While Nintendo is no stranger to DLC on the 3DS, there hasn’t been much in the way of additional content for their Wii U releases as of yet. New Super Luigi U, a $20 piece of DLC for New Super Mario Bros. U looks to make up for that. It’s a pretty hefty chunk of DLC, featuring 82 stages starring Luigi, remixing stages found in the original game and tailoring them around 100 second play timers and Luigi’s unique handling.
It’s also a far more difficult experience than New Super Mario Bros. U. Luigi comes equipped with his signature floating jump established in the North American release of Super Mario Bros. 2 back on the NES. He’s also difficult to control in mid-air, tending to change direction slowly despite having a longer hang-time than his chunkier brother. And while Luigi matches Mario in top speed when running, his ability to stop on a dime is severely diminished, making him more likely to slide off of ledges, akin to running around on ice than standard ground.
These factors figure into the new stages in ways that can often be frustrating, but certainly make for a different experience than the core game provides. And with each stage limited to 100 seconds, you’ll often find yourself wanting to rush through stages while Luigi’s unique control scheme works against that desire. It feels 100 percent intentional on Nintendo’s part, especially with each stage starting with that “you better hurry up” jingle that’s pretty much ingrained in the psyche of every video game fan out there. But this is a game that punishes you harshly for poor timing, poor judgment, and for not being aware of the danger ahead.
As you progress through the 82 stages you’ll quickly start to change your habits, opting to not rush out of the gate at every opportunity but taking time to advance across platforms, move up and down vines and poles, and tackling oncoming enemies in a way that doesn’t throw caution to the wind. While you can certainly rush through a number of stages here, it pays to be cautious despite what the timer, and every fiber of your being, might tell you.
The remixed stage designs are more compact and dangerous than those found in the core game, but feature the same music and enemy selection even if the placements are different. It’s a shame that more original content wasn’t included here. There are small nods to Luigi spread across most stages, with various Luigi themed overlays or portraits present, but I really wish more unique content was included.
In four player co-op Nabbit is now included, along with the standard two Toads. Nabbit is somewhat unique with his invincibility, but that same benefit can cause trouble for everyone else that is far squishier when playing with friends. Also, with the tougher stage design included, co-op tends to be a little more frustrating than fun. Depending on how you play co-op in the main game that might actually be a good thing, because if you like to sabotage the efforts of other players you’ll have plenty of opportunity to do so here.
While there isn’t a much in the way of original content for New Super Luigi U, the additional difficulty and remixed stages provide a breath of fresh air for a game that probably hasn’t been spinning in the Wii U disc tray recently. It’s a pricey bit of DLC at $20, but I think it’s well worth the price, provided you’re the type of player that’ll seek out the tough to find (and obtain) star coins throughout each stage. If you rush to the goal for each level you’ll be done with this in a few hours, give or take a couple hours for your level of skill. But if you’re a big fan of Mario platformers, and have been looking for some amped up difficulty, New Super Luigi U certainly does the trick.