New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe – REVIEW (Nintendo Switch)

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Does Peachette make New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe the definitive version on Nintendo Switch? Find out in our in-depth review that covers newcomers Toadette & Peachette, gameplay & controls changes from the Wii U version, HD Rumble, multiplayer, and how well NSMBU & New Super Luigi U hold up after 6 years, and tons more in our in-depth review of New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe on Nintendo Switch!

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As a port of a 6 year old game, that itself
was the 4th installment in a series that began 6 years earlier as a modern of the original
Super Mario Bros. from two decades prior, there isn’t a whole lot that’s “new”
about New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, beyond the “Deluxe” that’s been added to its
title. A fact that’s more evident than ever now
than ever before, as the past 6 years have not been particularly kind to this game. So if there isn’t much new, you might be
wondering what exactly makes this the Deluxe version? Well, that seems to hinge largely on the fact
that the DLC expansion, New Super Luigi U DLC, is included in the package–although
that compilation already existed on the Wii U as well, just without the Deluxe moniker. But there have been some small improvements
to the presentation too. Both games, for instance, now run at 1080p
versus the Wii U’s 720p, which really makes the lifeless art style pop like never before. And perhaps the best addition is how HD Rumble
has been incorporated throughout the experience. You’ll now feel a slight jolt every time
you hit a box or shoot a fireball, as well as the flutter of Yoshi’s kicks, or the
sensation of taking a Warp Pipe–you’ll even feel the sensation of a Dry Bone’s
skeleton collapsing underneath your feet. Yeah it’s a bit morbid, but it feels great. The menus have also been freshened up a bit,
even if nearly mostly imperceptively. And then, of course, there’s the newcomer
Toadette and her weird Peachette power-up, which is the only truly new content in the
game. She essentially functions as a new “Easier”
“Funky-Kong” like difficulty mode, adding 100 seconds to the clock and changing 1-Ups
into 3-Ups. And Toadette is the only one who can grab
the new Super Crown power-up which transforms her into Peachett–which is extremely weird,
and it’s indeed best to not ask questions. Trust me, this is one Nabbit hole you don’t
one to go down Now as a power-up, Peachette is effectively
just a better version of the Squirrel suit, granting her superior air control, including
the ability to dart straight upward and turn without losing altitude. In addition, she also gains the improved swimming
abilities of the penguin suit, which is rather nice–especially if you’re not a fan of
water levels. Does anyone really even like them anyway? Finally, she’ll automatically rebound once
if you fall into a bottomless pit. So yeah, Toadette/Peachette’s a little OP,
but I generally found her to be slightly more enjoyable to play than the standard characters
for her greater maneuverability. Unfortunately, even ith Toadette, replaying
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe made me realize a harsh truth: I just don’t enjoy the New
Super Mario Bros. series anymore as single-player experiences. The art style is insipid with worlds feeling
flat and unlively, the music is an often an assault on the ears BAH BAH BAH, and even
the gameplay feels dated: Being booted back to the World Map after every life is archaic
in this day and age. Then there are the power-ups which annoyed
me as they often feel as limiting as they are liberating, with the Mini Mushroom being
the best example of this, lending the game a floatier feel while making you more vulnerable. Even the marquee Squirrel Suit just isn’t
that fun to use compared to past flying power-ups like the cape–a deficit that Peachette slightly
makes up for with her superior air control. I struggled to play through NSMBU again for
this review as it failed to engage me on almost any level. The constantly repeating enemies, level, and
musical themes blend together, making it difficult for even the somewhat varied gameplay mechanics
to stand out. The game lulled me into autopilot, where I
consumed level after level, world after world, with nary a memory of what I had just played. You know that feeling where you suddenly remember
that you’re driving a car, but have no recollection of the last several miles? That’s NSMBU in a nutshell, at least for
me. And it probably doesn’t help that I’ve
been playing NSMBU-style levels for years in Super Mario Maker, many of which were far
more interesting in design than the ones here. But there are two comparative bright spots
to the NSMBU Deluxe experience. First up is New Super Luigi U, because it
actually feels somewhat distinct by NSMB standards. Yes, it reuses the same tired art style, annoying
music, and even the world map, but the levels are all remixed into all-new creations that
are significantly shorter, more challenging, and thus, more interesting. With only 100 seconds on the clock for each
one, the levels are built with speed-runs in mind and rewards precision playing, whichs
stands in stark contrast to the leisurely pace of the rest of the game. It’s pretty fun and exciting to try and
fly through these levels, as they propel you forward in ways that 2D Mario rarely has before. It’s just a shame they weren’t paired
with more interesting assets, as NSLU had the potential to be something more. Of course, the shorter levels do mean that
Luigi’s adventure is only about half as long as the main game–which isn’t necessarily
a negative. The other high point of Deluxe is multiplayer,
which is the only redeeming part I found in the New Super Mario Bros. U portion of the
game. As my friends bounced over, into, and even
on top of each other, we nearly split our sides in laughter at points–even as we fought
over power-ups, and slurped each other up as Yoshi to carry each other to safety–or
spit them out into a bottomless pit, it really depended on how we felt. It was incredibly dumb, and the antithesis
of what I usually want in a platformer–and yet, it kind of works, and was more fun than
I remembered. So I’ll give you kudos for that New Super
Mario Bros. U. But there is a weird quirk in the multiplayer
this time around compared to the non Deluxe version. With Toadette effectively replacing one of
the original Toads, that means at least 1 of the 4 Players will always have to play
with a handicap, being stuck with either her or Nabbit, who’s completely invulnerable
to enemies. And that’s doubly the case in NSLU because
Mario is MIA, making either Toadette & Nabbit are required for a 3 player game, and both
for a full 4 player game. This may not matter to you–after all, I still
had fun–but it is utterly bizarre to me that there is no way to play through these games
as they were originally intended with every player having access to characters with identical
abilities, as opposed to the lopsided experience it can be now. Now there is one more change in NSMBUDX that
I haven’t mentioned yet, and it makes the game play worse than the original for one
baffling reason: The mid-air twirl that buys you an extra second
or so of air-time can now be performed simply by tapping jump again while in the air, instead
of being assigned a separate buttons. Which at first, seems like a smart decision,
simplifying the controls and making it almost a perfect 2-button experience isn’t a bad
idea on paper. But here’s the problem: I found myself twirling
by mistake constantly when I intended to perform other actions, such as preparing to wall-jump
or high-bounce off an enemy. And that can really throw you off. It adds imprecision in a game that demands
otherwise. It’s baffling to me that there isn’t an
option to disable this, even if you probably will adjust to it eventually Furthermore, due to the lack of the Wii U’s
GamePad New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is actually missing some content compared to
the original release. Boost Mode, which permitted an additional
player to spawn platforms simply by tapping on the screen, has been removed removed, along
with its associated challenges in Challenge Mode. I didn’t find it a huge loss personally,
but your mileage may vary. And that might be a good way to sum up my
review: Your mileage may vary. While the single-player experience nearly
bored me to tears, at least for New Super Mario Bros. U, that might not be the case
for those new to the series or even those just looking for even more of a NSMB experience. And that goes for the air-twirling control
issue too. It bugs me as a longtime fan, but if you’re
new to the game or less experienced with games in general, it might work better for you. But it’s my perspective as a longtime Mario
fan that makes New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe such a disappointing experience to return
to. Mario used to be a trendsetter for side-scrolling
games, pushing the boundaries of what could be done, and raising the bar by which all
2D games would be measured.. And while it’s not the fault of the game
that better ones have come along since, I think the truth of the matter is that NSMBU
wasn’t ever that compelling in the first place–at least as a single player experience And then there’s the issue of it not even
living up to its Deluxe moniker, with it technically missing content from the Wii U version, the
introduction of a frustrating new control issue, as well as that weird multiplayer quirk
that forces some players to play with a handicap, even if they don’t want to. It’s a little ironic that a game that hews
so closely to Mario’s origin didn’t take more inspiration from that game’s own original
Deluxe version, which actually offered interesting new content above and beyond the ported material. So that’s why NSMBU Deluxe me feeling Mixed
overall. While it still offers pockets of fun, especially
with the right friends, it feels old and worn down as a single-player experience, with only
New Super Luigi U offering anything close to a lively time. So if you’re looking to recapture some of
that old-school platforming magic instead of just retreading it, pick up Donkey Kong
Country: Tropical Freeze instead.Whether it’s visually, audibly, or mechanically, it blows
past NSMBUDX in every possible way–except for multiplayer, which hey, might be all you
need. And with that, thanks for watching and make
sure to click that Subscribe button for more New Super Mario Bros rants and everything
else Nintendo too.

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