Here's something I really love about the Wii U: games are cheap. It's crazy. When New Super Mario Bros U was re-released for the Switch and everyone was scooping it up at MSRP, I started looking around for a neglected Wii U copy. And I scored one for... free. A friend of mine literally gave me a copy of it along with New Super Luigi U. And so I figured, why not finally give it a go?
But let me back up. I have actually played all of the preceding New Super Mario Bros games. And while I've hated the "New" in the title, I've found the games to be pretty good. I played the first game on DS way the heck back when it was first released. A friend of mine let me borrow their copy and I remember beating it in a single day. In fairness, I was on the couch with a bad cold so I had time to kill. I remember feeling like it was a bit of a slight experience and not one that stuck with me like say... Super Mario World which remains my high water mark for Mario platformers.
My wife and I bought New Super Mario Bros Wii not long after it came out. The Wii was actually our first new console of that generation, and it lived on the main living room TV back then, so it was mostly used for games we'd play together. I never really loved this game, though. The big selling point of the Wii game was the co-op and I found it just felt too chaotic for me. A few years ago I attempted to play that game again solo once I had picked up a second Wii for my game room. I liked it a bit better as a solo experience, but honestly, it didn't really do much for me and I got bored before beating it.
New Super Mario Bros 2 on the other hand... now that was a good game. When it came out I was in a pretty serious 3DS mode and scooping up all the big hitters coming out at the time. I had a total blast with that game and beat it fairly quickly.
So here I am, still checking out all the cool Wii U games that I missed out on during its brief lifetime. I haven't played a ton of NSMBU yet - I'm just in the third world - but I'm having a lot of fun. It's a pretty low tension platformer. I've yet to find it challenging. I'm pretty sure I've only died once so far. And I keep getting asked if I want to post to the Miiverse because I've beaten levels without taking a hit. But that's fine. Sometimes a nice breezy game like this can be relaxing.
I tell you this - I vastly prefer NSMBU over the Wii game. If we're just comparing the two console games, then there's no contest. This improves over that one plenty. For one thing, those weird propeller helmets... ugh. I don't know. The power-ups in the U game just really feel like more of a throwback to Super Mario World, which again - best game.