Super Mario 3D World, Wii U, 2013, Nintendo. Nintendo Selects, 2016.
I was a late adopter of the Wii U. Lately, I’ve been going back through the console’s library of games and stumbled upon Super Mario 3D World. I had watched videos and read reviews upon it’s release in 2013 when it was hailed as the Wii U’s first triumph. 3 years later l finally had a chance to discover Super Mario 3D World, and to no one’s surprise, it is still an excellent game that makes clever use of the Wii U’s gamepad.
Earlier this year Nintendo brought us Nintendo Selects, discounted titles for a great price and this game happens to be one of them. Super Mario 3D World was already on my list of must-haves, but with the price drop it only validated my purchase.
Super Mario 3D World is the true successor to Super Mario 64. In that sense it’s not an exceedingly original game, but it adds a few twists, puzzles and new that makes it another highly enjoyable Mario title. Everything from the music to the physics, right down to the way you jump into maps is reminiscent of or taken straight from Super Mario 64.
While it may not be the most original approach it’s not necessarily a bad thing, Super Mario 64 is a great came to be compared with. Yet it’s no the exact same game, Nintendo clearly wanted to make a modern SM64 with 3D World and create a game that would appeal to new and older gamers alike. I believe they achieved their goal with this game.
The game uses the Wii U’s Gamepad for various effects. Tapping on the screen to jump on certain surfaces or blowing in the gamepad mic so as to make a platform move are wonderful examples. To me it only adds to the game’s value that the gamepad is used to capacity. It adds a creative touch that elevates the game to the next level.
The environments are rich and complex leaving you with plenty to explore. From a visual standpoint some of the levels are impressive to marvel upon. For instance, one particular stage makes creative use of shadows to navigate characters through. Chances are you’ll want to do some of these levels over to collect stars you may have missed or simply to enjoy the scenery once more.
New addition includes clear tubes that suck you in, the cloud tube, the cat suit and the intuitive gamepad play. One of the game’s best items was the cherry. Picking a cherry lets you create a clone yourself, picking a second cherry creates another and so on. Playing with 2-3 Marios is more fun than one! Super Mario 3D World is full of surprises.
I like that you can play as other characters than Mario. In what is perhaps a nod to Super Mario Bros. 2, Mario, Luigi, Peach and Toad are all playable. Each character plays a little differently and has it’s own quirks that makes it unique. As an example, Princess Peach can hover for a few seconds due to her dress. It makes playing with each character a different experience. It’s also perk that a second can join the action at any given time, making for some fun multiplayer action.
There are different suits that give you powers. The cat suit for instance, allows you to climb walls and claw at enemies. Then there are your classic mushrooms, fireballs, Tanoiki and white Tanoiki suit. Ever wondered what Peach or Toad would look like in a Fireball or Tanoiki suit? The game offers you that wonderful opportunity.
Nintendo’s trademark bright colour palette looks fantastic in Super Mario 3D world and the game brings the best out of the Wii U. That makes it one of the best Mario titles in recent years. It may be reminiscent of Super Mario 64, but it stands on it’s own so as to not be Super Mario 64. It’s a fun, classic-style Mario game that much like it’s title implies, sees our main protagonist delve into an open 3D World. It offers a few new additions and unexpected twists that makes it stand solid ground on it’s own. The fine folks at Nintendo did us well with Super Mario 3D World and at this price it’s definitely worth it. 4.5/5 stars.