The original Super Mario 3D World released way back in November 2013 on Nintendo Wii U. The game was a critical success and went on to become the second most sold Wii U title in the console’s history. Now that Nintendo have been sprucing up some of their older titles for re-release on Nintendo Switch, Super Mario 3D World has made a comeback with an additional section added in the form of Bowser’s Fury.
Super Mario 3D World Refreshed
Mario fans can rejoice at the fact that Super Mario 3D World is back with a shiny new coat of paint. The game looks and plays extremely well on Nintendo Switch and fans of the original will be pleased to know that at its core, it still is the same great game from years ago that they are getting here.
In Super Mario 3D World, players will take on the role of Mario as he tries to save the Sprixie princesses from Bowser. Mario enters the Sprixie Kingdom and soon has to traverse various levels throughout the kingdom before facing off against boss enemies to save each Sprixie princess. Yes it’s formulaic. Is it bad? Not at all.
Playing as Mario in Super Mario 3D World is incredibly enjoyable. Each area of the Sprixie kingdom in Super Mario 3D is split up into separate “Worlds” with a variety of levels interspersed throughout. Mario will enter these levels and platform his way through them defeating enemies while collecting coins, power-ups and more importantly green stars.
Collecting green stars is essential to progressing throughout the game since unlocking more levels involves having a specific star total. This encourages players to play through levels they may have already completed in order to get all the green stars contained within.
Super Mario 3D World on Nintendo Switch features both single player and co-op gameplay for up to four players. Players can also hop online and join friends via Nintendo Online if they are subscribed to the service. Playing the game with local co-op does get a tad unwieldy thanks to the camera angles in levels but it’s still great fun.
Level Design Excellence
Levels in Super Mario 3D World are extremely varied. Some levels will be straightforward side-scrolling platforming levels whereas others will make use of both 2D and 3D design elements that are quite complex.
An example of this is a specific level which involves using the Nintendo Switch touchscreen to activate and deactivate blocks for Mario to climb. Another level involves using see-saws to move across floating rails. The level design in Super Mario 3D World is fantastic from start to finish with a learning curve that eases you into some of the more dastardly levels in the late stages of the game.
Getting all the green stars isn’t the only thing to keep you playing the game. There are collectible stamps in Super Mario 3D World which are a relic of the Wii U version of the game in which they could ultimately be used in Miiverse messages.
These stamps are now used in the newly added photo mode which adds to the enjoyment of taking gorgeous screenshots in-game. The Captain Toad levels are also back and these are honestly some of the greatest levels in Mario gaming history. Players will have a lot of fun solving puzzles in these side-levels collecting green stars.
The average gamer might just spend around 12 hours with this game, but a completionist such as myself has already spent upwards of 25 hours just trying to get everything. Some of these levels have extremely well hidden secret locations and the collectibles can be quite challenging to obtain. This adds to the game’s overall longevity as well as satisfaction factor. There’s an immense amount of joy to be had when collecting the last green star in a marathon level for example because of the challenge it presents.
Controlling Mario on the Nintendo Switch is as great as ever. The JoyCons are responsive and platforming through the Sprixie kingdom is extremely fun. Transforming Mario into a cat and allowing him to climb up walls was a great gameplay idea from Nintendo that added an additional layer of platforming fun to the game. If you missed out on Super Mario 3D World in the Wii U days, this game is definitely worth picking up on Switch now. Both the graphics and the soundtrack are excellent too and the game runs without any problems.
Bowser’s Fury, which is accessible from the game’s main menu, deserves an entirely separate mention. This game plays very similarly to Super Mario 3D World but instead features one massive open area with a giant enraged Bowser enemy to fight against.
Teaming up with Bowser Junior, Mario will have to collect Cat Shines scattered across the open-world island archipelago he finds himself trapped on. Mario will also have to light up lighthouses which will take aim at the giant enraged Bowser and help bring him under control.
The adventure is rather short-lived but still delivers an incredibly polished Mario gameplay experience coming in at around 5 hours long (or more if you want to complete everything). The cat power-up from Super Mario 3D World makes a return here too and players will have quite a lot of collectibles to find and a decent chunk of platforming to get through.
Graphically, Bowser’s Fury is a definite cut above Super Mario 3D World and it certainly has us excited for whatever future Mario title may have hidden up their sleeve. Bowser’s Fury can also be played co-op with one other player taking on the role of Bowser Jr.
Overall, if you haven’t played Super Mario 3D World before or if you’re a fan of Mario games, Super Mario 3D World comes highly recommended from us. The addition of Bowser’s Fury sweetens the deal even further and this game is a definite must-play title on Nintendo Switch for 2021.
FULL DISCLOSURE: Review code was provided to Hypertext by the publisher of the game.