As everyone knows, Luigi is Mario’s sidekick from the Super Mario game series. Nintendo have been working hard to improve the often forgotten brother’s standing of late, which has culminated in this starring role. Somewhat disappointingly, though, platforming adventure New Super Luigi U is merely a tweaked version of New Super Mario Bros. The new game is sold as either digital add-on content for users owning the Mario Bros game or as a stand-alone disc for newcomers.
The game begins in the exact same manner as New Super Mario Bros. U: Bowser, aka the King Koopa, storms Princess Peach’s castle with his koopalings in pursuit, imprisons the princess, and tosses everyone else to the edge of the Mushroom Kingdom. The only difference between the two games’ intro sequences is Mario’s absence from the dinner table in New Super Luigi U. Only his hat remains, which is a reminder of the sublime plumber’s legendary exploits. It’s worth mentioning that at no point does Mario appear in the game; “Bros.” is no longer in the title and once you’ve defeated Bowser, Luigi can take on Mario’s movement characteristics via an in-game item. So, essentially, Luigi allows himself to become possessed by Mario’s spirit. Is Mario…dead? Let’s hope not, as that would be the end of a long Nintendo gaming dynasty.
You are given 82 stages in challenge mode and allows only 100 seconds to complete. Each level is actually quite tricky even though a reworking of its Mario counterpart. There are no checkpoint flags in this game – if you fail it’s right back to the beginning.
Compared to Mario, Luigi’s movements are faster and he jumps that little bit more higher to reflect his slender body which dramatically affects how you play. The biggest change comes in multiplayer with the newly playable character, Nabbit. Nabbit’s invulnerability creates lots of opportunity for more adventurous players to storm through for bags of fun.
The pesky robber-rabbit from New Super Mario Bros. U controls much like the secondary Toads that populate the rest of a four-playable squad, with one major exception: he’s impervious to common enemies and environmental hazards. Being a plucky thief, his particular set of skills comes in handy when trying to acquire coins, but his considerable advantages come at a cost: he can’t use power-ups. A rather nice change of pace from the likes of Toad and Mario.
Ultimately, the difficulty made the game less enjoyable. However hardcore platform players will no doubt take on this game with much joy and relish the notched-up challenge on offer here.