There’s been a lot more news about New Super Mario Bros. U lately. As disappointed as I am that the two latest tiles really aren’t shaking anything up the way each new entry did in the days of the NES and SNES, they look fun. We’ve received a few new pieces of information. The first is pretty unsurprising: The Ice Flower returns. We can assume, then, that the penguin suit will too, but you never know. As much as it was expected, it’s nice to have confirmation.
The second piece of news is that New Super Mario Bros. U will include what’s called “Boost Mode.” In Boost Mode, the stages will all scroll, forcing the player not to spend time dawdling around. Apparently, the idea is that it helps with speed runs, but I imagine it to play no differently than your usual moving level, so speed runners will likely have no more challenge with Boost Mode on than off.
The third and final newly-discovered fact is that the world map will be laid out in a similar manner to Super Mario World—That is, one unified map with different worlds all connected, offering the ability to pan over the entire game’s selection of levels, offering alternate routes and presumably, warps. The recent games have opted for a map similar to that found in Super Mario Bros. 3, albeit with a horizontal layout, rather than a mostly-square arrangement of levels, twisting back and forth. I’m happy to hear this, given that Super Mario World‘s map style is my favorite of all the games, but I’m a bit disappointed that it’s being revived, as I feel it would detract a bit from the uniqueness it used to present.
While the Ice Flower was expected, and the different map system has been done before, it’s nice to see that in a game that’s now become so formulaic, they’re trying to add at least a little bit of new content. But I still don’t think they understand that the gameplay and graphical style are what fans are complaining about, rather than new features like the squirrel suit and Boost Mode. Anyway, I could bash the New Super Mario Bros. series to no end for unoriginality, but at least I know it will be fun, despite the lack of creative spark each game used to have. What are your thoughts?