The lights are on
Super Mario 3D Land
9.50- Review by Bryan Vore
Super Mario is a series that is known for innovation and quality alike. I personally feel it is the next game to be inducted in the Video Game Hall of Fame. Games from the Mario series have been reviewed well by critics universally.
Back in 1989 gamers around the world wondered if Mario would be able to make the leap onto the small screen. Gamers couldn't wait to play Super Mario Land and see if the quality was the same as the quality they got on the big screen. The answer: Yes.
Likewise gamers around the world were fascinated by the Nintendo 64 in 1996, and all who bought one would receive a copy of Super Mario World 64. Gamers were amazed that a game that started in 2D could make such a shift into 3D. The worries were over, Nintendo delivered again.
When Super Mario 3D Land was announced, the question was asked whether Nintendo could do it again. Make a game that was for a handheld and in a 3D environment. They had done it with Super Mario 64 DS, but that was a remake, this was a fully new original game. I'm glad to say the answer is. . . Absolutely.
When is the last time you heard of a poorly presented Mario game, because I never have.
The music is just as memorable and fantastic as past games. You have some brand new scores as well as some remixes of classic songs. You will be humming along the whole time. They also do a wonderful job of setting the mood. Beach levels sound happy and fun, while Ghost Houses have a pretty ominous tune.
The visuals bear a remarkable resemblance to Super Mario Galaxy 2. The art style seems to be taken right out of it, but it still looks remarkable. I read a review that stated it was HD quality, and while I disagree with that statement, it is easily comparable to its console brethren. It may not be as good, but its pretty close.
This may be the only Mario Game in which the visuals are as important as the game play. This game was going to test whether the 3D of the 3DS was really all that great and worth it, and it definitely proves that. 3D looks great and it really does add Depth to this world/. There is a level where you escape a big sea serpent, and it really looks as if it is following you as you swim away. Whenever Bowser breathes fire, it feels like your going to get hit by it.
I don't totally agree that it changes the gameplay, but playing with it in 3D is definitely rewarding.
The New Age of Mario
Mario has been a 3D platformer for many years now and has never looked back. Only once or twice has there ever been any visits to old 2D platforming. This game really isn't an exception. 75% of the game is 3D platforming. And it is 3D platforming at its finest.It did seem odd it include a run button like the old school 2D platformers, but it is used often and is very helpful in difficult situations.
It borrows a lot of things from Super Mario Galaxy 2 and that is certainly a good thing. The levels feel very reminiscent of that game, but in bite size quantities. They are all very creative and clever.
Comet Medals, found in the Galaxy games, make a comeback as well. There are 3 of them in every level and finding them is a bit of a challenge. It is a good test of skill.
Check points are another entry that is new to the world of Mario. Just like the ones in Galaxy they will respawn you at that point every time you die. They seem to be placed a little sporadically, but all in all, they're a good asset to have.
Power-Ups are a staple of the series and the new power ups, Boomerang Suits and Propeller Blocks. Boomerang does exactly what it sounds like, lets you throw a boomerang. It is especially useful when fighting enemies just out of reach. Propeller blocks are really helpful as well, launching you into the air and letting you slowly descend.
The game is really good to new players, giving you a super Tanuki suit and even a power up that will allow you to teleport directly to the exit. Many veterans will find it cheating, but I find it to be a great way for new players not to get frustrated and give up.
3DS features take a backseat role compared to other things, but are still nice to have. Gyroscope is used when firing out of a cannon or looking down some binoculars. Streetpass gives you gifts and things from other people. Tanuki leaves and stuff are found in them.
Homages to Classic Nintendo
Mario also goes into 2D segments at times, which are the best of them all. Several times the levels shift in the middle of it to go into a 2D perspective, but the shift is nearly flawless and you probably won't even notice it.
The throwbacks are apparent as soon as you turn on the game. The levels are presented linearly just like the old games. There are 8 worlds with six levels a piece, plus the mystery boxes and toad houses. These are more throw backs.
The Tanuki suit is the most obvious throwback and fits right in with the rest of the suits. It no longer flies, but allows you to hover, making it easier to avoid difficult situations. Fire Flower makes a return as well and works just as good as always.
Goal post are also found in the game. That is how you end each level, just like in the original Mario bros. It is really cool trying to get to the top and get that 1UP every time.
Airship levels are back, and they retain their difficulty. They aren't quite as hard as the castle levels, but they are some of the most cleverly designed levels of the entire game.
Bowser will throw barrels at you in one level, a classic throwback to Donkey Kong. One or two levels will be top down, similar to old Zelda Games and other little throwbacks that I'll let you discover.
If you are worried about the game going by too quickly, do not worry. There are eight special worlds to play after you finish the first eight, and they are all really unique and fun. Plus you can play as Luigi.
The gameplay and platforming will keep you hooked and trying to get all the comet medals and explore all the special worlds is as fun as it seems.
Creative Level Design and tight platforming.
Lots of extra content
Excellent throwbacks to the old days of gaming.
3D isn't as profound as I expected
Short Main Game
Final Score: 9.25