Super Mario 3D Land mixes the feel and gameplay of the old style 2D Super Mario games with 3D gameplay/style visuals.I found it to be enjoyable and I like how it uses the faster style gameplay of the old 2D Super Mario platformer games but mixes it with exploration that's more reminiscent of the 3D Mario games.To beat the game you'll need to do a bit of exploration and find a minimum of 100 star coins besides just making it to the end of each level.

Just like other Mario platformers,Super Mario 3D Land has tight controls that go together well with the level designs.Just like with most Super Mario platformers,Super Mario 3D Land has something about it's level designs that make the levels fun to play and prevent the game from feeling repetitive.Sure there's lots of basic platforming,but the way the platforms move or the way the platform jumping tests you and combine that with enemies that will attack you when you're platform jumping and combine it with well designed obstacles such as long rows of spikes attacked to stationary or moving objects or lava squirting up from beneath you that make this game lots of fun.

If you want to get some of the star coins,you'll need to risk dying and do some well-timed/directed jumps and even after you collect the star coin,you'll need to at least make it to a check point so you don't lose the coin after you die and you'll need to make it to the end of the level to keep all your coins and power-ups you collected in that level.I felt a satisfaction after I collected a star coin after doing a series of delicate platform jumping maneuvers and then grinded my way to a check point and then made it to the end of the level with my hard-earned star coins.Some star coins are well-hidden and like I mentioned before,you'll need to do a bit of exploration and check the levels thoroughly and analyze for little details that could hint to where a star coin could be hidden,and sometimes you'll need certain power-ups such as the Tanooki suit to reach a star coin or to get to another part of a level and it means you'll need to progress to that point with the Tanooki suit without getting hit(you can carry a spare Tooniki suit though)but it's another clever way the game tries to test you.

Speaking of power-ups,the Tanooki suit plays a major helping role in SM3DL because it makes many of the jumping sections much easier(without the Tanooki suit,some platform jumping sections are quite challenging)and it's like the game tries to give you the Tanooki suit quite a lot(it can be found it many places)and the mushroom that makes Mario grow bigger and the fire flower are less common in SM3DL than they were in other 2D Mario games.Another thing SM3DL does differently to other 2D Mario games is Mario starts each new life in his bigger form and after he's hit by an enemy/obstacle,he will shrink to his smaller form(represented by him having no hat and looking smaller)and if he's hit again while in this form he will lose a life.

The levels in SM3DL take influence from Super Mario Bros games,as well as Super Mario World and even the Super Mario Galaxy games.For example,it has levels that have wooden-style platforms that get cut by saw blades and you must dodge the saw blades as well as jump safely to another platform before they collapse(which are in Super Mario World)and just like in Super Mario World,these types of levels are fast-paced in SM3DL,but are not only done in side-scrolling fashion but also in a head-on style(to make the graphics and gameplay have a more 3D style to them).There's levels that have a little bit more open space to run around and you can take your time exploring them or run though them fast if you wish.The levels in SM3DL are actually quite small(in length and area size)so don't expect a lot of exploration in this game,but it has enough exploration that you can travel in a direction that's off the main path when you're searching for hidden things or just to see some nice scenery.Some levels have many rooms that you can explore(it's like I said,even though the levels are actually short in size/length,they can be explored in non-linear ways if you wish and sometimes will require you to do so).The puzzle gameplay elements for the ghost houses are quite simplified compared to the puzzles for the ghost houses in Super Mario World which actually required you to think laterally.

Other gameplay features worth noting is Mario can use a type of power-up which gives him an armored suit and the ability to throw boomerangs,he can use a power-up that turns him into a block with helicopter style blades on top and it allows him to hover upwards certain distances or slowly hover downwards and it allows him to reach areas he could not reach by jumping or using the cannon.If Mario dies 5 times in the same level,he can use a Tanooki suit of invincibility which means he cannot die when he wears it unless he falls(but this suit is optional)and there's another feature that allows Mario to warp to the end of the level if he dies at that same level 10 times and it's optional too.So this game can cater to casual gamers or young kids as well as teenagers/adults because some of the levels are quite challenging too.The boss fights use the old style ''run around a room and try to jump on the head on 1 or more of Bowser's goons while dodging their attacks'' as well as trying to run past Bowser and hit the bridge to make the bridge fall.I enjoyed the boss fights against Boswer because they're quite challenging and require careful coordination and timing and instead of being done only in 2D like with the 2D Mario games,the boss fights against Bowser where you have to run past him and hit the switch in SM3DL require you to judge fireballs coming at you from numerous angles(not just from side on)and require you to do some delicate platform jumping as well and you'll need to get very close to Bowser and avoid Bowser's fireballs from upclose and tail swipes and angle Mario so he can run past Boswer without touching him in certain areas.But the other boss fights that are not against Boswer and very simplisitic and could have used a bit more creativity.The final boss fight is very fast-paced and exciting.

As for the visuals,they're colorful,charming,have a nice style that goes well with Mario/Nintendo games.There's levels with nice looking grassy areas and beautiful blue water and waterfalls and I like how when Mario runs through shallow water you'll see the water splashes.There's tropical style locations,and deserts that have pyramids that have daunting dungeon style interiors as well as structures that tower very high and which need to be climbed/entered and encourage you to make use of the Mariocopter power-up.There's snow,volcanic areas and environments high in the sky.The visuals do a nice job of giving you a mixture of 2D and 3D and nice views of the environment.

The 3D feature does a good job of taking the charming visual style of SM3DL and making the cutscenes look life-like and as if the characters are going to pop out of the screen and make the characters,castle,objects look like real objects.

I also like how in some levels,the 8-Bit style graphics are used(just a bit).

The game uses a variety of tunes from previous Mario games and it uses them at the right time so they fit the gameplay very well as well as using new music.I still love hearing the sound affect after when Mario receives an upgrade,even after all these years and hearing the same charming sound affects when Mario jumps or hits an enemy with a fireball/boomerang etc.

Overall,SM3DL has some of the best 2D style Mario gameplay since the SNES days and great 3D gameplay too and should not be missed by Mario fans or platformer fans.Even if you're not a fan of platformers but own a 3DS,I think you'll enjoy this game because Mario games often make platforming feel imaginative and fun.