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Classic Platforming Fun Meets Modern Elements

Are you still having trouble deciding whether or not you should get a 3DS? Do you want a Mario platformer? Did you like Super Mario Galaxy 2? If you answered yes to these question (or at least the second one) then Super Mario 3D Land is the game you should get. It is Mario platforming at it's finest, and it gets even better, even after you beat every level! Read my review to decide whether or not you should buy Super Mario 3D Land.

Similarities: Super Mario 3D Land takes the old Mario elements and brings them back into the modern gaming world. If you have played Super Mario Galaxy 2, Super Mario Sunshine, New Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros., and/or Super Mario Bros. 3, then you will see some similarities.

Super Mario Galaxy 2: Super Mario 3D Land's level design is similar to Super Mario Galaxy 2's level design. Also, the comet medals from SMG 2 have made a return, except they are called star medals in Super Mario 3D Land.

Super Mario Sunshine: When you lose, you will see the words "Too Bad!" appear on the screen. Well, believe it or not, the words "Too Bad" came from Super Mario Sunshine.

New Super Mario Bros.: Remember the platform blocks that first appeared in New Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo DS? Well, if you do, then you should know that they have returned and have been added into the roster of blocks in Super Mario 3D Land.

Super Mario Bros.: In Super Mario Bros., you will kill Bowser by pushing a button and making him fall in lava. Well, that is the same thing you do in Super Mario 3D Land. Also, the flagpole has returned and picked 3D Land to be its next victim. There is also a time limit in the original Super Mario Bros.. Well, Nintendo has decided to put the time limit from the original Super Mario Bros. to 3D Land. This is in pretty much every Mario game, but the old blocks, like the question block, have returned for another punch in the ring.

Super Mario Bros. 3: After decades, Nintendo has finally decided to call back the Tanooki Leaf (above) so Mario can wear the Tanooki Suit. Nintendo has also included the Toad House, a house that looks like Toad's head and contains a power-up.

Gameplay: Super Mario 3D Land is an excellent game that any platformer fan will love. So, let me break it down for you. First of all, as always, your goal is to save Princess Peach, who has been kidnapped by Bowser, the king of the koopas. You go through 8 world with 6 levels (5 levels and 1 boss) and a toad house (or a mystery box). After you beat all 8 worlds, you will unlock 8 more worlds. These are the special worlds. It has the same amount of levels that the regular world has, 5 levels and 1 boss in a world, but these levels have newer elements. One of the things you will unlock after you beat special world 1 is the ability to play as Luigi. Each level is nicely crafted and is very pleasent to play at. To challenge you even more, Nintendo has inclueded star medals. There are 3 star medals in each level and there are 300 medals in total. It can be very difficult to get the star medals, but it is possible. Each level has a different way to play in it. Some levels make you play on the ground, play with a 30 second time limit (you do get 10 second clocks on the way), get chased by Dark Mario, swim, fly, and even more. It mixes up the gameplay and it doesn't keep the game stale. There are new power-ups that have made a first appearance in 3D Land and there are power-ups that have returned. The new power-ups are the Boomerang Flower, Statue Tanooki Leaf, and the Invincibility Leaf. The Boomerang Flower make Mario wear a Boomerang Suit and it allows the player to throw a boomerang at enemies. The Statue Tanooki Leaf is just a regular Tanooki Leaf except, when you do a ground pound, it turns Mario into a statue. No, you will not be stuck in statue form forever. The last new power-up only appears when you lose a level 5 times in a row, and that power-up is the Invincibility Leaf. It's a Tanooki Suit that also has the invincibility of a star. The old power-ups are the Tanooki Leaf, Fire Flower, Mushroom, Star, and the P-Wing. The Tanooki Leaf gives you the Tanooki Suit, and when you have the Tanooki Suit on, you will be able to fly for a limited time. The Fire Flower gives you the ability to shoot fireballs at enemies. The mushroom will make Mario turn back to normal size if he is at small size. The star will give Mario invincibility for a limited time. Finally, the P-Wing, a power-up that only appears after 10 losses in a row, will teleport Mario from the beginning of the level to the end of the level. A nice thing that Nintendo has added into Super Mario 3D Land is the storage pouch. The storage pouch will let you store any power-up that you get while you have a suit on. Along with new power-ups, Nintendo has included new enemies like the Biddybud, a small ladybug like enemy, and the Draglet, a small dragon like enemy. Super Mario 3D Land hosts many blocks that affect what you do. Most of them are classic blocks that have starred in games as early as Super Mario Bros., but, I think, there are some new blocks like the propeller box. 

100% Completion: This does not tell you how to beat each level, but it tells you what you must do if you want to beat Super Mario 3D Land 100%. Here are the 5 steps:

  1. Beat every level
  2. Get every star medal
  3. Hit the top of the flagpole in every level (It tells you if you did or not in the bottom right corner)
  4. Play as Mario & Luigi in every level (It tells you who you played as in the bottom right corner)
  5. Do all these steps on the final stage that gets unlocked AFTER you do these steps (don't do step 2)

It can be difficult to perform these tasks, but it is possible.

Controls: Do you need help with the controls? Do you need to learn some new tricks? Well, if you do, then this will show you all the controls in Super Mario 3D Land. *NOTE: I AM NOT SHOWING THE CONTROLS FOR POWER-UPS, THESE CONTROLS ARE FOR PLAIN MARIO*

  • Move: Circle Pad
  • Dash: Hold onto Y or X while moving
  • Jump: B or A
  • Crouch: L or R
  • Roll: L + Y or R + X
  • Ground Pound: L or R while in midair
  • Long Jump: L + B (A)  while moving or R + A (B) while moving
  • Side Somersault: Dash, then slide the circle pad left + B (A)
  • Wall Jump: While on a wall press B
  • Crouch Jump: Hold onto L + B (A) or hold onto R + A (B)
  • Look With Binoculars: Move the 3DS, click L or R to Zoom In/Out

Please note that these controls are from the Super Mario 3D Land Instruction Booklet that comes with Super Mario 3D Land. I did not find out these controls whatsoever. I give 100% credit to Nintendo for these controls that were in the booklet.

Graphics: Super Mario 3D Land's graphics are beautiful! You won't believe how stunning Mario and Luigi look in glasses-free 3D! There is nothing more to say about the graphics except that they are amazing! After you play the game, imagine how Super Mario Galaxy 2 would look in 3D.

Sound/Music: Super Mario 3D Land takes classic music and mixes them up with newer music to make a tasty dish. The classic music sounds just as good as it sounded years ago while the newer music will make you sing it until your head falls off. For example, ever since I got the E3 trailer of Super Mario 3D Land from the eShop, I can't stop singing the music! I'm still singing it today!

Streetpass: Super Mario 3D Land doesn't take advantage of streetpass as good as other games like Mario Kart 7, but the streetpass is performed good. If you do streetpass with another person who has Super Mario 3D Land, then you will exchange a mystery box with that person. You can play in their mystery box, and, if you win, you will get a star medal. You only have 10 seconds to complete the challenge and you only have one chance to get the star medal in the mystery box. The streetpass feature is nicely performed, i've done streetpass in Super Mario 3D Land and it was great, but it isn't the best. Maybe if you could keep a collection of the mystery boxes you get via streetpass then it would be better.

Bugs?: Unlike Mario Kart 7, Super Mario 3D Land has no bugs. I have beaten Super Mario 3D Land 100%, and I didn't experience even one bug throughout my whole playthrough.

The Conclusion: If you are a Mario fan or if you're just looking for a new 3DS game, then this is the game for you. Now that I think of it, if Nintendo included Wario then it would be even better! What do you think about that? I'm not taking off points because Wario is not in the game, but it would be even more fun with Wario. Anyways, Super Mario 3D Land is an excellent game that any veteran of new Mario fan will love.

Super Mario 3D Land Official Website

Comments
  • I'm glad Tanooki Mario lets you turn into a statue again. While it was never all that useful, it was the trademark of the suit. Otherwise, the Tanooki suit is basically the Raccoon suit. The P-Wing was always one of my favorite "cheats" too. An earned bonus to get through a particularly hard or annoying level. Super Mario Bros. 3 was the best Mario game (to me), it's great to see them incorporate so much into Super Mario 3D Land. Apricot, I love reading your reviews and blogs, and your writing is coming along quite well. And I still say you know more about Nintendo than even Mario does! A few suggestions (if I may). The gameplay section could use a paragraph break or two to separate your thoughts. Your opening and closing were great, and the overall flow and sections well organized. There was no mention of save points in your review though, and I know readers ALWAYS want that info. It helps to know how easily the game can be picked-up or put-down. Thanks for your review, I can't wait to get this game when I finally buy a 3DS. And 100% completion is awesome! That is an accomplishment! Keep up the great work blogging and reviewing and especially maintaining your awesome homepage here.