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New Super Mario Bros. U: Fresh modes, character detailed

Challenge Mode and Coin Battle revealed, plus a seamless world map

Nintendo has announced new information about the game modes on offer in Wii U launch title New Super Mario Bros. U, as well as a new character.

In addition to the main side-scrolling adventure the game includes Challenge Mode, which tasks players with completing specific objectives, plus a multiplayer Coin Battle mode, both of which are detailed below.

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The company says New Super Mario Bros. U is the first side-scrolling Mario game since 1991's Super Mario World to feature a seamless world map with named worlds and courses. "Many" secret exits can alter the map and cause shortcuts to appear, and because all the worlds are interconnected it's possible to play through the game in a nonlinear fashion.

The game also features a speedy new creature called Nabbit who appears from time to time. If players can catch Nabbit they'll receive a P-Acorn which enables them to fly continuously through an entire stage.

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Challenge Mode tasks players with completing specific objectives, such as clearing a course without touching a single coin or touching the ground. There are four single-player Challenge categories: Time Attack, Coin Collection, 1-Up Rally and Special (miscellaneous challenges). Boost Mode Challenges require two players, with one player using the Wii U GamePad controller and the other using a Wii Remote controller. Once players complete a Challenge, the game saves a replay of the action so players can show off their accomplishments.

Coin Battle: Up to five players can play together and compete to see who can collect the most coins. One player will use the Wii U GamePad controller while the other four players use the Wii Remote controller. The player using the Wii U GamePad controller in Boost Mode can place Boost Blocks to help grab hard-to-reach coins. Players can also use the GamePad to edit and customize the coin layout in courses found only in Coin Battle. The coin layout can then be saved and played by the players using Wii Remote controllers.

Nintendo has confirmed a Wii U release date of November 18 in the US and a Wii U release date of November 30 in Europe. The company has set the US Wii U price at $299 for the basic model, while the UK Wii U price starts at £230.

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