The best reason to pick up a Wii U is clearly the greatest Mario game in over 23 years.


I’ve been playing Mario games, literally, since I was born.  I was born two years before the Nintendo Entertainment System came to the United States in 1985, and I can’t remember living in a home without an NES in it.  From his mushroom-grubbing, pipe-warping maiden voyage, I have played and owned probably EVERY game with Mario in the title.


True Mario fans know instinctively which game is their favorite.  And usually you’ll get one of two answers; 1988’s Super Mario Bros. 3 or 1990’s Super Mario World.  Me, I’m a Super Mario World, guy.  Since then, there have been dozens of Mario games that have come out…  But none of them have been nearly as good as New Super Mario Bros. U.


Even if you’ve played earlier entries in the New Super Mario Bros. franchise, which began in 2005 on the Nintendo DS, you’ll find this newest entry in the series to be quite refreshing.  While those other New games promised to harken back to their 2D platforming hayday, New Super Mario Bros. U is the first game that really does it RIGHT!


By far my biggest complaint about all of the modern New Super Mario games was their insulting overworld map.  They all had this sadly mundane, linear, uninventive map screen that took you from level to level…  EVERY game in the franchise had THE SAME MAP and it made me want to tear my hair out.  Super Mario World’s map on the Super Nintendo was large, sprawling, vast, vibrant, bright, and colorful.  You could walk from one part of the map to any other part without interruption, provided you have beaten the levels.  I am SO happy to say that New Super Mario Bros. U has FINALLY remedied this somewhat simplistic problem.  Like the map used in its 23-year-older brother, Mario can make one consecutive trek all around the over world map…  The names are even inspired by popular dessert items like they were on the Super Nintendo!


But the map screen is only one aspect in which New Super Mario Bros. U will remind you of the definitive paramount Mario games.  Remember Yoshi?!  He’s here to party…  Baby Yoshis too!   (And yes, they’ll still eat fruit and poop 1-ups!)  Each world still has a castle operated by one of the A-hole Koopa Kids, and there are even FORTRESSES halfway through each world (which still require you to stomp out Roy)!  There are ghosthouses and airships and everything else that you missed from the games of 25 years ago!


If you’ve ever in your life enjoyed a Mario game, you will definitely be happy with New Super Mario Bros. U!

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