Since her first Nintendo, Jennifer Branton has been an avid gamer who fairs best in Survival Horror and RPG's.
The Original Player One
Almost everyone plays Mario when playing any of the Super Mario Bros games. From day one the mustached plumber has been the one in the drivers seat, the one making the calls and saving the Princess way back from the NES days.
When Super Mario Bros 2 allowed for a choice of characters and had them balanced to have different strengths it blew out minds as children. Finally Luigi wasn't just Player Two, the Green Mario.
His wonky movements and flapping legs in Super Mario Bros 2 went on to define Luigi as the clumsy oaf we know in modern gaming.
New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe, a double feature if you will of Mario, offers the same game with tweaked game play to the make sure the Year Of Luigi release kept in his wild flailing jumps, tendency to skid no matter what character is played and changed up the courses to give a new challenge to the Wii and Wii U game. Deluxe went a step further introducing new characters to the fray that players were looking forward to testing out in the platforming mayhem.
But was there any advantages to the new characters Toadette/Peachette and Nabbit that would entice players to using them the entire game?
Was there things that would prompt players to change characters throughout the game based on the world or course design>
The Rascal Nabbit
Playing as the Nabbit has its clear advantages over other characters in the game.
While Mario, Luigi, and Toad are even rated harder than Nabbit, whom appears in both games, Nabbit is immune to the enemies and bosses of the game and can survive any impact of their defenses with the exception of being crushed or falling in lava or off screen.
Nabbit is extremely nibble in their movements and has about the same jump radius as Mario throughout both games. Without the ability to get hit by enemy attacks, Nabbit is the perfect character to use in underwater levels where the current is pushing the player into many stacked enemies or to get those Star Coins that are often placed right on top of a perilous enemy that would need a precise landing for the other characters to not take damage.
Being the easiest in the game doesn't mean that Nabbit can not benefit in Mario U Deluxe from the Super Assist mode that allows for Luigi to step in and finish a level or show a walk through in times of difficulty. Super Assist however does not work in the Luigi U Deluxe side of the game.
While having a virtually invincible character may be cheating to some fans, every Mario since 3 had its own version of skipping levels via a costume or item such as the P Wing, or the White Raccoon suit. Even warping technically is a version of skipping levels.
Nabbit can be used to beat the last levels of the game, although if the character is used in the final face off against Bowser, the cut scene of the Princess being saved will be using Mario as a stand in with Nabbit staring off in the distance.
All that work and no credit for Nabbit!
The Princess Imposter
The second new character to Deluxe is Toadette, whom is already familar to fans from her time in Mario spin off titles racing karts and playing mini games at the Mario Party.
While Nintendo famously claimed that Toads don't have genders, they do a lot to convince us otherwise in Deluxe.
It appears that Toadette is an immature form of Peachette, a different costumed clone nearly identical to Peach except for the change in eye color, hairstyle, shoes, and earrings, making one wonder if this was all part of the "Our Princess Is In Another Timeline", story that came after the explosions that took place in Mario Galaxy and created alternate timelines of the Mushroom Kingdom, including one in which Peach is the mother of Rosalina fathered by Luigi.
Toadette moves similar to Toad and can use the any power ups in the game including one made just for her, The Super Crown.
The Super Crown, usable by only Toadette will turn her into her mature form, this doppelganger of Peach that has her gliding ability and jump. Like the then Princess Toadstool of 2, the predecessor for Peach, Peach stole the moves of the Princess before her so why shouldn't Peachette?
The Super Crown can be won in courses and mini games, and can actually be obtained by other characters if a game is started with Toadette and then another character is rotated in but the Super Crown will stay in the inventory when another character is played.
Is Deluxe Skewed To Make Players Change Character
In a word, yes.
Granted, New Super Mario U Deluxe is a remaster with added features of an older game. Taking from the use of motion controllers from the Wii that have followed through to the Switch format, there is a need to use just about every controller style in this game. I know from dying horribly in handheld and having to switch to Joycons and to controller at various sections of the game because handheld didn't allow for the range of movement needed to register moving the elevator near the end of Peach's Castle.
With the characters given different jumps and ranges of movement, just like 2 , Deluxe wants players to change up their Mario into one of the other characters when playing one player and not just multiplayer getting everyone into the game.
So which worlds are best for what character then?
Mario still scores fan points in levels of side scrolling platforming and some vertical scollers. The Plains, Ice World, and The Desert levels are great environments for Mario as he can use all of the power ups offered except for the Super Crown which can be came across by character changing to Toadette and back.
Luigi while not the best for levels with precise landing needed due to his toned down flailing legs and the tendency to skid on landing, Luigi is great for Plains, Desert, and maybe even the Sky worlds, except for levels where his out of control jumps could get the player killed in an instant. He can use all power ups except for the Super Crown.
Toad is similar to Toadette in the stunted jumps from being shorter than any other character except for Toadette, unless she is Peachette. Toad is a pretty level character that can take advantage of all worlds but shouldn't be used in levels where there is long jump. Toad can however walk under some sections where others would have to crouch.
Toadette in Toad form is very similar to Toad and only excels in here Peachette mode where she has an extended jump and flutters to the ground giving her the longest jump and hang time in the game. When hit by anything is Peachette form she goes back to Toadette. The Super Crown is the only exclusive power up for Toadette and as Peachette she can pick up no other power ups.
Nabbit is the only invincible character in the game and well suited for any world, especially the water, not because he can swim but enemies being propelled into Nabbit that other characters would take a hit for are no problem. Nabbit can't jump any higher or further than any character and except for not being able to be hit by enemy attacks, the character is very similar to the movements of Mario.
Deluxe plays flawlessly on the Switch in any controller configuration except for the sections with the kart and elevators which using a Nintendo controller instead of the Joycons wont register the needed movement. Even in handheld mode this section can be difficult.
Should the Switch go on to release more older Mario titles like or make something like New Super Mario Galaxy? As much as the New Super Mario series is enjoyed I still yearn for new platforming titles to be made just for Switch and not just releases of older games.