Review: New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe

It’s safe to say that the Switch isn’t short of titles that originally came out on the WiiU. It’s a reasonable strategy to keep a steady supply of games coming to your new shiny console these days and let’s be honest; most people didn’t even own a WiiU anyway. So to them, these ports are basically brand new titles.

Enter New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, an absolute mouthful of a title that aims to fill in January with the ever popular 2D Mario Platformer. Originally a WiiU launch title, this deluxe port also includes New Super Luigi U, a downloadable set of levels that were shorter and harder, as well as a new playable character in the form of Toadette.

The game opens with Mario, Luigi, Toadette and a random Yellow Toad enjoying tea with Peach (we can only assume that the random Blue Toad didn’t get invited this time). Naturally, Bowser and his son gate-crash the party and proceed to chuck Mario and his friends out of the castle. So in other words, another typical Friday. Cue around 80 levels of 2D platforming.

It’s a Mario game; no-one plays them for the story.

NewSuperMarioBrosUDXimage1Yoshi thought to himself... "Has the Princess lost weight?"

And one thing that can be said about the New Super Mario Bros. games is that the platforming is just as solid as you’d expect. The controls are very easy to pick up and Mario and company are fun to move around the game. While the controls are simple, there’s a lot of opportunity to pull off some proper professional looking acrobatic feats that make you feel really good when you nail it and really bad when you inevitably flub it and catapult right into a pit.

Speaking of falling into pits, the simultaneous multiplayer returns, allowing 4 people to play through the game together. On paper, this should let friends and family work together to form a perfectly oiled platforming machine. In reality, all it takes is one jerk to chuck someone into certain death or take an item they didn’t need for utter chaos to break out in the sort of hilarious way that I love about this series. It’s a good laugh that can definitely make use of the Switch’s video capture feature so you can show everyone just how mean some people can be.

NewSuperMarioBrosUDXimage2Not even a hint of "Cheep" enemy placement here.

Each level has 3 star coins for you to find. With rewards for the more dedicated players who go out of the way to collect them all. There are also a handful of secret exits, deviously hidden red flagpoles that if found, provide a shortcut through the world map to get to Peach that little bit quicker.

As for what’s new in this deluxe version, there isn’t much. Toadette is a new character that provides an easier time for people who might struggle with the game. She can utilise a special item called the Super Crown to transform into a Peach knock-off called Peachette. Apart from kick starting a meme, Peachette can use a double jump for emergency saves and float slowly downwards after a jump. If you find the game too hard after that, then you can play as Nabbit. While he was a character in New Super Luigi U, he can now be used in the original game. Nabbit is completely immune to damage from enemies. This kind of makes the game a cakewalk. The game will acknowledge usage of Nabbit by marking completed levels as purple instead of the normal blue. You’ll have to finish it with a less overpowered character for a level to be properly completed. Toadette and Nabbit also add 100 seconds to the timer, giving you more time to finish a level.

NewSuperMarioBrosUDXimage3The only Boo's you have to worry about are the ones behind you... Oh well! Loads of lives left.

While I have no complaints about different difficulties, it is strange that there’s no way to have 4 people play at once without someone being forced to use either Toadette or Nabbit. It’s a very specific situation, sure, but it is bizarre.

A proper complaint I have is with the method of performing a mid-air spin. More expert players might remember that you can perform a small spin to slightly lengthen your air time, in the WiiU version, you did this by either pressing R or shaking the controller and the same holds true in the deluxe port. But for some baffling reason, pressing the jump button in mid-air also does the same move. This resulted in many occasions where I was about to jump on an enemy with the intention of pressing the jump button when I landed on it to get more air, only to press it slightly too early and completely miss my target. It cost me a few lives and it started to get a bit frustrating. For a game that otherwise has impeccable controls, this feels like a real amateur decision and I expect better from Nintendo honestly.

NewSuperMarioBrosUDXimage4Imagine getting to this moment, only to have it ruined seconds later by an accidental button press.

As well as the main Story Mode, there are also a number of challenges for you to really test your skills. These can range from speed runs, survival challenges and even a few where you’re not allowed to collect any coins. These can get really hard and only the very best players will get gold medals on everything.

There is also Boost Rush, a fun little diversion that tasks players to get to the end of a selection of levels as quickly as possible. The problem there is that the levels are autoscrollers and you have to collect coins to speed the scrolling up. And if you really want to feel like a right novice, you can hit up the videos section to see some videos showing how much you suck at this game as well as videos showing you where star coins are.

NewSuperMarioBrosUDXimage5Can't get enough of Pirahna Plant? He'll soon be arriving in Smash to ruin your day all over again!

But the real jewel in this big package is New Super Luigi U, a selection of harder levels that each only allow 100 seconds to get through. As the name suggests, Luigi is the star (Mario isn’t playable, even in multiplayer) and he sports his trademark higher jump and lower traction skills to provide a more challenging experience. These levels feel much tighter and more fun to blast through while maintaining a brisk pace that I think is better than the original game. If you skipped over New Super Luigi U, I recommend giving it a go now.

The visuals are about what you’d expect from a NSMB game. It looks nice enough, but the art style feels a bit stale and safe. The game looks and runs perfectly fine both docked and undocked with no noticeable problems as far as I’m concerned. The music is also serviceable, even if some of you might find the frequent utterances of “Bah Bah” maddening.

NewSuperMarioBrosUDXimage6New Super Luigi U... some of the best DLC you've probably never played! Why not give it a try?

I guess New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe’s biggest negative against it is that it offers very little for those of us who have already played the WiiU edition. What’s there is solid and if you missed the original release, I highly recommend giving it a chance this time. But if you played both the original game and New Super Luigi U, you might want to think twice before returning to the Mushroom Kingdom.

N-Europe Final Verdict

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is a bargain package for the 2D platformer enthusiast, but if you played this on the Wii U, then you’re not going to see much here that you didn’t see before.

  • Gameplay4
  • Playability5
  • Visuals3
  • Audio3
  • Lifespan5
Final Score



Over 160 levels total to play through
Multiplayer is a right laugh
Controls are mostly tight and satisfying


Almost nothing new for Wii U owners
Mid-air spin tweaks are misguided
Art style feels a bit bland

© Copyright 2024 - Independent Nintendo Coverage Back to the Top