I’ve had this one held back for some time now. Completed it last year if I recall. But for a while other things kept getting in the way or I just felt I didn’t want to do too much Mario at one time (hard given how many games he’s in and the sheer volume of how many are good). But with his 35 birthday of Super Mario Bros I feel this is a perfect time to do it (and not that I don’t have another idea ready….)
The New Super Mario Bros games started on the DS and was a return to the classic 2D Mario action that we hadn’t seen since the rise of 3D Mario with Mario 64. This proved very popular, return of classic Mario platforming was welcome, though annoyingly it also brought back Bowser boss fights as just get behind him and grab the axe. Made worse this was basically mastered in the second game New Super Mario Bros Wii which turned this into an epic chase against a giant Bowser, after that seeing a Bowser boss fight just being a platform challenge always felt like a cop out. Heck the 3ds New Super Mario Brothers game released the same year as Deluxe was openly pointed out to be just a lazy quick push out the door kind of feel showing the line had kind of lost steam.
Fortunately U when it was released on the Wii U was loved by the audience and did not feel like a quick rushed together shove out like the 3ds one had. Though it was on the Wii U so didn’t sell as well as most likely Nintendo wanted (it was some time till I got one of those due to fears of it needing the internet and today I mainly use it for Netflix) So in 2019 they rereleased it for the Switch (something they do a lot).
To the surprise of no one, Peach has been captured, though you were there this time, and she wasn’t as much kidnapped as you got booted out the castle while Bowser and his kids take over. Queue running through several worlds (skipping some if you find secret exits) till you get to a Bowserfied castle and face the big guy in what I’m happy to say, isn’t you just pressing a switch.
So yes it is very much more classic Mario platforming. Choosing between Mario, his much better brother Luigi, Toad and new to this version Toadette and the super easy impossible really to lose Nabbit. Toadette has access to the now memed heavy crown item that turns her into Peachette while Nabbit is basically immune to all damage. To compensate it a clear with Nabbit isn’t counted towards a true completion so you have to run it with one of the others to get those if you want to 100 percent this.
And it’s in that where the real challenges lie. Having to complete every level and get all the exits, finding all the star coins, Racing Nabbit and then beating all the bonus extra hard levels there is plenty to do in this version, plus it comes with the even harder Super Luigi Bros U that gives you even more levels and challenge, so you should have plenty to do.
But as said it doesn’t really add anything new to the formula, it more returned things that were removed and had worn out their welcome. Multiplayer is there but I haven’t played that so it would be unfair to judge it by that. Still it has got a lot for you to do with the classic Mario style and the levels as always ooze Nintendo so it’s worth your time and probably the best of the New Super Mario Bros series.