Being an on-call plumber leaves Mario missing out on this particular adventure.
New Super Luigi U is offered to Wii U owners both as a digital download expansion to the original New Super Mario Bros. U and as a standalone retail edition, allowing gamers the chance to revel in the “Year of Luigi” whether they are owners of the original game or not. The similarities between the two games are substantial, yet there is something missing – something red and moustachioed…
The opening scene in both games features the characters sitting around the table enjoying some refreshments before the rude interruption of Bowser. However, in New Super Luigi U, Mario is simply missing. He is gone from the table and even Luigi seems a little embarrassed by his brothers absence. Still, at least it gives the other Mario brother a chance to shine.
And shine he will as he, and the player, work through some 80 plus new levels of classic Mario platforming action with a twist. The twist is of course that Mario is gone and Luigi is all the player has to work with. Luigi handles differently to his slightly plumper brother, in that he can jump higher and stay in the air for longer. He also has the disadvantage of not wearing the right shoes and coming to a halt with Luigi takes that little bit longer, much like braking on a wet surface. This effectively makes Luigi more difficult to play with, but capable of much more.
The levels themselves may look surprisingly similar but, on closer inspection, have been tweaked and changed from the original set of levels. This time around the levels are much harder, providing a surprising challenge to players who have had their money’s worth from the original game. There is also less time to complete each level, with the timer only offering 100 seconds to get from beginning to end.
One has to feel slightly sorry for Luigi. Not only does Mario get much more of the limelight, but he also seems to have an easier time of things when he is out rescuing princesses. With Luigi being more difficult to control, the level difficulty being ramped up from the offset, and the time limit, Luigi will be responsible for much cursing and even throwing of controllers – something which is not advisable with the Wii U Controller.
With Mario missing, playing through the levels with friends will find the fourth player able to take Nabbit as a character. Nabbit is a concession for the less able gamer, being invincible to enemies and only having to watch out for environmental hazards, such as drops. It is nice to have this character for players who are less able to deal with the heightened challenge of New Super Luigi U, but the chaos of playing co-op will still leave such players struggling.
One other thing to be aware of is the difference between this and New Super Mario Bros. U at retail. Buying New Super Luigi U will result in only the main campaign. All of the extra stuff that can be found in New Super Mario Bros. U has been left out. Obviously, if this is bought digitally as an expansion for the original game, all of those extras will still be there and New Super Luigi U is offered as an alternative to the main campaign.
But New Super Luigi U has a DLC price point when bought digitally, and is substantially cheaper than New Super Mario Bros. U at retail, taking into account the relative lack of content.
Nintendo don’t offer DLC very often, and have never offered anything as substantial as this as far as I know. This is an entirely new campaign which plays very differently to the original. If you are up for the challenge, or simply want to give Mario’s often ignored brother some love, grab it now as DLC or in stores when it arrives on July 26th. Just be aware, it really is quite difficult.