Review

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe Review - It's-A-Me, Again!

  • First Released Nov 18, 2012
    released
  • NS

Mamma mia.

Of all the New Super Mario Bros. games, beginning with the 2006 DS title, New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is probably the one least deserving of the "New" moniker. It is, after all, a Switch remaster of the Wii U launch title, and although some new features and the New Super Luigi U expansion are included in this capable repackaging of an already great game, it's getting tougher to justify calling this series New with each passing entry.

There's no doubt the formula works; the 2D Marios continue to boast the best platforming of any game series, with accessible controls and inventive obstacles complementing the best-feeling jump in video games. And as with the Wii U version, NSMBU is inventive from start to finish, with the mid-game Soda Jungle world being one of the best Mario environments ever. However, we've done all this before, haven't we? You start off with a grassy world, then a desert one, then a snowy one, then a water one, repeat ad infinitum.

No Caption Provided

Once upon a time I found this repetition comforting. But U Deluxe is a victim of its 3D cousins' success: It now exists on the same console as Super Mario Odyssey, which is possibly the finest 3D platformer ever made. By comparison, NSMBU Deluxe feels a little… ordinary. By the numbers. Safe. Where Odyssey confidently transported us to fresh worlds filled with moons and stars and dinosaurs an uncanny valley New York, NSMBU suffers from a lack of originality.

That's not to say it's boring--no, not by any stretch. Within the restraints of a New Super Mario Bros. game, Nintendo does a wonderful job of thinking up new enemies and hurdles for you to overcome, with each level offering a new electrifying critter, weight-limited transport or water-filled safety net. Latter worlds plateau at a satisfying level of difficulty that never becomes frustrating but still gives you a rush when you succeed, while star coins remain available to collect for those who want an extra challenge. Ghost houses can still absolutely get lost, though.

The Switch remaster also adds a new item, the super crown, which transforms Toadette into a version of Peach with special powers. She can double jump, for instance, as well as use her trademark dress to float downwards. Other characters, however, cannot use the super crown, which, as well as denying the internet the Bowsette it so dearly desires, is a strange exclusion. Toadette is denoted as "easy" in the main menu, where Mario, Luigi, and Toad are normal difficulty and Nabbit is "very easy." You can change characters outside of any level throughout the game, but it strikes me as an odd choice--why keep Peach's powers isolated to one difficulty level?

Once you inevitably defeat Bowser--spoilers!--a post-game opens up, offering super-hard levels only unlocked for those who collect every star coin throughout each of the game's eight worlds. From the start you can also access special challenges, such as dodging fireballs for a certain amount of time or triple-jumping to coin glory, as well as the aforementioned New Super Luigi U. The Luigi-led expansion remixes each level from the main game to be shorter but harder, and Luigi himself changes to have a higher jump but slower--and thus trickier--reaction times. NSLU is the most substantial mode outside of the main game, and it's thankfully unlocked from the start for those seeking a challenge.

Despite its aging formula, New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is still a great entry in the series, with its typically tight platforming and both accessibility and depth to spare. While it can feel a bit stale for those who have been round the Mushroom Kingdom one too many times before, Deluxe is well worth playing, especially if you didn't get a chance to play NSMBU on Wii U.

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The Good

  • Platforming feels as good as ever
  • Some inventive obstacles and levels
  • Plenty here to keep you busy after you finish the main game

The Bad

  • The New Super Mario Bros. formula is starting to feel old in the face of Mario's advances elsewhere
  • Nothing substantial to offer those who played this and NSLU on Wii U

More Platform Reviews

About the Author

Oscar played around 12 hours of New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, and he hasn't stopped hopping around the room since. Maybe it was those mushrooms he ate. A complimentary code was provided by Nintendo for the purposes of this review.
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Takfloyd

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Edited By Takfloyd

Lot of hyperbolic statements already in just the first couple of paragraphs. Mario Odyssey, the best 3D platformer ever made? Mario's jump being the best-feeling, and the games being the best 2D platformers? All of this is very highly debatable. But then again, it appears Gamespot handed this one to an intern half my age, which is understandable for a title like this.

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Dark_Mits

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@Takfloyd: Which would you say is the best 3D platformer then? Which other games would you say have a more satisfying experience as 2D platformer? I have not played every single out there, but from the few ones I've played, Mario games have had the highest quality. So it'd be interesting to know what gem I missed.

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AGameSpotReader

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@Takfloyd: Why all the hate? Why do you label these hyperbolic statements instead of opinions? Would the review be helpful if he only included "non-hyperbolic" statements? "This game is played in 2d. You jump. Some people may like it and others not. It has Mario in it, who also happens to be in Mario Odyssey." Why do you come to a site and read a review without expecting any opinions?

While I disagree with your assessment, I think you're completely out of line attacking the reviewer for the age you perceive him to be. I'll never understand people who spend their days belittling other people online.

Oscar, if you read this, keep on keeping on and I hope you are able to ignore people like this.

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oscardayus

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oscardayus  Staff

@agamespotreader: <3

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oscardayus

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Edited By oscardayus  Staff

@Takfloyd: I mean I've been doing this job for over four years but cool buddy

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Theprophecy2186

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@oscardayus: See.. where you say "aging", I say classic. I love this formula and I don't need it to change. Not every game needs to be a completely new version of the game before it, changing all the things I loved about the previous game until its unrecognizable. Games do this all the time and it sickens me. There's a reason Mario has been so popular for decades now... because its a comforting formula, as you first mentioned in your review, that people can enjoy over and over again, especially as they grow older with it. Adding new challenges and unique looking levels is great.. changing the format of a successful game is just a slap in the face of fans, and it sounds like you're just getting tired of the format.

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TAMKFan

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Edited By TAMKFan

@theprophecy2186: Exactly. And why are people comparing this to the 3D Mario games? They shouldn't. These are two completely different kind of Mario games. You should be comparing it with the other 2D Mario games, and in that aspect, it holds up very well. The formula is pretty much perfected now, so there's not much more you can do with it.

The only thing I can agree on is that it shouldn't have been $60, considering the game is over 6 years old. It should have been $30, maybe $40.

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gamingdevil800

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@oscardayus: He's just jealous of your ability to age slower.

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sakaiXx

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Edited By sakaiXx

Remasterstation 2.0 doing a great job remastering last gen. They should do this gen games too

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Thelostscribe

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Edited By Thelostscribe

@sakaixx: It's a smart tactic in my opinion in this case. Only 13 million Wii U's were ever sold. Switch has already doubled that number, plenty of Switch users have never played the games that were released on Wii U and those games were good. I know I never did and if I bought a Switch, I'd be happy to play Mario Cart 8, Hyrule Warriors, New Super Mario Bros U and whatever other awesome game that was out on the Wii U over half of all Switch owners have never played.

It helps Nintendo make up for the lack of third part support and allows Nintendo's first party's a few years to develop new Switch games. It's a smart tactic, but it's only a band-aid for their multi generation issue at this point. Nintendo will need to find a way to draw more third party support, or vastly expand their first party studio's.

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dani3po

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@thelostscribe: It is a smart tactic for Nintendo.

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Thelostscribe

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@dani3po: I agree for the Switch it is. The next Nintendo console, with the success of the Switch, they will need to have a solid plan to fill those gaps.

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Doctor_MG

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@sakaixx:

There are probably five times as many remasters on PS4.

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sakaiXx

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Edited By sakaiXx

@doctor_mg: not to worry remasterstation 2 definitely catching up fast. At this rate every ps3 game is on switch, yay.

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V1ndictive

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@sakaixx: The difference is that next to no one played the Wii U games, given the colossal failure that the Wii U was. Be a tad fair.

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sakaiXx

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@v1ndictive: are you fukin with me nobody played this. It sold around 6 million on the wii u, an average game 6 million is a good success. Look it up nintendo provided the number

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RGLGAThrawn

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@sakaixx: That's less than half the Wii U owners. Less than half the owners of a Wii U owned a game in Nintendo's flagship franchise. That's not a success.

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sakaiXx

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@rglgathrawn: thing is, 6 million people bought and play the game. How is that nobody?

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guudgidga

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Fair point. Fun to play now I'm sure, but Odyssey has suggested way more exciting directions to take this franchise.

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InMyConTroL

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I am really glad Gamespot downgraded this game's score from 8,5 (wii u) to 7,0 (switch). They are re-releasing all games and people are buying them. I am surprised with the fact that they're not doing the same with Yoshi.

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csward

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@inmycontrol: 8.5 to a 7.0

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Worlds_Apart

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@csward: Stop being ignorant!

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InMyConTroL

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@csward: what a constructive and relevant comment.

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ZmanBarzel

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@inmycontrol: Apparently he doesn't realize that commas, not periods, are used as decimal separators in much of the world, even English-speaking parts of it.

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DecadentDescent

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@zmanbarzel: No one said the world was perfect. ;D

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V1ndictive

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Edited By V1ndictive

I respect anyone who isn't just 300% done with 2D platformers by now. They bore the hell out of me. Fair score though.

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Bread_or_Decide

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@v1ndictive: It's nice to take a break from a genre and come back to it later. It's nice that Nintendo calmed down with the "new" mario bros games. It was overkill.

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AGameSpotReader

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@v1ndictive: I love 2d platformers and Mario is my favorite game franchise, but I have to admit the "New" series is stale. It's been totally outdone by games like Ori and the Blind Forest, Rayman Origins/Legends, and even to a lesser extent, Donkey Kong Returns/Tropical Freeze.

I actually really enjoyed Super Mario 3d World and wouldn't mind seeing Nintendo do alternating releases between large open 3d games (Mario Odyssey) and shorter level-based 3d games (Galaxy/3d World) and just leave 2d to Donkey Kong, Yoshi and Kirby.

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lonewolf1044

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@v1ndictive: There is only an few platformers that I liked and they are older and classics such as Contra. However moving forward platformers for me are not as exciting as open environment games.

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New Super Mario Bros. U

First Released Nov 18, 2012
released
  • Nintendo Switch
  • 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.

8.5
Great

Average Rating

575 Rating(s)

8

Developed by:

Published by:

Content is generally suitable for all ages. May contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.
Everyone
Comic Mischief