In a lot of ways, New Super Mario Bros U feels like an HD remake of Super Mario Bros 3. There’s very little creativity here in terms of design outside of the challenges, and it feels like Nintendo expects players to “just know” how to do a lot of things without feeling the need to show or explain how certain mechanics in the game work. The design is empty and lazy in many ways. Yet, it’s still a 2D Mario game, which has a certain level of quality almost by default. Sure, the level design feels “samey” but the source material is so good that it’s almost forgivable. Almost. Without the challenges and asymmetrical gameplay, this entry in the Mario Bros canon is a waste. Thankfully, those elements, along with strong art design, save this from being an average game. It’s still an average Mario game, but that’s still just good enough on its own.