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E3 2012 | New Super Mario Bros U Redefines Co-op

Posted on June 6, 2012 AT 04:30pm

It’s hard to deny that a Nintendo system just doesn’t feel complete without a Mario title.  With the 3DS launch, the lack of a game with their famous plumber did not go unnoticed.  This time, they’re rectifying their misstep by launching the Wii U with New Super Mario Bros U.  This new title looks to take great advantage of the new Wii U Gamepad and has some new suits to boot.

The word multiplayer brings a very specific image to mind for any gamer.  Two or more characters, with equal abilities, either compete or cooperate to achieve the goal presented by the game.  With New Super Mario Bros U, Nintendo looks to expand that concept by with their concept of asymmetric gameplay.  The idea behind asymmetric gameplay is that one player may have a certain way to interact with the game and another might be completely different.  New Super Mario Bros U is a perfect example of how this can be a ton of fun.

One player controls Mario with a Wii Remote held sideways and the other is watching the action on the Wii U Gamepad.  If the player controlling Mario is having a tough time making a jump, the other can simply tap on the Wii U Gamepad screen to create a block.  These blocks can be used to get to out of reach places or, more simply, make an annoying gap a bit easier to cross.  The most fun thing about this new feature is the sense of community and accomplishment that you share with the other person.  As you fall, seemingly to your doom, and the other player drops a black just in time to save you, it’s hard not to get a little loud.

All of the staples that make the Mario series great are returning for this game.  It seems hard to imagine a game in this series without the wacky suits that can give you the abilities of various woodland creatures.  One new suit featured in the demo resembled a flying squirrel.  With this suit on, Mario can spread wings as he jumps through the air and glide down.  If it ended there, I wouldn’t be too impressed, but there are some other not as outwardly noticeable features; if you shake the Wii Remote while gliding, you will flap your arms to gain a little bit of height.  Also, you must be moving sideways to stay aloft.  If you stop moving, you will begin to plummet, which lead to some fun level designs.

Each level had the normal amount of Mario charm applied to it and the more powerful hardware of the Wii U have everything a much more crisp and clean look.  While I wouldn’t necessarily say I was stunned by how good the graphics were, you can definitely tell a difference from their move up to HD.  The game also gives you the ability to choose from characters ranging from Mario and Luigi to the Miis on your console.  If you’re planning on picking up a Wii U, New Super Mario Bros U is one title you should strongly consider picking up, especially if you have someone to play with at home.

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