Super Mario 3D World Review
9.25our score

“It’s a game I would genuinely recommend to everyone”

At some point in time I always wonder if the Mario cash cow, that Nintendo loves to ride so much, will ever be blown off course. The big N are almost relentless in their use of everyone’s favourite plumber. Yet time after time we’re shown a new side, one that tickles, delights and most importantly makes us smile.

I like to think of myself as quite an up beat person, but it’s been a very long time since playing a game has made me smile so much so, that my cheekbones actually started to ache. But that’s just indicative of just how much fun I had playing Super Mario 3D World. The off-shot sequel to the 3DS’s 3D Land, released a few years back, is a fantastic game and perfect for the Wii U. No matter how botched the initial year of the Wii U has been, 3D World captures everything magical about Nintendo and squeezes it lovingly onto one disc.

From the outside it just looks like more 3D Land, but getting your hands on the game reveals itself as much more than just that. On the whole, each individual level always tries to do something different, not only to increase the difficulty but to flip what you’ve learnt so far on it’s head. I’d also just like to reiterate that it’s individual levels I just said – not worlds. There’s certainly a different aesthetic look and feel between worlds, but each facet just offers something rich and unique almost flawlessly everytime.

3D World forces you to take what you’ve already learnt and either add to it, or forcefully change your thinking in order to proceed. The way it takes one concept and alters it ever so slightly to give you a new dynamic and a new challenge is one that keeps 3D World fresh throughout the entire game. It’s really indicative of the level of creativity and imagination that the developers at Nintendo have, they keep managing to innovate a character who has had more stellar titles than most franchises have had games.

One aspect that helps 3D World acheive this is the cat suit that has been prominent in the promotion leading up to the game’s release. Like almost every power-up in Mario, it’s certainly more than a token gimmick you’d find in other franchises. The suit helps you run quicker, climb walls and power down on opponents after jumping. It’s genuinely fun to use and may quite possibly be my favourite power up now, just taking the top spot from the Tanooki suit I had held so dear to my heart in 3D Land.

The Gamepad also comes into play during levels, but truth be told the usage is minimal. There are certain levels where you’ll be asked to touch the screen to push blocks and make a platform but it never really develops into much more than that. In the instances where you do use Gamepad specific controls it’s utilised well, but if Nintendo are still looking for a true Gamepad killer-app then this certainly isn’t it.

“3D World captures everything magical about Nintendo and squeezes it lovingly onto one disc.”

Playing 3D World with four other people at the same time is what really takes 3D World above almost every Mario game released in the past decade. While the action can be a little bit frantic and pulling too far away from the group see’s you leaving the camera, everything else makes up for it’s very small short comings.

When you start a level, the player who received the highest score in the previous stage will start off wearing a crown – to signify their dominance of course. While 3D World’s multiplayer isn’t supposed to be outright competitive, this does add a bit of spice when playing with friends. In fact my girlfriend actually tried to throw my crown off the stage as I had won far too many times in a row at one point. What this small feature does do, is add an almost innocent edge to playing through a level – because we all want to secretly get the highest score don’t we? And I want that crown to make sure everyone knows.

Conclusion

Super Mario 3D World is without a doubt the most fun I’ve had with Nintendo’s main man since Mario 64. To put that into context I’m not a massive fan of the Galaxy duo, as great as they were, my allegiance remains with Sunshine. But what 3D World offers is the whole package and it’s a game that I would genuinely recommend to everyone.

Who would’ve guessed that the first real reason to own a Wii U would be equipped with a red cap and an italian looking moustache.

Positives

  • Makes you smile
  • Innovative level design
  • Multiplayer is fantastic

Negatives

  • Doesn’t really tap into Gamepad potential

9.25

the author

Craig is a third of Casually Addicted's origin crew and a keen lover of all things green and white. You can follow Craig on Google + and Twitter @CraigJShields.