Not so long ago Nintendo announced that 2013 would be the year of Luigi. We’ve had Luigi’s Mansion and a new Mario and Luigi game to push the green dude into the lime light. But this rather unique add on for Super Mario Bros U is one of the more creative ways that Nintendo has brought the other Mario brother to the forefront.
What the game effectively does it take all the stages from the original game and rethink them. Luigi handles differently to Mario and as well as slipping and sliding all over the place he also has a longer, floating jump. This means that many levels have bigger gaps to traverse and lots of platforms to teeter around on the edge of.
Without exception, all the stages are now much harder than before and later levels require precise timing and judgment of distance for you to have any hope of making it to the end. The levels are also shorter and as such do away with checkpoints and only give you one hundred seconds to complete them. There’s nothing quite so panic inducing as hearing the ‘hurry up’ siren go as soon as you start a level.
The time is not your only enemy as levels soon descend into endless gauntlets of spikes, swinging piranha plants, collapsing platforms and pits. It’s probably the closest a Mario game will ever get to Super Meat Boy, even if it can’t quite hit the same sweet spot. Adding to the difficulty and tension is the fact you still can’t save until you beat a castle and anyone trying to get all three gold coins in each level better head off for Jedi training right now.
The multiplayer modes are still here and for those wanting to play with the less skilled you have the option of the Nabbit. Nabbit is invincible and allows players to enjoy the platforming without the frustration of constant death. You can use Nabbit in single player as well but then where’s the fun in that?
In terms of course design there are a few that are more forgettable than the main games levels but on the whole they provide short bursts of intense platforming fun. Many courses are quite different from their Mario U versions and needless to say everything still looks gorgeous and moves along at a crazy pace.
Overall, it’s fairly simple to work out if you’re going to like Super Luigi U . If you enjoyed the original Super Mario U and want a new challenge then you should pick this up as it matches up well. There’s a lot of content here and it’s different enough to avoid simply being a tired re-tread of something you have already done. It’s an imaginative way to approach downloadable content and bringing it to retail in a lovely green box allows everyone a chance to get hold of it. It may essentially be more of the same, but that’s no bad thing at all.