The Average Gamer

E3 2012 – New Super Mario Bros. U Hands-On Video

Wii U - New Super Mario Bros. UJust as night follows day, a new Nintendo console means a whole new generation of Mario games; starting off with the New Super Mario Bros. U.

In short, it’s Super Mario Bros. HD edition featuring lots of side-scrolling platform action, Mario, Toad, Luigi, your very own Mii’s and a cute-looking Flying Squirrel outfit. The playable demo on Nintendo’s E3 stand contained three levels but few surprises from previous Mario Bros. games.

I didn’t get my mitts on the shiny new Wii U GamePad until I tested out multiplayer Boost mode with the Wiimote first. In Boost mode up to four players use standard Wii controllers to move characters around the levels while one uses the touch screen on the gamepad to create temporary platforms for the others to use.

Without these extra platforms and co-operation from those involved you’ll miss out lots of hidden items.

Apart from Boost mode and transferring the game between a TV and the GamePad screen, the new controller felt distinctly under used. To my mind, Ubisoft’s fantastic looking Rayman Legends made far better use of the GamePad as they aptly demonstrated during their E3 press conference, slicing through ropes and discovering entirely new pathways for the other players.

I really wanted to use the GamePad a lot more than I was able – to look around levels and give me another perspective on what’s coming up, or maybe use as a x-ray device to reveal hidden items and guide the other players towards them. Something other than just a screen to idly poke if you fancy helping your mates. It’s that half-arsed 2-player gameplay all over again from Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 that leaves one person feeling like a spare part.

Still, the game was fun to play, if you like Super Mario Bros. games. Check out our gameplay video below.

New Super Mario Bros. U will be released towards the end of 2012 for Wii U.