When it became clear that Nintendo were going to port most first-party Wii U games to the Switch, I was certain we’d see New Super Mario Bros U early on. As more and more time went on, I was fairly certain Nintendo had decided not to bring the game over, and I was hopeful that they were working on a new title, but it wasn’t to be.
After playing the game at launch on Wii U, I wasn’t sure how well it’d keep my attention on Switch, but I felt like it’d been just enough time between drinks. I was constantly delighted by the level design, clever boss battles as well as the power ups to the point that I felt challenged, but still feeling right at home. Similarly to releases such as Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze and Captain Toad, I can’t help but feel like a few new levels could have been added or something (outside of the characters that are added for accessibility) for the hardcore Nintendo fans that were there day one purchasing this game on Wii U. In saying that, there’s over 160 levels here, so there’s going to be enough to keep you happy for a while.The New Super Mario Bros games were always better suited to handheld than playing on the TV and the same could be said for New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe. The game is much better suited to playing in short bursts in handheld mode despite the fact that the graphics have had a slight improvement to 1080p and looks absolutely phenomenal in TV mode.
With New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe, you’re getting New Super Mario Bros U and New Super Luigi U, but there’s not a whole lot of new content. You can now play as Nabbit in both games (he can’t receive damage) and Toadette (who can turn into Peachette with the Super Crown and float mid-air until the cows come home). These are both great additions and fall in live with Nintendo’s latest trend in making games more accessible (if they’re to be played by as many people as possible). Nintendo has also added 100 seconds to the timer in each level, which takes the pressure off that little bit more.One of the best changes that Nintendo has made is that you can now change characters on the fly, and player one can now choose anyone they like (previously they were locked to Mario). It’s minor, but feels way less restrictive, and you can mess around with Nabbit and Peachette before switching back to Mario if you feel that it’s too easy.
Much like there was in the original game, there’s a number of secrets and post completion levels that you can tackle after completing the game. There’s a challenge mode which will see you taking on a number of unique challenges, Boost Rush mode which will see you trying to get through courses as fast as possible (completely with autoscrolling) and coin battle mode which is essentially the mode that started it all for this franchise.
A feature I’d love to have seen is online play. I’m not sure on the logistics of adding this in to a fast paced game like New Super Mario Bros, but I’d have to think that we’re at the place in online infrastructure (maybe not in Australia) to see this be possible. I get that these kind of games are best played on a couch with family and friends, but now that we’re paying for Nintendo’s online service, I can’t help but feel like multiplayer games should have online play.
Ultimately, I’m torn on New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe. It’s an absolutely fantastic game (and one of the best platformers of the last five years), but I feel like there’s so many great games on the Nintendo Switch, and I’d have liked to have seen this one a little earlier. In saying that, there’s nothing out there like classic Mario, so if you’re filling to fork out the price tag, you’re guaranteed to have fun playing through it again. If you didn’t play the Wii U version, then it’s a no-brainer purchase.
New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe is another great Wii U game to make its way to the Nintendo Switch. Despite the fact that it's full priced and feels a little bit later than it should have been, it's still a great game that would make a great addition to any collection.