New Super Mario Bros. U
After the slightly underwhelming New Super Mario Bros. 2 for 3DS, it’s good to see the ‘New’ series returning to some kind of form. A reality helped in no small part by the rendering of the Mushroom Kingdom in HD for the first time in its history – unless Wii emulation is your bag.
An initial twist sees Mario and chums literally hurled half way across the Mario World by the unfeasible throwing arm of Bowser’s airship. This leaves the scaly one sitting pretty with Peach in her castle, and our heroes dusting themselves off ready for another bout of 2D side-scrolling platform action.
Perhaps one of these days our moustachioed hero will shrug his shoulders and finally capitulate, letting Bowser have his quarry to do with who knows what? But not this time, and so inevitably, Mario sets off to once more stomp Bowser into oblivion.
So far, so Super Mario, and frankly what else would you expect? New Super Mario Bros. U ticks every box, references the best of the 2D Mario games (in Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World) and does absolutely nothing to rock the boat.
Those HD visuals are rather lovely mind you, though aside from a few gorgeous touches – the Van Gogh-inspired Soda Jungle immediately springing to mind – they don’t do anything truly remarkable. Rayman Legends by way of comparison looks far superior as far as cartoon platformers go and honestly I think Nintendo can and will do better with future efforts.
This version also marks a return of the four-player chaos last seen in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, but repeats all of its mistakes as characters ricochet off each other to their doom with alarming regularity. As a result all but the first handful of stages are far too complex for multiplayer success, and to pursue multiplayer only leads to abject frustration.
Here the GamePad user can place ‘helpful’ platforms to aid players, but it’s a gimmick without merit as misplaced platforms trap players still further, making those ricochets unavoidable inevitabilities.
By-the-numbers Mario platforming in HD is never unwelcome and as far as day one Wii U purchases go New Super Mario Bros. U is amongst the best. Just don’t go in expecting to be blown away as, while imaginative as ever, Nintendo has elected to play it safe.
More Info Official New Super Mario Bros. U website
Next page: Nintendo Land
re: sound ..
Well, since the sound that comes from the pad is the police radio chatter, a tinny little speaker is just about right.
(Worth noting: neither of us actually knows how good the speakers in the pad are, although I doubt very much that they are a match for your main gear.)
Gotta hand it to developers
They bring old games over to a new system to test the water, and when those old games don't sell well as the majority of the people who wanted it already have it on the original systems over a year ago have it already, they will say there is no market on the new Wii U, and screw it over for games.
I've seen this on the Wii, and other other systems they bring a old, and terrible edition of a game from japan over it bombs they cancel the good release in the US as there is no market.
As for people judging a system on the 1st round of games... seriously when has a game system even been remotely pushed at all when they 1st came out. I don't think I can recall a launch game really push any system or show what they can do.
" i didnt want it to use my £2000 B&W speakers or anything. 7.1? nah, can i just use some tinny little speaker on the pad...."
You won't need your 80" 4K TV either - just use the low-res screen on the Gamepad.
"If these are the best games on the Wii U right now I'm glad I haven't bought one. Mario Bros and ZombiU I'd be interested in. But the rest either don't interest me (nintendo land) or I can grab on a console I already own (batman arkham city / Darksiders 2.)"
If only Nintendo had asked you first. Then they wouldn't have had to go to the expense of designing, manufacturing and selling a new console.
I do hope you've written to Sony and Microsoft to prevent them from making the same mistake with *their* next consoles. I'd hate for them to go to the effort of releasing the PS4 & neXBox if they don't interest you.
Given that the previous Wii console also put some sounds through a "tinny" speaker on the game controller, I'd guess you were equally disappointed with that too, so you wouldn't really be the target market (and I don't know of anyone who complains about the noise through the controllers, to be honest - that's there for secondary sounds related to that particular player usually, not the main game action).
And the number of people with a £2000 7.1 amplifier setup AND who like playing Wii are probably lost in the intersection of the Venn diagram rather than a huge portion of the market.
Similarly, when I buy a laptop, the sound quality on it is pretty much irrelevant so long as it's loud enough. There aren't many people who hook up their laptops to the hifi either because that tends to be the audiophiles only anyway. And my TV has speakers on the back that are good enough that I don't even *OWN* a hifi or amplified speaker any more.
Never forget: Most people are happy with laptop speakers, iPod headphones, integrated TV speakers, and the little cheap plug-in iPod "speakers" that run on AA's. You are in the minority here, seriously.