New Super Luigi U
New Super Luigi U (stylized as New Super Luigi
The gameplay is largely similar to its base game, except that the playable characters retain Luigi's higher jump and lower traction from Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels. The game has been designed to be more difficult, with each stage starting at only 100 seconds; due to this, however, the courses have also been made shorter than normal while also being packed with enemies and obstacles. While the levels have all been altered from the base game, the world map itself has not been. Elements like items, power-ups, Star Coins, Toad Houses, Enemy Courses, and bosses are retained as such.
The multiplayer of New Super Luigi U is also retained from New Super Mario Bros. U. However, because Mario is not featured in this game, Nabbit is instead used as the fourth playable character. As Nabbit, the player cannot take damage from enemies, but cannot use items; however any items collected are converted to 1-Ups at the end of each stage.
Players can earn power-ups from Toad depending on the time left upon completion of the level. At 088, a Super Star is given; at 077, a Super Acorn; at 066, a Mini Mushroom; 055, an Ice Flower; 044, a Fire Flower; and 033, 022, and 011 a 1-Up Mushroom.
* Multiplayer only.
The world map itself is unchanged from New Super Mario Bros. U, but level designs have a drastic makeover. As mentioned above, playable characters and their abilities have changed. The timer for each level is also set to start from 100 seconds and a 100-seconds time bonus is added to the timer after going to the boss door in the towers and castles (150 seconds in All Aboard! and 250 seconds in The Final Battle). Items in red Toad Houses may vary as well. For example, a 1-Up Mushroom is in place of a Super Mushroom. Similarly, Enemy Courses contain only Mini Mushrooms and Propeller Mushrooms, as opposed to only Super Stars. There are no Checkpoint Flags. Many elements of the game are colored green to emphasize Luigi, and all of the levels have a hidden Luigi in a wall or platform (Flying Squirrel Ovation has two).
After the game is completed, a Mario Block appears at the beginning of each level. This allows the player to switch to the original game's physics, with lower jumps and better traction. Nabbit is not affected by the block. Nabbit is also playable in single player mode if the player holds down / on the / or on the while selecting a level. If the same trick is done on the Flying Squirrel Ovation level in Superstar Road, the player's Mii is played as instead of Nabbit.
There are 82 new courses replacing the original courses from New Super Mario Bros. U with different level names, while the world names are retained.
Power-ups and transformations
In every level within New Super Luigi U there is one Luigi image hidden somewhere within the level. There are a total of 83 Luigi sightings, a reference to Luigi's debut year. These images range from 8-bit Super Mario Bros.-esque to his various artworks throughout the series. The way these Luigis are placed in the level ranges from being in the open to being a background detail.
During the development process of both New Super Mario Bros. U and New Super Mario Bros. 2, the developers began to think of ideas for downloadable content for the two games. Both teams thought of expanding the secondary modes, New Super Mario Bros. 2 being Coin Rush, and New Super Mario Bros. U expanding on Boost Rush; in the end it was decided that 2 would be the game to receive content first, since it was being released first. However, during the development of the Coin Rush courses the team decided to scrap the idea of additional Boost Rush course packs and began to think of other ideas. The team then began experimenting with the idea of shorter but more difficult courses to replace the ones in the original game.
Originally, the downloadable content was being made with Mario in mind. However, when the Year of Luigi came up during a meeting, it was decided that Luigi would be the focus instead. When it was decided to make Luigi the main character, the developers also decided that Mario would be kept out of the game. When deciding on a new fourth playable character, the original idea was to use three Toads, but when testing this it was deemed too confusing; the idea to use Nabbit as the fourth character then came up, reusing his ability to pass by enemies; around that time, the team had also been talking about adding something for beginners, and the idea to use Nabbit was kept.
New Super Luigi U was mostly received positively by critics. The game holds a 77 average on Metacritic based on 59 reviews, and a 75.92% on GameRankings based on 36 reviews. GameSpot's Peter Brown gave it an 8.5/10, stating, "Though the world map, themes, power-ups, and visual assets are 'old,' Luigi's physics and the level design at large rise to the top." Chris Carter of Destructoid gave the game an 8/10. He praises the game's design, stating that, "There are a lot of new concepts and designs this time around, and even if a large portion of them are re-used assets, they're remixed in a way that makes its own mark on the franchise." Vince Ingenito of IGN gave the downloadable content a 7.3/10, citing that, "Its smaller levels, restrictive time limit, and floaty physics work well as a challenge mode add-on to an already terrific game," but criticizing that it, "[it] still feels more like an addendum to NSMBU [...] rather than something that stands out on its own."
Conversely, Chris Shilling of Eurogamer gave the content a 6/10, criticizing that, "It's not a bad game by any stretch of the imagination: the level design is still a cut above so many of Nintendo's peers. But by the series' consistently high standards, it qualifies as a disappointment.". Edge also gave the game a 6, criticizing the game's stages by saying, "the quality of the level design is mixed: some stages feel claustrophobic yet others are surprisingly baggy, and few are considerate enough to accommodate four players." The writer goes on to say that, "At its best, New Super Luigi U is an exhilarating test of skill," but also criticizes the game by saying that, "on occasion it dangerously approximates a fan-made ROM hack," in the end saying that, "Some will undoubtedly find its challenge inviting, but others will rightly expect more ingenuity from Nintendo than this." GamesRadar writer Henry Gilbert, giving the game 3/5 stars, also says that, "If you’re ready for the heightened difficulty of solo play in New Super Luigi U, then you’ll find it rewarding. Otherwise, it’s a taxing platformer that’s only made more rage-inducing in multiplayer."
As of March 31, 2014, New Super Luigi U is the 5th best selling game for the Wii U, having sold 1.76 million copies worldwide.
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