I had a massive poster for The Joshua Tree on my bedroom wall, and a couple of mates and I went to see them play at Wembley Stadium. Well, technically, we went and stood outside Wembley Stadium, because we didn't have tickets, but the gates were opened about 15 minutes before the end of the show, presumably to ease congestion, and we were swept inside by a stampede of other ticketless fans, and got to see the end of the concert.
Some might argue that the end is the best part of any U2 concert...
I liked the next couple of U2 albums, but then... something shifted. U2 started sounding like U2 trying a bit too hard to be U2. Every album began promising a "return to basics", when - in truth - U2 never really deviated from the sound that everyone associated with U2. They never did a Radiohead. They just kept ploughing the same musical furrow, and it got... boring.
When it was published at the arse-end of 2012 on the Wii U - the equivalent of U2 announcing that their new album would only be available for the Zune - New Super Mario Bros. U was the proverbial "back to basics" album. The difference between it and the last four or five U2 albums - aside from the fact that one of them is a video game - is that Mario had earned the right to go back to basics.
The Mario franchise had, for the most part, been doing things 3D since the release of Yoshi's Island (most of us forget that it was officially branded as Super Mario World 2) in 1995, and New Super Mario Bros. U was exactly what some of us wanted.
Of course, it wasn't fresh and original or noisy enough to help Nintendo make a success of the Wii U. In fact, if anything, making the big Wii U launch game a 2D platformer probably contributed to a sense of disappointment, and affected sales.
But here we are, six-and-a-bit years on, and 2D platforms are no longer a dirty nonsense. Whereas in 2012 there was too much riding on New Super Mario Bros. U, the Switch is already a success. The time feels right for Mario to go back to his roots.
OR DOES IT...!??
A lot of you grumble about Nintendo's policy of re-releasing Wii U games for the Switch, and I understand it. You bought the Wii U. You'd prefer new games that you've not played before, but - presumably - the likes of New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe isn't for you. It's an opportunity for an overlooked game to get a second chance to shine.
Let's face it, Nintendo - more than any other games company - sees its games as perennials. They're not just churned out to meet some quarterly financial target. They're seen as a long-term investment, and quite right too. Too often, huge amounts of time and money and effort are pumped into games, only for them to be rendered obsolete 12 months later, in favour of another annual instalment. So, in short, stop your moaning.
That said, it's time to get real here: New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe might - technically - be a proper entry in Mario's side-on adventures, but there's something about it that feels oddly inconsequential. When playing it I never felt like I was enjoying the official successor to Super Mario World - the ideas, such as they are - are remixes, throwbacks, rather than attempts to move both genre and series forwards.
Indeed, Deluxe takes that feel even further, with the introduction of a new character or two (who you play as will affect the difficulty), and the inclusion of Super Luigi Bros. U - a hard-as-nails remix of the remix, in which you play as Fantoni (Luigi). Indeed, overall the difficulty feels like it's set for veterans of the series, not newcomers. While it starts much as Mario games always start, it swiftly gets frustrating, as death comes quickly to the Mushroom Kingdom, regardless of who you're playing as.
Laid atop this, the inclusion of a manic four-player mode feels little more than a novelty, an excuse to justify the "New" in the title.
The biggest issue I have with New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe - and it's the same one I had with New Super Mario Bros. U before it - is that it struggles to stick in the memory. Whether it's an underwater haunted house, or power-ups that are tweaks on old power-ups - everything just feels like a rehash of what has come before, rather than wholly new.
Maybe that's okay. I mean, whenever Bono proclaims that the new U2 album is back-to-basics the fans gleefully lap it up. Unfortunately, here - as with most of U2's 21st Century output - the reality feels disappointing, the same old notes played in a different order, rather than capturing the true spirit of what made both classic albums and classic game series great; at their best they were fresh, and new, and unlike anything else.
Admittedly, Nintendo has Odyssey for those who still want their Mario games full of original deas, but by comparison - even when you shunt aside the fact that this is a six-and-a-bit years-old game - New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe can't help but be anything more than a tribute band.
Making matters worse for Nintendo, there has been a resurgence in the popularity of side-scrolling platformers in recent years, games which have taken the Mario format and evolved it.
Compared to those, New Super Mario Brothers U feels depressingly old.
SCORE: SUPER MARIO 64 OUT OF SUPER MARIO 100