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Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Super Mario 3D Land Review
Super Mario 3D Land
System: Nintendo 3DS
Release date in North America: 11/13/2011
Now Presenting the Offspring of 2D and 3D Mario Platforming.
Leave it to Mario to show us what a new system is truly capable of. Like the past few Nintendo systems before it. The true potential of the system is not realized till Mario comes in and saves the day. Super Mario 3D Land is the first 3DS title that has made me say…”Wow 3D can add something to gameplay.” For whatever reason, if you are still not able to jump on the 3D bandwagon, Super Mario 3D Land is still as appealing in the secondary dimension.
Super Mario 3D Land brings a new concept to the table for Mario platforming. The game manages to combined the 3D look and feel of previous Mario games, particularly the Galaxy series, and combines it with classic 2D Mario elements that was experienced long ago. What I mean by this is that the basic formulas from a side scrolling Mario game are here. Gone is a life meter and in return is the growing and shrinking of Mario from mushrooms. All the levels are pretty linear and short, requiring the player to reach the significant flag pole at the end of the stage before the clock hits 0 seconds. Like many other Nintendo games of recent, SM3DL plays it safe, but still keeps things fresh enough, that you will keep coming back for more.
SM3DL starts you off with 8 worlds, each of these worlds contains three hidden star coins to collect, that later will unlock new worlds. These first 8 worlds may seem like a bit of a push off for veterans of the platforming genre. Regardless all the stages remain interesting and fun till you get to the final boss battle. The real fun kicks in after this though when a whole extra 8 worlds open up to be played. All of these stages feature a nice ramp in difficulty, by adding new hazards and trials, such as less time or a clone that follows your every move. Getting to the final 8 worlds also gives you the opportunity to unlock *Spoilers* Luigi *Spoilers*. Sadly there are not a lot of power ups to go around this time. SM3DL keeps the items on the low amount, but the items that can be found are a blast to use. The new Bommerang item, causes Mario to take on a look similar to the boomerang bros and throw their projectile at foes. You will also see the return of the classic fire flower, as well as the MIA Tanooki tail from Super Mario Bros 3. Mario isn’t the only one with this item; prepare to see goombas, bullet bills, and even big ol’ Bowswer sporting this power up. SM3DL also takes use of the streetpass feature. Anytime you pass by another 3DS owner, their Mii and time of level completion will appear next to each level. Streetpassing also gives you the ability to find more free power ups from Toad houses.
At first Mario’s controls may seem off. This is completely understandable, since it seems that the developers went for a slower and “sluggish” feel to Mario. This will seem even stranger to previous fans of past 3D Mario games, since Mario had always been so flexible and quick before. Once you get over this small claim you will come to realize that this style to Mario’s controls work well and keep a nice balance between side scrolling and 3D world Mario.
Super Mario 3D Land is one of the best looking 3DS titles to date. The game is very reminiscent to the Galaxy series. Think of SM3DL’s look as a smaller Super Mario Galaxy. Expect to see the vibrant colors and nicely animated characters and environments you come to expect from a Mario game. SM3L also sounds great. The small details in sound effects really keep you involved with the game. The music can be a bit lackluster, featuring a few new tunes as well as some revisits. The music is solid, but not much more than you will probably expect from a Mario game. So the game looks and sounds great, but what about all this fantastic 3D I was mentioning earlier? As to date SM3DL is the greatest example of how 3D can bring new experiences into the world of gaming. The 3D that this game brings to the table is less of a distraction and more of a way to engage the player into Mario’s world. If you still are not sold on the whole 3D thing, don’t worry, SM3DL is still a great experience minus the 3D.
Its kind of like this...but in 3D!
It took almost a full year to prove itself, but the 3DS is finally showing gamers why it is a worthwhile investment. Mario is leading the way for 3D gaming, and it makes me very excited to see what else Nintendo has up its sleeves. Even though Mario’s new adventure isn’t extremely revolutionary, or a fully deep. It is still a blast to play, and a great example of handheld gaming for the era we live in.