New Super Mario Bros. U is the fourth game in the New Super Mario Bros. series and the direct sequel to New Super Mario Bros. Wii, following New Super Mario Bros. 2. It features Baby Yoshis with distinctive abilities, a new power-up called the Super Acorn that gives you a Flying Squirrel suit, and the ability to play the game as your Mii. There is also a "Boost mode" utilized by the Wii U GamePad that sets up Asymmetric Multiplayer by letting the person with the GamePad create platforms and assist in multiplayer sessions. Finally, there's Miiverse integration, with various players' comments on levels or deaths coming up when appropriate.With the return of Baby Yoshis and a powerup similar to the Super Cape, many Mario fans see this game as the closest thing we're going to get to seeing the unique elements of Super Mario World used in the modern Mario series.In 2013, Nintendo released New Super Luigi U as part of The Year of Luigi, a new adventure featuring 80 new (half-sized and generally more challenging) levels that is offered as both an expansion and a standalone game. As shown by the title, Luigi takes center stage, and Mario isn't a playable character at all. Taking his place will be the rabbit thief Nabbit, who is immune to enemies, and cashes in power-ups for 1-ups instead of using them.
An Ice Person: The Ice Flower from New Super Mario Bros. Wii makes a comeback, allowing you to freeze enemies with ice balls. This is also, once again, the case with the Penguin Suit.
Art Evolution: The backgrounds are much more variable, with some being literally pieces of art, and the detail on the ground and lighting have been improved a lot. It really helps that the game was made for the Wii U, the first Nintendo console to handle HD graphics.
Asteroids Monster: There are big Goombas that split into smaller ones when stepped upon.
Balloon Belly: The magenta Baby Yoshis, which when shook, inflate like a balloon, and can be reinflated in the air a few times.
Boring but Practical: Compared to everyone else, Roy's fight consists of him just pulling out a gun. A very big gun that shoots Bullet Bills, granted, but it's rather tame compared to summoning clones or defying friction and physics like his siblings do.
Cerebus Syndrome: A rather mild example, but instead of having Bowser Jr. and/or the Koopalings take the princess to his castle, Bowser instead tosses the Mario Bros. and the two Toads towards Acorn Plains and then begins reshaping Peach's Castle in his image.
So, how about that dark magic Bowser's been said to have that some of the fanbase (and spinoff game titles) like to pretend doesn't exist? In Mario's first adventure, Bowser was said to use it to transform the land. Here, we finally see him using it progressively to transform Peach's castle into something he prefers. Well, now we know where he gets all the fire and lava!
This game will also be the first since Super Mario Bros. 3 to have Boom-Boom and the Koopalings in the same game. Boom-Boom and the Koopalings are even the Fortress boss and the Castle bosses, respectively.
Unlike in his previous appearance, Boom-Boom fights exactly how he did in his debut. His shell even has spikes again, and he also sprouts wings in his last fight.
The switch at the other side of the bridge with Bowser does not set off said bridge's self-destruct mechanism on it's own accord, but instead sets it off through use of an axe.
The level "Boarding the Airship" in Meringue Clouds has a mechanical Bowser hand (The same one that threw the Mario Bros and the two Toads out from Peach's castle) that acts an obstacle for the first part of the level. For the first few parts of it, the hand acts like the giant pillars from Super Mario World (As seen in Iggy's Castle, Forest Fortress, and Bowser's Castle) and later, it destroys the ground in a fist-shape manner exactly like the Incoming Chomps from Yoshi's Island.
Like in Super Mario World, one of the castles has a secret backdoor.
Follow that Shell!, the real final level, contains only things found in the first Super Mario Bros., as well as a P-Switch and Star Coins. Also, the entire Superstar Road looks like Star Road from Super Mario World, and Follow that Shell! is in the middle, much like Special World.
Just like in many previous Mario games, every Ghost House is guaranteed to have a secret exit.
Soda Jungle 4 and 5, where you are required to find the secret exit to open the path forward, and the regular exit will just loop back to the same level. These levels are found inside of a forest.
Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Miis have their overalls correspond with what player they are. Player 1 wears Mario's colors, Player 2 wears Luigi's colors, Players 3 and 4 wear Wario's and Waluigi's colors, though they aren't entirely accurate, rather having shades of Mario's color scheme from Mario Bros..
Averted with adult Yoshi. Every one of them is green, regardless of player characters.
The baby Yoshis are color-coded according to their different powers.
Excuse Plot: A slightly interesting twist on the Mario series standard. Instead of Bowser taking Peach away to his castle, Bowser just throws the Mario Bros. (and Yellow and Blue Toad) halfway across the world, forcing them to travel all the way back to Peach's Castle. Meanwhile, with the heroes gone, Bowser takes over Peach's Castle, and subsequently, the Mushroom Kingdom.
Face Ship: The Koopalings now have their own personalized airships, all with their faces on the helm. This is also the case for Bowser's airship as well.
Fake Longevity: At least, if you're trying to get all the Star Coins. Some of them require a specific powerup, while others require that a level be played twice (in one case of the latter, you even have to enter one level from another direction to eventually all three of them).
Final Boss: Well of course it's Bowser again, but what makes it different is that unlike the lastthreegames where you had to avoid him when he was supersized, this time you actually fight him while he's supersized!
Fragile Speedster: Mini Mario, asperusual, but this time, Mini Mario has the ability to run up and down any vertical surface, even water geysers.
Gameplay and Story Segregation: After you complete the game, Peach's Castle will look like it's back to normal. However, getting there changes it back to when it was in the tornado.
Hat Of Flight: The Propeller Suit once again. You can only get it in Superstar Road though, but it is also used in one of the Challenge Mode levels.
Interface Spoiler: Unlike New Super Mario Bros. Wii, the Star Coin list in this game spoils the secret levels. (If you've got all the Star Coins in every available level in a world, but don't see the "You've got all the Star Coins in World X!" message, you know you're missing a secret exit.) And Miiverse posters don't help either.
Kaizo Trap: No, really. There is one. Pendulum Castle, the Disc One Final Dungeon of Superstar Road, ends with the classic Mario-style staircase to the flagpole... made out of Donut Lifts. They appeared throughout the level so you wouldn't stand in one place for too long. They didn't say you couldn't walk through them and fall right down to your death, meaning that if you're trying to repeatedly jump to gain speed, you'll probably jump right through them.
King Mook: The boss of Screwtop Tower is a Kamek-empowered Sumo Bro.
Random Encounter: Bowser Jr., in his father's airship, will ambush you on the world map.
Recurring Riff: Like in Super Mario World, this applies to the title screen, main menu, overworld, athletic, and snow themes. The other level themes, however, do not have this treatment, though Baby Yoshis add choruses to the recycled music as well.
The world map themes also do this, with each of them being a specific remix of Acorn Plains' music (for example, Sparkling Waters has a tropical remix, and Frosted Glacier has a Christmas remix).
Save the Princess: In a twist similar to Super Mario 64 and Paper Mario, Princess Peach is apparently held as a prisoner within her own castle again. Only this time, Bowser took over by literally throwing the Mario Bros. and two Toads all the way out of the Mushroom Kingdom.
Secret Level: Much less frequent than in previous games. While those tended to have secret goals (some leading to secret levels, others just being shortcuts) everywhere, here each world generally has just one or two secret goals hidden in it, leading to one hidden level, and completing that often lets you skip entire worlds (a shortcut from Acorn Plains-2 leads all the way to Soda Jungle, skipping four worlds). To make up for that, the hidden goals are also much more difficult to find this time around and the hidden level spots don't appear until they're actually unlocked.
Sequel Difficulty Spike: People expecting the game to be as easy as its predecessor are in for a rude awakening; the game is much less forgiving after the first world, and it only gets harder from there. Granted you can still hoard lives and P-Acorns to combat this, but doing the platforming and puzzles the way they were intended will test your skills and patience, especially some of the Star Coin placements.
An icy level in the desert-themed second world? Where have we seen that one before?note (The referenced Spyro level in question is Ice Cavern, seen in the second world - the Peace Keepers' desert. Bonus points for both stages being set during nighttime.)
Stun Gun: The yellow Baby Yoshi's secondary ability.
Tele-Frag: Kamek can do this to you in his boss fight if you're not careful. At least they have the decency of pointing out where he's going to appear next with sparkles, but if you don't realise in time...
Edible Theme Naming: All of the worlds sans Superstar Road. Peach's Castle seems like less of an actual example, at least until you remember that Princess Peach herself is named after a fruit.
Acorn Plains is named after the acorn, Layer-Cake Desert is named after the type of cake, Sparkling Waters is named after a type of carbonated water, Frosted Glacier could be a reference to frosting, Soda Jungle is named after, well, soda, Rock-Candy Mines is named after the type of candy, and Meringue Clouds is named after the French dessert.
Excited Episode Title!: Walking Piranha Plants! (Rock-Candy Mines-5), Swim for Your Life! (Superstar Road-3), Follow That Shell! (Superstar Road-9), and most notably, Lakitu! Lakitu! Lakitu! (Superstar Road-7)
Unexpected Character: The boss of Screwtop Tower, Boss Sumo Bro., who doesn't even appear on the top of his tower on the world map (he briefly appears there after his defeat, however).
In the final boss battle, you have to hit Bowser Jr. to take control of his Koopa Clown Car. Besides Bowser's attacks and the fact that Bowser Jr. could retreat into his shell, there's nothing stopping you from repeatedly stomping him before he gets back in his Clown Car... You can even hurt him WITH the Clown Car.