Mario and the gang are back for a new adventure, “Super Mario 3D World,”a game that could possibly be the first real system seller for the Wii U. “Super Mario 64” on the Nintendo 64 was one of the first real 3D games and set a high bar for what 3D games should be. “3D World” doesn’t just continue the traditions; it expands on them in almost every way, such as beautiful colorful graphics, expertly designed levels, fun game-play, and really clever puzzle design. There are some really innovative new powers, and after 25 years (since “Super Mario 2”) Princess Peach is back as a playable character.
On a night out to see some fireworks, Mario, Peach, Luigi, and Toad meet a friendly fairy princess, who is swiftly kidnapped by Bowser. Now Mario and friends need to rescue her from the clutches of the “King of the Koopas.” You can play alone or with three friends in a really great multiplayer experience. Being able to choose your character really changes up the feel of game-play; characters aren’t just a copy of each other. Each of the characters has their own unique abilities and feels. Mario is the well-balanced, Luigi jumps higher than everyone else, Peach can float, allowing for easier jumps, and Toad is super fast. These are abilities you’re going to need to become familiar with because there are several new puzzles and traps you will need to navigate by utilizing such skills.
The individual character abilities aren’t the only new additions, as there are also a few new power-ups that really change how the game is played. First, and most impressive, is the new Cat Suit, which makes the player run on all fours, scratch and pounce enemies, and use claws to climb walls and even the end-of-the-level poles. It isn’t just cute, but very functional; you can climb walls to find all sorts of hidden secrets and even save yourself from falling in holes.
Another really fun new power is the Cannon Hat, which allows you to shoot your enemies. A returning power from the Nintendo 3DS version of the game is the Propeller Hat, which allows you to fly, and the Cloning Cherries, which can create clones of your character and multiply your abilities.
Another power that is returning from the 2D games is the Mega Mushroom, which makes you super big so you can smash everything. This is the first time in a 3D Mario game you can get that power. If you are having trouble in any level, you also gain access to the Invincible Super Leaf, which makes you invincible to any attacks and also works like a regular leaf. You can still die by falling into holes or hitting lava, but it makes things super easy for less skilled players.
If you are playing multiplayer, the person using the Wii U touch controller also has access to some fun abilities. You can use the touch screen to find hidden blocks and even help your friends by freezing enemies. All of the other players can play with the regular Wii remotes or a pro controller. If you are playing on single player, you can play with Wii U controller on the TV or you can play it on the controller itself. Multiplayer is the way to play this game, but it does lead to some frustration because the pick-up button is the same as the run button, resulting in accidentally picking up your friends when you don’t want, leading to some pretty hilarious deaths. It can also lead to some confusion on some of the faster moving levels.
Overall, this “Super 3D World” is a superb game, the new powers are super fun, the mulitplayer is a blast and the single player is even a great experience, especially for completionists that want to collect everything. There are tons of secrets, hidden exits, and collectibles that will keep you coming back to play for a long time to come.
If you are a Mario fanatic you have to play this game; if not, this might make you a believer. “3D World” is a great reason to get a Wii U, especially if you are looking for some great family fun.
- Robbie Vanderveken is the digital operations specialist at The Times Leader. E-mail him at [email protected]