Be that as it may, the developers no doubt have some tricks theyre keeping secret for now. These additions to the Mario franchise would be fitting and fresh at the same time. And if we had to guess what those features were, wed start with
Light the way with Yoshis
One of the first features of the GamePad shown for the game was the holder of the tablet controller adding platforms to a stage with a touch. We also saw that NSMBU features the return of the luminescent Light Yoshis from Super Mario Galaxy 2. Players carry them around to light the way in dark stages, but why not give that ability to the GamePad-holder? Instead of platforms, let them guide the way with multiple light sources (or send them in the wrong direction if theyre feeling evil).
Subterranean stages in GamePad screen
One of the most famous sounds in gaming has to be the noise made when Mario descends a pipe into a dimly lit sub-world. Whether they last a whole stage or are a brief room filled with coins, no Mario title is complete without them. If NSMBU wants to shake things up, we suggest having Mario warp from the TV into the GamePad screen whenever you use a pipe, experiencing the underground similar to caves in Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventure. Obviously it would only work in a single player game, but thats how we prefer Mario anyway.
Bring back shell Mario with tilt control
The original New Super Mario Bros for the DS was home to a power-up that we were surprised we never saw before, Shell Mario. Donning a Koopa Shell, Mario could pull himself into the blue carapace and spin on the ground in quick sprints. The power has been basically forgotten, but this would be a good time to bring it back, as the GamePads gyro controls could be a fin alternative to slinging Mario around the stage. Just hold down and tilt the blue-shelled bro around the stage with ease.
Colors flashing on screen when Mario grabs a star
One of the most exciting feelings in gaming is grabbing a bouncing star and transforming Mario into an invincible, Goomba-killing machine. The short burst of unbeatableness is always fun and enhanced by the unforgettable jingle that plays, but the GamePad offers a new opportunity to make it even better. How about making the touch screen flash in a rainbow of colors to the beat of the song while you run around on the TV? This would probably cause seizures in 20% of players, but it would be awesome enough to be worth it.
Begun in Mario 3, its been a Super Mario tradition to save power-ups for a rainy day, usually pulled out in a time of need while battling Bowser. For the DS original and the upcoming 3DS sequel, the bottom screen has been used to store/activate power-ups in those portable adventures. We found the ability so handy that we really hope the GamePad inherits the same feature. And this doesnt have to be for single player mode either, as the GamePad holder in multiplayer could use it to choose when and where to hand out power-ups, livening up the already competitive of the game.
Explore old stages in panorama view
At E3 2012, Panorama View was one of the more curious Wii U demos playable. It took you through auto-scrolling videos where you could move the GamePad in any direction and view the world from all 360 degrees. Its a cool idea that could work in virtual worlds as well as the real world, particularly stages from past 3D Marios. Wed love experiencing a classic Mario 64 stage in a whole new way, looking in any direction we chose as our old friend, the camera-carrying Lakitu, took us through the stage.
It should communicate with New Mario Bros 2
The next six months will see the launch of not only NSMBU, but also the 3DS adventure New Super Mario Bros 2. It seems obvious that the two games should communicate in some way, but so far Nintendo has so far said it isnt going to happen, though we dont want to believe them. Were not asking for something as extensive as controlling NSMBU with a 3DS. How about using the new Nintendo Network online features to share a Miiverse profile on both, unlocking special content in one that carries over to the other?
Knock down castles with touch screen
NSMBU features the return of baby Yoshis, characters that were last seen in Super Mario World. This is probably just the beginning of Mario World references in the new game and we a small but important one wed like to see carried over. After defeating each worlds boss and saving the aforementioned baby Yoshi, Mario knocks down the castle of the Bowser underling, which should return with new touch interface. Instead of letting Mario have the fun of knocking it down, let the player bash it on the GamePads screen until the structure is dust.
Have 8-bit Mario adventures on the GamePad
Mario games are known for hiding tons of secret stages throughout each platforming adventure, so how about sweeten the deal of unlockable stages. Reward players with classic Mario stages from his history that are playable on the GamePad. We dont expect Nintendo to give away full games (theyd rather charge full price for it on Virtual Console), but how about a few stages from his earliest games here and there? Not only would gamers appreciate it, but the levels could also work as stealth demos for the full version of the games that they can buy on Virtual Console.
The entire game is playable with Wii U Pro
But as great as all these features are, we also want them to be completely optional so we can play them the real way. New Super Mario Bros Wii didnt use the Pro controller, but we hope NSMBU doesnt make the same mistake. Playing with a sideways Wii Remote isnt horrible, but wed rather have the choice to use the grown-up controller.
If you want more Mario love, read Super Mario 4 - What we want to see and why every Mario game is the best AND worst in the series.