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- Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros. franchise has a long history of delivering a challenging gaming experience for new players and seasoned pros alike.
- The new Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is the latest in the series for Nintendo Switch, bringing a few new players and a ton of new levels.
- The game was easy to get used to and an absolute blast to play, and for just $45, definitely worth buying for any Nintendo Switch owner.
The Super Mario Bros. franchise has a long history filled with dozens of characters and beloved games that users have spent hours combing over.
Mario games have taken a few different forms, including the 3D adventure game Super Mario Odyssey and the super-popular racing game Super Mario Kart. But despite the variation in game types, there are few games that can beat the classic side-scrolling Super Mario Bros., the latest of which is New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe for the Nintendo Switch.
In our opinion, Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is well worth picking up. Here’s our review after playing it for a while now to see how the latest take on Super Mario Bros. holds up.
Just like many Mario games that came before it, Super Mario Bros. U is a side-scrolling platformer game so you run or jump over platforms and obstacles to get through each level. It’s much more bright and colorful, and definitely looks more modern than its predecessors though. The colors and animation can make it look a little cartoonish, but we’d actually expect nothing less from a Mario game and it captures the historic brand’s aesthetic perfectly.
Setting up the game is easy. Once you fire it up, you’ll be able to select your preferred character and the number of players that are playing – which can go up to four. Then you’ll get an introduction to the story with a short video.
It’s pretty much the same story – Mario and the gang are enjoying a meal at Peach’s castle, Bowser shows up and throws everyone but Peach away, and you have to make your way back towards Peach’s castle to save her from Bowser. A bit antiquated of a concept? Sure, but that’s Mario for you.
Once the video is done, you’ll start actually playing the game, and again, it’s a familiar experience. You’ll be able to navigate your way through different levels on a map, then simply select the level to play.
Levels are detailed, colorful, and fun. Everything you know and love about Mario is present here – you’ll collect power-ups in the form of mushrooms, acorns, and other items, and stomp your way through the enemies that try and stop you in your path.
While an iteration of the game first debuted on the Wii U, it really feels much more at home on the Switch. 2D Mario games have always felt better in a portable form, and while you might prefer to play on your large TV when you’re at home, the fact that you can take Mario anywhere with you really completes the package.
What’s new in Mario?
Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe may be a take on the classic Mario games that many of us know and love, but there are still plenty of new things to discover here too.
For starters, the game features a few new playable characters, like Toadette, who’s basically a way to play the game in “easy” mode. Toadette has some cool powers, is easier to control, and gets 3-Up Moons instead of one. There’s also Nabbit, who’s a really easy character to play as he’s invincible to enemies, making him a good choice for kids or those who just want an easy ride.
As mentioned, there’s some cool new powers in the game too. There’s a crown exclusive to Toadette that turns her into Peachette, and a new Flying Squirrel suit that lets you fly around the level instead of running.
Despite the new characters, powers, levels, and updated look, Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe still looks and feels like what you’d expect from Nintendo. And that’s the most important thing here – not what’s new, but that the game still feels like a classic Mario game.
If you’ve played Mario games before, you’ll immediately feel at home during gameplay. The game regularly uses familiar Mario concepts, like swimming through underwater levels and making your way through ghost-filled mansions. There are also new elements to the game like different enemies, obstacles, and, of course, new levels.
Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe may be a simple platformer game, but levels still feel long, expansive, and feature-rich. Each time you play through a level, you’ll discover something new – whether it be the first time you play through, or the fifth time when you’re trying to collect all the Star Coins and unlock secret sections.
And speaking of, for the completionists out there, there’s a ton to do after the main story. There are full-on secret levels that you may never even see while playing the main story, and those secret levels unlock more secret levels. You might finish the game in five hours or so, but there are additional dozens of hours of gameplay available, if you want it.
One of the coolest things about Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is that it’s even more fun playing with friends. As mentioned, you can play with up to four players, and even with multiple players in a level, it still doesn’t feel overly cramped or difficult.
It’s a game that beginners can get into too – I played with my partner for hours, and as a decided non-gamer, she still had a ton of fun largely due to the fact that you have unlimited lives if you’re willing to go back a few levels when you run out.
The game is easy to get used to and a blast to play. There’s something new to experience in every level, and the game is better for it.
What we didn’t like
There’s very little that we didn’t like about Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe.
While there are a few new things in the game like characters and obstacles, having even more new power-ups might have been interesting – though it’s hard to be upset with Nintendo for that considering how versatile the game is already.
Perhaps the only real downside is that video games are still a little pricey (this goes for $45 on Amazon) – but there are plenty of places you’ll be able to find a used copy.
The bottom line
Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is close to the perfect Mario game for the Switch.
There are a ton of levels, the game is beautifully designed, it’s portable, and it’s generally a fun experience whether you play solo or with friends. It may not be everyone’s favorite Mario game, but we think it’s a game that everyone from total newbies to hardcore completionists can enjoy.
Pros: Great design, tons of levels to explore, new characters and power-ups, easy to get used to
Cons: Having even more new things like additional power-ups would be cool