ByKristina Mercado, writer at
Horror film fan, self-proclaimed nerd, entertainer of the masses
Kristina Mercado

For those that read my review on Minecraft: Story Mode, you know that my gaming experience is limited to Super Mario Galaxy and Epic Mickey for the Wii console only. Prior to that, my first console was a Sega Dreamcast and I only knew how to play Crazy Taxi. I may have completed one world in Super Mario Bros. for the Super Nintendo at a friend's house. I decided to give New Super Mario Bros U. a shot since I was pretty decent at Super Mario Galaxy (with the help of the free strategy guide and YouTube).

New Super Mario Bros U. combines elements from classic Mario Bros games and upgrades them to an awesome 3D platform. I am playing the game in story mode, which allows a good mixture of freedom to choose which level and even which world you want to play in, as well as giving you a reasonable amount of challenge. I have yet to beat the game, but I made it through the first three worlds with relative ease. If you ask my partner, however, he will tell you I cursed like a sailor during most of the game play. With the first three worlds down, here are five things I can tell you about New Super Mario Bros U.

1. The First Half of Game Play is Relatively Easy

Even for someone like myself who has barely held a controller in her life, the first three worlds of this game are pretty easy to get through. There are plenty of opportunities for power-ups and the enemies are not very difficult to defeat. That is not to say that I didn't lose all my lives at some point. Being that I am a noob, I encountered three continuations, two of which occurred when I was defeating the castles in World 2 and 3, and one in the ghost house in World 3. I have figured out what most of the buttons do and I am heading into World 4 with a little confidence, but the progression to real difficulty is already happening.

2. Choose Worlds Wisely

After defeating World 2, I had a choice of going to a world made of water or a world made of ice. It took half of level one in water world to realize that my swimming prowess in real life did not directly correlate to my ability to control Mario in water. I found the water levels to be quite difficult and the power-ups were not nearly as easy to get as in other levels. I quickly turned back and went to the ice world instead. I am not sure yet if I will have to face my demons in water world, but until I get better at controlling Mario, I will stay away from this one. I believe the difficulty lies in his moves being one step behind my thoughts.

3. Don't Waste Your Power-Ups

This may have been obvious to anyone who consistently played games before, but for me, I got over-zealous and used a lot of my power-ups that I won from the Mushroom Houses. I was paranoid that I would die right away in more difficult levels or I felt the first power-up in any given level was too difficult to get to, so I opted to start as fully grown Mario. In hindsight, this was completely amateur of me. Instead of forging through and learning to play the level without dying, I went for the easiest route. This really became a problem when I started over at halfway points in the castles and didn't have a lot of opportunities for power-ups. Side note: I learned that right before you go into a castle battle, if you run past the door, there is an invisible power-up box that only shows after you hit it. Please don't judge me too harshly.

4. Don't Ignore The Large Star Coins

I initially thought that the large coins would just get me extra lives and that I would lose more lives trying to get them. However, I found out that collecting these large coins will open up secret levels! However, getting to these coins are not always easy. I found a website that lists the location of every star coin for me, and I would never have thought of half of these places. I know that is considered cheating, but cut me a break; I jump with the controller when I want Mario to jump. I need all the help I can get.

5. Is New Super Mario Bros U. Worth It?

I know this game was released nearly four years ago, but I quite enjoy it thus far. The awesome graphics and ease of the first few worlds are great for beginner game players to get a feel for the controls and game. The throwback to the classic Mario games will touch the hearts of those who have been playing Mario Bros since the very first one came out. I will continue to play this game and I recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the original games, as well as anyone who is not an experienced gamer.

I'm hoping all my gamer enthusiasts have some awesome advice for me! Let me know in the comments!


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