Let’s just say that I am a huge Mario fan and I have played my share of Mario games. I will admit though that not all Mario games are great in my opinion. When it comes to Mario games I am not the type of fan that thinks all of them are pure gold. A good example is Mario & Luigi Dream Team. I didn’t like it and just couldn’t get into it. A Mario game that I did love on the 3DS was Super Mario 3D Land. It was the best Mario game I have played on the 3DS. When Super Mario 3D World came out I just had to play it. When I did I was not disappointed.
Platformers aren’t my favorite games to play but Super Mario 3D World doesn’t feel like one. Super Mario 3D World pulls this off by making sure each level is different from the previous one. The gameplay isn’t the same in each level. What helps you get a star in one level may not work in the next one. That is something I wish all platform games did. What turns me off from the genre in general is how you are doing the same exact thing in each level. The only thing different is the backgrounds. That is not what you experience in Super Mario 3D World.
We finally have a Mario game where we do not have to rescue Peach. In this game we have to rescue the Sprixie princesses. Bowser has kidnapped six of the Sprixie princesses and it’s up to Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Peach to find them all. Another refreshing part about this game is that it isn’t just Mario or Luigi saving the day. Now Toad and Peach get to be the hero for a change. Each character has their own abilities as well. The game doesn’t change when you decide to go multiplayer either. It is pretty much a seamless transition from solo to co-op. Let me say playing co-op is a blast. I had so much fun playing co-op. It is basically a competition to see who will get first place and get the crown. Whoever gets the most points gets a gold crown to wear in the next level.
While playing co-op was fun it does have some drawbacks. One drawback is that you get done with the game a lot sooner. When I played co-op with my nephew we completed about 80% of the game in one day.Some may not see this as a drawback but for me it was. My advice is to create one file just for co-op and another for yourself. That way you can take your time and enjoy the game. Also by creating one file for co-op and another just for yourself you get the freedom to play the way you want. Playing with others is fun but you don’t always get to play a level the way you want because your fates are kind of tied together. Let’s say you see a star and want to grab it if another player is way ahead of you the game automatically takes you to where they are. The key to playing co-op is to find players who play as well as you.
Another thing I didn’t like about this game is that you can unlock most of the levels without getting stars. In Super Mario 3D Land that was not the case. In that game you had to have a certain amount of stars in order to unlock most levels. Which I loved because it made playing the next level that much more rewarding and exciting. In 3D World it kind of felt like everything was just given to me. It feels like Nintendo did this in order to draw in more younger players and make the game more appealing to them. If that is the case I think they should have allowed adults playing the game to change the level of difficulty to suit their tastes. The whole point in each level was to get stars in order to move on. But in 3D World the whole point in getting stars was to unlock Bowser’s level.
All of the power-ups you see in 3D Land are in 3D World such as the tanuki suit. They do come in handy though. The graphics in Super Mario 3D World are just as impressive as its predecessor. There is a surprising amount of detail in each world. When you are using the gamepad and playing the haunted ship level it looks like actual rain is on your gamepad screen. The detail in the textures amazed me throughout the game. When I was playing that haunted ship level the wood looked very real. It didn’t have that cartoony look to it. The controls were very easy. There was a seamless transition from 3DS controls to gamepad controls which I loved. You could use other Nintendo controllers as well.
Replayability is a given in this game. Each level has 3 stars and you may not get all of them on the first try. I liked that going back to replay a level was optional. If you didn’t want to go back and get the stars you didn’t have to. The reason being is that there were plenty of other levels to make up for missed stars. Soundtrack in this game isn’t that much different from other Mario games. I didn’t mind and actually liked hearing the same Mario soundtrack I am used to. I loved the unique stages such as the circus carnival and riding on the back of a dinosaur. The invisible item boxes, and coins in each level was a nice touch.
Super Mario 3D World packs so much creativity and energy into it. It does a great job of breaking away from what we are used to seeing in a Mario game. It’s a great game to play with friends, isn’t predictable like other platformers, and the best Mario game on the Wii U so far. Proving that you can teach an old dog new tricks. Mario can still be fresh and creative.
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