New Super Mario Bros. U debuted on the Wii U, which was a bit of a disappointment for Mario fans looking for a Super Mario Galaxy sequel or replacement for the latest Nintendo console. While it was a fantastic return to form for fans of the classic side-scrolling Mario action fans loved, it wasn't quite what people expected, but it was still an excellent Mario game. It was the first Mario game to release as a launch game for a home console since Super Mario 64, and thus it had to be good – thankfully, it was a satisfying and challenging Mario entry that fared well with fans and critics.
Unfortunately, our time with the Wii U was short-lived, as the console was slowly taken out of commission after it ended up underperforming in comparison to the Wii. As a result, many didn't get the chance to try it out, which is why it's such great news that it's made its way to the Nintendo Switch for a wider audience to experience as New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe.
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is an expanded port for Nintendo's latest console, featuring the add-on content New Super Luigi U. The game also adds Toadette to the roster as a playable character, along with a new item that changes the course of the game: the Super Crown — with some other tweaks for good measure.
If you played the original game, though, is it worth returning for this iteration on the Switch now that you can take it anywhere? Are Peachette and the various other additions to the game worth jumping into a new game entirely for? The short answer is yes. The new elements sprinkled within and the fact that you can take the game with you on the go now are worth it as-is, for newcomers and veterans alike, but it's also such an excellent Mario game overall that everyone should make the time to give it a try.
The story hasn't changed — not that you really need a good story for a side-scrolling Mario game, but here's the deal. One day, Mario, Luigi, Toads, and Peach are having dinner when Bowser and his dastardly Koopalings arrive in Airships that smash at the castle and separate everyone. Bowser invades Princess Peach's castle, and as fate would have it, kidnaps her once again. Go figure, that's what he does after all. So it's your job to save her, as you do.
You can play as Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Nabbit, as well as newcomer Toadette, each with their own difficulty. Peachette is "Easier," while Nabbit is "Easiest." From there, you explore hub worlds stage by stage as your chosen character throughout a variety of different levels. From shrubbery to slanted mountains and Acorn Trees to the Layer Cake Desert to the tasty Meringue Clouds and beyond, there are plenty of awesome worlds to explore, each with their own themed challenges and bosses. There are plenty of secrets to unlock, too.
Along the way, bosses like Boom Boom, Kamek, Lemmy Koopa, Morton Koopa, and of course Bowser himself will be there to try to stop you every step of the way. Luckily, you've got plenty of items and allies to stop them in their tracks, like adorable Yoshis, Baby Yoshis, and transformations that help you make the most of each level. Plus, if you fancy it, you can go through the game and play as Luigi in the Luigi add-on if you'd like.
For instance, you can pick up the Super Acorn to transform into the Flying Squirrel version of yourself, the Ice Flower to throw ice balls, the Penguin Suit to transform into a penguin-like character, and specifically for Toadette, the Super Crown, which gives her the opportunity to turn into a Princess Peach-like character with Toadette's hair. She can double jump and float, and as a result, can do a lot more in each stage in this form. The Super Crown is unique to this version of the game, and it is especially useful.As far as gameplay goes, this is all fairly standard Mario play, and you've been here before. That doesn't mean it's gotten old or anything, not by a long shot. You'll avoid flying fireballs, cross moving platforms, make terrifying blind jumps while avoiding piranha plants, and perform a plethora of other moves in a bid to make it to the end of the game and rescue Peach, and it's all massively challenging, but incredibly satisfying. Everything feels tighter, more polished, and even more engaging than before, which is fantastic to see after all this time.
What really makes the game worth a buy this time around is how perfectly it's suited to handheld. It played fantastically on the Wii U, but you were limited to playing in your home with that iteration. Now you can take the Switch with you on the go and get some fun platforming in no matter what you happen to be doing for the day. You can simply put the system to sleep or do a quick save and hop up back on the horse again — because as we all know, sometimes you've gotta take a few minutes away from a Mario game and come back to it or you're going to explode.
If you can't wait to get your hands on another Mario title since you've been left wanting after Super Mario Odyssey, this port is a great place to start, especially if you missed it the first time around. Playing solo or with friends will etch a smile across your face quicker than you can say "Mario time!", and that's what these games are all about, in the end.
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is available now on Nintendo Switch.