New Super Mario Bros. U is a Wii U game developed and published by Nintendo. It was released on November 18, 2012. It is the fourth game in the New Super Mario Bros. franchise and nearly the 200th game with a direct relation to the Mario franchise.
New Super Mario Bros. U was revealed initially as New Super Mario Bros. Mii, a demo "experience" during the unveiling of the Wii U at E3 2011 and was never confirmed to be an actual game. Later in the year, Nintendo announced that it was indeed a full title that would be shown again at E3 2012 as the new Mario game for the Wii U.
In New Super Mario Bros. U, Bowser takes over Princess Peach's castle, throwing Mario, Luigi and the toads to the far edge of the Mushroom Kingdom. Mario and Co. must work their way back towards the castle, defeating the Koopalings, Bowser Jr. and many other enemies along the way.
Gameplay is similar to other Mario platforms, with it's closest relation being to that of New Super Mario Bros Wii. The game features an enhanced four-player cooperative mode which integrates the GamePad as the user can create platforms to help collect items for other players. A new squirrel suit (triggered by an Super Acorn) has been added, which lets Mario glide. The game also refers to fan-favorite Super Mario World with its world-map design. The map features multiple branching paths that can be freely chosen, with the ability to explore at all times and does not feature segmented levels like previous games in the New Super Mario Bros. franchise.
When playing as one player, either a Wii Remote or the GamePad can play through the entire game. The GamePad allows for off-TV play, however the Boost Mode will only work if the first player uses a Wii Remote.
If a player loses a life or presses "A" on their Wii Remote during a multiplayer session, they will be trapped in a bubble and can only be freed by other players or from the Boost Mode player by simply tapping on them. If all players lose a life/get trapped in a bubble, or if a player in a Single Player game loses a life, the player(s) are sent back to the world map.
Other multiplayer functions include the ability to carry and throw other players which have additional benefits. This can allow for others to jump atop to gain extra height or if one player with a Starman power grabs another player, they can then share the power-up. If all players on screen perform a ground pound at the same time, this performs a Double Ground Pound that defeats all enemies on screen.
When viewing the touch screen during Boost Mode, the GamePad player can also stop obstacles or startle enemies. The tablet can also showcase blocks that can be revealed, such as blocks with a Crescent Moon symbol that act as a regular block which rewards Cresent Moon items. When collected, they provide three 1-Ups. If players hop on 10 Boost Blocks consecutively, a Boost Star will appear for the Boost Mode player to tap. This grants the Boost Mode player the ability to tap on enemies to defeat them.
Like New Super Mario Bros. Wii, the game features Mario and Luigi, as well as Blue and Yellow Toads as playable characters in all modes. Players can also opt to play as their Mii in Boost Rush, Challenge Mode and Coin Battle. Mario is always the first player during the story mode.
Almost all of the power-ups from New Super Mario Bros. Wii return in this incarnation (only the Propeller Mushroom does not make an appearance). The Penguin Suit is exclusive to Challenge Mode.
New to the game is the Super Acorn, an object that will grant the Flying Squirrel Suit. This form is similar to past games' flying/gliding powers, such as Raccoon Mario and Cape Mario, but also allows clinging to certain surfaces, and an additional air jump whilst gliding by shaking the Gamepad or Wii Remote.
The P-Acorn is a special variety of Super Acorn that allows continuous flight by allowing you to shake the Gamepad or Wii Remote to gain height, similar to the P-Wings of older games.
Yoshi makes a return in certain levels. Players can hop on Yoshi, eat enemies and flutter jump to reach new heights. Yoshi will also eat berries that hang from bushes within levels. Eating five berries causes Yoshi to lay an egg that hatches an item.
Baby Yoshi also returns from Super Mario World. However there are now several colored Baby Yoshis with specific powers that will accompany the players should they run into a Baby Yoshi on the World map. Magenta Baby Yoshis will cause it to balloon up and allow the player to float in the air by shaking the controller. You will gain addition height so long as Baby Yoshi has air left within it. Blue Baby Yoshis will spit bubbles that will trap enemies, turning them into coins. Finally Yellow Baby Yoshis emit light once shaken. This can be used to startle enemies by shining bright light in their faces, leaving them vulnerable to attack.
Once a level is completed, Yoshi and Yellow Baby Yoshi will stay behind, with Yellow Baby Yoshi providing the players with a 1-Up. Magenta and Blue Baby Yoshis may be carried over into other levels however.
Miiverse functionality provides players the chance to post a response or an image on a level via a prompt that will appear if players do not take damage, lose several lives, collect all three star coins or other several conditions after completing a level. The game will also show balloons with Mii faces showcasing select Miiverse posts. If the Wii U console is offline, this feature will not work.
Play through eight worlds and rescue the princess. Player one must play as Mario, while the other players can select Luigi, Blue Toad or Yellow Toad.
Complete a level that features specific conditions such as surviving for a period of time, finishing a level quickly and more. A replay of your best efforts are saved once a challenge is completed that can be viewed any time. This mode can only be played with at least two people, with one player on the GamePad
Players will run through a select group of levels with the goal is to complete the group of levels in the shortest time possible. The screen will automatically scroll to the right and will scroll faster based on how many coins are collected. Failing to collect coins or Star Coins after a period of time or losing a life will cause the screen to scroll slower. The speed is indicated by a Speedometer located at the top of the screen.
A versus game mode where players attempt to collect the most coins before finishing the levels.You can select from eight specifically designed levels or any level from the main Story Mode. This game mode requires at least two players on Wii Remotes.
As one of the first ever Nintendo console game to receive downloadable updates, NSMBU has introduced some small but useful new features. The first was the addition of sub-sommunities for the in-game Miiverse posts, so that they don't clutter up the general community any longer. All Miiverse posts created from within the game will now be posted in that community.
Along with the release of the New Super Luigi U DLC, an update will introduce the much requested Wii U Pro Controller support for both the original game and the DLC addition. It has not been detailed how the motion control elements of the game will work on the Pro Controller which does not have any motion sensing capabilities.
New Super Mario Bros. U has sold 4.16 million copies worldwide as of March 31, 2014.