New Super Luigi U Wii U User Review
Super Gamer Dude
Featuring player characters who are either plumbers or strange mushroom people, and journeying through lands that turn you into a flying squirrel simply by touching acorns, it will surprise absolutely no one to learn a Mario game is peculiar. Even Mario DLC is strange.
That's what New Super Luigi U is. Though you can buy the game in a retail package, like most DLC, it was designed to be downloaded and played as a companion to the main game. New Luigi U contains nearly the same multi-player setup, graphics, sounds, and game mechanics from its brother title, New Super Mario Bros. U. Although there's an unlockable that will take players a step closer to Mario, you can't actually play as the more famous brother. As a piece that fits into a whole, it is prudent to keep in mind that the levels are shorter, and while multiplayer is available, elements like the Challenge Mode are not.
While some levels are modifications of earlier ones into significantly altered forms, others are entirely brand new. What they all share is a 100 second time limit and a tall, lanky, green, skittish, mustachioed coward who sweats out "Whew! I did it!" when you make it through. Like Mario U, this is an adventure through 80 or so levels of 2D platforming. Unlike Mario U, Nintendo's designers seem to have been cackling like mad scientists while making it.
Whether you will enjoy it has little to do with how much you enjoy flipping and flopping through bizarrely fantastic physical landscapes that play out like Rube Goldberg machines filtered through the minds of Roald Dahl, Salvador Dali and Hello Kitty, which is a "typical" Mario experience. It has more to do with whether you're the type of player who can enjoy mastering extremely precise demands on your trigger finger. These demands play out like being asked to thread a hyper, wobbling needle through a hole that's doing the limbo while drunk. If you don't like trying again when you don't succeed the first few times, Luigi U may be a little intense and cause anger issues.
(And if you just find it too unbelievably cruel, there is a secret that allows you to play as usually multi-player-only character Nabbit. This guy is a strange thief who appeared in the original as an enemy. He can't be hit by enemies or collect power-ups, which is like entering an invincibility mode of sorts.)
This is not to say the levels are poorly designed. Each stage is devoted to the idea of the younger brother's wonky momentum. A bevy of surprises and laughs are waiting for those who appreciate that Nintendo is top of the class for making these types of games. However, considering how much more the levels bear repetition, it would have been nice if there was an easier way to repeat them without going through multiple, irritating steps.
Just like Luigi himself, this game is New Super Mario Bros. U's lesser-known, more unique, loopier brother.