New Super Mario Bros U (Wii U) (2012) Review

The New Super Mario Bros Series first originated when New Super Mario Bros was released for the Nintendo DS in 2006, old school Raggle Fraggle readers will recognise that I mentioned this game in my top 5 Mario games of all time back in 2012.

I love the original New Super Mario Bros it felt just like Super Mario Bros 3 but with a more modern twist, it had newly improved graphics, more power ups and most importantly a save feature.

Super Mario Bros 3

Mario Bros 3

New Super Mario Bros (DS)

New Super Mario Bros DS

The Original New Super Mario Bros game was fantastic and I still love playing through it today, but I was never able to get into the other games of the series because they felt boring to me and I haven’t looked forward to the series for a good couple of years.

Ever since I got a Wii U I kept getting recommended that I pick up the latest New Super Mario Bros game, obviously I argued that I wouldn’t buy the game but I just kept getting told to play it and it wasn’t until I saw Jirard the Completionist Review the game telling me that its actually good that I gave in and got myself a copy.

48263-new-super-mario-bros-uThe first thing that really stood out to me was the plot, yes it was still the usual Super Mario Bros formula where Mario needs to rescue Princess Peach from the claws of Bowser, but this time there is a slight twist because instead of kidnapping the Princess, Bowser has taken her hostage within her own castle and at the same time he manages to toss both Mario, Luigi and two Toads to the other side of the Mushroom Kingdom, what makes the plot different this time around is that now our heroes need to adventure back towards Princess Peaches castle instead of the usual formula of them heading towards Bowser’s castle, apart from that the plot is still very standard but this does not bother me because I never expected anything more in a New Super Mario Bros game.

Just like the other games in the series this particular title is also a side scrolling platform adventure, in the single player story mode you take control of everyone’s favourite Italian plumber Super Mario on his quest to save the Princess from the infamous Bowser and in the traditional Super Mario style you will be dealing with common enemies such as Goombas, Koopa Troopa’s, Para Troopa’s and Cheep Cheep’s, but don’t be put off by the lack of new enemies to fight because the game really shines when it comes to Power-up’s sure you got the usual Fire Flowers, Power Stars and Mushrooms including some Power-ups introduced through the New Super Mario Bros series such as the Ice Flower and the Mini Mushroom but this time around we are also given a new type of power up the acorn, acorns turn Mario into an adorable flying squirrel allowing him to glide freely across levels with ease.

mario squrrel flying

Mario’s lovable side kick Yoshi returns to help him on his quest, Mario can ride Yoshi which allows him to gain more air as well as being able to take an extra hit, Yoshi can also eat apples that he finds on bushes and after eating enough of these apples the player will be presented with either a power up or an extra life.

nsmbu-yoshi

Its not just ordinary Yoshi that’s helping Mario on his adventure this time around because you can also get help from Baby Yoshi’s, the Baby Yoshi’s are these adorable little chubby Yoshi’s which come in three different colours Red, Blue and Yellow, each of these Baby Yoshi’s have a different ability which they can use to help Mario get through different situations.

The Red Baby Yoshi can inflate into a giant balloon lifting Mario up into the sky allowing him to float over difficult platforms and too avoid some of the more dangerous enemies in the game.

red yoshi floating

The Blue Baby Yoshi has the ability to shoot bubbles out of his mouth trapping enemies into bubbles and successfully turning them into coins.

blue yoshi bubbles

Finally the Yellow Baby Yoshi can be used to light up dark caverns as well as temporarily stunning enemies.

yellow yoshi glows

I really enjoy the introduction of the Baby Yoshi’s as they add more flavour to the game and are genuinely very useful, the best part is that they sing while you are carrying them and trust me its very adorable.

This is the first entry of the series that is on a system that uses a HDMI output so it is expected that the game will look fantastic in HD and for the most part it looks really good the graphics are very colourful and genuinely nice to look at, the textures are smooth and the game in general is very nicely presented, the visuals look good but with this being a launch title they should look amazing because this game is supposed to be showing off the capabilities of the Wii U and having visuals which literally just look like the graphics from New Super Mario Bros Wii but with more polish is not going to make the game a system seller.

 

New Super Mario Bros Wii

new-super-mario-bros-wii-1080p

New Super Mario Bros U

New Super Mario Bros U

 

All of the music in the game is super fun to listen too, it’s essentially the same music from the old games with a more modern twist as its more engaging and upbeat, this kind of music is perfect for this type of game because due to this being a standard Super Mario plat-former using standard Mario music is fine and honestly I am a happy with Nintendo keeping the epic orchestrated Mario music in their larger and more serious games such as Super Mario Galaxy.

There are 8 worlds in the game and each world has a various amount of levels for you to complete, the worlds them selves are nothing new just the basic over world map for a 2D Mario plat-former you’ve got the grass area, the desert area, the water area, the ice area and so on, this does not bother me in the slightest because the levels themselves are really fun to play and honestly I had blast running through all of them, however one world really stood out to me and that is the Jungle Area the levels here are really fun but the back grounds are really awesome and very well detailed, about half way through this world you get to a haunted section of the Jungle and the stages have painted backgrounds which genuinely look really beautiful and this really helps show how creative Nintendo can be.

World 5 Ghsot area

I was pleasantly surprised  with how difficult the game was because in my opinion we haven’t had a very challenging Super Mario game since Mario 64 and I honestly thought that we would never get a very difficult Mario game again, but that’s all changed now that I played New Super Mario Bros U because this game is really tough, I believe this due to the game having genuinely difficult game play but also due to the fact that the player has limited chances to save their progress, this is because just like in the older games the only way to save your progress is too beat a mini boss tower and if you game over before you do this then its back to the beginning of the world.

I am very happy that this game was hard and it felt almost as challenging as the Mario games from back in the day, personally for me it genuinely made the game very nostalgic to play through, the controls are perfect I had no trouble playing this game with the Wii U game pad as it was very comfortable to use and I found the controls to be very responsive to my actions which is great because that means that even though the game is very difficult the controls are not too blame for me losing lives meaning that my only cause of death was own mistakes.

If you do find the game tough then do not worry as Nintendo has added a small mini challenge to the game, a new character has been introduced called Nabbit the Bandit Rabbit, Nabbit has stolen a new type of power up called the Super Acorn from Toad and its your job to run through previously beaten stages as fast as you too catch Nabbit, doing this will reward you with the Super Acorn which allows you to fly as much as you want during one stage but after you have used it you are left with the abilities given to you from the normal Acorn power-up, this new item is very similar to the Super Leaf from Super Mario Bros 3.

nabbit the bandit rabbit

 

As well as Nabbit you can also find the usual Toad Houses which can be used to help you gain more power up’s and lives.

In every stage  there are three star coins for you find and collect, if you mange to collect all of the star coins in the game you will get access to Superstar Road which is essentially a bunch of new very challenging levels for you too complete, in order for you to collect all of the Star Coins you will also need to find secret exits in some of the levels of the game, finding these exits will present you with a new path and  a new level on the world map.

star Road

Multi-player is loads of fun in New Super Mario Bros U, it is essentially the same as the single player mode but you can have up to five players, four of the players will use Wii remotes to control Mario, Luigi and the two Toads while the fifth player will use the game pad to create platforms for the other players and they can also help defeat enemies by tapping them.

wiiunsmbuscrn10wp-1347565705

From the Main Menu you have various options for extra modes in the game these modes are called Challenges, Boost Rush and Coin Battle.

Challenges- Just what it sounds like you have a bunch of different challenges you can play and unlock, some of these challenges include racing against the clock in time trials, jumping on enemies to gain lives, finishing stages with a certain amount of coins, avoiding fireballs for a set amount time and some challenges require you to create platforms on the game pad while controlling your character with the Wii remote or the Wii U Pro Controller.

time attack

Boost Rush Mode- This mode gives you various packs to choose from and each pack contains a certain amount of levels from the game, these stages are now different because they have now been turned into scrolling stages and your tasked with getting through the levels quickly so that you don’t get crushed by the other side of the screen that is coming towards you, as you progress further in each level the faster the screen scrolls making this mode very challenging but also very fun.

wiiunsmbuscrn13wp

Coin Battle- This mode is super fun you and your friends must run through multiple courses and the idea is you want to collect as many coins as you can in the level, you can attack your friends to make them lose coins which you can then try to collect and the overall winner is whoever reaches the flagpole with the most coins in their pocket as you can tell this mode can get a little crazy.

Coin Battle

 

I was very sceptical of whether this game was as good as everyone made it out to be, sure I had few personal complaints about the game but it was still loads of fun to play and it brought a lot of new things to the table such as the Baby Yoshi’s and the challenge modes, New Super Mario Bros U is loads of fun to play and even though it is very challenging this game is a great time for the whole family, but I wouldn’t go out of your way to buy a Wii U just to play this particular title.

Check out the Completionists Review here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmCQ5ZSdShk

I give New Super Mario Bros U a 7.4/10

Thank you for reading my review of New Super Mario Bros U for the Nintendo Wii U

By Padawan

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

You can find me on Miiverse by searching for draskafer

 

 

Marble Madness (1989) (NES) Review

A NES game about marbles?

2362030-nes_marblemadness

 

Marble Madness may be one of the most bizarre video games that I own, you play as a marble and the objective of the game is to roll the marble through six different obstacle courses.

all levels

 

You may think that this seems really easy, but believe me it’s not because the controls are very sensitive, one tap on the d-pad can get your marble rolling and then its up to you to carefully traverse past any obstacles,it genuinely feels like you are controlling a marble and because of that reason the game is immensely difficult, anything can happen you can fall into a dip in the course and then you will need to roll around to build up momentum and speed in order to push yourself back to the flat area, you can roll into acid and melt, you can be eaten by a snake, you can be blown off of the course by powerful gusts of air and you can even spin out of control and smash, and while all of this madness is happening you have a time limit!!

depending on how quickly you finish a course will determine how much time you will be given for the next course and once you hit zero seconds its game over and back to course 1.

You have six courses to get through and each course has its own specific design and theme.

Course 1 Practise

practise

This is literally the practise stage, no obstacles just a good way to get used to the controls by rolling to the goal while trying to avoid falling off of the course.

Course 2 Beginner

beginner

Things start to get a little more challenging here, you will now need to travel through a bigger course than before while avoiding those green snakes who will eat you and also staying clear of the mean black marble that will try to knock you off of the edge.

Course 3 Intermediate

Marble_Madness_-_NES_-_Intermediate_Race

This course isn’t too difficult but it does introduce a new hazard, puddles of acid are now in the game and if your marble touches any of these puddles it will immediately melt, also introduced is a really tough section of the course that requires you to avoid a green wave that will push you off of the edge of the map.

This course also brings back those annoying green snakes and the course in general has many high slopes for you to climb in order for you to reach the goal.

Course 4 Aerial

Marble_Madness_-_NES_-_Aerial_Race

This is where the game gets really tough, in the aerial course you will need to use fast speeds and patience in order to survive, while trying to build up speed to jump large gaps you will be greeted by many air blowers, the air blowers will blast heavy gusts of air at the marble attempting to knock it off course, also some areas of this course will have floors that will raise very quickly often throwing your marble into the depths below

Course 5 Silly

Silly

When you first start the silly course you are made to traverse up some rather steep hills, this is not too difficult to do but it can cause you to lose quite a lot of seconds if your not quick, you are again having to deal with the green snakes and the black marbles but now they are tiny and because of this they are much less dangerous and you shouldn’t have any trouble avoiding them, a new enemy introduced here is the purple birds, these birds are a pain they show up in a flock right at the end of the course and it is your job to try to avoid them while quickly making your way to the goal, it took me lots of practise before I could finish this level.

Course 6 Ultimate

Ultimate

This is the final level of the game and so as you may expect it is really hard, you need to patience, good timing, fast reflexes and constant movement in order to make it to the goal. You will need to get past puddles of acid, the black marble, and an extremely annoying final section that requires you to carefully travel across many disappearing and reappearing sections of a dangerous path and if you fall your marble will smash.

Marble Madness does in fact have a multiplayer mode, if 2 player mode is selected on the main menu, you will need to go through the same six courses from the single player mode, the only difference is that now there are two marbles on the screen instead of just one, Player one (Blue Marble) will need to race Player two (Pink Marble) to the goal, both players will be given the usual time bonus upon starting each course but whoever wins the race will be given extra time on top of the usual starting bonus.

multplayer

The overall winner is whoever makes the most points at the end of the game

Once you select either singleplayer or multiplayer you will be given a choice of either playing the game in 90 degrees mode or 45 degrees mode.

marblemadness_degrees1

In 90 degrees mode you hold the NES game pad vertically and you control the marble with all four of the D-PAD buttons

In 45 degrees mode you use all four of the D-PAD buttons but in this mode you need to rotate the NES controller so that the D-PAD looks like an X, some players find this mode easier because while playing the game you will be moving diagonally more often than you will be moving horizontally or vertically.

When I played through the game I realised just how brilliant the soundtrack is not only because the music if super fun to listen too but because of how it evolves throughout each course. In the early stages of the game the music is really fun and happy but when you go to the later stages the music starts to get more intense and crazy as if its warning you of the dangers lurking in the later sections of the game.

Final Verdict

Due to the sensitive controls this game can prove to be very difficult, I see this as positive thing because in reality marbles are round which means that they are very difficult to have control over once they start rolling and also due to their round shape the slightest touch can get marbles moving quite a distance before they come to stop, Marble Madness follows these rules and so it may surprise you that this game is actually quite realistic, its not just the physics based game play that’s impressive its also the way that the music changes with the atmosphere it really helps you feel immersed in the experience and it only goes to show just how special this little game about marbles really is.

Marble Madness is literally Madness, its a fantastic little game which uses realistic physics, has a surprisingly immerserive soundtrack, the game is challenging but still really fun to play I only wish there was a few more levels and maybe some more options such as changing the colour of your marble and being able to play with more than 2 players on multiplayer mode.

Marbles have never been so much fun 8.9/10

Thank you for reading my review of Marble Madness for the NES

By Padawan

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

You can find me on Miiverse by searching for draskafer