For a moment, it seemed unavoidable that about half a dozen outstanding games by arguably the most influential video game publisher ever released would be given the status of a historical footnote. In 2012, Nintendo followed the mainstream phenomenon of motion control, the Wii, with a new strategy focused on the old fanbase. The software plan was inspired. Fantastic entries in iconic franchises like The Legend of Zelda, new franchises like Splatoon and three new Mario games underline the 2D platform's roots of the series. The hardware plan? Not so good. Nintendo combined the catalog with its unfortunate Wii U, a on-the-go tablet console that could not be used intuitively while on the move. In the end, a plethora of great games could not overcome the agony of playing on a screen that feels like a screen would be torn off the seat back of a cheap domestic flight.
Nintendo has been designing a lifeboat for all these precious creations. In 201
Re-released this week on Switch as New Super Mario Bros. U The game now includes its grand and challenging expansion, New Super Luigi U and a handful of changes and additions to it all the memorable Toadette.
Mario games are available in all shapes and sizes. The new Super Mario Bros. U buzzes in the style of retro classics Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World . Mario moves from left to right on a two-dimensional plane to avoid obstacles, stomp enemies, collect power-ups, save progress on tiny midpoint flags, and stop high-end stage power amps. It seems, at a glance, familiar enough, maybe even a little tired. At least that was the setting in 2012. Most of Nintendo's Wii U games were commercial disappointments, but at least the few critics and fans who played them were a praise. The new Super Mario Bros. U and The new Super Luigi U did not even understand that. Their commercial challenges were plentiful and their timing unhappy.
Nintendo released the new Super Mario Bros. U as the first truly high-resolution Mario game that probably set the wrong expectations. Instead of a visually stunning 3D game that harnessed the power of hardware with eye-catching HD visuals, New was the portable version of a 2D platform that debuted half a decade earlier Nintendo DS.
The new Super Mario games were popular with both fans and critics at the time, but New Super Mario Bros. U came to Bros. 2 just three months after New Super Mario , in which the Wii U game competes against a cheaper, numbered entry on the more popular Nintendo 3DS.
When the big Wii U launch game – the first Mario game launched on [the Nintendo 64] alongside a Nintendo console since Super Mario 64 – had the added pressure of making a purchase of the 299 -Dollar system to justify legitimizing its uncomfortable tablet controller. Critics noticed the blessing of playing Mario on a couch without having to use the TV. But people did just that over a decade with the Game Boy and the Nintendo DS, and these systems could leave the living room.
On the Switch, The new Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe throws all this baggage into the garbage heap. Way is the pressure to be the first HD Mario and a new raison d'être of the console. Meanwhile, we have not seen a 2D Mario platform game since the first release of New Super Mario Bros. U six years ago – Super Mario Maker and Super Mario Run ]
about piranha plants. Above all, the switch allows the game to be portable, as it has always been thought. Now we can finally enjoy New Super Mario Bros. U as what it is.
The new Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe includes some new characters – the easy-to-navigate Toadette, the invulnerable enemy Nabbit – and a few new powers: a squirrel suit that floats, a crown that makes Toadette squat humanoid Peachette. However, the call has less to do with how it contributes to the franchise than with what is already available, transforming, and redesigning.
With each level, its creators succeed in drawing water from a seemingly open well. Mario goes to the right (or occasionally up), but the creators hinder the way with obstacles, riddles, and secrets that get to the edge of the challenge without taking this extra step in a malevolent and unfair manner. Stages regularly mix and remix the established Mario-level design, like an underwater haunted house where in the last second huge obstacles stick out of the shadows, block paths and keep our hero trapped in a small room with a horde of skeletal fish. Basic forms become intelligent obstacles, eg. For example, huge stars that spin when I step on them, like wooden rollers, but even more dangerous.
For a 2D platformer, the stages feel unusually large and open, with power-ups and secrets. The game allows up to four players to play cooperatively, yet things never feel busy or crowded.
OK, I know what you think. Yes, it is stupid to explain what is special about the new Super Mario Bros. U of because it leans to a large praise of laughable minutiae. I find myself babbling about the placement of coins and how they create the perfect paths through the steps and cross them. how the rich secrets manage to hide, but also make sense, thanks to the game's subtle visual language; Toadette's jump feels better than Mario's, and every player should swallow his pride and play, as this new Nintendo character has been called "easy" because Toadette is simply more fun than their peers.
And if you're looking for a challenge, the mode New Super Luigi U waits on the steps with a brutal time limit and some diabolical adjustments New Super Mario Bros. U ! It takes everything warm and patient and free from the main game, and turns it into a hammer to smash Luigi, by proxy, me. After the new Super Luigi U was released from the beginning, a natural rhythm is possible. Play some stages in New Super Mario Bros U. to build your confidence, and then switch to New Super Luigi U to be humbled. It's nice to have a choice when it comes to the amount of challenges I'd like to expect for a quick coffee break session.
I sound like someone who riffens on why a Cabernet Sauvignon surpasses all others because it has the right amount of tannins and his mouthfeel is just like that je ne sais quois. But listen to me: The jumps really have the right amount of fluidity, and the level design's respect for the classic Mario games, without getting rough copies of them, has a real . I do not know what.
Iteration has a bad reputation in a certain corner of the video game audience. The word evokes retail shelves full of countless sequels to Call of Duty and Assassin's Creed. But The ability of the new Super Mario Bros. U to successfully break a formula that has inspired 17 episodes over 30 years is an amazing reminder that video games have a unique and engaging relationship to the iterative process. 19659023] Iteration in video games, well done, borders on the spiritual. Here we see how creators build a world and observe how hundreds, thousands, sometimes millions, of people inhabit this space. Then we see them using this lesson to build a new world for us, one that enhances the original creation, or subverts or criticizes it, or altogether condemns it to something formally new, but that consists of the debris of its visuals and systems.
Iteration in the best sense is not just refinement or polish. It is a game in conversation with all its predecessors and through these games a dialogue between the creators and players. It is the culmination and cooperation at once. The new Super Mario Bros. U may not be the # 1 of all Mario games ever, but I have no doubt that it will remind any fan what makes his favorite special.
And to think, a A game built with the pieces of Mario's story could hardly have been more than a footnote.
The new Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe was reviewed using Nintendo's final retail Nintendo switch code. Further information on the Polygon Ethics Policy can be found here .