New Super Luigi U Review
New Super Luigi U Box Art
System: Wii U
Dev: Nintendo
Pub: Nintendo
Release: June 20, 2013
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Comic Mischief
Mario Bros.--Prepare To Die Edition
by Jake Valentine

New Super Mario Bros. U was released on launch day, alongside the brand new Wii U console. While enjoyable, it is a relatively safe game. New Super Luigi U isn’t a safe game. It’s a bold, challenging, rewarding game.

The game’s premise is simple: remake the courses from New Super Mario Bros. U and have Luigi as the playable character. If Nintendo simply enacted this premise, the game would still be above average. But that’s not all they’ve done. The courses are harder, the plumber handles completely different, and the timer is shorter. Yet despite these challenges, the traditional Nintendo charm we’d expect from a Mario Bros. platformer still exists, shining above the game’s difficulty.

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I’m not joking around, either. I’ve been tempted to throw my GamePad into a wall many times. But, you know, those are really expensive…

The game’s story starts exactly the same as New Super Mario Bros. U, only there’s an exception: Mario’s absent. Missing. Gone. And he’s not hidden in some painting a la Luigi’s Mansion, either. This is 100% Luigi’s game, and Nintendo wasn’t afraid to run with it; they created courses that not only use Luigi’s strengths but also punish them. Compared to Mario, Luigi can jump longer, higher, and has a longer slide. These traits will come in handy quite often, as many of the game’s levels involve precise distance jumps. You can’t get too confident, though, because if you’re overeager when you land, you’ll slide right off a platform and fall to your death.

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These scenarios create the need for a combination of speed, precision, and patience. That first part, speed, is especially important due to the game’s new clock. Instead of having 300 seconds to complete a level, you’ll now only have 100. The second you start a new course, you’ll hear that hurry-up tune chime, giving you a sense of urgency. It creates a tension that sticks with you as you play. You have to move quickly, but you can’t be careless.

New Super Luigi U Screenshot

There’s also a certain sense of nostalgia as you play through the game’s familiar sights and sounds. The worlds remain the same; the songs remain the same; and the graphics remain the same. But like all successful remakes, Nintendo knows that it’s safe to stray from the original formula. That familiar feeling immediately disappears when each level kicks your butt from here to Katmandu.

The game’s challenge…

Okay, I’ve noticed that I’ve used that word a lot. Challenge.

New Super Luigi U Screenshot

Let me make something clear: this game is hard, but it’s not impossible. One of the issues I have with New Super Mario Bros. U is that I rarely feel challenged. That’s most definitely not an issue I have with New Super Luigi U. The thought of going back through every level and collecting the three giant gold coins gives me nightmares.

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