|Super Mario Bros.: Plumbers Unite|
|Developer(s)||Nintendo EAD Tokyo, Yoshio Sakamoto|
|Platform(s)||Wii U/Nintendo 3DS|
|July 20, 2015 (all regions)|
|Single Player/Multiplayer (Online/Offline)|
|Media Included||Wii U Disc/3DS Cartridge|
Super Mario Bros.: Plumbers Unite is a title in the mainstream Super Mario series developed by Nintendo EAD Tokyo alongside Yoshio Sakamoto (the co-creator of the Metroid series) for the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, making it the first title in the main series to be released on multiple platforms (excluding ports and remakes). The game was published by Nintendo, and was released in all regions on July 20th, 2015, just over a week after Nintendo's fourth president Satoru Iwata passed away. As such, every physical copy of the game (provided it was pre-ordered) includes a booklet detailing the life and legacy of Iwata, as well as a collection of every Nintendo Direct ever aired so far on a single DVD disc. Additionally (regardless of the copy), at the end of the game's credits, a translucent photograph of Iwata shows up against a cloudy sunset sky, along with his signature quote ("On my business card, I am a corporate president. In my mind, I am a developer. But in my heart, I'm a gamer."), and the words "In memory of Satoru Iwata. 1959-2015."
The game was released to critical acclaim from critics and fans alike, with many praising the game's graphics and soundtrack, and welcoming the new take on the franchise. However, some complaints were aimed at the lengthy worlds and overall lack of difficulty. Regardless though, the game was a huge commercial success, selling 6.5 million copies within the month after its release, and significantly boosting the sales of the Wii U, until its total amount of units sold tied with that of the PlayStation 4.
The game's story is told through pre-rendered CGI cutscenes and in-game dialogue.
Set after the events of Super Mario World and before the events of Super Mario 64 DS, (while also taking place after the Super Mario Land trilogy and the Wario Land series), Wario becomes exhausted from his adventures around the world, and returns to the Mushroom Kingdom. He decides to settle back down in his castle full of treasure, alongside his new companion and long-lost brother Waluigi, whom he had met at some point before (Mario Tennis is NOT canon). However, it is not long before trouble stirs up again.
News quickly spreads around the Mushroom Kingdom, claiming that Wario and Waluigi have robbed the royal vault, and that the Mario Bros. supposedly did absolutely nothing to stop them. Thus, both pairs of plumbers are arrested and thrown into jail for their crimes despite not being responsible. A few days later, the four are released and are tasked with scouring the entire kingdom and reclaiming the stolen coins. However, while splitting up on their search, Luigi hears some screams from within Toad Town, and he and his brother go to investigate, only to discover that the town has been ransacked as well. While examining the scene, Mario points off into the distance, noticing what appear to be physical duplicates of himself and Wario fleeing into the woods and carrying large sacks. The two start to give chase, but are stopped by the authorities once more, enabling their döppelgangers a chance to escape. Realizing that they have been framed, Mario and Luigi run off to stop the impostors, fleeing from the police in the process, though Mario would become separated from Luigi during their escape.
While traversing the many areas of the Mushroom Kingdom, the two brothers eventually reunite and even manage to find the Wario Bros. Somewhat begrudgingly, the four decide to team up and continue their quest together. Along the way, they slowly begin to learn that Bowser and his various minions are behind the burglary and that the clones of themselves were merely robotic replicas built by him in an attempt to frame them. They even manage to overcome their differences as they work together. After conquering all twelve worlds and defeating their clones, the group finally manages to retrieve every cent of the stolen money, and makes its return to Toad Town to give it back to the citizens as the credits roll. However, the credits theme cuts off and the credits stop as the heroes notice a small handful of Bowser's airships flying off in the opposite direction. When the four arrive back in the kingdom, they find the entire place ravaged and smoking. At the castle, the people are in a panic as Princess Peach has been captured yet again. Through a letter that had been left behind at the castle, they learn that the Bowser that they had defeated during their quest was merely a clone, and that the real Bowser had kidnapped Peach behind the heroes' backs. It turns out that Bowser never truly cared about the kingdom's treasure, and only had his minions steal it in order to get the plumbers arrested, so that they would not get in his way during his kidnapping. Without hesitating, the Mario Bros. and Wario Bros. set off to save her.
After conquering Bowser's castle, the group of four discover a secret room where Bowser is waiting for them. After he is seemingly defeated, he morphs into the larger and stronger Giga Bowser, and challenges them again. After yet another defeat, Giga Bowser is knocked into the lava and the door leading to the room Peach is in is revealed. As Mario makes a beeline for it, he hears an ominous sound. Suddenly, Dry Bowser jumps out of the lava, and challenges the heroes a third and final time, but is defeated after his skeleton is shattered to countless pieces, leaving nothing but his skull behind. After rescuing the princess and bringing her home, the Mario Bros. have their names cleared, and the Wario Bros. are rewarded with a portion of the castle's treasure. The two pairs thank each other for their help, and come to realize that they are not truly opposites in terms of morality. As such, Mario, Luigi, Wario, and Waluigi are now on better terms with each other, though their friendly rivalry is still going strong.
In a post-credits scene, Kamek is shown to have survived his encounter with the heroes. He finds Dry Bowser's skull and magically summons a cauldron, which he promptly drops the skull into, before waving his wand over it. As Kamek leaves, the cauldron begins to bubble, before exploding. Once the smoke subsides, a revitalized Bowser is revealed. He glares at the screen and laughs, foreshadowing his return in Super Mario 64 DS.
Super Mario Bros.: Plumbers Unite is a 2.5D platformer, much like the New Super Mario Bros. games, with similar mechanics and enemies. Players still defeat enemies by jumping on them and collect coins (though despite the storyline of the game, collecting coins is not necessarily required). However, the overall gameplay is drastically different. The game plays similarly to the 2D sections of the Super Mario Galaxy series, with every move from those games being usable by all four playable characters minus the Spin attack (which is instead replaced by the physical attacks from Super Mario 64, which can be used even with a power-up equipped) and the Star Cursor. The characters can walk, (or run by holding the left analog stick further in a direction), crouch, crouch-walk, swim, jump, double/triple jump, wall-jump, perform the side- and backwards-somersaults, ground pound, and even long-jump. The dive maneuver and the ability to grab enemies/items both return from Super Mario 64, (though this time the latter only works if the enemy is approached from behind) alongside the roll and rolling-long-jump from Super Mario 3D Land.
The player can control Mario, Luigi, Wario, and Waluigi during the stages, (who can easily be switched between via the touch screen, which also displays the Metroid-style map) though only Mario is available from the start. Each character has their own abilities to help them explore the levels and reach areas that everyone else can't. By unlocking more characters and power-ups, players can gradually gain access to more areas of each world and eventually be able to fully complete it. Unlike traditional Super Mario titles, the game's stage progression is much different. Rather than each world consisting of several levels and a boss or two, each world in this game is simply one giant Metroidvania-esque labyrinth to explore (and due to this, there are more worlds here this time around to compensate). To clear a world, the player must explore the area, defeat Mario enemies of all varieties and sizes, and grab coins and collectibles, though the main goal is to locate and destroy six bosses within it, before making their way to the Goal Pole that appears upon completing that task. Though each world has several checkpoints scattered throughout it, the player can still save their progress at any point if they want to take a break. At the end of a world, the player earns a rank based on a combination of how many coins they collected, how many collectibles they nabbed, how fast they completed the stage, how much of the stage they explored, and how much damage they took. The rank can range from an "E" to an "S". The lives system from other games is completely removed, as is the power-up-based health system, which is instead replaced with a health meter that functions identically to the one in Kirby Super Star. Characters can also take much more damage from specific insta-kill elements from previous games, such as lava, which can even be almost completely ignored with the Fire Flower. Super Mushrooms simply restore a portion of lost health, and 1-Ups restore all of the player's health. Additionally, the levels lack a time-limit this time.
The game also includes various multiplayer modes: "Co-Op Mode" allows two people to play together locally as their characters of choice, "Throwdown Mode" places up to four players (either locally, or online) in an arena with every power-up in the game available to them, and their goal is to attack each other and drain their health until only one plumber is still standing. Finally, "Exploration Mode" is an online mode for up to four players that allows the players to explore the labyrinths separately and work together to beat the worlds.
As mentioned above, each character has their own stats and abilities, letting them access parts of the levels that others can't. Speed represents how fast the character can walk and run, Jump represents how high the character can jump, Power represents the damage that the character deals to foes and how easily they can lift objects, and Defense represents how much damage the character takes from enemies/obstacles. Another ability that each character has is the ability to press switches and break blocks that correspond to their favorite color (red for Mario, green for Luigi, yellow for Wario, and purple for Waluigi).
|Character:||Description:||Stats:||Unique Abilities:||Unlocking Criteria:|
|Mario||The renowned hero of the Mushroom Kingdom has suddenly been prosecuted for not being there to stop a crime. Can he find out who the real culprit is, and clear his name?||Speed: ***
|N/A||Available from start.|
|Luigi||Being his brother, Luigi has shared many things with Mario, from his house to his countless adventures. But now he has to share his criminal record with him too! Surely his agility can come in handy on this quest, right?||Speed: ****
||Rescue in Grassland Getaway.|
|Wario||Wario is known for several things: his rivalry with Mario, his terrible hygiene, and his endless desire to get his hands on more treasure. This time around, the treasure is taken by someone else with an equal amount of greed! Can Wario muscle his way out of this predicament and prove that he is truly the best treasure hunter around?||Speed: *
||Rescue in Scorching Outpost.|
|Waluigi||Being a bitter rival to Luigi, it is no surprise that Waluigi did not want to team up with him for this quest. However, four heads are better than one when it comes to finding treasure, and cheating won't work in this instance. Will Waluigi keep his promise and become a true hero?||Speed: *****
||Rescue in Mechanical Mayhem.|
Power-ups behave differently here compared to other games. Rather than appearing frequently and being lost with a single hit, there is only one of each power-up in the entire game, hidden somewhere within the many worlds, and collecting it unlocks that power-up permanently. It can then be used infinitely and be equipped to any of the characters, and it will not wear off if the character using it is damaged.
|Power-Up:||Uses:||Mario's Properties:||Luigi's Properties:||Wario's Properties:||Waluigi's Properties::|
The game contains a variety of collectibles scattered throughout the levels. With the exception of the first five, all of these must be collected in order to 100% the game. After beating the game normally, a bonus world is unlocked, containing nine small labyrinths within it, (each unlocked by completing a certain objective) and no collectibles except for the first five.
|Coin||Found all over the various worlds, either lying around, or inside breakable crates. Can also be awarded for defeating enemies and solving puzzles. Collecting 100 of these will fully restore the player's health gauge. The coin total is added up at the end of a world, and is one of several factors in deciding the player's overall rank.|
|Diamond||Found inside treasure chests that spawn in completely random spots each time you visit the world. Worth 50 coins.|
|Super Mushroom||These power-ups no longer increase the size of the characters, but instead simply restores a portion of their health gauge.|
|1-Up Mushroom||Due to the game lacking any sort of life-system, 1-Ups instead behave like Maxim Tomatoes from the Kirby series, in that they restore the characters' health gauges in their entirety.|
|Starman||Like in all other Mario platformers, Starmen grant temporary invincibility to their users and give them a new jumping-animation. Exclusive to this game is their ability to max out every single one of the characters' stats until their power wears off.|
|Star Coin||There are 10 of these in each world. Some are out in the open, some are cleverly hidden, and some cannot be reached without a certain character or ability. Collecting all of them in a single world will unlock a Miiverse stamp, which are detailed below. Collecting every star coin in the game will unlock a mini-level within the bonus world.|
|Stamp||Used for posting on Miiverse. Each world contains 8 of these, though only 7 can be collected in the level itself, (either out in the open, or hidden). The 8th one can only be achieved by collecting all 10 star coins in that world. Collecting all stamps in the game unlocks one of several mini-levels in the unlockable world. Alongside the star coins, stamps are the only collectibles within the game that appear on the world map at all times, even before being found.|
|Golden Enemy||Variants of common enemies that have a golden hue and are a bit tougher. These collectibles do not initially appear on the level map until they are discovered, but once found, they will always be on the map and won't leave the level. However, they also actively move around the map, and the player must track them down and defeat them. Each world contains five of these, and defeating every single golden enemy in the game (besides boosting the player's overall coin total) unlocks a mini-level in the bonus world.|
|Endangered Toad||While exploring the levels, the player will occasionally find Toads within the levels, stuck in various situations (being cornered by enemies, being trapped behind a wall, etc.). Upon finding one, it will automatically appear on the level map, so that the player can easily return to them whenever they are ready or after they find the ability or character needed to rescue it. Each world contains three of these, and rescuing them all unlocks a mini-level within the bonus world.|
|Nabbit||Unlike the other collectibles, Nabbit won't appear in the levels until they have been completed at least once, and what level he appears in is completely randomized. (This is signified by a Nabbit icon on the world-select screen). Unlike in New Super Mario Bros. U, the player does not have to catch him within a time limit, and the level design will not have any restrictions on where they can go. Nabbit will move around the world, and it is up to the player to locate and catch him. After that, catching him in every world will unlock a mini-level from the bonus world.|
Super Mario Bros.: Plumbers Unite contains twelve main worlds within its story mode. As previously stated, each world is simply one large labyrinth which the players must explore, uncovering secrets, nabbing collectibles, killing enemies and bosses, and discovering new abilities. Beating a world is all a matter of defeating the six bosses scattered around it, and then reaching the Goal Pole that appears as soon as that's done. Besides beating the main worlds, the player also has the matter of defeating Mecha Mario, Mecha Luigi, Mecha Wario, and Mecha Waluigi. The robotic replicas appear randomly in completed worlds, and constantly move around the level-map. As such, they must be located and dismantled. Each clone fights with the same abilities as their organic counterpart and can only be damaged by their counterpart (other characters' attacks will simply stun them briefly). The fights with them also vary in difficulty depending on how many abilities are unlocked at the time of battle. If the player loses to a robotic clone, then the clone will either travel to another completed stage, or disappear for a short while. Defeating all four clones is necessary for continuing on to the final boss, on top of beating all twelve levels (though 100%ing the stages does not matter at this point). The player can choose to either beat the stages first before going after the clones, or to take the clones out as they encounter them.
Each world contains a cutscene that introduces the world itself, as well as cutscenes that play during the introduction of each boss fight. Additionally, each world also has its own self-contained problem that can be solved via usage of the characters' abilities, or by simply defeating specific bosses, though (for the most part) these do not affect the story at all, and don't need to be solved during the first playthrough. If the player revisits the world again after solving its problem, then the level design will feature slight alterations and the characters will say different things, (though the enemies will still respawn, and the player will still have the option to re-fight the bosses). Characters within the worlds can also be spoken to, and either reflect upon their current situation, or give off hints towards the whereabouts of collectibles and characters. Initially, the NPCs are hostile towards Mario and co. due to their alleged crimes, but as the game progresses, they slowly start to trust them again. After beating the game, the player can even revisit levels and speak to the characters again, who will now congratulate them on their progress and claim that they were wrong about the heroes. The NPCs in these worlds are mostly Toads, though some worlds have their own exclusive NPCs, such as Penguins in Land of the Burning Ice, Yoshis on Yoshi's Island, Gearmos in Mechanical Mayhem, non-enemy Goombas and Koopas in Canyon Base, and Piantas in Skyscraper Capers.
Unique to this game are day-and-night cycles. After spending ten minutes in a single world, the time of day will change, (though the time of day present when the player first enters the stage depends on the actual time on the Wii U/3DS' clock, similar to the Animal Crossing stages in the Super Smash Bros. series). At night, besides the aesthetics and music being different, the enemies are also tougher and the level designs will feature some new mechanics and features. Additionally, the NPCs within the various regions will behave differently depending on the time of day, or may simply disappear at certain times. The day/night cycles also introduce an element of strategy to the game, as certain bosses and objectives can only be beaten at certain times of day.
|World:||Description:||Chars/Forms Unlocked:||Night Differences:||Predicament:||Bosses:|
|World 1: Grassland Getaway||The typical plains level that has been a mainstay in the series for years. It consists mainly of grassy fields and simple enemies such as Goombas, though there are a few caves and small pools scattered about. The southernmost third of the stage takes place in an underground section with plenty of pipes. The pipe section also extends above ground, into the east. Finally, a section full of giant mushroom platforms is present in the northwest.||Luigi; Fire Flower||At night, the NPCs in this world will simply muse about the beauty of the night, though some may also teach the player certain mechanics that they will not hear about during the day.||None||Goomboss, Major Burrows, Petey Piranha, Cheepskipper, King Bob-Omb, and Hookbill.|
|World 2: Sky High Haven||A sky level taking place from the top of a rocky mountain to the heavens above, divided into four sections. The lowest of these takes place on the mountain itself and is at sunrise, while the topmost area takes place at night and has some floating ruins. As the player travels higher up, the level terrain becomes more dangerous, having cloud platforms that either disappear beneath their feet or are infused with lightning. The entire region has a giant beanstalk stretching up along the middle of it, with leaves that act like platforms. Various level mechanics include warp-pipes that send the player between the four sections, and clouds that bounce the player upwards to a great height.||None; Super Leaf||Due to its default aesthetics, this is the only main world in the game to lack a day/night-cycle.||Countless Toads are scared of the constant lightning storms occurring in the region, which make the ground unsafe and make flying through the area risky. Defeating the two Lakitu bosses will solve the problem.||Lakithunder, Count Fang, Giga Lakitu, Big Buzzy Beetle, Raphael the Raven, and Tap-Tap the Red Nose.|
|World 3: Scorching Outpost||A desert level with sandy dunes, pyramids, cacti, and lots of fire-type enemies. At the northernmost area of the stage is a giant pyramid which can be climbed, and even has a handful of accessible rooms. A large tornado is situated in the west, containing platforms that must be traversed and strong winds that blow the player around as they try to stand their ground. An oasis surrounded by palm-trees is also located on ground-level. Finally, a set of ancient ruins that have sunken below the sand is placed at the bottom of the map, containing primitive mechanisms that somehow still work.||Wario; None||Several mini-tornadoes appear in random locations on the map, and travel along set paths. Getting caught in one will launch the player to a distant spot on the map. The Toad archaeologists will also begin to whine about their slow unearthing of the collectibles.||Several Toads are attempting to excavate the ruins in an attempt to get their hands on some of the level's collectibles. The player must simply utilize the abilities of the various playable characters to remove the obstructions. After this, the Toads decide to let the player have them due to their efforts.||Mummipokey, Eyerok, the Whomp King, the Angry Sun, Boom Boom, and Wario.|
|World 4: Mechanical Mayhem||A large and slightly unstable factory in the Mushroom Kingdom, which produces items such as Mecha-Koopas, Bullet Bills, and even the vehicles from the Mario Kart series. Due to technical problems, parts of the factory are coated in electricity, and the lower-half of the building is flooded.
Certain rooms are also full of toxic gas that slowly damages the player as they stand in it, and some of the pools of water are full of chemicals, making them unsafe to swim in.
|Waluigi; Weapon Suit||The Gearmos will simply be shut down and are unable to be spoken to.||The factory is in danger of being destroyed due to its malfunctioning and floods. The player must find and shut off the water pump and the circuit breaker in order to save it.||Golden Chomp, Pom Pom, Topmaniac, Mecha Bowser, Boss Bass, and a trio of Sledge Bros.|
|World 5: Paranormal Place||A deep, dark cave that contains a hidden ghost mansion that is situated in the middle of the map, and has several exits leading to the surrounding cave and even onto the roof. This world contains many ghostly enemies, including Boos, Peepas, Stretch, Crowbers, Swoopers, and even possessed objects. The ghost house itself is also full of illusions such as disappearing platforms and enemies that only appear for a split second.||None; None||The mansion is full of significantly more ghosts at night, but other than that, has no visual differences whatsoever.||A group of Toads has been separated from both their tour guide and each other while exploring the mansion, and it is too dangerous to try and regroup. Defeating the ghosts in different sectors of the map will illuminate those sectors and free them of illusions. Fully exploring the map and defeating every ghost enemy in the stage will allow the tour to continue as normal.||Bigger Boo, King Boo, Furious Fred de Fillet, a monstrous piano, Boohemoth, and Roger the Potted Ghost.|
|World 6: Kikkoman Depths||The topmost part of this world's map is the outskirts of a small, oceanside village, made up of Japanese-style architecture and full of sakura trees. Here, various Toads are on the docks, using rods and nets to fish for sea-life such as Cheep Cheeps, Bloopers, and Urchins. The majority of this level, however, takes place in the sea below, from the shallows to the mid-water regions, to even the inky depths. The mid-water region has a coral reef on its eastern half and nothing but open water on the west, while the dark depths hold several sunken ships. As expected, this world puts the swimming-skills of the players to the ultimate test. Aside from the enemies, the plumbers can also encounter friendly, normal sea life, (ranging from small fish to massive whales) though it cannot be interacted with and only serves as background elements.||None; None||The Toads on the land will not be present, and some of the more dangerous creatures will appear in other regions of the water rather than just the bottom.||The aforementioned Toads on the shoreline are suffering greatly due to the abundance of predators in the sea eating their food sources and making the waters dangerous. Simply defeating the stage's bosses will clear the mission. Despite the Toads' predicament, the player will not be penalized for killing any of the common enemies.||Boss Bass (rematch), Cheepskipper (rematch), Unagi Eel, Gooper Blooper, Guppy, and Kingfin.|
|World 7: Yoshi's Island||The home of the Yoshi race, as well as some of Mario's fondest memories. The island's map consists of rocky shores, bright blue waters with sunken ruins hiding beneath, a sandy beach, a jungle, and some cupcake-like mountains. Some of the water areas in this world are full of poisonous liquid that slowly kills the player and reverses their controls until they jump into a pool of clean water.||None; Yoshi and Ice Flower||More enemies are present in the water, and the Yoshis will move from the beach to the depths of the jungle.||The waters on and around the island are becoming contaminated with purple poison, which slowly kills anyone who decided to go for a swim and possesses them. The player learns from one of the locals that water can easily cure them, so they are tasked with freezing every zombified Yoshi and Toad on the island and throwing them into walls in order to heal them. Additionally, one of the Yoshis discovers that the Piranha Plants scattered all over the place are secreting the poison from their stems. As such, the player must defeat every Piranha on the island, (including one of the bosses) in order to cleanse the water.||Burt the Bashful, a giant Wiggler, King Clawdaddy, Monty Sub (an underwater version of Monty Tank that fires Torpedo Teds), Naval Piranha, and Donkey Kong (possessed by the poison while swimming by his summer home on the island).|
|World 8: Land of the Burning Ice||This world may look like an icy mountain (with several evergreens scattered everywhere) on the surface, but deep below is a scalding volcano full of Podoboos and Lava Bubbles. The two environments also cross over with each other at points, resulting in a weird hybrid. The player must utilize the Fire and Ice Flowers a lot here, allowing them protection from the elements, as well as a means to kill the elemental enemies.||None; None||Aurora will be present in the sky, and all but a few of the Penguins will be gone.||According to some Toad scientists who are camping on the mountain, the mountain's odd elemental properties are not natural, and are caused by the discharges from garbage that had been littered into the volcano. To clear this objective, the player must simply defeat the bosses that reside inside the mountain, where their splashing into the lava will cause a reaction that makes the volcano erupt, (this will not harm the player) thus expelling the waste from inside it.||Chief Chilly, Big Bully, King Kaliente, Prince Pikante, Fiery Dino Piranha, Boom Boom (rematch), and a Flaming Chomp.|
|World 9: Skyscraper Capers||This world takes place within the many floors of a towering skyscraper in Mushroom City. Each floor has its own theme, ranging from a lobby, to a group of hotel rooms, to a party room, to a lounge, to a casino, to a bathroom, to a kitchen, and even to a storage room containing a furnace, plumbing, and air conditioning. The floors can be traveled between either via elevators, staircases, or air vents. Parts of the level also take place outside on the rooftops of surrounding buildings and even on patrolling helicopters.||None; None||The NPCs will become more angry and act more hostile towards the player.||The hotel that the level takes place in has been overtaken by the Koopa Troop. The player must explore the exterior of the building and attack all four airships hovering around the hotel, until they are destroyed, thus stopping the assault. Finally, they must also kill every enemy on a single floor to reclaim it, and also do so for the other seven.||Boom Boom + Pom Pom, a trio of Hammer Bros., a trio of Boomerang Bros., a trio of Fire Bros., a trio of Ice Bros., and King Boo (the incarnation from Super Mario Sunshine).|
|World 10: Voodoo Bayou||Set in a somber, misty, swampy, firefly-filled forest in the middle of a swamp. The center of the map contains a village of houses made from wrecked ships and planes, extending from the ground and even into the tree branches. The murky waters below house collectibles and dangerous sea life, though the majority of the world is on dry land, from the mossy ground, all the way up to the top of the mangrove canopy.||None; None||The lighthouses and passing ships in the background will now pan some searchlights into the foreground, and getting spotted will cause some spirits to carry them to a random area of the world. Additionally, the Toads no longer relegate themselves to the village, becoming crazy and gittery, and may even attack the player, (though attacking them back is impossible). Finally, the waters will also contain more dangerous creatures.||The peaceful castaway town is in danger due to the surrounding forest being destroyed. Avoiding the patrolling men in the background, the player must locate three fishing nets loaded with Huckit Crabs, and utlilize either Luigi's Raccon ability, or Waluigi's Weapon/Ice ability to cut them and free the Toads' food source from the invaders. Additionally, two deforestation machines and two generators are scattered around the map, and must be destroyed as well.||Unagi Eel (rematch), Gooper Blooper (rematch), Petey Piranha (rematch), Wingo, Bugaboom, and Big Beanie.|
|World 11: Canyon Base||This world takes place in a deep, rocky canyon full of cliffs, caves, and boulders (both stationary and rolling). However, the main feature of this region is it being completely occupied by various military bases. Littering the map are cannons and Bill Blasters that fire Bulls-Eye Bills, among many other foes. However, it is not only the Koopa Troop involved in the war, but also a Toad Army (including Captain Toad), who are actively fighting back. Occasionally, the player must avoid large Koopa-driven tanks that are occasionally deployed to patrol the area and shoot on sight, and large choppers that sprinkle enemies onto the ground.||None; None||Both the Toads and the enemies will become much quieter, and the tanks and helicopters will not be deployed.||To help the Toad Army win the battle and conquer the enemy's base, the player must locate a tank station somewhere on the lower-half of the map, and a hangar in the upper half, before destroying them both with Wario's bombs, allowing the Toads to advance forwards without trouble from the reinforcements. Additionally, after defeating one of the bosses, the player must also use the Fire Flower (any character will do) on the tent that the boss was residing in, in order to burn it down (prompting the army to advance towards it and conquer that spot as well). Rinse and repeat for all six, and then the Toad Army has won the war and put the Koopa Troop at a disadvantage.||Monty Tank, King Bob-Omb (rematch), Whomp King (rematch), Prince Bully, Pom Pom (rematch), and Tap-Tap the Golden.|
|World 12: Airship Assault||The entire world takes place on the inside and outside of a humungous airship surrounded by a fleet of smaller ones, (which can also be explored for hidden collectibles). Unlike previous worlds, this one contains nine bosses as opposed to the usual six.||None; None||None||As they're locating the main eight bosses, the player must also locate and hit five switches as they come across them. These switches are positioned all over the airship, and hitting them causes it to capsize and plummet down into a great ocean. This is the only way get the level's final boss, Bowser to appear. However, it is to note that if four out of five switches are hit and the player has not defeated every Koopaling yet, the game will not let the last switch get pressed until all of the first eight bosses are defeated.||The Koopalings (each fought separately in separate areas), Bowser Jr., and Bowser.|
|World 13: Bowser's Humble Keep||The true final world that only becomes available after beating the previous 10 stages (fully completing them doesn't matter here) and defeating all four robotic clones. It is pretty typical in terms of level tropes, but with an ocean's worth of lava and countless enemies and traps, plus the castle itself being labyrinth-like in design, this world is the most challenging so far. Level mechanics include dimly-lit rooms with patrolling searchlights (getting caught results in several enemies being sprinkled around you), anti-gravity sections, and warp-pipes that warp you to completely random spots on the map (and taking the same pipe twice won't lead you to the same area twice). Unlike the other worlds, this one only has four bosses, as opposed to the usual six.||None; None||None||The door where Bowser resides won't appear unless the player has defeated the other bosses in the castle. Simply do that and the door reveals itself in the center of the castle.||Kamek, Kammy Koopa, Boom Boom + Pom Poom, and Bowser.|
|Bonus World (World 14): The Trials of the Mushroom Kingdom||Unlocked after completing the game. This world contains none of the collectibles from earlier stages, and is actually more traditional in terms of design, as instead of one single level, this one consists of nine labyrinths, each one unlocked as the player gradually makes their way towards 100% completion.
Completing every level in this world leads to 100% completion of the game, and also unlocks Hard Mode, which sees players going through reversed worlds with a health gauge only half as long as the original one, the collectibles being rearranged so that they are in more dangerous spots, all enemies being of larger size, and the bosses being recolored and much more challenging. Repeating the entire process for Hard Mode leads to 200% completion.
|None; None||None||Simply complete the tasks that each level demands, and you're good.||None|
While Super Mario Maker, a game celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the original Super Mario Bros. was in development for the Wii U, Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto expressed interest in making another 2D Mario game. However, he wanted to stray away from the typical tropes of the New Super Mario Bros. series, with new ideas, new levels never seen before in a Mario game, and an overall fresh and new experience. While coming up with ideas, one of the members of Nintendo EAD Tokyo suggested to expand upon the exploration element of the 2D Mario titles. Liking the idea, Miyamoto contacted the team behind the Metroid series, due to their experience with explorative games, and they helped develop the game. To increase hardware sales for the recently-released New Nintendo 3DS, Miyamoto opted for the game to be a multi-platform title; as such, a version of Super Mario Bros.: Plumbers Unite was released for the handheld. The 3DS version of the game is virtually identical to the Wii U version, though its level designs are slightly different, the ordering of the worlds was redone a bit, and the pre-rendered CGI cutscenes from the Wii U version were replaced with text-boxes and still-images.
Regarding the inclusion of the Wario Bros. in the game, Miyamoto explained: "Those characters really have some great charm about them, and it would be fun to see how they fare in a game that centers on them, and how they would work alongside their arch-rivals. Not to mention that I really wanted to see Wario in a Mario platformer again after Super Mario 64 DS (laughs)."
To further differentiate the game from the other modern 2D titles, the game was given a distinctive, brightly-colored and cel-shaded graphical style, and the characters all got additional moves and unique stats. The game's soundtrack was composed by Koji Kondo (as usual) and was performed with live recorded instruments by the same band behind Super Mario 3D World's soundtrack. The game's soundtrack is largely upbeat and consists of varied music styles that try to replicate the locations that each level takes place in, all the while combining those styles with upbeat pop, rock, reggae, jazz, and even zydeco, among several other genres. Some tracks even utilize a full orchestra, similar to the Super Mario Galaxy games.
Regarding the pre-order bonus that the game offers, Miyamoto stated that it was a last-minute addition completed just days before the game's release, in an attempt to pay a proper tribute to Iwata. He also stated that the game was originally due on the day of his death (of which he and the other Nintendo employees were unaware would occur) but was delayed in order to include the bonus content.
The game received critical acclaim upon its release, with many critics praising the game's large amount of changes to the series. IGN's Jose Otero gave the game a 10/10, stating: "Despite what it may look like, Super Mario Bros.: Plumbers Unite isn't just another 2D Mario title. With a new art-style that makes Wind Waker look like crap, and a soundtrack that even surpasses 3D World's, alongside outstanding replayability and awesome level design, this game truly sticks out. And to seal the deal, it doesn't even have the word "new" in its title." André Segers of GameXplain gave the game a favorable review, praising its presentation and new ideas, but criticising its "overall ease" and "at times repetitive level design", as well as "bosses that occasionally repeat themselves".
The 3DS port received rave reviews as well, though they were slightly less positive than the Wii U version's. Most complaints were aimed at the inferior visuals and less impressive cutscenes. Matt Casamassina of IGN stated: "As for the 3DS version of Plumbers Unite, it is just as good as its Wii U sibling--at least looking past the downscaled visuals. According to GameSpot, who gave the 3DS version a 9.7/10, (compared to the Wii U version's 10/10): "This game is a killer app for both consoles, and plays just as well no matter which version you buy, (assuming you're only buying both). The 3DS port may have some slight inferiorities, but these are entirely negligible." Kotaku stated: "Super Mario Bros.: Plumbers Unite may be a fantastic game, but it really isn't worth buying both versions as aside from some visual differences and tweaked level designs, no version is better than the other." On the other hand, GameTrailers, (who gave both versions an 8.5/10) said: "Despite their barely noticeable differences, I would strongly suggest buying both versions. They're both awesome, and--let's face it--it's not like you can be near your Wii U every second of the day."