|New Super Mario Bros U|
The plot has been shaken up slightly. Bowser has now giving all his kids their own personalised airships(probably bought used from Baron after Cecil took over... he he he... Final Fantasy reference... shut up!) and for a change, takes over Princess Peach's castle and kick Mario, Luigi and the 2 generiToads outs. So now the Mario Bros & Co(Pty Lld... what? I feel like joking around... shut up!) must fight there way through the Koopa forces to get back to the castle and save Peach for the umpteenth time... yeah, 27 or more years of the same thing... you know what they say "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" and Nintendo knows this well.
The gameplay is the same as the Wii version with the Wiimotes.... Seriously there's nothing new with the interactions there but when you play with the gamepad in single player, you don't need to shake it like a ninny. The gamepad plays like the 3DS version of the game so nothing new there and you press the shoulder buttons instead of shaking... unless you're dense and want to shake it. As for using the gamepad in multiplayer... it's what I like to call "youngest kid/mum mode" where you can tap the screen to make blocks appear to either help or hinder the people ACTUALLY playing the game.
Ok let's start with the main game mode. The game has been designed similarly to Super Mario World with the return of a full world map and Yoshi is back. The new Squirrel Mario power allows you to glide and cling to walls and with a shake of the Wiimote do a little scoop that can help reach higher places. You progress through each stage like we've done in the previous games in the series collecting Star coins along the way to the end stage flag pole. As you'd expect it's a lot of the same stuff we've done in NSMB but done the best here.
Just on the main game alone this game deserves a 5/5 but there's more to this game, They decided to add a bunch of extra modes to extend the life of the game and challenge Generation NES' skill. First off we have Coin Battle. Similar to the DS NSMB you play through stages and collect more coins then the other players, simple enough. Not my thing to be honest but I'm sure people out there will enjoy it.
Next up...Boost Rush! This mode is all about SPEED! You play through set courses with 5 lives and they auto scroll, the challenge? As you collect coins the auto scrolls speed increases making the stage more difficult and forcing you to think quick and pray the stage doesn't leave a big gap or worse... leave you behind. If you lose a life the speed does drop but you need to keep the speed up for a good record. I like this mode because of the challenge but playing with other people makes it a nightmare!
The Challenge mode lives up to it's name and then some. This is where you separate the veterans from the obsessed! There are a variety of challenges here and they will make you want to throw the gamepad through your TV! There are time trials where you have a limited time to finish the stage and some have an extra requirement to finish, 1up challenges that test your skills at gathering 1ups under varying conditions, coin challenges that challenge you to collect all the coins in the stage, special challenges with a variety of goals that will drive you insane and boost mode challenges where 2 players(one on gamepad tapping the screen and one on a Wiimote) have to work together to complete the goals set forth. All of these are hard and require patience, skill and most importantly repetition... and maybe a back up Wiimote if you break yours.
As NSMBWii before it, this game was built for multiplayer mayhem. 4 players on Wiimotes and a "fifth" on the gampad. Like before all 4 players bounce on and off one another and all over the place. As you'd expect fights for power ups will ensue and arguments over which players are stuck with the generiToads. If you've played the Wii version(sales records say there's a pretty good chance you have) then you know this frustration all to well. As mention earlier the 5th player gets the short end of the stick and can tap the screen to place blocks all over the screen to assist or hinder the people actually playing the game. I recommend getting mum to use the gamepad because most mums don't play real games(unlike my mum who is currently struggling though Chapter 7 in Ragnarok Odyssey. She's the best!) and your mum will most likely be helpful to everyone else playing or give it to the youngest sibling so the feel like they're playing and can amuse themselves by tapping the screen.
The main game will last you about 10 hours(if you hunt down all the stages exits and Star coins) and is just as replayable as every other Mario game. Challenge Mode will keep you playing long after you've saved the princess, especially if you want those gold medals and there are a lot of challenges too. So was this the reason to buy the Wii U? DUH! HELL YEAH! Absolutely was the reason to buy it. Sure it won't keep you occupied until the next real Wii U title comes out(what I mean is a game build from the ground up for the Wii U) but it'll pass the time during the Christmas break. If you buy a Wii U, you MUST buy this game with it!