Published on September 13th, 2013 | by octaneblue1
Review: New Super Luigi U
System(s): Wii U eShop, Wii U
Release Date: June 20, 2013 (Wii U eShop), August 25, 2013 (disc release)
2013 has been declared the “Year of Luigi” by Nintendo, with releases starring or featuring the green plumber throughout the year. New Super Luigi U is an expansion of New Super Mario Bros. U (reviewed here) and stars Luigi as he saves Princess Peach from the clutches of Bowser and his troops. New Super Luigi U contains 82 all-new levels with a higher difficulty level than New Super Mario Bros. U. Is Luigi’s first solo 2D platforming adventure worth checking out? Find out in the full review of New Super Luigi U!
The gameplay in New Super Luigi U is largely the same as before, as are the settings, bosses, enemies, and so forth. But there are several key differences between this and NSMBU as well. First off, Luigi controls differently than in the previous title, with motions and movements similar to how he played in games like Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario Advance 2, and the Super Mario Galaxy games. Luigi can jump much higher than Mario, and has a fluttery descent, but his traction is worse, leading his controls being a bit slippery. His unique traits will certainly help out in some situations, but will also be troublesome in others.
As previously noted, the worlds here are the same as in NSMBU. The map screen is also exactly the same, but it would have been a nice addition to have Luigi tributes throughout the map, or at least change up the graphics a little to suit Luigi’s adventure. But the levels have all been redone and are completely new. These levels are of higher difficulty, and to make the adventure even more challenging, the timer for each level is set at just 100 seconds. Getting through the level, in addition to collecting the 3 Star Coins and finding the hidden exit in levels that have one, becomes a frantic event. In several cases, it’s just not possible to accomplish everything in one run, so you’ll have to redo some levels to collect anything you’ve missed. Thankfully, in fortresses and castles, an additional 100 seconds is added to the remaining time once you reach the boss door.
The multiplayer mode works mostly the same, with Mario obviously absent from the roster this time around. In addition to the Yellow Toad and Blue Toad, Nabbit is a selectable character. Nabbit is unique in that he takes no damage from enemies and hazards, such as spikes. However, he also cannot use items. Nabbit is ideal for newcomers to the game, but his presence also unbalances the multiplayer a bit. Since there are only four playable characters, a full group will have someone who must play as Nabbit. Expect that player to be carrying the others through tough situations with lots of enemies and hazards as Nabbit wrecklessly just runs through all of it. As introduced in New Super Mario Bros. U, a fifth player can join in with the GamePad, assisting the other players by placing platforms onto the levels.
New Super Mario Bros. U took several hours to clear 100%. New Super Luigi U takes around the same time to complete. While the levels are shorter in length, the fact that you may have to take repeat trips through a lot of them to collect missed Star Coins or hidden exits adds more time to the game length. If you’re looking for a Challenge mode outside the main game, that feature from NSMBU is absent in New Super Luigi U. It definitely would have been interesting playing through unique challenges using Luigi as he plays in this game.
New Super Luigi U is available to purchase in two different ways. The first method is digitally through the Wii U eShop. This requires ownership of New Super Mario Bros. U and costs $19.99. Via digital purchase, you can simply load up New Super Luigi U through the menu. The second method is a physical copy of the game, available at retailers. Housed in a special green Wii U game case, this version costs $29.99, but does not require New Super Mario Bros. U and can be played as a standalone game.
New Super Luigi U is definitely worth checking out if you’ve played through and completed New Super Mario Bros. U – it serves as an excellent companion title. While a lot of NSMB U was recycled here, a higher difficulty level and faster-paced level design are just a couple of the praiseworthy changes. Fans of the green plumber will also appreciate the nods to him scattered throughout the levels. 2013 has been great so far for Luigi, and this game is a great addition to any Wii U owner’s game collection!
+ Challenging level design
+ Affordable DLC or standalone title
+ Great tribute to Luigi overall
– Slightly unbalanced multiplayer with Nabbit
– No extra modes
– Reused boss fights and map screens
Final score: 4.25 out of 5