A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Kids can learn about teamwork, communication, and strategy in this challenging side-scrolling platform game. Players need to quickly create, evaluate, and alter tactics via quick discussions while playing as a group in order to face down enemies and overcome dynamic obstacles. If playing in boost mode, one player's job will be to actively support the other(s) by strategically placing platforms in dangerous areas. New Super Luigi U is very difficult but fosters a positive social experience by encouraging players to chat and cooperate with one another in order to achieve collaborative success.
This game promotes local social gaming experiences. Players need to work as a team and communicate well to overcome various challenges while playing multiplayer games. However, the game can become so difficult when multiple player characters are on screen at the same time that it could lead to some arguments born of frustration.
Positive Role Models
Luigi, like his brother Mario, is undeniably good. He's out to save a princess and face the troublemaking minions of the perpetually fuming Bowser. As you might expect, he does a lot of fireball tossing and shell hopping, but the action is purely fantastical and thus kids won't likely copy this behavior in the real world.
Ease of Play
Make no mistake; this is one of the hardest Super Mario Bros. games -- or expansions, as the case may be -- yet. The controls are as tight and intuitive as ever, but enemies pop up more frequently and are generally of a harder variety. Plus, tricky environmental design leaves room for few mistakes. Playing in multiplayer can make the experience even harder due to the increased chaos onscreen. However, playing in boost mode -- which sees one player using the GamePad to create helpful platforms for the others -- can make things a little easier.
Violence & Scariness
Luigi and company hop on the backs of goombas and koopa troopas and other familiar Mario game enemies, causing them to flip over or slide off the screen. They can also toss fireballs and freeze-balls to damage or briefly incapacitate enemies. Heroes can hurt themselves by jumping onto spiky shells and falling into lava, which might cause them to leap up and yell "ouch!" or fall off the bottom of the screen.
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Products & Purchases
This expansion is part of Nintendo's hugely popular series of Mario games, which also includes toys, board games, and other tie-in merchandise.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that New Super Luigi U is an expansion to New Super Mario Bros. U that offers dozens of new levels, most much harder than anything encountered in the original game. You must own the original game to play this expansion. It has the same kind of mild cartoon mischief and violence as in Mario games past -- expect lots of shell-hopping and fireball flinging -- and little else to worry about. Keep in mind, though, that Luigi, like Mario, is a Nintendo icon and that there is plenty of merchandise out there bearing his visage that will likely become a lot more appealing to kids who play this game.
Is It Any Good?
New Super Luigi U basically serves as a challenge mode for veterans of the original game looking for something that will really put their running and jumping skills to the test. Talented players should get a real kick out of it. Less skilled players can have fun, too, so long as they use the boost mode carried over from the main game, which allows a second player to use the GamePad to create platforms in the sky, making some of the more frustrating levels a lot easier.
However, if you want to play with a few friends, each controlling a character, you can expect some headaches. The extreme and relentless difficulty of some levels makes it nearly impossible to communicate quickly enough, which means you'll likely perish multiple times before finding success. It's a good expansion with at least six or seven hours' worth of fresh content, but it's not without caveats.
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Our Editors Recommend
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