It is also the first Mario game ever that is now produced directly by Shigeru Miyamoto, instead being produced by longtime Nintendo EAD General Manager Takashi Tezuka, who has directed along with Miyamoto on virtually every Nintendo game for the past 25 years, including The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and even New Super Mario Bros.
New Super Mario Bros. U introduces new elements, expands on the elements introduced in New Super Mario Bros. Wii released in 2009 for the original Wii, and introduces all new features and elements that take advantage of the new Wii U GamePad tablet controller.
The biggest addition to the game is the ability to play as your Mii in place of Mario, Luigi and Toads, as seen NSMB Wii. Now you can play four-player with each player taking controller of their Mii character. The thought behind this is that it is easier to not lose track of your character when their big head is YOUR head… the head of your Mii. Whether this actually works in practice remains to be seen. When Miis are small they look exactly like you’d expect, however collect a Mushroom and they will grow in size and wear a “Mario character” suit, dressed in red like Mario, Green like Luigi, Yellow like Wario or Purple Like Waluigi!
Here is the New Super Mario Bros. U E3 2012 Nintendo Press Conference Stage Demo for the Wii U launch game.
Also returning are Small Yoshis! Who you can use to eat enemies and turn them into… presumably, big Yoshis. (at least, I think those were Yoshis… *checks* Okay it is confirmed they ARE Small Yoshi!). One of the biggest new features is the ability to play the game using “Boost Mode”. In this mode, one player uses the Wii U GamePad tablet controller, and can place “Boost Blocks” anywhere on the screen using the Wii U GamePad’s touchscreen.
By doing this, he can help up to four-players who are playing the game with the Wii Remote. He can even change these blocks into smaller Coin Blocks. Of course, while the co-op player can help, they can also hinder by placing blocks to make life more difficult for the players playing the game. Nintendo even specifically mentioned that these Boost Blocks can be strategically placed in order to create better and improved Speedrun scores. It’s always great to see Nintendo discuss the speedrunning phenomenon! A phenomenon they started with Metroid, wherein players try to beat the game in the fastest time possible.
A very cool new Power-Up has been introduced for the first time in New Super Mario Bros. U, and it is the “Flying Squirrel Mario Suit”. By turning in Flying Squirrel Mario, Mario dons squirrel-like wings under his arms that allow him to gently glide and gain a boost of momentum and air by flicking the Wii U GamePad or Wii Remote!
Here is an indepth Takashi Tezuka New Super Mario Bros. U text interview, as well as the Nintendo Iwata Asks New Super Mario Bros. U interview with Takashi Tezuka.
Additionally, the different colored Small Yoshis offer all kinds of new abilities based on their color. Pink ones stretch out vertically and allow you to float through the air by fattening up, Blue Small Yoshi spit out bubbles and Yellow Small Yoshi give off light.
The other biggest feature for the game is the introduction of MiiVerse, Nintendo’s new online social feature built-in to the Wii U and inherently supported by every game. Using MiiVerse in New Super Mario Bros. U allows your friends to leave messages, like hints, tips, tricks, boasts, etc. on the actual World Map itself! These show up as speech balloons! And just like on the Wii U Main Menu, the MiiVerse screen itself, players can even take a screenshot, leave emoticons, or draw pictures in their messages! Very, VERY cool when you see this in action.
As for as the actual gameplay itself, it is typical sidescrolling Mario action. Goomba stomping, Koopa kicking, block busting, coin collecting, Power-Up nabbing, pit leaping, obstacle navigating, pipe-entering, run and jump action, as you head from the left to the right of the screen and navigate through the level from beginning to end. Nothing to see here, but now it comes in HD! The high-definition next-gen graphics deifnitely give the game a nice sheen to the graphics, but otherwise it looks exactly the same as New Super Mario Bros. Wii.
Which is to say, it looks like a whole barrel of fun! In single-player or multiplayer!
Here is the New Super Mario Bros. U official E3 2012 trailer.