Mario’s debut on the 3ds proves Nintendo’s still got it.
I love Mario. Everyone does, judging by his 20+ year career and hundreds of games. What’s really impressive however is his ability to still amaze and innovate after all this time, ensuring each gaming generation falls in love too while keeping older fans hooked. Super Mario 3D land is no different, seamlessly combining nostalgia with invention, old staples with new tools, and sidescroller Mario with galaxy Mario.
With the coming of the 3ds, comes Mario’s latest outing and one of his finest adventures to date. This is a must buy for all owners of the handheld.
3D Land boast impressive graphics, with clean, crisp objects and smooth animation. Little touches like pigeons flying away and distant islands full of windmills help bring Mario’s often static world to life. Flame animations are great and textures are all distinctive, from the bushes and flowers to the plastic – like blocks. Mario and Bowser are their old selves, beautifully rendered in 3D.
Speaking of 3D, this game is the best example of it that I’ve seen on the system by far, outstripping Nintendo’s Ocarina of Time and Starfox 64 easily. There’s one level in particular (5 – 2) where you can almost imagine Mario’s going to leap out and punch you. It’s fantastic.
Flawless is the best world to describe it. The visual depth provided by the 3D gives you complete control of where Mario leaps, and what’s more important in a platformer than jumping? 3D Land also provides a wealth of power ups adding variety to the game. Old favourites such as the fire flower appear, accompanied by new additions like the boomerang suit. And of course we have the triumphant return of the overpowered Tanooki suit. Seriously, it makes an easy game so much easier by allowing the player to glide.
That’s one thing to mention; this is an easy game. If you want a tougher Mario, look t the title on the Wii. This didn’t detract anything for me, but for the hardcore player it may be off – putting.
There are 16 worlds available in this game, 8 normal worlds followed by 8 secret ones. Each of the original levels is unique, fun and engaging. Every now and then you experience masterpieces. The secret worlds tend to recycle ideas and premises while vamping up the difficulty. This is achieved by adding in time trials, more foes, and “shadow mario”, a copy of Mario that traces his steps and is harmful to touch.
Simply put, Mario 3D Land is gaming perfection.
Here we see the same story that has graced 99% (!) of all Mario titles. Peach is stolen by Bowser, Mario gives chase. It’s stale, but to change it would shake the foundations of the Mario format. Fortunately it feels lees like a rut, and more like putting on an old, comfortable pair of shoes. We all know what to expect, and yet we don’t want it changed. Thankfully Mario games like this aren’t about the story.
Mario goes with Nintendo systems like chips go with ketchup. If you have a 3ds then you owe it to yourself to purchase this game and play it until your thumbs ache. 3D Land is a celebration of everything that makes Mario fun and is as compelling now as it was 20 years ago.
GAME PLAY: 10/10
Overall: 24 / 30 (Great).