Continuing Nintendo's quest to find a wider audience for games that were missed by the masses during their initial Wii U release, New Super Mario Bros. U is the latest title to be re-released on the super-popular Switch - and this time, it's Deluxe!
The NSMB series takes Mario back to his 2D side-scrolling platforming roots, featuring pretty much all of the most recognisable gameplay elements from the old-school Mario titles while adding a host of modern mechanics to make our favourite plumber feel right at home in today's gaming landscape. The game's soundtrack and overworld map contain echoes of Super Mario World (SNES) and Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES) in particular, which will give players of a certain age a warm fuzzy feeling inside, and many of the locations - grassy plains, deserts, underwater, snow and ice etc. - will be equally familiar.
There are over 80 levels to play through, not including the dozen secret levels and additional ultra-tricky courses in Superstar Road which are unlocked by collecting all of the Star Coins in the main game (which is no easy feat!). NSMBUD is one of the more challenging entries in the series (especially if you try out the chaotic four-person multiplayer side of things), but Deluxe offers a lifeline to those in need with a couple of new playable characters that function as the game's 'assist' mode. Choosing to play as Toadette or newcomer Nabbit will decrease the difficulty somewhat, giving bonuses like double jumps, invincibility, and additional time to complete each level.
NSMBUD includes a few extra competitive multiplayer modes on top of the main game. In Challenge Mode, players compete for high scores or shortest times, Boost Mode places you in an auto-scrolling level that gets faster as you collect coins, and Coin Battles allow up to four players to see who can grab the most coins in either a set of purpose-made (and editable) levels or any already completed main game level.
If that wasn't enough to keep you going, the package also includes New Super Luigi U where Mario steps to one side allowing his brother to take centre stage. Following the same overworld map as the main game, each level has been altered to accommodate for Luigi's slippery controls and floaty handling (and more restrictive time limit). With more Star Coins and hidden exits to find, NSLU doubles the amount of available content, leading to somewhere around 200 levels across both games.
With a huge amount of content (especially for those who are into multiplayer) and plenty of challenge for those wanting to see everything the game has to offer, NSMBUD has gt pretty much everything you could want from a modern 2D Mario title. For anyone who missed out back in 2012, this really is a must-buy. We're guessing not many of us have still got a Wii U hooked up to the TV these days, so NSMBUD is definitely worth revisiting even if you played it the first time around.
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. U DELUXE / DEVELOPER: NINTENDO / PUBLISHER: NINTENDO / PLATFORM: NINTENDO SWITCH / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW