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Review: New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe For Nintendo Switch

Nintendo is notorious for taking extra steps to make its games more accessible to players of all ages and skill levels. This approach is particularly prevalent in re-released titles on Nintendo Switch, which includes a plethora of them. A relatively recent example is Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, which introduced Funky Kong as a playable character for anyone seeking a “more casual gaming experience,” by allowing you to literally hover over obstacles to avoid a challenge. Similarly, Toadette is the main highlight of New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe and the primary element that differentiates the Switch port from the Wii U original.

Toadette mysteriously replaces Blue Toad from the get-go and has an advantage that the other playable characters don’t have – the Super Crown power-up. This special item enables Toadette to somehow transform into another being known as Peachette. Aside from resembling the princess of Mushroom Kingdom herself, Peachette can double-jump and float over obstacles. As you would expect, her principal purpose is to provide beginners with an easier experience. And an easier experience you will get. Super Crowns are pretty common, so you can find them in several locations throughout courses.

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But what about veteran players who already trekked through the original? I was among the many who found every Star Coin back then, so my choice this time around was Toadette. If you choose to play as her, you may never see the Game Over screen, as it’s incredibly easy to stay alive and gain extra lives. I played as her for the sole intention of varied gameplay and to attempt to mix things up. But it turns out that it proved not to be all that different. The Super Crown is basically a lavished-up hybrid of the Propeller Mushroom and Super Acorn power-ups, which still exist but are harder to find by comparison. It feels more like a visual facelift than anything. It doesn’t quite make sense and makes me look back at the vague explanation for why Peach wasn’t playable in the first place.

With that being said, I wish the Super Crown influenced the other playable characters’ gameplay and appearances. It would’ve been cool if it gave a unique Peach-inspired ability and image to each hero. For example, it could have granted Mario with turnips to toss at enemies; Luigi could have been given a parasol to float over hazards; and Toad could have been able to summon Peach temporarily to protect himself from enemies (AKA payback from being used yet again in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate). They could have all worn dresses, too, as that would be something Mario isn’t uncomfortable doing. While these concepts are nowhere to be found, they haven’t stopped fans from coming up with their own wild creations. And, yes, we do have to mention Bowsette, who may very well be the star of the show despite not actually existing.

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New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is essentially the same as the 2012 title, but it comes bundled with New Super Luigi U – a similar yet separate platformer that was also initially released  on Wii U. New Super Luigi U is designed to be tricker but has shorter stages that are typically smoother to breeze through if you don’t care about collecting all the Star Coins. Levels are also faster-paced, with a 100-second time limit in each one that tests your in-game ninja skills. Both feature a clean, streamlined overworld map that’s simple and straightforward to follow when selecting which direction to take, placing more of a focus on the core platforming action. It’s something we’ve seen before, but it’s still one of the key strengths of the entire package.

You can play as Nabbit in both adventures to make things even easier, as he can run straight through all enemies without getting a single scratch. All you have to worry about is jumping between gaps to avoid losing a life. Since he is unable to use power-ups of any kind, Nabbit fails to offer the full Super Mario Bros. experience, but he’s a welcome addition for anyone who wants to play through the same courses with a younger or less-adept buddy. He’ll also be appreciated by novice speedrunners who prefer to have fewer obstacles blocking their path.

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The lack of new content is accompanied by the absence of online features. It’s a bummer that you still can’t play multiplayer with your faraway friends. This is something that could have worked in the original, but its omission is more questionable now with Nintendo’s continuous push of Nintendo Switch Online. Heck, even the 30-year-old NES games have been enhanced with online features, so why can’t a more modern Nintendo game provide the same? Ghost data from other players is also nonexistent, so you can’t race against them to at least get the simulation of going head-to-head with someone else.

Despite the exclusion of online features and fresh content, New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is a sizeable collection that offers one of the most solid platforming experiences of the current decade. If you’re a newcomer, it could provide numerous hours of excitement for you and your local friends. It’s a fun game for sure, but for someone who spent a good amount of time exploring every nook and cranny of the original a few years ago, it will most likely feel all too familiar.


A review copy of New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe on Nintendo Switch was provided by Nintendo UK.

56 thoughts on “Review: New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe For Nintendo Switch”

  1. My honest advice is to hang fire and wait for the game to be practically halved in price later this year.
    THEN it would be worth buying again.
    Switch newcomers who haven’t played the wii u version will have a fun time with it though for the nearly £50 purchase.

    1. totally agree. I don’t know why, but I didn’t really love that game on WiiU. Maybe it was the general situation with the WiiU’s weird launch lineup and this being the excuse for a big Mario game for the firstgeneration of WiiU games. Maybe it didn’t feel new after the great NSMB on Wii. Today I understand that it’s still a good game with some pretty crazy challenges and nice ideas, but I now feel like Nintendo’s strategy of supporting third parties is backfiring at them.

      Because I barely pay more than 15 bucks for indies; in the case of Everspace I spent the nearly crazy amount of 30 bucks for that game. But when I now see a game like NSMBU or Yoshi’s Crafted World, I start comparing its value to the value of a game like Everspace, Celeste or Hollow Knight. I will still pay the price for Yoshi, but it’s not the no-brainer it used to be a few years ago. Because Wooly World was “nice”. Not more, not less. And Celeste or Hollow Knight are little masterpieces that cost like a 3rd of the price. And Everspace is becoming more complex the more I play into it. And I’m already 15 hours in and still feel like I haven’t even really started yet. This whole pricerange feels a bit broken. Nintendo should make a line between smaller games like this and big releases like BotW.
      Theres absolutely no point putting this in the same price range as tehir big releases. And (even) Electronic Arts is doing it that way. They got their blockbusters and their “indie” (or artsy) games.

      One might argue that if Nintendo doesn’t ask for full price on a game like NSMBU, then productions like this might not end up being that polished and good. But I would argue if they’d sell this for 25-30 bucks, way more people would buy it and in the end they would actually earn money.
      On the Wii, Nintendo did really lower the price even for their biggest releases to reflect their lower production costs compared to PS3 games and I believe even Mario Galaxy did only cost 45 bucks at launch. Nintendo then proved that they understand what I mean now.

      1. Because it’s CHEAP. It’s so ugly in comparison to old SNES games, it has no ‘soul’ and it’s flat, like if it wasn’t developed with passion. That’s why you didn’t liked. I bet that if it was more looked after you would have liked it, because everyone likes excellence, even if not ‘new’.

    2. Good luck finding its price cut in half within the same year. Have you seen how Nintendo prices their games? This will likely be full price for at least two years.

  2. I liked it originally on wiiu and I never finished it but not going to purchase again. It’s good for the newcomers though. I wonder how it will do saleswise

    1. that’s generally a great idea. Having the 3DS game (or was there another one?) playable on the Switch along the others, plus having a HD remake of the Wii game (which I prefferred over the WiiU one) would both make perfect sense. And they could even raise the price to 60 bucks for a pack like that. I mean …. if we keep on dreaming, then having a level editor with the whole mario maker engine as a bonus-feature would totally finish this composition :)

  3. Too bad Nintendo can’t stop their greed as AAA publishers and want us to pay 60 usd/50pounds/1600mxn No thanks I’d rather wait for either e3, game awards or December so they cut the price and even then, they will just get it down to 40usd which is a lot for an old game

    1. Not sure greed is the right word. It’s a branding strategy. Disney does the same with all of its movies. It’s why Bambi on Blu Ray is still $25-30 75 years after its original release. What they want is for a customer to look at the shelf and see Nintendo products still selling at top shelf price while other games drop dramatically shortly after release. It creates the illusion that Nintendo products are inherently worth more. It isn’t that they want to fleece you for every penny you have on this one project. It’s that they don’t want anyone thinking Nintendo makes games that are only worth $20-30.

      Now we can argue how well this works, but compare it to steam. One of the infamous aspects of Steam is that everyone has dozens if not hundreds of games they own but have never played for more than 5 minutes. The sales devalue everything to the point that people casually ignore games. Now, Nintendo leans really heavily on its stable of IP’s. How many decades could they last as a company if people treated Nintendo games as casually and uneventfully as they do their steam libraries?

      Again, not saying this is necessarily a good strategy, but I don’t think it’s about greed. It’s about longevity. They would rather, on an individual game, make 10% less profit at a higher price and preserve their image than earn 10% more profit at the expense of devaluing the brand. At least, that’s what I believe they’re thinking.

  4. I no problem buy this game for 60eur. I dont like Mario maker but this good architecture levels i like. This Hamé is complete, no online funckionára is great for me. I hate online, multiplayer and endless maker levels. I hope nintendo dont stop release this type of complete Mario 2D platformers..

  5. “Nintendo is notorious for taking extra steps to make its games more accessible to players of all ages and skill levels. ” I’d have said notoriously infamous for doing that. It’s sadly why some people still call Nintendo the kiddie company even if they are allowing more mature stuff. (Censoring Fatal Frame 5’s DLC & switching out the lingerie for cosplay costumes (which looked cheap as the girls heads look very out of place on those outfits) in the US doesn’t help. I’m never letting that go til Fatal Frame 5 releases on the Switch with both those cosplay outfits AND the lingerie in the US. It’s an M rated game! Fuck off with that censoring bullshit!)

  6. Eh, I’d rather have had Super Mario 3D World Deluxe.
    Actually, I REALLY want Super Mario 3D World Deluxe.

    1. Wondering why they haven’t released that yet. It should also work without the WiiU Gamepad or at least it should be possible to adapt it to that. And even I who still boots up my WiiUt play 3D World for the 4th or 5th run would probably buy it. It’s just one of the greatest multiplayer games I’ve ever played. And having this on the gamepad on a holiday trip … woohoo, I’d pray for rain :D

      1. Oh please, it is a sequel to the kind of gameplay established by 3D Land.
        Sort of like how Pokémon Let’s Go keeps up the gameplay of Pokémon Go.

        World improved on Land in literally every way, which is pretty luxurious.

  7. What I get sick of is the price of these Wii U ports. Like, why aren’t they ever cheap? All of the ones I’ve seen in stores are too expensive for ports of older games.

    Speaking of prices for older games (though this is off subject), why on earth is the Wii game “Wii Music” still $49.99 at Walmart? More like,why is it still AT Walmart? Man, that game was never worth that much. Not even when it first released. Some games never seem to drop in price. Especially first party games. Which is why I buy a lot of my games on ebay. I bought Wii Music on ebay years ago for around $7.00 if I’m not mistaken. Also, for some reason, anime related games are ALWAYS over-priced. What’s up with that? Okay, sorry for the off-subject rant.

    1. So, the answer to your question is how retail price cuts work. The store paid up front a given amount for a copy of a game. It varies based on volume and a number of other factors, but for the sake of the example, let’s say they paid $30 for a game that retails at $60. Well, if you want a game to go on sale down to $40, who is out that money, Nintendo or Wal Mart?

      Typically with new videogames, it is the publisher rebating the store the difference in price. “Hey, Wal Mart. It’s Nintendo. We want to do a sale on Super Mario Party. For every copy you sell at $40 during the first week of December, we’ll give you back $15 that you paid us.” Permanent price cuts work the same way. If you cut in half the price of a game that Target has already purchased 10,000 copies of, you need to reimburse them their extra expense.

      Wii Music is 49.99 at Wal Mart because Nintendo has long since stopped talking to stores about Wii game pricing. As for why it has shelf space at all, one must assume that someone, somewhere is buying them.

  8. Thanks for the review. I wish you would have spoken a little more about some of the Wii U features that may or may not be different in this one.

    For example:
    1) Luigi and Toad were only playable if you played 2+ players and Mario always had to be Player 1. How is the character selection in with Toadette in the mix? Can you choose to be Luigi or Toad in Single Player now?

    2) The Wii U version had a block system where another player could place blocks using the touchpad to help a player using a Wii-mote along. Is that feature still in the game?

    3) The original came out before amiibo came out. Does the remake have amiibo compatibility?

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  14. This game is better than a 7/10 IMO. I give it between 8.5 to 9.0– after all these years it’s STILL a great game.

    As a former Wii U owner I was all over thus title in 2013. My only disappointment was the $60 price. But here’s something interesting…
    “I went to a few GAMESTOPS by my house & curiously asked how’s NSMBU+D selling which they responded they were SOLD OUT!!”

    That news kinda floored me, LMBO.

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  28. The game looks like a lot of fun but also kinda expensive I wonder if it will be worth the price we pay? Unfortunately, Nintendo isn’t going to lower its price for the game anytime soon

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