It’s Luigi time!
Nintendo took a while to board the downloadable content train, opting to move onto new projects in lieu of lingering on things it had already released. This generation, however, things are different, and no single thing exemplifies Nintendo’s newfound interest in digital better than New Super Luigi U–DLC for the Wii U launch title. It replaces the famous mustachioed plumber with a slightly less popular mustachioed plumber and remixes every level in the game to provide a new experience. We expected to love it unconditionally until we played as the Nabbit.
No, the game isn’t broken or bad–the gameplay is fantastic, continuing in the franchise’s tradition of stellar 2D platforming with clever levels that’ll prove both enjoyable and challenging. But the Nabbit, who replaces Mario in four-player mode, muddles things. He can’t gain any abilities from power-ups, but instead comes with a passive buff of his own: he doesn’t take damage. He can still fall off the level, but enemies and spikes don’t hurt him.
It’s a weird addition, and actually confuses multiplayer. Super Mario Bros. co-op is precarious, a chaotic mess that only barely functions together to create a cohesive experience. Part of that is in watching what your allies do and copying them, because everything is moving too fast to react to the situation yourself. The Nabbit throws a wrench in those works, making it more difficult instead of simpler. It’s also less fun to play–part of the fun of Mario games is in getting those upgrades, and watching them vanish is heartbreaking. On the bright side, the rest of the game looks to be pretty darn fun, so the Nabbit shouldn’t stop you from having a good time.
Check out the following slides for additional images and more information.