Do the Mario!
Whether you like it or not, the next generation of gaming is about to begin this November with the launch of the Wii U. While the first round of games has a at least a few important releases, we're currently most hyped for our next chance to play as Mario, Luigi, and the rest of the gang. A new Mario game is always worthy of interest, but what makes this one so special? Well...
Its the first original Mario at system launch since 1996
Once upon a time every Nintendo system launched with a groundbreaking, brand new Mario game, but the last time that actually happened was with Super Mario 64 on the N64 (remakes and Luigis Mansion dont count). The Wii U marks the first time in more than 15 years gamers will be able to test the limits of their just-purchased console by saving Princess Peach all over again. The fact that Nintendo is returning to its roots like that is more than enough to sell old school fans on the game and system. And akin to classic Mario games like Super Mario 64 and Super Mario World, a big focus of NSMBU is to showcase all the new system features.
FINALLY theres an HD Nintendo game
We had some great times on the Wii over the last six years, but even when the gameplay was great, it was often frustrating to know that the graphics would never match those on the 360 and PS3. At last Nintendo has caught up on the Wii U, and NSMBU represents the first time ever that Nintendo has approached graphics of this quality in a retail game. Does NSMBU have the best graphics ever? No, but it gives Nintendo fans their first real taste of what Nintendo can do with the new power at its disposal.
Squirrel Mario is a whole new way to fly
Mario has learned how to fly in so many ways, be it as Raccoon Mario in Super Mario 3, Cape Mario in Super Mario World, or with New Super Mario Bros Wiis propeller power-up. NSMBU has another flying outfit for his arsenal, the Flying Squirrel suit, that feels familiar and unique at the same time. Based on another tree-inhabiting rodent, it functions much of the time like the Raccoon power-up, but with the floatier properties of the tail. Another cute costume change for Mario and his friends, we welcome the addition.
It takes advantage of the GamePad
The Wii Us key feature from the outset has been the GamePad, the new controller with a tablet-like screen. Every launch game takes advantage of it in its own way, including NSMBU in both single and multiplayer. Most interestingly, the controllers screen is used in a new multiplayer mode, where one person controls Mario, while another touches the GamePads display to create new platforms that can help (or hinder) the main players progress. Its a fun way to build on the series multiplayer roots. The game can be played entirely on the GamePads screen, freeing up the TV for those unlucky enough to not currently be playing games.
The world map just keeps on going
Augusts New Super Mario Bros 2 had more than a little in common with Super Mario Bros 3, but NSMBU looks to be taking more inspiration from Super Mario World. Take the world map for just one example. No longer divided into separate screens, the overworld just keeps going and going when the player runs through it, giving the games setting a more vast and expansive feel than previous New Mario have to this point.
Baby Yoshi returns
Need more proof of the influence of the seminal work Super Mario World? NSMBU marks the return of Baby Yoshi, the sleepy-eyed hatchling that assisted Mario in SMW. Aside from eating whatever is in front of them, the tiny dinos have different skills depending on the type, such as expanding into a balloon to give Mario some extra altitude, or lighting the way in dimly-lit level. It seems like the little guys have learned a few tricks since SMW.
Attack adorable new enemies
Marios collection of enemies is one of the most famous in gaming, and it wouldnt be a Mario game without iconic creatures like Goombas, Koopa Troopers, and Monty Moles. All of those guys are confirmed to appear in NSMBU, but they have some new friends this time around. Above youll see the new flying squirrel enemies, little devils that imitate Marios newest power-up. Hopefully theyre just the beginning of the new bad guys youll be facing in the game.
We want to challenge the new Boost Rush Mode
Though not entirely true, for many Mario purists, the New Super Mario series can sometimes feel a little easy compared to previous 2D titles. Perhaps that perception will be lessened to a degree with NSMBUs Boost Rush Mode. Auto-scrolling stages that speed up as you collect more coins, the stages are meant to challenge the more skillful players, sort of like New Super Mario Bros 2s Coin Rush. And this opens the door for potential challenge DLC similar to NSMB2 as well.
You can play as a Mii
One of the first tech public tech demos for Wii U that was shown in 2011 was called New Super Mario Bros Mii, which eventually grew into the upcoming launch game. Now a mode in NSMBU, it allows you to play through the entire game as your Mii. Though purists may want to stick to the standard characters, playing as your Mii gives a nice extra feeling of personal investment in multiplayer setting.
Ready for something new?
After reading up on the game, are you looking forward to starting up this game on Wii U launch day? Or is there another Wii U title you're more interested in? Please, tell us in the comments!