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Review

New Super Luigi U Review

  • Game release: November 18, 2012
  • Reviewed: June 26, 2013
  • WIIU

New Super Luigi U may not offer new worlds or powers, but its emphasis on skill and precision reinvigorates the series in a meaningful way.

At first glance, New Super Luigi U looks like any other New Super Mario Bros. game, except that you now control Mario's skinnier, floatier brother, Luigi. Oh, if only it were that simple. There's much more to New Super Luigi U than just a new set of overalls and rearranged assets, including an increased difficulty curve, but it's Luigi's physics and the brevity of each level that set New Super Luigi U apart from its older brother--in a good way, too. The most intriguing part is that it may take place in an alternate dimension where Mario is dead.

Look at the facts. The game begins in the exact same manner as New Super Mario Bros. U: Bowser, aka the King Koopa, storms Princess Peach's castle with his koopalings in tow, imprisons the princess, and tosses everyone else to the edge of the Mushroom Kingdom. The only difference between the two games' intro sequences is Mario's absence from the dinner table in New Super Luigi U. Only his hat remains, which is a reminder of the sublime plumber's legendary exploits. At no point does he appear in the game, "Bros." is no longer in the title, and once you've defeated Bowser, Luigi can take on Mario's movement characteristics via an in-game item. To put it another way: Luigi allows himself to become possessed by Mario's spirit. Yeesh.

Each level kicks off with the series' iconic 100-second warning, your first clue to the new time limit. Your first instinct might be to rush ahead, but do so, and you quickly learn that Luigi exhibits very different physics than old Mario. For example, when Luigi tries to reverse his direction during a sprint, his increased momentum keeps him moving in his original direction for a second longer than usual. Luigi also jumps noticeably higher and can float in midair if you continue to hold the jump button at the top of his arc. In essence, he's very much like he was in Super Mario Bros. 2 on the NES. Though it may take you a moment to adjust to his footwork, he still exhibits the responsive controls the series is known for. Luigi's tendency to float and slide, along with the new time limit, gives New Super Luigi U a feel all its own.

Why is there a cake and what exactly happened to Mario? The plot thickens.

This is good, because otherwise, you might confuse this with a simple remix of New Super Mario Bros. U levels. Though the world map, themes, power-ups, and visual assets are "old," Luigi's physics and the level design at large rise to the top. It isn't just that the arrangement of elements is different this time around. It is, but in keeping with Mario tradition, the placement of platforms, enemies, and runways is tailored to the lead character's capabilities. These paths are most obvious when approaching flagpoles, where a handful of blocks are arranged for well-timed triple jumps, but they can be found throughout most levels when you look for them. Given how short the new levels are, you often feel compelled to speed-run them after discovering these unspoken paths, but player beware: with Luigi, sloppiness is usually punished by death.

Whether you're trying to collect elusive star coins or speed-run a punishing level--the game's real challenges--you're going to die frequently in New Super Luigi U, but it provides you with the tools needed to avoid the progress-crushing Game Over screen. It's common to find 1UP mushrooms hidden in blocks near the start of most stages, and landing on the tops of flagpoles at the end of levels is easier than ever thanks to Luigi's enhanced jump, making them an excellent source of extra lives. The game always provides a way to recover lost lives, which may involve backtracking or cautious play, but ultimately, New Super Luigi U's greatest challenge is the chase of perfection, not survival. It can be punishing, but to call it difficult overall doesn't give due credit to its finely tuned flexibility.

Luigi's extra second of hang-time can be a lifesaver.

Some levels are choreographed so well that it’s not unheard of to occasionally breeze through one in less than 20 seconds. Granted, this requires excellent coordination and focus on your part, but it’s these moments that highlight the joy of mastering Luigi’s physics. When you can start off with a sprint and continue to triple jump, flip, and head stomp your way to the finish line without hesitation, there’s no greater feeling in this game, or New Super Mario Bros. U, quite like it. And with the levels as tightly composed and short as they are in New Super Luigi U, there are plenty of opportunities to discover the joys of a faster, riskier take on the Mario Bros. formula.

Of note is the return of Nabbit, the pesky robber-rabbit from New Super Mario Bros. U, who’s now playable during co-op in Mario’s absence. He controls much like the secondary Toads that populate the rest of a four-playable squad, with one major exception: he’s impervious to common enemies and environmental hazards. Being a plucky thief, his particular set of skills comes in handy when trying to acquire coins, but his considerable advantages come at a cost: he can’t use power-ups. This can be problematic when a player on their last leg misses the chance to power-up because Nabbit inadvertently wastes a nearby mushroom or fire flower, but on the other hand, he can bypass challenging enemies with ease, thus leading the way for other players to pop into a bubble and catch up with him. He’s not a game changer, but rather a nice change of pace from the likes of Toad and Mario.

You've come a long way, Luigi. Don't lose sight of your stout, blocky roots.

Nintendo has done a good job of creating a "new" experience out of old rags. You're still on a quest to rescue Princess Peach, and the same old Mario mechanics persist, but the challenges along the way feel different. Never have levels been this short, nor the emphasis on perfection so explicit, and these elements work in New Super Luigi U's favor. You don't need to be an expert player to save the princess, but there's room for advanced play in speed-running levels, collecting star coins, and, ultimately, tackling the legendary Rainbow Road. It can be a challenging game if you elect it to be, but it's accessible to a wide range of skill levels. The story is a compulsory component devoid of originality--unless Mario's not only missing but actually dead--and the lack of new power-ups or themes is disappointing, but underneath it all is a positively twisted take on the Mario Bros. formula, and it's an excellent add-on to New Super Mario Bros U.

The Good
The redesigned levels are dense and challenging
Luigi's distinct physics add a unique feel to the action
Optional objectives extend the endgame in a worthwhile way
The Bad
Recycled art and music from New Super Mario Bros. U
8.5
Great
About GameSpot's Reviews
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About the Author

Discussion

586 comments
Sevenizz
Sevenizz

DLC disguised as a game - nothing more to see here.

RichardLG
RichardLG

My biggest complaint is that you have use wii motes or the new pro controller and can't use the gamepad made for the wii u or the classic controllers that many already own if you want to play more than 1 player. That's pretty lame-sauce. They shafted us on the original Wii Super Mario Bros. by not letting us play with the Classic Controller and now this? WTH NINTENDO?!

Zekethompson22
Zekethompson22

What the hell is that purple thing with the teeth.

djdomingo
djdomingo

The Last of Us: 8.0

New Super Luigi: 8.5 

Someone, please explain!

AzatiS
AzatiS

User score 7.5

Metacritic 7.6

Gamespot 8.5 !!! 

Nuff said!!

Teufelhund84
Teufelhund84

Just picked up my green Luigi box today! Great game for the price.

juboner
juboner

u will have to wait for super mario 3d world for a really good mario game prrrr..meow

GameMasterSkill
GameMasterSkill

I honestly think this game is decent but a bit annoying though not gonna lie...

phbz
phbz

Not impressed. But Mario and it´s subproducts tend only to reveal themselves when actually playing them. But Nintendo remains unable to release one wow franchise for wiiU.    

Darthtc
Darthtc

It really sucks...


Let's think about it...

The Last Of Us = 8.0

New super luigi U = 8.5


It doesn't smell good...

19James89
19James89

People can continue to slate Nintendo for releasing the same old games, but EA have been churning out the same football game for the past 20 years. Call of Duty have been churning out the same first-person shooter for the best part of a decade. Sure the setting might change, the weapons might change, but there's only so much you can do with a franchise. If Nintendo stopped making Mario games, their hardware wouldn't sell. That's the crux of it. Mario is a character that Nintendo fans love and adore and his games sell, they sell big.

Feedbackula
Feedbackula

This is the best Nintendo has. Same old Mario Bros. type game. For me, this is already very old. This is also the reason why I don't own a Wii U.

sgtZipper
sgtZipper

"Recycled art and music from New Super Mario Bros U. ", hah, more like Recycled art and music from New Super Mario Bros Wii.

But erm... it's DLC, you know? ... So, it's sorta... like... the same game... you STUPID! :-) (I still love you)

Crouteru
Crouteru

This is how you do DLC, something substantial that was produced after the main game and not held back. NSMBU was great fun and so is this.

St0Ne4Ge
St0Ne4Ge

and I thought Nintendo were afraid to try something new...

HiraiKazuo
HiraiKazuo

This game is a joke compared to resitance 3.

pygmyschizoid
pygmyschizoid

If this is a child game, please, developers, give us more child games!
Please, give us less of those gazillion polygons games, that hides under the ultra-realism's veil a shallow art style.
And, please, stop with those pretentious adult stories. They're just stupid. Don't try to be Joyce, Pound or even Tolkien: videogames aren't the medium for this. Yes, you can write cool stories on games, and you must do it if you can, like in the spaghetti Red Dead Redemption, or the plot filled with twists The Witcher; but most of the time you'll end sounding like a pretentious prick, 'Cause you can't do it right.

Give us more of those challenging, fun, and, why not, childish games, if you must call.
And, please everybody: Accept that games are a new medium, a new artform that neither have nor should follow the steps of movies or books to be good or "adult".

Dragon_Nexus
Dragon_Nexus

Because it encourages you to use new stuff, not waste time with old obsolete control methods

(Comment brought to you by Hyperbole Inc).

megafitch
megafitch

@AzatiS Reviews are down to opinion - the reviewer here obviously enjoyed it! I want to try it out myself as I did enjoy Mario Bros U :)

Teufelhund84
Teufelhund84

 @juboner Not the Mario we all were hoping for but I'm sure it will be loads of fun regardless.

RichardLG
RichardLG

@phbz Wonderful 101 is pretty awesome if you want to try something new and different, but this game is probably the best of the new side-scroller mario games to me because it's more challenging.

juboner
juboner

@phbz true u  have to play them to realize the enjoyment


megafitch
megafitch

@Darthtc Yes, because they're absolutely identical games........your logic doesn't smell good ;)

Tlou is fantastic. And I really enjoyed Mario bros U - so I'm sure I would enjoy Luigi U as well. Scores are just general guidelines by the person reviewing......if Carolyn had reviewed NSLU for example, it may have gotten a lower score. In the end its down to how you perceive the game, rather than looking at numbers..

jackelzx
jackelzx

@DarthtcTo very different games, why would you compare a platform with a survival horror?

phbz
phbz

@Darthtc I think it´s time to deal with all this tlou review trauma.

xanthan1
xanthan1

@Darthtc You do get it's entirely subjective right? Maybe whoever they had review it just didn't like whatever type of game The Last of Us is.

swedensior
swedensior

@Darthtc TLOU is probably worth around 9-10 but not according to Tom. So we must live with it :)

swavo13
swavo13

@19James89 

True, but even though i can forgive this one(it was clearly marketed as a kind of independent expansion), franchises with big names selling off the same thing over and over again really kill their reputation. The perfect thing for a sequal is to be innovative but stay true too it's roots.

Also innovation isn't implenting a gimmick. It's actually implenting a style that's fun and interesting to play. 

An example would be the 3d mario franchise. It started with mario 64 which was something people had never seen before. After that mario sunshine which people deemed bad since it was too different., where it was actually still a mario game in a different setting with old and a lot of new mechanics. The galaxy came, again re-inventing the series.

So 3 games that really changed a lot during their course.

The galaxy 2 came. No glitches, great art style, good gameplay, good soundtrack and gamespot gave it a 10.

And it's the most unoriginal, boring game with no innovation out of the line and a direct sequal cashing in on galaxy 1's succes.

And people hail it as one of the best games ever, because it's so ''mario''.

So to conclude, if a non-story driven game gets a direct sequal, it's probably a cash-in and repetitive as f*ck.

penpusher
penpusher

@Feedbackula as opposed to the same old COD, or Halo, or generic sports game that the other consoles have? 

I'm not trying to naysay on your taste in games, but that logic just doesn't hold up to scrutiny. All consoles have "the same old".

swedensior
swedensior

@sgtZipper If we really where stupid I guess you wouldn't have the need to tell us that!

malachi_27
malachi_27

Resistance 3 + New Super Luigi U = <3

xanthan1
xanthan1

@HiraiKazuo Thank you for sharing your opinion. 


Now go away, no one here actually cares.

Gargaglio5tatus
Gargaglio5tatus

@pygmyschizoid Your comment is ironically a lot more pretentious than any "adult story" I've seen in a videogame.

Also, learn how to speak English before you preach your mind-blowing opinion.

swedensior
swedensior

@pygmyschizoid Heavy Rain made me understand that games can tell an emotional story way better than an ordinary movie can...

AzatiS
AzatiS

@megafitch

Ill go with majority of reviewers and majority of users rather a single person opinion which is way off of what majority average is.

Other than that i would be crazy to spend 350$ for Wii U and another 20-30-40-50 or whatever to play titles like this ...

If i want a 2D platformer i would stick to the king , Rayman Origins/Legends which is also multiplatform.

pygmyschizoid
pygmyschizoid

@Gargaglio5tatus@pygmyschizoid Lol, english is my third language, so sorry for that. But I bet I can kick your ass in portuguese.

Also, 7 people seemed to understand my statement, so no need for grammar lesson.

And if you found any incoherency in what I said,  let's discuss it.

pygmyschizoid
pygmyschizoid

 @swedensior @pygmyschizoid
The problem with Heavy Rain is exactly that: it borrows to much from movies narrative form. It can be dangerous cause it would mean an "moviefication" of the game industry if it  became a standard. As it own genre though, Heavy Rain and Indigo Prophecy are great, its always good to have new approachs to narrative(even if it borrows that much from another medium), but for real growth as art in its own rights, games need their own way to engage and tell stories.
There's a better way to do that in games than with awesome gameplay?

Dragon_Nexus
Dragon_Nexus

Yeah, much better to go by what everone else thinks rather than your own opinions.

RichardLG
RichardLG

@AzatiS @megafitch You should try playing it first. It's a harder, better Mario game. If you like a challenge it's even better than Mario U, but no you shouldn't buy a system for one or two games. There's a lot more going to be on the Wii U. Maybe just wait and see if what comes out is a better fit for you and the price will probably drop on the system in a year anyway. Dunno where your Wii U is $350 without any games, I got the Zelda edition one for $300. 

swedensior
swedensior

@penpusher @swedensior @Darthtc Yes platformers can't be compared to TLOU. I play them both and they are both great games. This score however is fair. But TLOU on gamespot got a little underrated but it still sells good so I don't mind about the score even though I would have given it a greater score....

penpusher
penpusher

@swedensior @Darthtc Good point, I suppose bitching is a poor choice of words.But I still think these comments are immensely silly. I mean this is a totally different game, judged on totally different criteria and yet I keep seeing people who think the score of a platformer is any way comparable to a game like the last of us. 

Not exactly a world ending issue, but it's getting a bit silly now.

Gargaglio5tatus
Gargaglio5tatus

@pygmyschizoid@Gargaglio5tatus 

 That's really neat, good for you.

Your "incoherency" lies in the notion that you simply try to declare the way people should approach videogames. 

The irony comes from the fact that you also claim to find most developers to be pretentious because of the stories they create, whereas you're actually the one being pretentious by making these statements to begin with.

On top of all this, you're saying these things in the comment section for the New Super Luigi U review, which is DLC to what isn't exactly the most exciting or groundbreaking game ever (don't get me wrong, I love Mario, which is why I read this review to begin with, but NSMBU in particular is just a good sequel, nothing innovative).

So yea, the main issue with your comment isn't necessarily your English (which still needs refinement).

GoreSmasher
GoreSmasher

@swedensior @pygmyschizoid It's the opposite for me. I've been playing for around 33 years (before Atari) and great game play is what I need to stay interested. Dark Souls is one of my current favorites. Very shallow lore, but engaging, excellent game play.

pygmyschizoid
pygmyschizoid

@swedensior  @pygmyschizoid

If you can do it right, yeah, it's fine and you should have a great story!
my problem is with those who say that this game here is for child just because it's colorful and with simple story... you can't judge by that. This game's gameplay is awesome, the controls are tight and everything fits perfectly. It doesn't need a great story to be good.

swedensior
swedensior

@pygmyschizoidI take that last sentence back maybe not only game. Portal 1 and 2 were amazing as games even tough they had great story and Mark of the ninja... I agree with what you said but my point is that games is a better medium to experience emotions than movies... And it is allways great if we have a great gameplay to go along with the story!

swedensior
swedensior

@pygmyschizoid Awsome gameplay is great but after 20 years of gaming I need a great story to feel engaged in a game. Indigo Prophecy or Fahrenheit as it was called in Sweden was great. The walking dead is also a great example. But sure it needs to be an own genre. Oh by the way Mario is the only game of pure gameplay that still gets me hooked!

New Super Mario Bros. U More Info

  • Released
    • Wii U
    New Super Mario Bros. U is a new side-scrolling adventure that introduces new transformations for Mario and the ability for players to play as their Mii characters.
    8.1
    Average User RatingOut of 483 User Ratings
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    Developed by:
    Nintendo
    Published by:
    Nintendo
    Genres:
    Action, Platformer, 2D
    Content is generally suitable for all ages. May contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.
    Everyone
    All Platforms
    Comic Mischief