Mario and Pikmin. The Wii U is in good stead for a successful launch after the 3DS debacle that was dominated by rubbish ports and devoid of first party mainstays.
New Super Mario Bros. U won’t reinvent the wheel. In fact, it’s more or less exactly the same experience already available on the Wii and DS -- and soon to be 3DS. Besides a few more coins, the 3DS game isn’t all that different either.
The biggest change on display during the E3 demo was the addition of a fifth player using the Wii U Tablet. Up to four players could work co-operatively using horizontal Wii Remotes, while a fifth built extra platforms for them to stand on with the individual touch screen.
I could have averted the perilous situations on my own, but was thwarted by misplaced assistance.
It wasn’t particularly useful, and often led to my death as I wasn’t expecting someone to intervene. I could have averted the perilous situations on my own, but was thwarted by misplaced assistance.
The Wii U’s tablet is more useful in single-player. The entire game can be completed without ever using your TV. The simplistic HD visuals allow the full game to be played on the controller’s screen, inadvertently making it even more similar to the 3DS version that will be released a few months earlier.
Motion-haters will be glad to hear that everything has a button. The spin-jump in the Wii game required some waggling, but now the player has the option to use a button instead.
The only new power-up we got to take for a test run was the Flying Squirrel suit, which was more of a gliding suit, but still cool nonetheless.
The biggest problem that arose was playing alongside a self-confessed Mario noob, while another girl kept blocking my path with annoying platforms I wasn’t expecting. I was constantly running ahead of the action because we were trying to traverse the world at different speeds. That’s why side-scrolling Mario will first and foremost be a single-player experience in my eyes, and why Nintendo hasn’t gotten it right with its focus on the five-player co-op.
The five player frivolity is nothing more than a novelty and won’t offer lasting appeal. Likewise, co-op multiplayer is only successful with four players of identical skill; it ceases to be a Mario game when one player is noticeably more abled.
The single-player campaign, however, is exactly what the Wii U needs at launch. The same classic Mario gameplay is back, in glorious HD for the first time, and the new console’s shift away from being confined to a shared television is demonstrated with strength. It won’t offer much we haven't seen before, but it doesn’t really need to.
Nintendo fans will be more than happy with a quality side-scrolling Mario game at launch, and after overlooking some of the co-op issues, that’s exactly what they’ll get with New Super Mario Bros. U.
By Ben Salter - Bio