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CONSOLE: Wii U DEVELOPER: Nintendo PUBLISHER: Nintendo
RELEASE DATE (NA): June 20, 2013 GENRE: Platformer
// review by SoyBomb

Our favourite man in green saves a princess! ...no, I didn't mean Kermit the Frog...

New Super Luigi U is basically an expansion pack for New Super Mario Bros. U. It's the Mists of Pandaria, if you will. It was sold as a standalone product, as digital DLC for anyone who owns New Super Mario Bros. U already, and as a package deal with NSMBU if you purchase a Deluxe Wii U set. Nintendo was really trying to get this game into the hands of the masses by any means necessary. And who could blame them? After all, this was the flagship product meant to represent 2013, the "Year of Luigi," celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of Mario's oft-misrepresented brother.

The French journalist Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr once said, "The more things change, the more they stay the same." And what I learned from this is that I can research someone online and sound intelligent. But the quote itself is still true, I suppose. Though much is new in New Super Luigi U, much remains the same. The overworld has not changed, including the locations of branching paths (and with it, the locations of stages with secret exits). The storyline is exactly the same, except with no Mario sightings at all. I imagine he's off... plumbing? That lady in Brooklyn with the flooded basement can only wait for so many years... The boss battles have not changed, either. There isn't much in the way of new and fancy graphics or uplifting musical score. The Yoshis are still there to help, and the Koopa Kids are still there to hurt. I think EscapeRouteBritish said it all in his review. Nope, it's another journey through the Mushroom Kingdom...

...except for everything. Every single stage in the game has been retooled and made more difficult. If you are having severe trouble with New Super Mario Bros. U, then New Super Luigi U is far too brutal of a nightmare for you, and you may wish to avoid this one. Luigi doesn't get enough credit in his life: this trek is far more perilous than what Mario had to endure. Some stages are downright devious, to the point where you'll always see Miiverse comments containing expletives appear after you fail for the umpteenth time. (The swear words won't be spelled correctly, mind you, but then again, few words ARE on Miiverse, it seems.) Yet this spike in difficulty comes with a balance: each stage is shorter, commandeered by a timer that automatically starts at 100 (cueing the music to speed up and give you an adrenaline rush equivalent to getting spooked by a rooster in your trousers). There isn't much time to stop and enjoy the scenery or take photographs of the local flying squirrels. Luigi needs to hustle.


Luigi handles like a flying ramen noodle.

And hustle he does. Luigi controls differently than Mario. He can jump higher and farther, and his legs are like cooked spaghetti, flapping ever so indelicately in the wind with his own pasta physics. It gives you a bit more leeway when taking a leap of faith. Of course, he's even more superior when he's chomped down an acorn and grown a Flying Squirrel Suit. (Does he really eat it? Or is there a costume hidden inside?) The Propeller Suit and Penguin Suit also make a reappearance now and again. And I still think the Propeller Suit is awful. I never use it. It's terrible. Whenever I use it, Luigi just goes down like a plane crashing. There's also little need for a Mini Mushroom, yet they seemed to regularly appear in my inventory.

Really, this is what it is: an expansion with different stages to play and a protagonist with legs like rubber. There's still multiplayer, though, but with Mario out of the picture, they had to replace him. Nintendo could have been really bold and wedge in a THIRD palette swap of Toad, but instead, you can now play as Nabbit, the lovable purple rabbit who steals. In fact, by pressing ZL while selecting a stage on the map, you can play as Nabbit, even in single player. He's great: you can avoid enemies and hazards automatically. Just run to your heart's content! They failed to add any animations to Nabbit, so in the... oh, wait a second... SPOILER ALERT...

...ending when everyone is dancing around clapping, Nabbit's just standing there gawking into the distance. C'mon, Nintendo, you couldn't even spend a few extra moments to try and NOT make your work look lazy? And while you're at it, get rid of the Propeller Suit. It's terrible.

New Super Luigi U. Is it frustrating? Sometimes. Is it fun? Usually. Does Nabbit... oh, wait a second... SPOILER ALERT...

...clap? Never.


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