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Honestly, I think New Super Mario Bros. Wii U is the best 2D Mario game in the series

MrBadger

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Dec 5, 2013
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Rather than letting my opinions on Tropical Freeze being the best platformer ever derail this thread further, I'll totally agree that NSMBU is the best 2D Mario game. It has the best level design, and I actually rather like the backgrounds. It's just a shame about the music.

Also Tropical Freeze had a negative stigma attached to it as well due to it not being a Metroid, not saving the Wii U and not using the gamepad at all oops I just did the thing I said I wouldn't do
 

RagnarokX

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Sep 16, 2006
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Ehhh

Even just looking through those photos, there's a pretty big art-style shift between SMB1 -> SMB3 -> SMW -> NSMB.

I don't fully understand why Nintendo hasn't tried mixing up the art style in the NSMB games. They do it all the time for Yoshi, Kirby, and Zelda games. Heck, even Mario Kart seems to get fairly large artistic changes between iterations, albeit a little more subtle.
It's not so much that the art style changed as the graphics got better. The differences are bigger from old to new because the visuals were so limited and advances in graphics are less and less immediately noticeable. The difference between SMB and SMB3 is much bigger than SMB3 and SMW and so on. The NSMB games simply build on the style the same way the past games did, and despite cries that they look the same they actually change the visuals such as backgrounds just as much.

People make like Mario radically changed art styles all the time or was a graphically complex showcase. Mario has always had a nice clean look.
 

Tansut

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Apr 21, 2011
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It's enjoyable if you have skipped Nintendo for the past 10 years or if your memory works like the one in Memento.
This game is so unremarkable, almost every defense has nothing to give attention to other than that single ghost stage with a different style than usual (and it's not even done that well). Everything else is nothing to write home about, as it's just taken from the previous games for the umpteenth time, including stage mechanics.
I have to agree with this.

2D Mario is pretty much gaming nirvana for me, but I honestly can't remember much about NSMBU. I actually think the Wii one is better, with a much more challenging and enjoyable endgame with World 8.
 

Pritchardo

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Feb 20, 2012
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This is the music everyone hates, right?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLg8oUE4H9E&index=6&list=PLD902F5E40D382277

I think everyone has this preconceived thing about the music sucking so ingrained that they never noticed NSMBU has a totally new main overworld theme, which is awesome and feels perfectly Mario-ish. In fact sounds quite inspired by the progression of Mario 3.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6fq3973SK4&list=PL2XjmdkuVL-2mOm9bZ7R87o8kzQK6otz-&index=16




This is even more of what I'm talking about...criticism of NSMBU is often criticism leveled at the NSMB series in general, without considering what's unique about NSMBU.

NSMBU doesn't have the propeller suit until endgame, as a special appearance sort of thing. Its flying mechanic is the squirrel suit. Which could be considered better or worse, I don't know, but let's examine NSMBU itself and not the whole series. On its own, it's an awesome game.

it just sound the same bah bah remixed
 

UncleSporky

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Sep 22, 2006
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It's enjoyable if you have skipped Nintendo for the past 10 years or if your memory works like the one in Memento.
This game is so unremarkable, almost every defense has nothing to give attention to other than that single ghost stage with a different style than usual (and it's not even done that well). Everything else is nothing to write home about, as it's just taken from the previous games for the umpteenth time, including stage mechanics.

Must not have played the game in a long time, or are thinking about a previous NSMB title. Nearly every stage does something a little different from the last. It's practically like a Galaxy game in that respect.

it just sound the same bah bah remixed

Again, someone just not listening. It's not a remix of anything.
 

I Wanna Be The Guy

U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!
Apr 4, 2013
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Of course it is. Challenge mode in particular elevates it to a much higher level than any other 2D Mario. Also it's the best 2D platformer in general on Wii U. Tropical Freeze is so overrated it isn't even funny.
 

NEO0MJ

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Aug 8, 2010
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Of course it is. Challenge mode in particular elevates it to a much higher level than any other 2D Mario. Also it's the best 2D platformer in general on Wii U. Tropical Freeze is so overrated it isn't even funny.

As much as I love it I have to agree. I think the music and art play a big role in boosting its popularity.
 

QueenOfThorns

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Jun 14, 2011
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NSMB Wii U is a good game, but my god the artstyle and music are both complete and utter trash. That "BAH" stuff gives me nightmares. And it just looks so devoid of soul. I think it's a good example of how presentation and atmosphere can make or break a game, and for NSMB it breaks it.

Tropical Freeze kicks its ass in every way. The gameplay is just as good or better (I vote better.) and it also has a good look and incredible music to give it flavor.
 
Aug 29, 2009
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Not GAF, lol
As much as I love it I have to agree. I think the music and art play a big role in boosting its popularity.

I'd actually be interested in seeing a Mario sidescroller developed more like a Donkey Kong Returns game.

Where the levels and everything is fully 3D and each stage is an entire little world. Each stage having its own unique song, and more dynamic stuff in general, like flying into the background and shifting the camera angle and stuff like that, which Tropical Freeze did well.

With DK, I can hear a song and instantly imagine the level in my head with its unique atmosphere. I know what the level is. Each level is self contained more like a Galaxy from Mario Galaxy, where you can hear the music and instantly know what level it is.

Not to say NSMBU isn't one of the best 2D Marios at all. Just something I'd like to see them experiment with.
 

DeadDuck144

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Oct 30, 2014
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Tropical Freeze is the best platformer ever made, in my opinion.

The New Super Mario and DKCR series have been perfecting 2D platforming. Neither introduces much in the way of "innovation" anymore, and consequently get looked over by non-platforming fans. People who really love the genre can appreciate the immaculate game design within each series in a way that reviewers and the "Retro's making fucking Donkey Kong?!" crowd cannot. Their loss.
 

greg400

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Jan 3, 2012
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This is the music everyone hates, right?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLg8oUE4H9E&index=6&list=PLD902F5E40D382277

I think everyone has this preconceived thing about the music sucking so ingrained that they never noticed NSMBU has a totally new main overworld theme, which is awesome and feels perfectly Mario-ish. In fact sounds quite inspired by the progression of Mario 3.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6fq3973SK4&list=PL2XjmdkuVL-2mOm9bZ7R87o8kzQK6otz-&index=16




This is even more of what I'm talking about...criticism of NSMBU is often criticism leveled at the NSMB series in general, without considering what's unique about NSMBU.

NSMBU doesn't have the propeller suit until endgame, as a special appearance sort of thing. Its flying mechanic is the squirrel suit. Which could be considered better or worse, I don't know, but let's examine NSMBU itself and not the whole series. On its own, it's an awesome game.
Wow a whole new overworld theme?!?! The entire game should have new music. They've been recycling shit like the castle theme for at least three games now.
 

Pancakes R Us

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Aug 24, 2007
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Interesting. I've still not played it because I felt burned out after NSMB2, which is probably the most uninspired 2D Mario I've ever played.
 

Adam Prime

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Sep 1, 2008
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Best 2D Mario of all times is Mario Maker. No contest.
.

I almost agree: but not having check points ruins 90% of the levels in Mario Maker. Without a core context given for the levels you're playing, and no check points, there is no reason to complete most of the levels uploaded on Mario Maker. There's no pay off, no reward for beating your head against a wall to finish a level.... unlike in a traditional Mario game where you feel rewarded for completing a level. At the very least, having check points would curve most of that and more levels would be finished.

And also, it's obvious: DKC Tropical Freeze is the best/better game than anything the Mario series offers. But that's a given, and doesn't change what this thread is about.
 

ghibli99

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Jul 23, 2005
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It, combined with NSLU, are easily the best of the New games, and definitely my favorite side-scrolling Mario games since SMW. It's a wonderfully made game that is full of great challenges and design.
 

fernoca

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Sep 17, 2006
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The best of the New-series for sure. Though the original SMB snd SMB2 still hold a special place, as far as my favorite 2D Mario games.
 

UncleSporky

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Sep 22, 2006
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It would be in the 90's on meta critic... If it launched a decade earlier.

It's safe, predictable, and honestly a little dull. Not even close to SMB3 all things considered.

SMB3 is only better from a historical standpoint. Comparing the two today, NSMBU blows it out of the water. 3 was more innovative at the time, but we're not talking about which was more groundbreaking, we're talking about which is the better game. NSMBU is better on nearly every metric.
 

PKrockin

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Sep 6, 2010
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Wow a whole new overworld theme?!?! The entire game should have new music. They've been recycling shit like the castle theme for at least three games now.
Have you actually played the game? The world map themes and most of the course themes are new.
 

Green Mamba

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Dec 31, 2008
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NSMBU has like three new course themes. Most of them are old.

Not even like, redone or remastered or remixed or anything, most of them are just flat out songs taken from New Super Mario Bros. Wii, awful baseball stadium organ castle theme included.
 

Adam Prime

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Sep 1, 2008
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SMB3 is only better from a historical standpoint. Comparing the two today, NSMBU blows it out of the water. 3 was more innovative at the time, but we're not talking about which was more groundbreaking, we're talking about which is the better game. NSMBU is better on nearly every metric.

Completely agree. Everything great that SMB3 does, NSMBU does better and improves on it. It's REALLY hard for a game created a decade ago to compete with a years and years of knowledge, test playing, and innovation.

Only Mega Man 2 manages to stay better than anything released beyond that. And honestly it's only challenged by Mega Man 9 - which takes what it did best and improves it.
 

The Boat

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Sep 22, 2010
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Oh yeah, it definitely is. NSMBW is also great and NSMB2 is actually pretty fucking good if you *really* go for the coins. Kinda changes the typical pacing a level has.
 

jholmes

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Jan 15, 2014
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Really great game, really underrated, unfortunately probably not in the top three platformers on the console, but still a required game for platforming fans. I sort of wish Nintendo didn't release New Super Mario Bros. 2 as that game wasn't nearly as good and this game seems to have taken a hit to its reputation, based at least in part to that game coming out so shortly after.

It really is the final form of what they wanted the "New" series to be from the start. I mean, look at how gorgeous it can be:


The only problem there though is that while this game looks gorgeous, Nintendo really didn't take advantage of this sort of look. You see it, you wonder what they can do to top it, but then the game never even tries to do this again.
 

Green Mamba

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The Van Gogh levels (there are... two of them) are like the art team exploding in frustration that they haven't been doing anything but redrawing the same exact environments in higher resolution for the past four games.

"oh my god we finally get to do something new"
 

Wowfunhappy

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Jun 2, 2013
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It's not so much that the art style changed as the graphics got better. The differences are bigger from old to new because the visuals were so limited and advances in graphics are less and less immediately noticeable. The difference between SMB and SMB3 is much bigger than SMB3 and SMW and so on. The NSMB games simply build on the style the same way the past games did, and despite cries that they look the same they actually change the visuals such as backgrounds just as much.

People make like Mario radically changed art styles all the time or was a graphically complex showcase. Mario has always had a nice clean look.

What do you make of, say, Super Mario All-Stars then? Each game in that collection was made to run on the exact same hardware (and the older games were full-on remakes), but they looked fairly different from each other.
 

Platy

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Nov 26, 2009
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OP, I want to help you, but the Tropical Freeze and Cloud Hat parts of your argument aren't helping yourself.

NSMBU is beautiful and amazing and everything, but Tropical Freeze is glorious and the Cloud Hat is some of the best powerups mario has ever had
 

UncleSporky

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Sep 22, 2006
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The only problem there though is that while this game looks gorgeous, Nintendo really didn't take advantage of this sort of look. You see it, you wonder what they can do to top it, but then the game never even tries to do this again.

But it's not like they didn't try to make the levels look good...other levels had unique looks as well, just not styled after a specific 18th century painting.

The world Rock-Candy Mines looked great in particular.


Looks especially awesome in motion, with the flowing waterfall and the huge rock structures.

Really, should be seen in action to be appreciated.
 

Poimandres

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Jun 26, 2008
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SMB3 is only better from a historical standpoint. Comparing the two today, NSMBU blows it out of the water. 3 was more innovative at the time, but we're not talking about which was more groundbreaking, we're talking about which is the better game. NSMBU is better on nearly every metric.

ALL things considered.

For me, SMB3 has:

- better music
- better level flow (consistent themes, logical increase in difficulty between worlds)
- more appealing visual identity

I have no doubt that most people who have never played a 2d Mario game would prefer nsmbu, but so much of it from level themes to enemy types to music is reused from previous games. I need something more from a sequel, but the game feels utterly unambitious.
 

jholmes

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Jan 15, 2014
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But it's not like they didn't try to make the levels look good...other levels had unique looks as well, just not styled after a specific 18th century painting.

The world Rock-Candy Mines looked great in particular.

Looks especially awesome in motion, with the flowing waterfall and the huge rock structures.

For sure, I think the game is a looker and it runs butter smooth. But if the OP is going to say, this game looks great, look at this Van Gogh level, it's not really telling the whole story. That's one tiny slice of the game.

Also, my one big complaint about that game is that the game didn't try to do that look more. The first time I saw that level in a preview, I was really excited to see what the game would achieve visually -- not how good it could look compared to NSMBWii, but what it could pull off graphically that I couldn't have even imagined. I think if there were different levels like this, say with a Monet level to put a variation on the typical ground level, etc., people might hold this game in a higher regard.

ALL things considered.

For me, SMB3 has:

- better level flow (consistent themes, logical increase in difficulty between worlds)

I'll back Sporky up here as while I personally adore SMB3 and the game is one of the all-time greats, some of those levels are so basic and unbelievably short compared to what has come since.
 

MrFixIt

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I don't think it's anywhere near the best 2D Mario, but I would counter it by saying that the NSMB series as a whole has been consistently good. Is it better than 3 or World? Absolutely not. 3 and World are pretty much the closets thing to "perfect" video games. NSMB will never have that kind of charm or magic because 2D Mario games are a known quantity now. NSMB is adequate, but still a great series. I have to commend Nintendo for being so consistent for so long. Super Mario Maker is them trying something new and I'm really happy to see that it worked out for them. I'm just really curious to see what comes after NSMB.
 

Nocturnowl

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Jan 1, 2011
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I've never actually found the starry night inspired backdrop that much of a plus for the game, it's a nice visual to be sure but it feels out of place and even more so when you consider that mario and the enemies clash with it.
 

orborborb

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May 16, 2013
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1. New Super Luigi U
2. Super Mario Bros. 3
3. Donkey Kong Country Returns
4. Super Mario Bros.
5. N++
6. Super Mario World
7. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
8. New Super Mario U
9. Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze
10. New Super Mario Bros. 2
11. New Super Mario Bros. Wii
12. Rayman Origins
13. Super Meat Boy
14. Adventures of Little Ralph
15. Bubsy
16. Sonic the Hedgehog
17. Adventure Island
18. Mickey's Magical Quest
19. Little Nemo the Dream Master
20. Hermie Hopperhead

and all of those are better than Rayman Legends, New Super Mario Bros., Sonic 2&3, Ristar, Castle of Illusion, Duck Tales, Klonoa, The Lion King, Aladdin, Rocket Knight Adventures, and every Kirby game
 

UncleSporky

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- better level flow (consistent themes, logical increase in difficulty between worlds)

I'm not sure how consistent themes and logical increase in difficulty are points in SMB3's favor. NSMBU does those things as well or better.

For every level you could point to that's out-of-theme in NSMBU, I could point to one in SMB3 as well. For example, 3-4, 3-6 and 3-7 which feature little/no water, 4-3 which barely includes anything giant, 5-2 and 5-3 which have nothing to do with the sky, 7-3 and 7-4 which barely feature pipes, etc.

You might be thinking of SM3DW's almost nonexistent theming (which was still hardly a problem).
 
Feb 5, 2009
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I agree. 4-player made NSMB Wii the best, and now this is NSMB Wii in HD. Gamepad mode can add a totally different dimension too. So it's the best.
↑
The use of the Gamepad in this game (just like the game itself) it's really underestimated. Boost blocks is one of the things only possible with the touch screen, not only is madly fun but also allows some incredible co op speedruns.
 

Rambler

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2D Mario is the one that brings the money in so how come it's not the one that gets the nice art?
 

decoyplatypus

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I agree with the OP. NSMBU's level design compares favorably to the series' best, even if it can't replicate the "wow" factor of SMB3's explosion of platforming ideas damn near thirty years ago.* And simultaneous multiplayer gives it (and NSMB Wii) an enormous edge over the older games. Mario games tend to foster more improvisational play than other platformers, and the possibility of combining with other players to create surprising, fun interactions is way more important than an original art style,** from my point of view. NSMBU's main game doesn't finish quite as well as NSMB Wii, but it more than makes up for it with Challenge Mode. And then there's NSLU. Put the two together (which seems fair, as the latter is DLC for the former), and I'd take them over any platformer out there, even DKCTF.

*It's worth repeating that NSMBU is no slouch in variety and creativity.
**It's also worth mentioning that NSMBU is a perfectly attractive game, whatever the sins of its predecessors.
 

DICKS AHOY

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Nov 4, 2010
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Oh? Opinions and all, but it seems the critics agree with me:





Oops. NSBU Wii U would be in the 90s if it didn't have the "New" stigma attached to it.
DKCTF would also be in the 90's if it didn't have the "Why aren't Retro working on Metroid" stigma attached to it.
 
Sep 13, 2007
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It's a solid and respectable Mario game and I like the challenge mode, but even within the NSMB series I would place the sadly maligned NSMB2 above it on the basis of level deign and natural feeling control (better sense of inertia, which gives it a stronger sense of physicality imo). My main gripe with NSMBU is that it all feels a bit too rote and smoothed out, polished but not inspired. I didn't ever feel engrossed or compelled to marathon it, which is something SMB3 and SMW inspire even after decades filled with countless replays.

It lacked an addiction factor that for me separates "merely" well made games from a stone cold classic. I know subjective terms like "magic" or "creative spark" are frowned upon in these discussions, but I do think those things are felt when a game surprises and delights you in new and exciting ways. NSMBU needed to be less predictable and more idiosyncratic and forward thinking to stand out as its own thing rather than yet another NSMB game. I know not everyone puts equal emphasis on that sort of originality, and I wouldn't even claim it's the end-all be-all, but I think even with the passage of time you can pick up on when developers themselves were really discovering something new when making a game. There's a vitality to games with emergent elements, while NSMBU feels more like an admirable refinement of a well worn formula- but still just a refinement.

That said, I was happy that it put more effort into the aesthetic than previous NSMB games, with lusher more nuanced backgrounds, and a more fleshed out and interconnected map. If they were going to lean on a past success, SMW was a good choice (just like I thought SMB3 was a fine choice in the case of NSMB2). It's got a nice amount of content, both in the main game with the side stuff, and the multiplayer is something that separates it from old school games and ensures it will always remain on my shelf ready to play. It's also just nice to have a modern Mario platformer in HD with all the bells and whistles in spite of some of the sterility of the samey NSMB approach to level themes. Although I wish they had gone out on more of a creative limb they did a good job within the confines of the standard NSMB approach.

So, I'm not quite on board with the OP, but I appreciate the scope of the game and its place within the series. It ties together a lot of the existing strengths of previous NSMB games, and rests comfortably with a small handful of other modern retail platformers that scratch an itch no other genre can. And at the end of the day, that alone is pretty awesome.