Super Mario 3D World was already a hell of a platformer in 2013, although the game doesn’t enjoy the same classic status as Super Mario 64 or Super Mario Galaxy. The 3DS was previewed with Super Mario 3D Land, which cleverly blends classic 2D Mario gameplay with linear 3D levels. With Super Mario 3D World for Wii U, this concept has been expanded with nicer graphics, a local multiplayer mode and a ton of new levels. Super Mario 3D World will still be a joy to play in 2021. The game is bursting with charm and the excellent level design has stood the test of time.
Fine tweaks and online multiplayer
Basically this Switch version offers the same as the original game. Don’t expect extra levels, new unlockable extras or other additions. Nintendo has adjusted the movement speed of characters, so that the gameplay feels a bit tighter. Although this difference is little noticeable unless you put the Wii U version next to it, the controls feel a bit more responsive. Some technical changes have also been made. The game’s resolution has been increased from 720p to 1080p (when playing via the dock on a television), making the game look a lot sharper than the original. Many of the UI elements have also been polished and scaled down, giving the game a more modern look than before.
Multiplayer mode is what Super Mario 3D World has always excelled at, and it’s no different on Switch. In some cases, it pays to play through levels together, but often enough it is nice and chaotic and you prefer to push each other off the couch after the umpteenth Game Over screen. In the Switch version it is possible to play the game online together and that is certainly a godsend during the current lockdown. While playing the game, the online multiplayer worked flawlessly and in terms of gameplay there is hardly any difference to the local multiplayer. It is also handy that the local and online multiplayer can be combined, so that, for example, two people can play on one Switch and two other players can be added online.
Super Mario 3D World is still a great game thanks to the formidable levels, many collectibles and excellent multiplayer mode. This section is undoubtedly recommended for newcomers, but for those who have already played the Wii U version it depends on how fresh the original is still in their memory.
Fiery Stand Alone Adventure
To add value to the Super Mario 3D World re-release, the standalone adventure Bowser’s Fury has been added. This new content can be selected from the main menu and is therefore not part of the Mario 3D World campaign. While many assets from the main game are being reused, Bowser’s Fury is really just a standalone game, which is admittedly shorter than an average Mario adventure.
Bowser’s Fury is different from the base game in many ways. The content can be played entirely with a free camera, which gives the game more in common with ‘full’ three-dimensional Mario games such as Galaxy and Odyssey. Because the camera is no longer fixed, you have more freedom to move and explore. Logically, this also has an impact on the level design, which no longer has to function only from a single view. It results in a Mario experience that feels very different from Super Mario 3D World.
Mario’s moveset was taken directly from Super Mario 3D World and therefore lacks the extra bells and whistles from, for example, Odyssey. For example, it is not possible to do the well-known Double or Triple Jump, roll or throw your cap. However, that is not a punishment, because this streamlined control quickly gets used. There are also more than enough power-ups to make Mario more mobile, with an emphasis on Cat Mario. Incidentally, five reserves of each power-up can be stored, so that an upgrade is always within reach.
Cat ears for everyone
The setup of Bowser’s Fury is quite simple. Bowser has become uncontrollably angry and gigantic for mysterious reasons. Mario has to solve this and gets help from Bowser Jr. This manifests itself throughout the game in the form of an AI version of the small villain in single player, or a second player flying around to collect coins or items and take on enemies. Bowser’s Fury does not contain a full-fledged multiplayer like the main game, but a way in which a second player can make a small contribution.
Bowser’s Fury takes place on a large lake, where several islands with the necessary obstacles to be. Everything and everyone has been transformed into a cat. From the trees to the gulls and the Goombas, almost everything has cat ears or a tail. On these islands you must collect (completely themed) Cat Shines to unlock a large Cat Bell.
Only with this power-up can Mario grow to the same size as Fury Bowser in order to compete. to go. These epic boss fights are a regular occurrence and offer a nice change from collecting the Cat Shines. In fact, these battles play out on a grand scale as a slower version of a fight with Bowser from other games, but the dramatic approach more than compensates for this. Plus, these fights aren’t too long so they never feel long-winded.
A fresh and compact adventure indispensable for the Mario enthusiast.
Future of Mario
After each battle with Bowser, you will experience the most innovative aspect of Bowser’s Fury as more and more islands appear on the more where new Cat Shines can be found. Instead of selecting levels from a menu or map, each level can in fact be found in one open world. Also entertaining and useful is that the swimming dinosaur Plessie is used for transport between the islands. This has a major impact on the flow of the game, making it uninterrupted. This freedom feels like a new step for Mario games and makes it very difficult to put the controller down.
Bowser’s Fury is in six to seven hours completely played out. The cat theme taken down to the last detail, satisfying level design and the epic battles with Bowser create a fresh and compact adventure that is indispensable for the Mario enthusiast. The open format also works great and hopefully hints at the future of Nintendo’s mustachioed mascot.
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury will be available for Nintendo Switch on February 12th.