By Justin Guillou / December 11th, 2013
You can play the game with the Wii remote held sideways, the GamePad, or the Classic Controllers. I used the Gamepad for my playthrough, and the characters never controlled better. Seriously, as ridiculous as it looks, the GamePad works really well with all the games I have played with it so far. Certain levels will make use of some of the GamePad’s features. For starters, the entire game is also displayed on the GamePad’s screen. Occasionally, you may come across an obstacle that will require you to touch the wall to make platforms appear, or blow into the microphone to move platforms. These functions can also work on some of the enemies. You can also use the GamePad’s gyroscope to rotate the camera, but I generally never used that, as I feel that makes the game more annoying to play. While these work really well, I am glad that they did not make them a huge part of the game, and limited them to certain puzzles, generally while your character is not in motion. I can only imagine how nightmarish the levels would have been if you had to use the touchscreen during a jump, or as you are trying to fight a boss. Speaking of bosses, you will encounter many of them, not just at the end of the world but also on the map similar to Super Mario Bros. 3. There are hidden hideouts on the map which will trigger a mini-boss where you have to defeat a series of enemies. Some of these battles can be laughably easy if you have any projectile-based power up. When you arrive at the fortress at the end of a world, you will fight Boom Boom or Pom Pom. While brief, these bosses are very fun to fight, and their themes are catchy, as well.
If you cannot decide on a character to play as for a certain level, the game offers a random button if you press (+) which is actually something I used a lot during my playthrough. This way, I can get a feel for each of the characters in different situations and locations. I also found that the random button adds to the experience, as you never know who you will play the level as. I have found that no character makes the game significantly easier or more difficult, so just pick whoever you like or fits your playstyle and you should be good to go. It is really nice to have that kind of balance in this game, especially since it features a multiplayer mode. The overall difficulty of the game is just right. Mario veterans may be able to breeze through most levels, but the game does offer certain twists in the level design to keep even those players on their toes. As for the newcomers, this is a perfect entry into the series. If you die several times in a row, the game offers you a white Tanooki Suit, which makes the player invincible for the level. This is a nice feature for those who really cannot make it past that one tricky level or obstacle, and want to come back to it later.
Multiplayer is incredibly well implemented, as it allows players to jump in at pretty much any moment. When you complete a level, the players are ranked based on their score, and the player with the highest score gets to wear a crown for the next level. Players can steal the crown by either stomping on whoever is wearing it or if the person wearing it is damaged by an enemy. The player who manages to finish the level with the crown is given a large bonus to their score. The only slight gripe I have with the multiplayer is that all players share the same amount of lives. This is something that I have never been a fan of in co-op games because it can be very easy for an inexperienced player to screw over the entire team by draining all of the lives, which can happen much faster than you think. I’m sure many will make the argument that, by having everyone share lives, the game is trying to emphasize coordination, which would make sense. In this game, however, the players are competing against each other, so, chances are the players will not be coordinating, and will instead try to score as many points as they can while preventing the other players from doing the same. For this kind of design, I feel that the game should have allowed for each player to have their own set of lives, and, if someone ran out of lives, then a player can choose to give the player a life by hitting a button, or simply leave them dead as punishment. Players can give each other power ups, which is really nice if you want to give the other player a helping hand, assuming you are not trying to kill yourselves over the crown. Overall, playing this game in multiplayer is a lot of fun, and much improved from New Super Mario Bros U thanks to the larger levels allowing room for all of the characters.
All this multiplayer mayhem is accompanied by a fantastic soundtrack. Some of the tracks in this game are so catchy and wonderful that you are sure to remember them after turning the console off. Some of them will be recognizable to those of you who have played many of the previous Mario games. Listen to the theme from Double Cherry Pass. Its so cheerful and uplifting, it’s hard to not like it:
The main quest is not very long. I completed the main quest in a couple days. There is, however, a decent amount of post-game content. You can unlock Rosalina, from Super Mario Galaxy, along with an entire world based off of that game. There are also two more worlds to unlock after collecting some of the hidden stamps and completing the levels with all of the characters. There are a few additional challenges such as ‘The Adventures of Captain Toad’, where you must explore a level by rotating the camera, and find all of the stars under the time limit without jumping! Yes, the game is being sold for $60, and it is not the longest game out there, but there is definitely enough to keep you coming back for more. I have to admit it was really hard to put the game down once I started playing. The levels are so much fun that you will want to experience them again, especially in multiplayer. Whether you are playing alone or with friends, Super Mario 3D World is a good time, and is one of the most fun and charming video games Nintendo has ever released.
Review copy purchased by author.
Pages: 1 2NintendoplatformerSuper Mario 3D WorldSuper Mario Bros.