E3 2012: New Super Mario Bros. U hands-on preview
By: Jeff Rivera
For the past couple of years everybody has been saying that when Nintendo releases the successor to the Wii that it would have to have a Mario game at launch. Well, Nintendo listened to that advice and coming out alongside the Wii U this fall we'll be getting New Super Mario Bros. U. The name may not be much, but based on our demo time with the game on the E3 show floor, the game is going to provide all kinds of fun.
The game is largely similar to New Super Mario Bros. Wii, but there are some differences that jump out at you right from the get go. First, the HD resolution makes for a nicer looking game overall, and there's just a nice looking polish on the visuals that we've yet to see from the series. Secondly, there are some new power ups and Yoshis scattered about the levels. The newest power up that was being demonstrated at the show was the squirrel suit, which allows you to glide through the air slowly. The new Yoshis included a Yoshi that would take a big gulp of air and you'd hang onto his tail as he floated through the level, slowly deflating over time. Another Yoshi would spit bubbles out that would trap enemies, creating something akin to Mario crossed with Bubble Bobble.
The action, as expected, was quite fun. There's a fine line between cooperation and competition at work between the players using the Wii remotes, but for the player using the Wii U GamePad, his role is almost entirely helpful as he spawns blocks for the other characters to use or he taps on dangers in the environment to neutralize them.
We played through three levels in the demo, each one quite different from the other. There were some pretty tricky jumps in each level, and if you're not commited to helping one another out, it can get pretty challenging going throught he levels unharmed.
Once again, New Super Mario Bros. will prove to be a perfect relationship builder and killer, all in one package as you and your friends and family learn to deal with dangerous jumps, persistent enemies, and spiked obstacles strewn about the Mushroom Kingdom.
In the Nintendo E3 press event Reggie said that New Super Mario Bros. U will be available for launch.