Super Mario 3D World (Wii U) Review

It is a whole new world



For all of the gamers that keep up with Nintendo, you probably know of a videogame released by them in 2011, Super Mario 3D Land, on Nintendo 3DS. The game aimed to take elements of 2D Mario and 3D Mario games and incorporate them into one cohesive new style of gameplay. In essence, they were trying to bridge the gap between players who enjoyed one style of Mario games over the other.

The game was an instant success, selling 8.5 million copies as of December 2013. In all of this praise, Nintendo didn’t want to leave that sort of spotlight anytime soon. In the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2013(E3), a video game centric event held in Los Angeles, Nintendo had finally unveiled their next 3D Mario game: Super Mario 3D World.

This game would serve as the first 3D multiplayer Mario game ever in the series, boasting HD graphics, 4 playable characters, and a full Live Band soundtrack. I have had the privilege of playing this game and I must say that it is Nintendo’s latest, greatest masterpiece and is the obvious reason why you should pick up a Wii U this holiday season.

Upon viewing the unveiling of Super Mario 3D World on June 11, 2013 I was quite disappointed and well, insulted. Ever since the Nintendo 64, an open world 3D Mario accompanied it- i.e. Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Galaxy. After Super Mario Galaxy 2, the Nintendo community was begging for a Super Mario Galaxy 3 or a brand new reiteration in the series.

That wasn’t Nintendo’s path of choice, however. They released a successor to Super Mario 3D Land and we (the Nintendo community) weren’t content. We saw “okay” graphics, and a game in which you did not collect any signature golden Power Stars. To be honest, we were ticked off.

Yet, after viewing the continuous gameplay videos, I began to see what they were trying to pull off- one of the greatest, classic, local multiplayer experiences in existence.

Throughout the years of Mario games, there is a distinct gameplay formula that has been used over and over again. A for jump, B for run/fire, and control sticks for movement: the basics. In 3D World, the basics are still there but there is a twang to it that makes sure 3D World won’t get all boring on you.  So, the controls are on point due to a staff that has been doing this for years and the upgrade to 60fps (60 frames per second).

What makes the gameplay special is perhaps the incorporation of multiplayer, a first for the 3D series. If you are familiar with 1988’s Super Mario Bros. 2, you will recognize the pool of characters that you can choose from: Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and Toad. The character roster remains the same for 3D World, keeping their respective abilities intact. Mario is a jack of all trades, Luigi can jump higher and is a little lofty in control, Peach can hover in the air, and Toad can run super-fast.

A notable mention of this game includes the new power up: the Cat Suit. No, PETA hasn’t said anything about it yet. The cat suit may seem like it’s just another gimmick but it really isn’t. The power up is a blast to control. While being Cat Mario you can scurry up walls, perform a terrifying scratch, and pounce upon the enemies of the Sprixie Kingdom. This game is all about the cat. However, classic Mario power-ups return in this game as well. You get your Fire Power, Mega Mushroom, and Tanooki Suit (basically a raccoon dog suit).

One thing that separates this game from the rest of the Mario games is that the stages are produced in short bite-sized gaming sessions in which new ideas are always being incorporated- refusing to ponder on one idea for longer than needed. The development teams, Nintendo EAD Tokyo and 1-UP Studio, have been known for this style of gaming ever since the first Super Mario Galaxy released in 2007.

Okay, this game isn’t the best looking game on the market right now but that doesn’t mean it looks horrible. This game isn’t trying to portray realism but instead an appealing colorful, living, breathing world. Nintendo is taking control of their first full HD original by incorporating 1080p and crisp visuals that you probably won’t complain about. Everything in this game looks great. However, since they are using HD shadings the character models can often look like clay or plastic but that is only in certain segments of the game where shaders are used in abundance.

For the past few years, the Super Mario story relies on the formula of “Princess Peach getting stolen and Mario & Friends must save her. In Super Mario 3D World the princess is in your control so… who is Mario saving this time around? This time Mario travels to the Sprixie Kingdom (instead of the Mushroom Kingdom) to save the yes, it sound ridiculous and embarrassing, Sprixie Princesses from the evil clutches of King Bowser. Thus, Mario and company must travel through 8 worlds of nonstop action in order to save them.  It’s simple in structure, vast in execution.

While playing Super Mario 3D World for the first time I didn’t want to stop playing. Luckily I got it on its release date, November 22, and it was a Friday. And I guess it’s just a tradition for me to get the first 3D Mario of every generation and play the heck out of it. However, if you like having fun and you are fun as a person, you will love this game. And the fun part is, you don’t even have to know how to play all that great. The game sets down cushions for those who aren’t avid game players. My brother and I played this game for about 16 hours to do a full 100 percent completion. That is considering you have to reach the flagpole with every character, unlock every stage, and collect every Green Star. One thing I know for sure is that this game will keep you busy for a while and it rewards those who are willing to get that 5 star profile. Spoiler Alert: If you are aiming for the 5 star profile, you’ll have to endure 4 extra worlds after the first 8. So yes, it is about 12 worlds of gameplay totaling to 90+ stages in all.

There is really not that much bad to say about Super Mario 3D World. The difficulty seems insulting in early segments of the game but as you continue the difficulty presents itself without mercy. In addition to this, the camera can get a bit annoying if you play with more than 2 players but it isn’t that bad of a drawback. When I play something, whether it be Call of Duty or Pokémon I try to tell the truth about that game. Super Mario 3D World is an excellent game and another instant classic by Nintendo.  If you are considering a Wii U this holiday, Super Mario 3D World is that “must have game” of the season. It’s definitely true; Mario is the cat’s pajamas! Mewow! (I won’t do that ever again.) Super Mario 3D World gets 5 Stars out of 5.