With the advent of the new Nintendo Wii U console comes the release of the newest installment in one of gaming's all-time best series. I'm talking of course about the latest Super Mario brothers game New Super Mario Brothers U. This is the first time in over 16 years that a Mario game has launched with a new console. The last time being Super Mario 64 for the Nintendo 64. If you haven't played a Super Mario Brothers Game since then, you're in for a treat because I guarantee these games are even more fun than you remember.
When it comes to gameplay, everything just feels right. The running, jumping, and block destroying elements are smooth as silk and just as much fun as the older gamers may remember. One of my favorite characters from the past has also returned in the form of Yoshi, although he does have some cool new abilities. You can shake your controller, or push left or right with the gamepad and Yoshi will change colors. If he's yellow, he'll glow allowing you to see better on the darker levels. If he's pink, he will swell up like a balloon and you can float through the air. Blue Yoshi turns enemies into coins and other good pick-ups by shooting bubbles at them. There's not a lot of new stuff here, but what is here is just so much fun.
Everything in the sound department is just so perfectly suited for a Super Mario Brothers game. You'll constantly find yourself whistling little ditties from the soundtrack that you didn't even realize you had noticed. The music constantly changes to fit the scenario too, so you'll be whistling a different tune so to speak, multiple times per level.
We've seen it a thousand times, but just as Romeo and Juliet, the story is timeless. Princess Peach is in a world of trouble and it's up to Mario, Luigi, and friends to save her again. Who's the culprit this time? Like you even had to ask! It's Bowser. Bowser and the Koopa Kids storm Peach's castle and somehow manage to dispose of Mario and friends to the farthest destination possible. Their journey to rescue the Princess will take them through the desert, snow-covered mountains and everywhere in between. The levels are all challenging but in a fun sort of way. There's nothing super frustrating, but it's not so easy that it's boring. I don't want to go into great detail and spoil anything, but I can tell you for sure that it's a fun ride.
Other Modes 7/10
While the bread and butter of any platformer is the story mode, New Super Mario Brothers U does offer a few extra modes to steal away your spare time. There's the usual multiplayer mode. There's Boost Rush mode which basically requires you to compete the level as fast as possible. There's also Challenges mode which consists of multiple elements such Coin Collection and Time Attack. While there's nothing really unique here, they're all fun in their own right.
Final Score 9.5/10
New Super Mario Brothers U is a great game and by far the best Wii U launch title. It's the Mario and Luigi you've known and loved since childhood. Nothing truly groundbreaking, just the simple, smooth, and addictive gameplay we've all been enjoying since the mid 80s. Truly a must-have for your new Wii U console.