Review by imagine606
"Keeping 3D Mario Games Fresh Despite Keeping the Formula The Same"
I was pleasantly surprised after I picked up Super Mario 3D Land on the 3DS. It was a 3D Mario game that changed things up just enough from what the Galaxy games to feel like it was something new still. I won't lie, I was happy that the playing the same level over to get a different star thing is done, or at least wasn't in 3D Land or in 3D World. Both are games where you can get every star on your first run through if you play things right.
So enter Super Mario 3D World. Despite the 3D obviously being different than it was on the 3DS, the game itself was one that we knew would all be along the same general lines as Super Mario 3D Land. A lot of people seemed like they were not happy with this, but with how good I thought Super Mario 3D Land was, I was actually very happy with this. Sure, it was similar to what the last game, on a portable system, was, but this was one that was going to be on the main console, the Wii U instead of the 3DS. There was going to be more they could do with it, and like with Super Mario Galaxy 2, I knew that there were going to be new things that they were going to add in to it, especially when you consider that it wasn't just a second game on the same console.
Well, it turned out I was right about that. I'm not right too often, so I have to make sure to point it out when I am. This was pretty much a vastly improved version of an already excellent game. The level design has improved over what was already excellent level design. The ability to choose between the 4 characters (Mario, Luigi, Toad, Princess) not only brings me back to Super Mario Bros. 2, one of my favorites in the series (despite popular belief not being so favorable), but it also means something else....this isn't just another game where the Princess gets captured and has to be rescued. Now, it isn't much difference, and the difference doesn't go into the game play much more than being able to play as the princess, but still, it's just refreshing to know that there's something else that you're playing for other than the same thing that almost every Mario game has been since the start of the series (Super Mario Bros 2 and Sunshine are two of the main platformers that I can also remember also not being a typical save the princess game).
Anyway, so what does make this game so good? Well, first off, the level design is outstanding. There's a few levels that I really didn't think were great, one of them very late in the game with a whole platform flipping dynamic to it that was not done too well (in my opinion), but for the most part everything was done very well, and while you could get every star in one run through, there were still levels that you may want to play again as a different character, especially if you want to get every stamp. The second thing is that there are new, unique, powerups. The first one I'll bring up is the cat one. This is already up there with the raccoon in Super Mario Bros 3, or the cape in Super Mario World. I thought it was one of the funnest powerups to get. Also, there was the cherry. From what I have read elsewhere, this was initially a mistake that the game designers actually loved. Pretty much, what it does is duplicate you as you are when you get it. That's really all there is to it. What this means is, if you are a cat and get one, you'll have another cat. The moves you make have the exact same effect on each one of the versions of you. If one goes down, you still have another one. The other powerups are ones that have been used before, including the boomerang, fire flower, propeller block, and even another one that's new, at least I don't remember it from before, a bullet bill block that works like the propeller or coin block. The difference is that as you move it shoots bullets that explode on impact.
Beyond just the gameplay, there's some great music in this game. Much like another game released on the very same day, this game has some great nostalgic music, but at the same time you have a ton of new music with this. The music is all great throughout the game. It fits in perfectly with the areas that it is played in. The music in this game is done to absolute perfection. Catchy melodies that fit in with everything, can't ask for much more.
The controls in this game are nearly perfect. Sure, there's short moments when you have some problems, but at the same time, the vast majority of the time everything is perfect.
The bottom line is that Nintendo has done it again with another great Mario game. The controls, gameplay, everything is perfect. While it follows the same general formula, there are enough new features to the game to make sure that this is something completely new. This, along with the level design make sure that we know that we are getting a fresh, new experience, even if the general layout for the game was already done in Super Mario 3D Land. The bottom line is that this is another great Mario platformer that should be able to give anyone who plays it a great time.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 12/03/13
Game Release: Super Mario 3D World (US, 11/22/13)
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