‘New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe’ Is Fine, But Where’s ‘Mario Maker’ On Switch?
I've just played through the first world, Acorn Plains, of New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, the upcoming Switch port of Wii U launch title New Super Mario Bros. U. And... It was fine, totally fine. But I couldn't enjoy it without thinking about another game entirely.
Due out on 11 January, the expanded U Deluxe features Mario (who I chose) alongside Luigi, Toad, Toadette and the invincible Nabbit as playable characters on all of its 164 levels - which include the New Super Luigi U stages.
It features a host of further extras and additions, including Toadette's Super Crown that transforms her into the ever-so-floaty Peachette, who automatically saves herself from fatal chasms. The classically 2D platformer is designed for anyone to be able to enjoy, their character selection effectively determining the level of challenge they'll face.
But while U Deluxe is another welcomed Switch port of a Wii U game - see also, Captain Toad Treasure Tracker, Mario Kart 8 and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze - every second I've spent with it so far has been one of distraction. Because, while I own U on Wii U, and the Luigi levels, if I was to carry just one Mario game over from Nintendo's previous-gen console to its hit hybrid platform, it wouldn't be this one.
It'd be Super Mario Maker. All day, every day. And I'd quite happily sit in front of it for a full 24 hours, too, perfecting that single, meticulously detailed run, for myself and friends to enjoy (or, more likely, to die horribly on, over and over).
Super Mario Maker was one of the most outstanding video games of 2015 - and it was mostly a DIY affair, where the player was given all the necessary tools and assets to create their own Mario courses, rendered in the style of the original Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World or, indeed, New Super Mario Bros. U. To play Mario Maker was to love Mario Maker - and it's the only reason that my Wii U remains under the TV today. I enjoy it, my kids enjoy it, and we enjoy it together.
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And we'll be able to play together on U Deluxe too, my less-nimble-thumbed offspring able to select Nabbit and rush through the traditional array of shuffling and shelled enemies without fear of losing lives (while I inevitably lose several). That's something I'm looking forward to, over the Christmas break. But what would have been even better for this so-very-festive time of year, than an updated version of a just fine 2D Mario title, is any sign whatsoever of Super Mario Maker for Switch.
There's a part of my brain that's screaming: if U Deluxe is running fine on Switch, so Mario Maker should, too, right? Same parent platform, presumably a very similar set of nuts and bolts underneath. But of course, it's never that simple. There's also the small matters of time and place to consider - when and where to announce a game. And that considered, while we're yet to get an official "yes" on Mario Maker coming to Switch, it doesn't mean it won't happen.
If I were a betting man - and I'm really, really not - I'd put my money on a Switch version of Mario Maker (which may need some interface revising, as there's no Switch stylus, yet) being announced for a mid-2019 release. Next year is, currently, looking a little thin for first-party Nintendo releases on Switch - we know there's Yoshi's Crafted World on the way, a new Animal Crossing at some point, the still-a-working-title Luigi's Mansion 3, and Metroid Prime 4 might just about sneak in before we're into 2020, but beyond those four, only one of which is even loosely sewn on? Not so much.
Now, I've maybe missed something else fairly major - such is my want when it's a Friday afternoon (which it is - and the last one before Christmas, at that). But a quick-turnaround Switch Mario Maker would sure sweeten a pretty slim 2019 schedule, wouldn't it? Yes, yes it would. The question was rhetorical. It really would.
As for the question of whether or not to pick up U Deluxe on your Switch? To me, it's not an essential on the system, by any stretch, and releasing in the wake of the superlative Super Mario Odyssey has it feeling a lot older than its six years. But if side-scrollers float your Nintendo boat, this looks to be the definitive version of a thoroughly decent one. So sure, fill your overalls.
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe releases for Nintendo Switch on 11 January, 2019.
Featured Image Credit: Nintendo
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