Review by unclehosh
The best reason to own a 3DS!
Mario games have always been fairly simple: save the princess who really needs to start carrying some pepper spray, and defeat the evil King Bowser. The past few years have not been bad for Mario, but some of his recent installments were a little lacking. Super Mario Galaxy offered a new perspective, but it was marred by repetitive three to five minute levels. Even New Super Mario Bros. Wii featured some uninspired levels that I felt could have been better. Super Mario 3D land is easily one of the greatest 3D Mario games ever. I also should add that it takes advantage of the 3D feature very well!
This game is absolutely beautiful! Water reflects the light and splashes as Mario wades through it, fire engulfs everything around it, and even Bowser's scales look unbelievably real! I was shocked by the similarities this game shares with Super Mario Galaxy in terms of look. This is even more impressive when considering that Super Mario 3D Land takes place on a five inch screen! The 3D feature can be altered with the touch of a button to add remarkable depth or unbelievable pop-out images. Two hundred foot drops will make anyone scared to look down, and even bullet bills come shooting out of the screen. I have never seen a Mario game look this great. Nintendo even includes a few levels that are VERY reminiscent of Super Mario Bros.
Who plays a Mario game for the story? I am not exactly going to factor this into the score because the answer to my previous question is "no one!" The game opens with Mario walking through a large field in front of Peach's castle, and a letter floats through the air. It opens and reveals an image of Peach in a cage. Mario races off to save her, and there it is. That is the basis for the entire game! Impressive, right? Regardless, this game would not be Mario if Peach had decided to take some karate lessons, so it is not exactly unexpected that she was captured AGAIN.
Mario has always featured catchy tunes, and this game is no different. Each area features a main theme that will quickly get stuck in anyone's head. Don't be surprised to find yourself humming it when no one else is around. My favorite is the main theme, which is very reminiscent of Mario's old days. In terms of the sound, everything is the way I expected. Mario even makes that legendary "how" sound as he jumps.
Game play- 10/10
Finally, Mario goes back to his roots. This game is all about going from the beginning of the stage to the end, the flag pole. Some levels are two dimensional and offer a taste of the platforming that made Mario famous. Other stages are fully three dimensional and give players the feeling they had when playing Super Mario Galaxy a few years ago. Either way, the stages are a lot of fun. The game starts off being very easy, but all that changes. Later levels become almost impossible, and Nintendo even included extra levels for those who like ridiculous challenges and some more replay value. This game has something for every Mario fan, and I was pleased by what Nintendo pulled off. Even the fights with Bowser make full use of the 3D as Mario goes across an 's' shaped island as Bowser hurls fireballs at him. Getting to him feels just like the old days, as you have to duck under Bowser as he jumps, and destroy his bridge with a button. Each fight with Bowser ramps up in difficulty, and the last fight is something completely different thankfully! I won't give it away, but it is one of the best fights in Mario games, in my opinion. The bottom line is that everyone needs to experience this game for themselves. Think of this game as Mario's anniversary tribute.
I have always loved Mario, but I felt like the Wii just did not offer what I was looking for: an trip back to the good old days. Super Mario 3D land made me feel like a little kid as I desperately mashed buttons to beat the insane levels. This game is everything I wanted and a lot more. Every Mario fan should try it. Even those who have never tried Mario (Those people exist?) will enjoy this game if they are looking for a good time with their 3DS. Now if only Peach would carry that pepper spray!
Final Score: 10/10 (Not an average
Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Product Release: Super Mario 3D Land (US, 11/13/11)
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