And, as always, the game is buoyed by the inclusion of the absolutely manic four player mode. They can call it ‘co-op’ all they want, but I don’t think anyone’s fooled: multiplayer in this game is detrimental, not only to your success rate at clearing levels but at remaining friends for the foreseeable future. Accidentally picking up my mates and chucking them into a pit happened a little too frequently, and bumping into each other, jumping on each other’s heads, and throwing off what is a very flow-based game in general lead to a lot of hilarious deaths. Luckily, with loads of lives and a forgiving respawn system, Nintendo have fine-tuned that mayhem into a balance that elevates the whole experience. If you can, play this one with some buds.
It feels like, when it comes to flagship Nintendo games, I barely need to cover this point. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe looks and sounds polished and pristine, and is brimming with inventive joy at every turn. The warm, cuddly graphics of not just the characters, but the enemies and even level design, pops vibrantly. It’s one of the most colourful looking games I’ve played in recent years, and there isn’t a pixel out of place.
Similarly, the score is a wonderful mix of old and new: classic Mario tracks built back up to an all new, satisfyingly familiar crescendo. There are some interesting departures aurally speaking, especially with some of the more sinister worlds, but they’re never anything but utterly charming. I especially like how stage elements and enemies seem to bob to the music, as well. It’s a nice touch.
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is an endearing delight, perfect for a lazy day gaming alone or a manic session with friends keen to push you to your doom. It’s packed with content, and has just enough wrinkles to lure back in seasoned players. It’s perfect for pick up and play sessions on the go, but you’ll likely want to carry on grabbing coins and stomping Goombas long after your commute / flight / toilet break is over.
If you missed this star back when it first debuted, you have no excuse not to grab it now.
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