2013 is the thirtieth anniversary of Luigi’s first appearance. As part of the celebration, Nintendo created New Super Luigi U, a DLC/expansion pack for the New Super Mario Bros. U. This game is available for download in the Nintendo Eshop and will be available in disc form on August 25, 2013 in the U.S.
Like with most Mario games, New Super Luigi begins with Bowser kidnapping Peach. In fact, the story begins just like New Super Mario Bros. U. Peach, Luigi, a blue toad, and a yellow toad are enjoying a meal together. Mario’s seat is empty except for his iconic red hat. Bowser and his kids storm the castle with their airships, throw the three heroes out of the castle, and claim Peach’s castle as their own. As Luigi and the toads run back towards the castle, Nabbit follows closely behind.
Just how does this stack up to recent entries in the 2D Mario games? Can Luigi carry this expansion without his super brother? Let’s see what’s HOT and what’s NOT about New Super Luigi U.
Charming Visual Presentation
By now, it is par for the course for a Mario game to have an endearing and bright world in which to run, jump and break bricks. New Super Luigi U is no exception. Yes, these level backgrounds are all recycled from NSMBU, but it doesn’t make them any less appealing or charming. There’s something about the presentation in Mario games that makes me feel like a little kid again. In honor of Luigi, there are many small and large novelties in his likeness. On level 1-1, Luigi starts the stage under the New Super Luigi U title card and a huge version of his 8-bit, non-super self. You’ll find plenty of 8-bit versions of Luigi and Super Luigi inserted into levels and other Luigi likenesses, like Luigi shaped shrubs.
Unique Character Physics
Ah, the smooth, responsive two-button run and jump control scheme of a 2D Mario platformer. I can’t think of a single 2D Mario game that controls badly, and this game is no exception. The standard Mario gameplay is here. You’ll run to the right, jump on enemies and over pits, and find powerups along the way. Boost mode from NSMBU returns which grants a friend the power to make platforms for Luigi.
As mentioned earlier, Luigi jumps higher and is floatier. It takes a few minutes to get used to Luigi’s movement; I died my first few tries of 1-1 trying to adjust. In no time at all, however, I was dodging pits and collecting star coins. These changes carry over to Luigi’s multiplayer partners: Yellow toad, Blue toad and the thieving Nabbit.
I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who, like me, found New Super Mario Bros U to be a relatively easy single player game. The level designers pulled out all the stops for Luigi resulting in some of the most difficult Mario levels I’ve had the pleasure of playing. World 1 alone is remarkably more difficult than half of New Super Mario Bros. U. For an additional challenge, the developers put tighter limits on Luigi. Each level begins with the ominous “Time low” jingle from the Super Mario series, and each level has only a 100 second time limit. Levels have no checkpoint flags. Not to worry, though. When you reach a boss, you’re awarded an addition 100 seconds. Powerups seem rarer than in NSMBU, but that could just be a side effect of the shorter levels.