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Nintendo Wanted To Take A Different Approach To DLC With New Super Luigi U

Posted by Andy Green

A distinct move away from the packs found in New Super Mario Bros. 2

New Super Luigi U has been available to download from the Wii U eShop for a short while and has breathed new life into New Super Mario Bros. U.

Although, technically deemed DLC, it's a much longer experience than the downloadable software added to New Super Mario Bros. 2 and this approach came from the development team wanting to do something a little more meaningful than the 3DS outing.

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata recently sat down with director Masataka Takemoto and executive officer Takashi Tezuka for the latest installment of Iwata Asks, and they revealed how they weren't entirely happy with the DLC releases being added to New Super Mario Bros. 2.

Tezuka confirmed the idea for Coin Rush Mode came from the team developing the 3DS title and they moved forward with that first as it was going to hit the shelves before New Super Mario Bros. U

However, as we were working on it, the sameness of the idea began to bother me, so I started thinking we should come up with a different idea for New Super Mario Bros. U.

The experienced duo were clearly concerned that players would wonder why the extra levels weren't in the game in the first place and accusations of Nintendo holding back content to sell at a later date flew around when they did finally emerge.

Iwata said Nintendo began developing the additional packs for New Super Mario Bros. 2 once the game was out and it had analyzed how people were playing it.

Our intention was to prevent any sense of the original game being slim in content because there was going to be downloadable content, but nonetheless, some did wonder why it wasn't in there from the start.

Interestingly, Tezuka said he still wasn't convinced about the Boost Rush Mode in New Super Mario Bros. U when it launched alongside the Wii U in 2012 so he decided to "consider whether there were any other good approaches".

This is where New Super Luigi U came in. The developer wanted to create an experience tailor-made for advanced gamers to add some extra challenge that may not have been found in Boost Rush Mode.

The pair also revealed how the new addition became centred around Luigi and it turns out during a meeting Iwata mentioned 2013 was the year of Luigi and this inspired Tezuka to shape the content around the green-clad plumber. On top of this, it was decided early on that Mario would not be in this game - after all, this was Luigi's time to shine and there was no way the team wanted his brother to muscle in and steal the limelight.

This presented a problem though, as New Super Mario Bros. U is a multiplayer experience and so Tezuka and Takemoto scrambled to find other characters to help Luigi through. Taekmoto explained how they went about deciding who to adopt:

When we decided on Luigi as the main character, I talked with Tezuka-san about how I was absolutely against having Mario make an appearance. The idea came up of using three Toads, but when three Toads show up, the screen gets confusing, so I hounded Tezuka-san about seizing this chance to use a new character.

I thought the only choice left was Nabbit! In New Super Mario Bros. U, you chase around Nabbit, but I thought it would be fun to keep Nabbit's ability to slip past enemies and use him as a player-character.

All of a sudden New Super Luigi U had an element that wasn't aimed at advanced players as Nabbit became the perfect choice for beginners, what with him being totally indestructible.

Tezuka also explained how Nabbit is not just a multiplayer character and can be summoned in the game's single-player mode by inputing a particular command when entering a level, although he didn't share what players must enter in order to encourage them to discover it for themselves - something quite rare in the age of the internet.

In terms of the level design, it was decided that New Super Luigi U would feature much smaller levels than the original installment. This came about once Takemoto replayed Super Mario Bros. 3 on the NES and realised how the New Super Mario Bros. series had expanded the levels as time had gone on. As he enjoyed the shorter courses he wanted to integrate this element into the new downloadable content. This is where the timer came in, with the team deciding to limit each level to 100 seconds to increase the challenge and shorten the courses.

It turned out to be the kind of game that even people who aren't great at video games will be able to clear if they repeatedly challenge themselves.

Naturally, using the same development team that created New Super Mario Bros. U may have led to the new DLC feeling very similar to Mario's adventure. To combat this Tezuka said he brought in New Super Mario Bros. 2 team members who were kicking their heels in order to freshen up ideas as the home console title was so different to the portable adaptation.

You can see what we thought to the new title in our New Super Luigi U review and as always you can check out the full Iwata Asks interview by clicking the link below.

Have you downloaded New Super Luigi U? Let us know what you think to its approach to DLC in the comment section below.

[via iwataasks.nintendo.com]

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User Comments (27)

Undead_terror

#1

Undead_terror said:

It would of been nice if they made a dlc custom level maker that you can share with everyone, the fun would be endless.

HAL9000

#6

HAL9000 said:

Reading the Iwata asks (page 4) reveals that they made the ticks of the clock slightly longer than the original game. Clever.

FluttershyGuy

#7

FluttershyGuy said:

@undead_terror
I was surprised (and disappointed) that they didn't go the level editor route. It may've NSMBU more of a "killer app" to sell systems at launch. It really could've been a tremendous LittleBigPlanet competitor aside from the standalone game that we got, and increased replayability infinitely!

Or, perhaps that's what Nintendo was worried about, a game so fulfilling long-term, that people wouldn't buy other Wii U games! Only problem is Wii U games have been few and far between anyway. If they had a level editor, with thousands of user-created levels out there, I think there'd be more new Wii U owners out there, and happier early adopters.

All in all, a missed opportunity, in my opinion.

FluttershyGuy

#8

FluttershyGuy said:

I'd love to see more DLC, aside from Luigi U. Like packs containing levels from past SMB games. Just imagine playing classic SMB 3, or SMW levels with Wii U graphics & HD! I think it'd be a real money maker! A real dream would be a Wii U remake of Super Mario All-Stars. ;)

UnseatingKDawg

#10

UnseatingKDawg said:

New Super Luigi U is an excellent DLC pack. I would like to see more DLC though - level editors would be great, as well as classic levels completely re-done in HD.

Kagamine

#12

Kagamine said:

A distinct move away? As in a step backwards toward expansion packs instead of a regular DLC? Let's all stop pretending NSLU is DLC and call it what it is, an expansion pack.

Wanderlei

#13

Wanderlei said:

Nintendo are the only ones that truly care about gaming. M$ and $ony just want the 'do everything box' in peoples homes.

GiftedGimp

#14

GiftedGimp said:

Right price point, right amount of content, Sony, MS and every developer should take note of how Nintendo added LuigiU as dlc.
I would like to see some new CoinRush/Challenge levels as dlc though, but understand that Nintendo would be accused of holding back content.. after all it is the norm within the industry hence why so much dlc these days is already on disc and you actually only get a unlock key for for your money.

SetupDisk

#15

SetupDisk said:

@Kagamine
How is an expansion pack worse than DLC? Any PC game that I have bought it for and in this game as well it's a hell of a lot better value .

james_squared

#16

james_squared said:

I remember getting "DLC" for Test Drive II on the Amiga that had new cars (Muscle Car pack) and some new tracks (I think there was a European course pack). Not (directly) related to the discussion above, but I thought I'd type it in anyway.

rjejr

#17

rjejr said:

"Although, technically deemed DLC, it's a much longer experience than the downloadable software"

Funny you should discuss this as I was just commenting this morning (maybe yesterday) about how the industry needs a new description for these in- between games. Not full $60 retail - not $10 or $15 DL. The PS3 release Sly was $30, and Puppeteer and R&C:Nexus are coming out at $40 and $30. Also, most Move and Kinect games have been $30 or $40.

I'm glad to see the games industry realizes not every new game needs to be $59.99. I hope Nintendo realizes this when they release an HD update of a 10 year old Gamecube game. Nobody expects it to be $10, but it shouldn't be $60 for a new coat of paint either.

Kagamine

#18

Kagamine said:

@SetupDisk I'm not saying it's a worse value, I'm saying is that the gaming industry is moving away from things like this and once again Nintendo is trailing behind. I personally agree that Expansion packs are a much better value, but I prefer smaller DLC. Take Borderlands 2 for example, it has a TON of DLC. All in bite size packages that i can buy when and if I want for a cheap price. Then if i want it all I can buy the Season Pass which is super cheap and includes it all. The season pass is a way better value than any expansion pack if I want all the content and smaller DLC lets me pick and choose if I only want a few pieces.

SetupDisk

#19

SetupDisk said:

@Kagamine
I guess so but in the end sometimes if you can wait you just might as well get the "game of the year" edition of most games. That's what I am doing with games like Borderlands 2. I loved the first but I know I can wait. Plus I know(not really for sure but yes) that it is coming eventually and that people will still be playing.

Games like Zen Pinball 2 I only want a few tables and the new Star Wars download. I agree that smaller DLC can be better for things like reskins or a new area/maps.

But with something like this I don't see how Nintendo could have realistically split it up as an option. Buy one world to try, you might as well get the whole thing, plus could you just download the last world?

They actually did offer packs for Fire Emblem or you could just download the maps you wanted. But they did not include a seasons pass which I would have bought right away.

Which is where you end up when you have games that don't have season passes but a lot of DLC which still happens on PSN as well besides just FE. A whole lot of money for something that really isn't worth it. Not that they make you buy it or it's necessary for a complete game but I've been silly enough to actually spend more on DLC than the initial price of the game. That's new retail not bargain bin. It happens so easy when stuff is released over several months. 5 bucks here, 10 bucks there. That's where something like this DLC makes me happy since I know that's not going to happen.

BossBattles

#21

BossBattles said:

Super Luigi U is the best DLC I've ever paid for. I'd love to see more of this from Nintendo.

Gridatttack

#22

Gridatttack said:

A level editor that has fully editable things (except changing graphics) would be the best thing ever. Sharing levels with people all over the place will give this a great RV.

The problem is, im sure this game wasnt coded to be edited friendly, so nintendo would have to make an UI for the editor, and considering this is a NMSB, some sprites will need more options to edit. But im sure ninty could pull a level editor if they try.

Alienfish

#23

Alienfish said:

Let's see: New Super Mario Bros. 2 DLC packs cost $2.50 for three courses. That's roughly 83 cents per course. New Super Luigi U costs $20 ($30 at retail) and features 82 courses making the price per course just over 24 cents apiece (36.5 cents at retail). This different approach seems less about just wanting to do something different and more about creating a better value so more people will buy. They could have sold NSMB2 DLC for a buck a pop and still made more per course than NSLU.

JaxonH

#24

JaxonH said:

I like the NSLU DLC approach, and hope to see MUCH more of it in the future. $20 doesn't seem to get you very much in DLC these days, a few extra skins, couple new helmet colors, and a sexy pair of shoes. With NSLU I got a whole new effing game. THAT'S what's up...

Will-75

#25

Will-75 said:

I really like the dlc in new super mario bros. 2 . I still play it alot it added a ton of replayability for me I love the whole coin collecting thing , it would-be awesome if they could have added some kind of online leader board also, though I have to agree that Luigi U is a better bargin you do get more bang for you buck.

Dynheart

#26

Dynheart said:

I've been wanting to play this. But I've been holding out for the physical copy of the game. The green case next to NSMB? Awesome. Just awesome. I'll spend 10 extra bucks for that novelty sitting in my collection.

It's good to hear the DLC is worth the price.

Marioman64

#27

Marioman64 said:

people that wonder why extra things aren't included in the first place are kind of dumb. do they WANT games to take longer to come out, and do they NOT want new levels to play? derp
anyway the Luigi U "dlc" is definitely worth every penny

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