We all know that tradies are good earners, but we doubt that there’s any tool-handling pro who’s raked in more folding stuff than Mario. In the awkwardly titled New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, Nintendo recycle an already recycled game, and we hope that the little guy who does all the hard work still receives his cut.
Originally popping up on Nintendo’s handheld DS as New Super Mario Bros, the game took all that made the classic 2D, side-scrolling Mario games of previous console generations great and added even more. It subsequently hit the Wii as New Super Mario Bros Wii, then on the Wii U (speaking of awkwardly titled) it became New Super Mario Bros U. With a “Deluxe” tacked to the end this time, we dread to think what it will be called by the time the next Nintendo system comes around.
But we digress.
So, what – if anything – does NSMBUD add to the Wii U mix? First of all, the best news is rather obvious in that it takes away that confounded GamePad – hooray! There are no signs of anything remotely waggly or weird in the control scheme, giving the game a bit more of a classic Mario feel. Also obvious is the ability to play anywhere that you want (assuming the location is Switch compatible – we’d not recommend taking it underwater, for example. Well, unless you maybe have a submarine, or bathysphere or… Oh how we wish we hadn’t gone here).
A few obvious tweaks have been made in the transition to Switch, with the addition of Toadette as a playable character. She’s there, complete with Peachette-summoning Super Crown, for those who want an easy experience that isn’t as insanely hand-holdy as you get when playing with Nabbit. Because of this, Yellow Toad and Blue Toad now timeshare their slot (hold down ‘L’ or ‘ZL’ on the character select screen to toggle between them). Toadette and Nabbit also gain extra time at the start of each level, along with better traction throughout.
Things have also been spruced up visually, plus a raft of hint videos have been shoehorned in for those who get stuck.
The other big thing that’s most welcome is the inclusion of the complete New Super Luigi U DLC from the Wii U mix, which gives you the higher jumping, further sliding, more verdant and taller Mario brother plummeting through levels that are both familiar and often painfully different – Luigi go “WAAAAAAAAAAAAH!” now.
In all there are 82 levels to trundle through (164 if you take on Luigi’s remixed version), well-paced difficulty increases throughout (hair will likely be tugged from your scone as you progress), extra challenges within levels for the brave/foolhardy and a selection of bonus timed challenges for when you want to have a break from the main game and just collect stuff or get your (shhhh) Sonic on. Plus, of course, there’s up to four-player mayh- erm, fun.
While NSMBUD is a showcase of Nintendo’s legendary playability, some things might niggle more impatient players – such as being thrown back to the map screen every single time you send your character cascading to their death, wasting valuable seconds before being able to have another go. Well, it bugged us.
It should also likely go without saying that if you played it to death on the Wii U, there isn’t a lot to come back for.
Ultimately, New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is pretty much as good as 2D platformers get – which you’d expect from the people who basically wrote the rule book on the entire genre. Between this and the utterly sublime Super Mario Odyssey, the red-clad tradie has cornered the Switch market for platforming. He won’t be lining up at Centrelink anytime soon.
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is available now for Nintendo Switch.