Everyone knows about that Super Mario fella and his classic leaping adventures he’s had over the years, but his latest adventure, New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, not only is a poorly named game, but a surprisingly lifeless Mario experience in general.
I haven’t played any of the New Super Mario games till this latest entry, so maybe this sentiment is well-worn territory, but New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe just feels like the most color-by-numbers Mario product one could make. That isn’t to say it’s a bad game by any stretch, but it hasn’t left any meaningful impression on me the way you’d think a Mario game would.
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe has all the staples of a classic Mario game, but lacks any sort of staying power. You’ve got your jumps and fire flowers and various types of mushrooms of course, but somehow it never feels cohesive in the Mario way.
It’s so hard to quantify the things that make a charming impact, and I know I’ve done a terrible job of that up to this point. But when look at the big Mario releases over the years, things like Super Mario 64, Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2, Super Mario Odyssey, hell, even look at the bad one, Super Mario Sunshine, and all of those games have a charm and personality to them that endears you to the world you’re jumping around in.
It’s in that regard that New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe fails. It feels like there’s a button you can press somewhere in Nintendo that will generate a new Mario side scrolling game, and this popped out. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an incredibly solid game that feels good to play, but it isn’t a game I’m excited about.
That isn’t to say that I’m not having a good time playing it though. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe does what it sets out to do, and delivers a competent and fun side scrolling Mario game. It just doesn’t leave any lasting impression on me, whatsoever.