New Super Mario Bros Deluxe is a love letter to not only the NES kids of the 80s, but to everyone who has ever played a video game. Refining the classic formula seen in 2005’s New Super Mario Bros, but with the benefit of 30+ years of experience and hindsight, NSMB Deluxe might just be the most accessible Mario game yet.
Everything that made the original NES entry so great returns, but with a modern lick of paint and the horsepower of modern hardware, plus there’s the fact you can play Super Mario Bros with up to 3 other players wherever you want, thanks to the portable capabilities of the Nintendo Switch. With each player requiring only a single Joy-Con controller, the simple control scheme allows for a simple pick up and play experience at home in the living room or play in bite-sized chunks out on the town. The future is now, kids.
To address the Goomba in the room, yes NSMB Deluxe is yet another entry in a growing line of ports that had their start on the Wii U (Yep, it still stings) and similar to its Mario Kart 8 and Donkey Kong Country brethren, NSMB Deluxe doesn’t show up to the party empty-handed, bringing with it a bundle of extra content and improved accessibility features. Most notably, the ability to play as both Toadette and Nabbit in both the original Mario Bros U campaign and also the considerably more challenging DLC campaign, New Super Luigi U.
Whilst Nabbit was originally featured in the latter of the two campaigns as Mario’s replacement, he’s now available to play as whenever you like. Which comes in handy, thanks to his ability to completely ignore enemy damage and to turn power-ups into 1Ups at the end of stages.
Toadette on the other hand, is an entirely new addition to NSMB Deluxe, replacing the ever memorable “Blue Toad” character, albeit with some interesting changes. You see, Toadette actually has an exclusive power-up in the form of the “Super Crown”, an item that transforms her into “Peachette”, a character you no doubt remember from all your strange friends on Twitter a short while back.
As Peachette, the game becomes even easier, with the player getting a free save from any bottomless pits that they may find themselves in.
Whilst I appreciate the inclusion of both Nabbit and Toadette, they raise an interesting problem with the 4 Player Co-Op session, as at least one of the 4 players will have to choose either character due to there only being 5 potential choices overall. This means that 1 of the 4 players will have an inherently easier time, thanks to the unique benefits I’ve mentioned for both the new characters. A strange issue, to say the least.
In general, I found very little in the way of criticism for NSMB Deluxe. It’s a solid, approachable entry in the Mario series that brings a high-quality series of platforming challenges to your Nintendo Switch, with a great deal of polish and care put into them. I found the controls to be as tight as I remember (they’ve always had great controls for the New Super Mario Bros Games) and the variety in power-ups and stages keep the experience fresh from beginning to end.
In addition to the classic adventure mode, there’s also the option of some speedrun challenges, amongst a small bench of party modes that can be played in various ways to keep a lively atmosphere with multiple players. Overall, I found playing the game was just as fun in either single player or co-op but I’d 100% recommend sticking to 2 players if you wanna make any real progress.
One issue I did notice in the single player, however, comes not in the form of a glitch or a bug, but rather an intentional design choice. When losing a life in single player, rather than continue right away from a checkpoint, the game kicks you out the overwork screen and asks you to re-enter the level. Whilst it doesn’t delete your progress past a checkpoint, the sheer amount of time it takes up just loading in and out can become a pain on some of the tougher solo outings.
Ultimately, however, I believe Nintendo made a wise decision when bringing this experience over to the Switch, as a whole bunch of people that missed out on the Wii U can finally get their old school platforming fix. The value of an experience that can bring both casual and experienced players together is something that cannot be understated. It’s a unique niche that Nintendo has managed to capture yet again with their usual level of care and consideration in all the right places, making NSMB Deluxe a must have for any family oriented gamers out there.
*Code purchased for review.*