Super Mario 3D World Review
Fusion Games(Games in a franchise that merge together aspects of previous titles)are very hard to make and even worse, take seriously. However, there are a few good ones out there and this title is one of them. Super Mario 3D World is the fifteenth entry in the Super Mario series, the sixth 3D Mario title, and a follow-up to the Nintendo 3DS game, Super Mario 3D Land. This game is a throwback to both Super Mario Bros. 2 and 3 on the NES in terms of content, both of which I will touch on later.
The story this time around is on a starry night in the Mushroom Kingdom, Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and Toad take a walk outside of Princess Peach’s Castle when they discover a slanted Clear Pipe along the path. Mario and Luigi fix the Clear Pipe with hammers and wrenches, causing the pipe to eject a large number of items as well as a Sprixie Princess, a fairy-like creature of the Sprixie race. The princess begins to explain that Bowser has kidnapped six of her fellow Sprixie princesses and that she needs their help, but Bowser thereafter emerges from the pipe and traps the princess inside a bottle before disappearing back down the pipe with her. Peach tries to save the princess but winds up falling down the pipe herself, and the others soon follow in order to assist Peach. The heroes soon end up in the Sprixie Kingdom, where the journey mainly takes place.
Gameplay is interesting. It combines the style of New Super Mario Bros. U with the 3D-ish feel of Super Mario Galaxy, but without the rampant dizziness and potential migraines players have unfortunately suffered from in the past. The game also supports Off-TV Play by utilizing the Wii U’s Gamepad! Now if you recall, I mentioned how the game has numerous throwbacks to other titles. A few examples are as follows:
- Time, Score and the end-stage Goal Post return from Super Mario Bros.
- Beating levels open up new paths and areas on the World Map just like in Super Mario Bros. 3
- Chargin’ Chucks and Kuribons(Now known as Galoombas), as well as a few other enemies from Super Mario World make their return
- Green Stars from Super Mario Galaxy 2 make a return, though they are now known as Star Medals.There are 3 hidden in every normal level, along with a stamp. Look for them all!
- The character roster is identical to Super Mario Bros. 2, even going so far as to include their classic abilities…except instead of fast digging for Toad, he has a faster sprint.
- Rosalina from Super Mario Galaxy can be unlocked as a 5th character somewhere in the game!
The game features 4-player multi-player, which is a first for a 3D Mario game. You can play as Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Princess Peach, all having their original abilities from Super Mario Bros 2. Players can drop in and out at any time, similar to New Super Mario Bros. Wii and New Super Mario Bros. U; however, in this game, players can also switch characters at any time. So there is no need to start a whole new game file!
While the multi-player is indeed cooperative, there is slight competitiveness involved. Since the game brings back the score system, each player works together to get to the end of the stage, but is ranked based on score at the end. The player that gets the highest score for one stage receives a crown, which can be stolen by the other players and gives the player wearing it at the end of the stage a score bonus.
Transformations, a staple in the Super Mario Bros. series, makes a triumphant return with the inclusion of some classic abilities, as well as some new ones! Obviously a Super Mushroom turns you from Normal Mario to Super Mario, but what about the others? Well, the picture below outlines all the abilities present in this title:
As you can see, the game features numerous power-ups. In fact, this title features the most power-ups in a Mario game to-date at 17(That includes the above power-ups, as well as boxes and shoes), with the former record holder being Super Mario Bros. 3 with its set of 9. When is comes to power-ups, you can stock only 1 and are able to use it or switch out at any time during a level. However, that stock increases depending on how many players are playing with you. So for example, if you are playing with 3 other people, then the amount of items you can stock up on are at a maximum of 4. So technically, you can “swap” abilities with your partners if done correctly.
In the end, this newest entry in the Mario series is absolutely amazing. There are multiple worlds, numerous throwbacks to previous entries in the series and just general fun for the whole family. The game is challenging but fair and the music is incredible, even going so far as to add tracks from some of the other Mario games! If you have a Wii U, then this game is a definite must-have purchase for you and it is solid proof that even after 32 years, the Mario franchise continues to improve itself and bring all gamers, old-school and new, together!
10 out of 10
Until next episode…