New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe is a mouthful of a title. This is to keep with the new – although inconsistent – theme of Nintendo Switch remasters serving as ‘Deluxe editions’. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is so far the only other title which follows this naming scheme. Which begs the question: why?
Showing its Age
New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe, released last week, has left players more sceptical of purchase than previous ports to Switch. This may be due to its age, as it began as a launch title to the Wii U. In comparison, Mario Kart 8 released two years into the Wii U’s lifecycle in mid-2014. Mario Kart 8 released in the same year as the also remastered Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. Some have shown scepticism based on the wider range of levels in Tropical Freeze compared to the somewhat familiar level design in NSMBUD.
There are many exceptions: Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker did not receive deluxe labelling when ported to Switch. This could be because there was never any downloadable content from the original game to package in, and the new content added to the switch version was small: “The new version includes new miniature courses based on various Kingdoms in the Super Mario Odyssey game.”
However, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze didn’t receive a ‘deluxe’ title, either. It’s not that the Switch port of Tropical Freeze had zero new content, as Funky Kong was added for more casual gameplay. Other changes included a resolution bump as expected, although this content was minimal in comparison to the previously paid Mario Kart 8 DLC and the more challenging spinoff game New Super Luigi Bros U.
Peachette (accessible via the Super Crown powerup exclusive to Toadette) makes her first appearance in Super Mario Bros U Deluxe, and there are other undeniable smaller features that might be important to some. The biggest is simply the ability to play anywhere. Others include higher resolution 1080p/720p docked and handheld gameplay, the new characters, and more.
More Deluxe Editions to Follow?
Leaving this article, my best guess is that games granted a ‘Deluxe’ at the end of their title are Nintendo’s very best – think back to ‘Nintendo Selects’ for the Wii U and the like. Treasure Tracker not making the list is understandable as it is a smaller game. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze not making the list is a bit more debatable but this could be to do with how Nintendo views each franchise, as only games starring our favourite (ex-)plumber have so far made the list.
Predictions for the future could be the likes of Super Mario Maker Deluxe. There are many more big games that could attract more sales on the Switch and weren’t done justice on Wii U, although most of these have sequels already or announced. Super Smash Bros, Splatoon, Mario Party 10, Pikmin 3, Xenoblade Chronicles and many more fall into this category so it’s unclear if any of these will make the list. Games that are deluxe have no indication towards a sequel (although we can bet on seeing another Mario Kart and another 2D Mario platformer in the Switch’s lifecycle.) Some, such as Super Mario 3D World, are currently in limbo. Mario Odyssey was also a 3D Mario platformer but the games weren’t much alike.
Assuming you enjoy prior games in the series and haven’t played this entry, picking this game up is pretty much a no brainer if you can handle the price tag. However, for Wii U owners such as myself who owned the game, the purchase is a bit less convincing despite its place as one of the Wii U’s greatest. Maybe we’ll see a continuation in these trends which answers some of these questions, but Nintendo likes to keep us guessing.
Let us know what you think of New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe and what your predictions are going forward.