New Super Mario Bros. U and Brutal Mario have got some interesting similarities:
1. The boss order of the Koopalings in both games is very close:
- NSMBU: Lemmy, Morton, Wendy, Larry, Iggy, Roy, Ludwig
- BM: Lemmy, Morton, Wendy, Iggy, Larry, Roy, Ludwig
With the exception of Larry and Iggy, they are nearly identical. Also in my opinion, the Koopalings in NSMBU have a unique set of attacks compared to previous games, much like how BM's Koopalings are unique to SMW's.
2. NSMBU takes a lot of inspiration from SMW:
- The sideways mountains in the first world
- Baby Yoshis were brought back, albeit they can't grow into adults, as well they have new abilities
- Torpedo Teds, Bony Beetles, Twimps, and Sumo Brothers, who were originally exclusive to SMW, were brought back
- 3-up Moons were brought back
- The fight with Bowser Jr. before the final world is reminiscent of the final battle with Bowser
- A giant overworld, which is unlike the previous games in which they were only submaps
- The Star World is very similarly structured
And since Brutal Mario stemmed from SMW, both games share roots.
3. The final world in NSMBU is a dark and evil-ridden Mushroom Kingdom. In Brutal Mario, the final world is also a dark Mushroom Kingdom.
4. Nintendo also released New Super Luigi U, a much more challenging version of NSMBU in which you play as Luigi, and Mario seemingly disappears. Spoilers: In Brutal Mario, after the player defeats Luigi, they take the role as him to stop Mario. Not a complete connection, but there is something peculiar about both of these things...
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