New Super Luigi U preview: First play
There's something fundamentally familiar about New Super Luigi U. And that's no accident: the side-scrolling platform game ultimately is - to give it its music biz terminology - a remix of New Super Mario Bros U. Pocket-lint got to play Luigi U at the E3 gaming expo in Los Angeles, California, to see whether this reworking of the contemporary classic was worth a look in or just too much of the same.
In Luigi's world everything's a bit harder. Less time on the clock, those flappy, slippy feet of our green plumber friend, more enemies and, combined, a tougher overall difficulty level that will appeal to Mario - or, sorry, Luigi - fans the world over. If you already own New Super Mario Bros U then the Luigi content can be downloaded from the Nintendo eShop for $19.99 (£13) from 20 June. Those without the aforementioned title can buy a standalone version of the game for $29.99 come 25 August.
Those familiar with New Super Mario Bros U will already know the drill: Run, jump from platform to platform, bop enemies on the head and avoid getting squished by moving parts in some of the trickier levels.
While New Super Luigi U adopts the same core world as seen in Mario, its 82 levels have been reworked to give a different flavour. Thematically they're the same - green-topped hills, underground caves, ice-ridden paths, floating platforms in the sky and so forth - but rearranged. It's not lazy, as such, if the game is viewed as downloadable content, because it opens up a whole new path of play that's well worth investing in.
In addtion to Luigi as a main character it's also possible to play as Nabbit, where immunity to enemies morphs the game into something entirely different. Great for beginners, but nothing of note for those seeking a challenge - which is much the point of Luigi U.
A Mario game without Mario? Where the heck is he - off on a lads' holiday or something? Sorry Luigi, you're just not the preferred brother of the duo and being relegated to this kind of package shows Nintendo thinks much the same - it's a quick quids in to keep the Wii U bobbing along. Nothing wrong with that, as we enjoyed playing the game, but a remix is rarely, if ever, better than the original.