New Super Mario Bros. U Hands-on: Blazing through Boost Rush Mode

New Super Mario Bros U screens
Nintendo has gone to great lengths to prove that its Wii U GamePad is a transformative experience. It's done a pretty good job of that with Nintendo Land, its suite of mini games that features all sorts of asymmetric gameplay. Oddly enough, New Super Mario Bros. U has not, especially considering this is the first Mario release to launch with a console since the Nintendo 64.

But it's making baby steps--fast and dexterous baby steps on those colored blocks created by the fifth player using the GamePad controller in Boost Rush Mode, the new feature in NSMBU shown off during a special event in New York. This challenging cooperative multiplayer romp sees up to five players race to the finish in a gauntlet of specially-tailored levels that constantly scroll to the right beyond the players' control. But there's a catch.
New Super Mario Bros. U on Wii U
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New Super Mario Bros. U Hands-on: Blazing through Boost Rush Mode
Players want to collect as many coins as possible to increase their score, but the speed at which the level scrolls increases as players collect coins. Even with just three players during our session--one as Mario and another as Luigi using Wii Remotes, and the third as the omnipresent block creator with the GamePad--play grew intense, and fast. As we hit the 30 or 40-coin mark, keeping up with the left edge of the screen was a serious challenge, leaving us to depend on the GamePad player much more than we would otherwise.

It seems that all it took to give the player with the GamePad a more meaningful role was to ramp up the difficulty. A skillful and smart player behind the GamePad is your way to topping the charts. (For instance, the player with the GamePad during our session protected us from the smaller Thwomps as we scurried underneath to the finish line.) Also, we're told you can watch other players' successful Boost Rush Mode runs to better inform your next attempt.
New Super Mario Bros. U screen shots
While one might have expected a more involved and exciting use of the GamePad for the first Mario game to grace the Wii U, a mode in which the GamePad is almost crucial might do. Playing fifth wheel to Mario, Luigi and the two Toads doesn't sound so bad when they might actually need you to show up everyone else. New Super Mario Bros. U hits stores the same day as the Wii U console, Nov. 18.

Are you excited for New Super Mario Bros. U on Wii U? What do you think of Boost Mode after reading about it? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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