‘New Super Mario Bros. U’

Anyone who picked up the chaotic “New Super Mario Bros.” on the Wii will know pretty well how the WiiU iteration plays. Mario & Co. dash around familiar scenes in the three levels we played through. The most surprising aspect was the stunning, high-definition look of the backgrounds, reminiscent of the cut and pasted look of “Paper Mario.” Two new powerups are confirmed: a flying squirrel suit and a very hungry floating Yoshi. There’s not much added value from the GamePad in this title, except for the ability to create temporary boxes with the touch screen for players in-game. In theory helpful, the extra blocks actually proved as useful as having your friend throw you off a cliff.

Takeaway: Menacing, with a chance to threaten friendships. In a good way.

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