in the latter stages of the game. Smart level design encourages exploration and keeps the collectible star coins just out of sight and out of reach. Nabbing them all is worthwhile and unlocks even more challenges. If you are skilled enough to make it as far as Pendulum Castle, the word challenging takes on a whole new meaning. It’s truly a memorable experience—a memory that may not end up being a fond one given the difficulty. Beat it, and it’s an accomplishment that may get you to give into the constant barrage of Miiverse requests just to brag, or let out a sigh of relief that it’s over.
If you’re looking for a new Mario game that defines the platform like Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Galaxy did, New Super Mario Bros. U doesn’t fit that (bullet) bill. But it really is a great game, and given what a short time the Wii U has been on the market, the competition in this category is admittedly not all that fierce. You can’t argue that it’s the best game currently available on Wii U, but check this award space next year, and hopefully we’re giving praise to something that’s truly innovative and helps to define the Wii U for an entire generation.
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